July 24, 2023
July 24, 2023

The Art and Science Behind Better Snapchat Video Ads

In the event you haven’t tapped into the Internet over the past few years, it turns out video has become a true game-changer when it comes to digital advertising.

Video ads bring life into focus — they captivate, engage, and inspire action like no other medium can. If you're looking to maximize impact, incorporating videos into your strategy is a must. And when it comes to your Snapchat Ads in particular, they can produce great results when done properly.

Why Video Ads?

By way of introduction, let’s look at what makes video ads tick — and matter:

  • Videos have a unique power to capture attention and engage viewers in a way that static images or text alone can't match. They allow you to communicate your business’s personality and values effectively, building a connection with your audience.

  • Videos stand out and leave a lasting impression in a world where people are constantly bombarded with information. They can convey emotions, tell stories, and showcase products or services in a dynamic, visually appealing, and compelling manner.

  • Videos are incredibly versatile. Whether it's a short and snappy ad or a longer, more informative video, you have the freedom to experiment with different formats and styles to find what resonates best with your target market.

  • Videos are highly shareable. In an era where viral content spreads like wildfire, a captivating video has the potential to reach a massive audience organically. When viewers find a video (including video ads) compelling, they are more likely to share it with their friends and followers, amplifying your brand's reach and increasing brand awareness.

  • Videos can drive conversions and sales. They have been proven to increase engagement, click-through rates, and ultimately, conversions, such as purchases or getting people to fill out a lead form. With the right storytelling techniques and persuasive messaging, video ads can effectively communicate your value proposition and encourage viewers to take action.

While that list isn’t exclusive to Snapchat’s video ads, it turns out our platform serves as the ideal place to serve and showcase your video creativity — if it’s results you’re after.

In fact, studies have shown that people pay more attention to full screen video ads on Snapchat compared to the benchmark across all other social platforms.¹

You can create Snapchat Ads in a snap

Snapchat Ads - Video, Collection, Story, AR Lens, Commercial icons
Why Should Businesses Advertise on Snapchat?

A valid question, to be sure. Snapchat ads are a fantastic way for businesses to reach a wide and engaged audience on one of the most popular social media platforms out there. Basically, Snapchat ads are short, eye-catching promotions that appear in between the content Snapchatters view on our app. Those ads are comprised of images, videos, text, and/or interactive experiences that work together to elicit a response in the form of a user action.

All the major social platforms offer their own mix of ad types — albeit without the augmented reality (AR) options singular to Snapchat. So, aside from AR, why should businesses jump on the Snapchat Ads train?

  1. Snapchat has a massive user base, with 383 million active daily global users² who are highly engaged with the platform. That level of activity means that your ads stand a great chance of being seen by a large audience, increasing brand visibility and awareness.

  2. Snapchat offers a variety of targeting options based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and even specific locations, the sole and collective purpose of which is to get your ads in front of the exact people who are most likely to engage with them. Tailor your ad creative to the right audience and you’ll maximize the impact of your ads.

  3. Snapchat ads provide an opportunity for businesses to showcase their creativity and authenticity, both of which are very big deals to Millennials and Gen Zers alike — which incidentally comprise the majority of Snapchat members. With a wide range of ad formats and features, you can experiment with different storytelling techniques and interactive elements to create a memorable experience.

  4. Snapchat ads can drive tangible results for your business. Whether you're aiming to build awareness, collect leads, drive online sales, or increase app installs, Snapchat provides tools to drive, track, and measure the success of your campaigns, giving you valuable insights into your advertising performance and an advantage over your competitors.

Each Snapchat ad format offers its own unique benefits and is customizable to suit your marketing objectives and target audience. Those include:

  • Single Image or Video Ads: Full-screen, still-image or vertical video ads (to which you can add brand and headline text as well as a CTA) that appear between Snapchatters’ stories. They’re skippable, but they have proven potential to capture attention with their immersive, high-quality visuals.

  • Collection Ads: With collection ads, you can showcase a series of products or experiences within a single ad unit. Snapchatters can click to view more details or make a purchase, making it a great option for any and all e-commerce businesses.

  • Story Ads: Story ads enable you to create branded, multimedia stories that appear in the Discover section of Snapchat. They provide an interactive and engaging way to tell your business’s story while capturing users' evasive attention.

  • Augmented Reality (AR) Lenses: AR lenses are super fun and interactive. They let users overlay your branded filters, effects, or animations onto their selfies or the world around them. AR lenses provide a truly unique and memorable way to engage with your audience. They require some technical sophistication to create, but you can always learn more about AR lenses.

  • Commercials: Commercials are non-skippable, full-screen ads that appear in Snapchat's premium content. They offer a longer format for storytelling and can be a great option for showcasing your brand or promoting a specific campaign.

Which format is right for your Snapchat Ad?

Image of a woman using a selfie light to record a video
9 Tips and Strategies for Creating Superior Snapchat Video Ads

Getting back to Snapchat video ads in particular, you’ll position your business for the best results by integrating these tips into your creative process:

  1. Keep it snappy
    Snapchat is all about short content that pops, so make sure your video ads are concise and to the point. Pack a punch within the first few seconds and deliver your message quickly. Remember, thanks to short attention spans, you have limited time to make an impact

  2. Focus on visual appeal:
    Since Snapchat is predominantly a visual platform, focus on creating visually appealing ads. Use vibrant colors, eye-catching graphics, and high-quality visuals that will stand out and grab attention as users scroll through their feed.

  3. Engage with sound:
    While Snapchat video ads play automatically, keep in mind that many users watch with the sound off. Make sure your ad's message is clear even without sound, too. Utilize captions, cues, and strong visuals that convey your message effectively despite a soundless environment.

  4. Employ vertical orientation:
    Snapchat is designed for full-screen vertical viewing, so it’s obviously best to make sure your videos are optimized for this format. Vertical videos fill the entire screen and offer a more immersive experience, ensuring maximum impact and engagement.

  5. Tell a story:
    Engage your audience by telling a compelling story through your video ads. Build your message around what you want people to think, feel, and do. Craft a narrative that connects with viewers emotionally and leaves a lasting impression. Focus on evoking emotions, showcasing your business’s personality, and creating an unforgettable experience. 

  6. Solicit and feature user-generated content (UGC):
    Get your audience in on the promotional action by inviting them to create and submit first-person video content filmed on their mobile device that advocates on behalf of your business and its offerings. Millennials and Gen Zers love the authenticity and creativity UGC brings to the equation. For best effect, have your business do the same with video-ad content creation as frequently as you can. For great examples of UGC used in Snapchat Ads, check out our video stories about Moitie and Blissy.

  7. Use Snap Publisher to create videos for your ads.
    With Snap Publisher, you can choose from objective-based templates, then customize as you see fit using your own visuals or free stock library options. Or you can create video content from scratch using your own content and the tool’s resources.

  8. Always include a call to action (CTA):
    Prompt your audience to make a move by including a clear call-to-action (CTA) in your video ads, whether it's visiting your website, downloading an app, or making a purchase. It’s crucial to guide viewers to the next step they should take to engage with your brand.

  9. Test and learn:
    Don't be afraid to experiment and test different ad variations. Try different visuals, messaging, and/or CTAs to see what resonates best with your audience. And use the insights and data Snapchat collects for you to optimize your ads and improve their performance over time.

If you’ve made it this far, congrats: You’ve got what you need to master video ads and to get started with Snapchat Ads today.

Ready to harness the power of video now?

1 2022 Amplified Intelligence study commissioned by Snap Inc and OMD
2 Snap Inc. internal data Q1 2023 vs. Q1 2022