Do the foundational work first
Decide where to advertise
When deciding where to start paid advertising, it’s important to research the various platforms your customer base (or prospective customers) are most active on and decide where to advertise. Many social media ad platforms offer similar functionality with ad objectives, audience creation, and so forth.
Some ad platforms also offer the opportunity to reach a specific kind of audience. For example, 9 out of 10 young people are on Snapchat. In addition, a majority of daily Snapchatters between ages 16 and older don’t use Twitter every day, and nearly half of these users don’t use TikTok either..
Snapchat has all the ad tools you need to reach the young people who use it, including:
Ad objectives across the funnel, along with different kinds of ad formats for each one
The Snap Pixel, which will help you understand activity on your website and optimize your ads for specific actions like purchases or filling out a lead form
The ability to integrate a product catalog to display products in ads
Mobile app integration, so you can drive installs as well as in-app activity
Advanced bidding strategies (or use the defaults)
Choose who you want to reach with your social media ads
Most ad platforms have a variety of ways to create audiences you can target with your ads.
Select the age range, gender, and location(s) of your typical customers
Define the interests of your customers
Gather any customer lists you have, since many social media platforms, including Snapchat
, let you upload them to create audiences for your ads.
Check out the audience creation tool
for the platform you chose to see if you can create any audiences in advance, which will speed up the ad creation process.
Determine the ad creative (text and images/videos) you want to use in your social media ads
It’s crucial to identify early what your objective is (i.e. what you want to achieve), whether it’s getting more purchases, driving awareness of your products and services, or something else. Develop creative content with text and imagery that have that objective in mind.
At Snapchat, our 5 Golden Rules to Creative are:
Keep Ads Short — Get your message across in the first 3 seconds. Always have your logo visible.
Style it like UGC — Style your content like user-generated content (UGC) by filming with a phone and talking directly to the camera.
Encourage An Action — Encourage people to take an action, such as Click or presenting an option to buy with an appropriate CTA (call to action).
Consider Audio — Two-thirds of Snaps are playing with sound on. Use sound to capture attention or as a call to action.
Focus on One Message — Have one clear hero message for your product or brand.
Many of these rules also apply to other social media platforms, but above all else: pay attention to the specs required by the social media platform you’re advertising on.
Images and videos will likely need to be a certain aspect ratio at a specific resolution, text shouldn’t exceed a specific character count, and the files you upload shouldn’t exceed a maximum file size. For Snapchat specific ad specs, take a look at our business help center article
Decide how much you want to spend and for how long
When you decide how much you want to spend, keep in mind that most advertising platforms grant you control over how your account spends your budget. With Snapchat’s Ads Manager, you have full control of how your account spends your budget, allowing you to set daily and lifetime spend caps, as well as start and stop ads any time.
Keep in mind that most ad platforms, including Snapchat, have a learning phase (Snapchat calls it an exploration phase
) during which machine learning is used to determine who in your audience is more receptive to your ad, so the ad delivery system can show it to more people like them. The time it takes to exit the learning phase will ultimately affect the success of your ad as well as how your budget is spent, so make sure you decide on a budget and schedule that has some lead time for this learning phase. Snapchat, for example, recommends at least $30 a day for a minimum of 15 days to get through our exploration phase and achieve optimal results.
Decide how you will measure success
Success can be measured in a variety of ways once you have an active advertising campaign. At a high level, you should look at general metrics like impressions and clicks for your ads to get a general sense of how they’re doing.
Further, consider the following:
A website pixel can help you correlate site activity with sales or other outcomes, so you can see if your online sales ad is working.
If you’re trying to get more awareness, you’ll want to focus on getting your ad in front of as many people as possible versus focusing on something like sales.
Many ad platforms, including Snapchat, allow you to set up A/B tests that can tell you which ad creative performs better with your audience, or which audience is more receptive to your ad. Keep in mind, A/B testing options typically are set up in the beginning of ad creation, so you will need to have your options prepared ahead of time.