June 09, 2020
June 09, 2020

Snapchat Ads Best Practices: 10 Tips to Help Increase Ad Engagement

Use these creative best practices to create beautiful Snapchat Ads that drive user action and real results on Snapchat.

Advertising on mobile is a crucial part of any digital marketing strategy, especially when reaching millennials and Gen Z. As one of the first generations to grow up with social media as a core part of their everyday lives, the Snapchat Generation uses Snapchat everyday to connect with real friends, have fun with the Snap Camera and Snap Map, discover new content, and get inspired. In fact, the Snapchat community spends an average of over 30 minutes on Snapchat every day1, with the average Snapchatter opening the app over 30 times a day2. With Additionally, 265 million daily active users on average,3 many brands and businesses are finding that advertising on Snapchat is a great way to become a part of their key audiences conversations.4

Snapchat provides businesses with some of the most interactive and engaging Ad Formats in the market to reach and grow audiences. Snapchat Ads are full-screen, immersive canvases that allow you to showcase your business in an organic way that feels native to the Snapchat reaches your audience. Upon viewing your ad, Snapchatters can seamlessly swipe up to see your products, install or visit your app, or get directions or make reservations at your storefront or restaurant. Not only are Snapchat Ads engaging, they’re also incredibly effective with the Snapchat audience and provide great return on investment for businesses of all sizes. Hopper, a travel booking app, found that Snapchatters booked flights 4x as often as customers gained from other platforms. But what’s the key to fostering good ad engagement on Snapchat?

Below we're sharing our 10 tips to help increase ad engagement on Snapchat. Use these tips and mobile advertising best practices to build visually appealing ads that drive quality engagement and high return on investment for your business.

#1 Choose the right ad format for your goals

Snapchat offers a growing menu of ad formats to help you achieve your business goals. Whether you want to boost awareness, drive sales or app downloads, or increase conversions, Snapchat Ads are easy to use and deliver meaningful results. Below is a quick guide on what ad format to use depending on your business goal:

  • Drive sales and sign ups online: Performance advertiser with a Product Catalog? Try Dynamic Ads! Want to drive online sales? Try Single Image or Video Ads, Story Ads, and Collection Ads.

  • Boost app installs and engagement: Use App Install attachments to prompt Snapchatters to swipe up and download your app. The App Install attachment displays an Install Card at the bottom of Single Image or Video ads, Story Ads, and a small pill CTA for Lens AR Experiences

  • Build brand awareness: Looking to build brand awareness on Snapchat? Consider advertising with Story Ads, a Lens AR Experience, or an Extended Play Commercial. 

  • Retargeting existing customers: Want to reconnect with customers who are already aware of your brand and have engaged with your business in the past? Use Story Ads to engage with previous customers and drive customer loyalty.

#2 Showcase your product front and center in your ad creative

Using full screen images and video in your ads inspires, educates and moves viewers to engage and learn more. Be sure to feature a ‘hero’ message from the opening frame on, and include any relevant offers or specials to help drive consideration. Below is a quick guide on ad creative guidelines depending on your business type: 

  • e-Commerce: Feature the products you sell front and center to drive purchase intent. 

  • App and games: Show the app UI, features, and benefits within the ad creative. 

  • Local businesses: Bring attention to key visual features of your storefront or location. Highlight what services or products your business specializes in. For example, a local restaurant can showcase popular dishes or specials in their ad creative to entice customers to visit. 

#3 Make your ads feel native to Snapchat

Mirror the bite-sized and linear storytelling of Snaps, and keep your ad duration around 5-6 seconds. This gives your brand the opportunity to reach potential customers in a way that feels organic and non-intrusive to Snapchatters, and puts you right in the middle of their conversations. Ads featuring user generated content (UGC) and/or Snapchat inspired features typically get viewed in full compared to more polished ads, and make your ad feel more conversational. 

#4 Drive urgency with relevant messaging

Add any relevant messaging from the beginning of the ad to drive sales, app installs or app visits. Your messaging should be easy to understand, displayed from the beginning of your ad, be localized for your audience, and provide an offer message (if available) within the first 2 seconds of the ad. 

#5 Design for sound on

Don’t forget to add audio to your ads on Snapchat - 64% of Snapchat Ads are viewed with noise on.5 An effective way to include sound in your ad creative is to use a customer testimonial of your product or brand within the ad creative. Including a spoken testimonial helps Snapchatters better understand your products, relate to your brand, and see how your business can add value.

#6 Link your ads properly

Making sure your ads bring the user to your desired location is critical for impressions and conversions. Below are the recommended attachment types depending on advertiser goal:

  • Drive online sales: Web View attachments allow Snapchatters to swipe up to view a web page that is instantly loaded. They are available for Snap Ads, Story Ads, and Lenses purchased through Reach and Frequency. 

  • Drive app installs: Use App Install attachments to allow Snapchatters to swipe up and download your app - use ‘Install Now’ or ‘Download’ as your call to action as these have the strongest conversion rates. 

  • Drive app engagement/app visits: Use a Deep Link to re-engage existing users of your app and bring them back into your app. When a Snapchatter who already has your app swipes up on your ad, they are directed to the location in your app defined by your deep link. If you reach a Snapchatter who does not have your app, they are directed to the app store to install. Deep Link attachments are available for Single Image or Video ads, Story Ads, and Lenses.  

#7 Test ad creative and try new ad formats

Testing your creative gives you insight into what content resonates most with your target audience. When testing ad creative, consider running your test for 2-4 weeks to gather enough impressions on your ad(s). After you’re up and running your ads on Snapchat, we recommend testing a variety of ad formats to find out the winning combination for your brand. 

#8 Use goal-based bidding to bid towards your desired action

Goal-based bidding allows you to optimize towards a specific action that a Snapchatter is most likely to take, such as installing your app, watching a video, or completing a purchase. By specifying your cost-per-action in the ‘Delivery’ section of Ads Manager, impressions will be delivered to efficiently achieve that outcome. Once you’ve unlocked goal-based bidding on Snapchat, be sure to take advantage of different bidding strategies. To drive ad engagement, we recommend using Target Cost Bidding to help drive scale by entering the Snap Auction at a higher and more competitive price, while also meeting your goal CPA.

#9 Broaden your targeting

Once you’ve been running your ads for about 2-4 weeks, a quick and easy way to increase ad engagement is to broaden your targeting. Within existing ad sets and campaigns, you can expand your targeting by geo, gender, age ranges, and languages to expand your reach and get more impressions. Learn more about Snapchat’s targeting options here

#10 Understand your audience reach to optimize

Use Audience Insights to better understand your audience reach. Audience Insights help you learn more about your target audience on Snapchat so you can create relevant content and surface additional targetable segments to grow reach. 

With Audience Insights, you can: 

  • Create relevant audiences that can be activated with Saved Audiences

  • See the interests of people in your Custom Audience

  • Optimize targeting for top regions and DMAs

  • Adjust bids by device, including type and carrier

  • See the demographic breakdown of people in your Custom Audience

  • Expand the reach of campaigns by adding segments that resemble your target audience

Mobile advertising is a key component to any digital marketing strategy. Advertising on Snapchat gives businesses the opportunity to reach a large and engaged audience at an affordable price of just $5 a day. When developing your ads for Snapchat, build creative ads that showcase your products or services, feel native to the platform, communicate a clear key message, and encourage the viewer to take action.

1 Snap Inc. internal data Q1 2020. See Snap Inc. public filings with the SEC.
2 Snap Inc. internal data Q2 2020.
3 Snap Inc. internal data Q4 2020. See Snap Inc. public filings with the SEC.
4 Snap Inc. internal data. Average for Daily Active Users Q2 2020. See Snap Inc. public filings with the SEC.
5 Snap Inc. internal data Q1 2019. “Sound on” means playback audio is on, headphones are on, or mute is overridden.