If you’re curious about the digital advertising world and are wondering where to start, we’re here to give you a 101 guide, one social media platform at a time. In this blog, we will look at Snapchat advertising – but first, a little introduction…

What Is Snapchat?

What Is Snapchat? Storys and Snap Streaks

Snapchat is a video and image-sharing social media platform. It is used via mobile phone devices as an Android and iOS-friendly app. Since its introduction in 2011, Snapchat has seen many updates – but its core concept has stayed the same.

Snapchat’s distinguishing feature is that any picture, video or message (AKA ‘snap’) sent is only made available to the receiver briefly before it becomes inaccessible. This unique selling point was originally designed to encourage a more natural flow of interaction rather than information being harvested.

In 2013, Snapchat was the first to incorporate a story feature. You have more than likely seen this across other social channels – including Facebook and Instagram – but Snapchat is where it all started. With Snapchat Stories, the content stays available on the platform for 24 hours – a slightly longer shelf-life compared to 10-second snaps.

Omnicore reports 218 million daily active Snapchat users in 2020, with over 37.5% of UK smartphone users on the app. Despite the app’s undeniable popularity, Snapchat’s audience is not as varied as other platforms.

Snapchat Advertising header image

Demographics For Advertising on Snapchat

For those wanting to give Snapchat advertising a go – one of the main aspects to consider is the demographics. A high-quality, visually stunning ad will not go far on Snapchat if it isn’t tailored to the right audience. 

Here are Omni Core’s key statistics you should know before advertising on Snapchat in 2020:

  • 78% of internet users aged 18-24 use Snapchat.
  • 90% of Snapchat users are 13-24 years old.
  • Roughly 61% of Snapchat users are female.
  • 38% of Snapchat users are male.
  • 69% of teens say they use Snapchat.
  • 24% of adults use Snapchat.

To summarise these stats, Snapchat’s main users are mostly female teenagers/young adults. This revelation is almost unsurprising, particularly when reflecting on the 2018 Kylie Jenner incident.

The Kylie Jenner Incident

Two years ago, Snapchat underwent another series of updates to appeal to more users.

One of the unhappy users was Kardashian clan member Kylie Jenner, the youngest of the famous siblings. In a tweet, Kylie said: “So, does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me…ugh this is so sad.”

Kylie Jenner Snapchat advertising tweet screenshot.
Kylie Jenner’s tweet dented Snapchat’s reputation. (Image credit: The Guardian)

As a result of Kylie’s tweet, combined with investors’ growing fears that the app was no longer fit for purpose – Snapchat lost $1.3 billion, marking it as one of the company’s worst-ever trading days. 

It just goes to show – you should stick to what you know.

Regardless of the monetary loss Snapchat experienced because of this – the app bounced back, with successful stats to prove it.

Ranking of Snapchat in Social Media

In 2020, there will be more active social media users than ever before, with a colossal 3.8 billion global users, which is just under half of the world’s population. 

With this notable growth in social media users – Snapchat’s users in the UK have steadily increased, too, according to Revive. Digital. In 2018, there were 13.6 million users, followed by 16.95 million in 2019. This year, Snapchat has surged, with 18.7 million users in the UK.

While this growth is positive for Snapchat, it is not among the top-performing social media channels in the UK, with Facebook comprising 44.8 million users, Instagram achieving 24.4 million users and even specialist platform LinkedIn surpassing 27.5 million users in 2020. 

This being said, if your product or service fits the audience of Snapchat, then you will likely see a better return than advertising on an overwhelmingly used platform such as Facebook.

What Snapchat Ads Are Good For

Snapchat ads are a highly beneficial route to go down if you want to use visually stimulating content through the mediums of images or videos. 

Snapchat’s ad options allow you to choose your objective, ad format, and audience. The app also considers what you want to drive, e.g. sales, app downloads or meeting potential customers.  

In terms of audience targeting, Snapchat’s technology is advanced. The app helps you reach users based on their interests, behaviours, location, age and gender, to name just a few. They offer different alternatives to finding audiences, including settings which you can apply to your ad to match people who have never engaged with you before to people who regularly engage with you. 

The Different Types of Snapchat Ads

Snapchat has evolved with the times, offering multiple ad formats that cater to the diverse needs of advertisers. Long gone are the days of launching snaps at people, hoping they will look at them. Now – their ad range is far more varied and valuable to reaching key prospects.

Single Image or Video Ads

This type of ad comprises a user’s full screen, making it highly impactful and attention-grabbing for the user. As the name of the ad format states, it is most suitable for single images or videos. You will also need to add an attachment and enable users to swipe up and take action if they like what they see. 

Types of Snapchat Ads example screenshot.
Snapchat advertising is relied on by major fashion brands like Dr Martens. (Image credit: Snapchat for Business)

Collection Ads

Collection ads showcase a series of products to users, similar to Facebook’s carousel ad. On Snapchat, you can select four tapable tiles to display multiple products. This is a good way to seamlessly place your products on the app, as well as ease potential customers’ access to your products.

Collection ads example screenshot
Collection-style Snapchat ads are the favoured format of many brands. (Image credit: Snapchat for Business)

Story Ads

Ads on Snapchat Stories are branded tiles that live in Snapchat’s Discover section. These can be a series, with an influencer chatting through your new product or a collection of products. The format enables you to select 3-20 single image or video ads to help create as much hype as you want.

Story-based Snapchat Ads example
Snapchat Stories are a fantastic way to build relationships between your brand and audience. (Image credit: Snapchat for Business)

Lenses AR Experience Ads

This format is Snapchat’s version of augmented reality experiences. They are highly interactive, with the lenses feature providing a fun yet unique way to connect people with your business. Normally, active Snapchatters scout for these to play around with and share with friends – so you have the added advantage of being recommended by users and used by them with this format.

Augmented reality snapchat ads example
Snapchat is one of the easiest ways for brands to use AR advertising. (Image credit: Snapchat for Business)

Commercials Ads

Snapchat commercials appear in Snapchat’s curated content. They are beneficial as they are non-skippable for six seconds and can be up to three minutes long. This way, commercials have time to engage audiences eager to consume content, which equals a win-win for both parties. 

Commercial Snapchat ad example screenshot.
Commercial Snapchat ads are not skippable by users. (Image credit: Snapchat for Business)

Filters Ads

One thing Snapchat has always been famous for is its filters. They are artistic overlays appearing after a user snaps and swipes left or right. They normally come in decorative forms but can be personalised to suit your business. By adopting this ad format, you are enabling users to share your filter with others and generate hype around it, boosting your brand’s awareness. 

Snapchat filter ad example screenshot.
Filters are Snapchat’s flagship technology, and advertising is no exception. (Image credit: Snapchat for Business)

All in all, there are amazing opportunities to come out of Snapchat advertising, especially for those organisations that need to reach the target market of 13 to 24-year-olds or those seeking to influence the buying decisions of teenage girls and young women.

Snapchat’s Marketing Potential

Some key statistics about Snapchat’s audiences and marketing opportunities:

  • Over 265 million daily active users, with 75% under the age of 35
  • Users spend 30+ minutes per day on average engaging with content.
  • Snapchat reaches 90% of all 13-24 year olds and 75% of 13-34 year olds in the US.
  • Snap Ads have a swipe-up rate 5X higher than the industry average on mobile.
  • Video ads have up to 6X higher completion rate compared to Instagram and Facebook.
  • Sponsored augmented reality Lenses average 42 seconds of playtime

These metrics indicate Snapchat offers significant potential to connect with younger users in an immersive environment.

Snapchat Ad Specifications and Best Practices

When creating Snapchat ads, follow these guidelines for optimal results:

  • Vertical video ads should have a 9:16 aspect ratio and under 10 seconds.
  • Horizontal video ads can be up to 20 seconds long
  • Image ads should be optimized for 1080 x 1920 resolution
  • Use captions of up to 34 characters to reinforce the visuals
  • Leverage Snapchat’s voiceover feature for audio narration
  • Keep text minimal with a strong, simple CTA
  • Develop multiple variations of each ad for split testing
  • Promote Lenses during high-traffic events or holidays

Examples of Effective Snapchat Ad Campaigns

Some brands running successful Snapchat ads include:

  • Wendy’s – Leveraged Snapchat’s Voiceover and Caption features in video ads, driving 2x more app downloads.
  • L’Oréal – Developed numerous video ads promoting new product launches through influencer partnerships.
  • Warner Bros – Created immersive Lenses and Filters to engage users around major film releases.
  • Grubhub – Ran geofilter ads promoting discounts paired with Snapchat Collection ads for specific restaurants.
  • Gatorade – Developed a Sponsored Lens on Snapchat for users to virtually pour a Gatorade shower. Saw over 40M plays.

Latest Snapchat Advertising Features to Explode Your 2024 Campaigns

Snapchat advertising continues to evolve, offering innovative features that can elevate your marketing efforts. Here’s a deep dive into some of the most exciting advancements:

1. Augmented Reality (AR) Try-On Capabilities:

  • Unlock immersive experiences: Let users virtually try on clothes, makeup, accessories, and more directly within your ads. This interactive format drives product engagement and purchase intent.
  • Tailor experiences to your industry: From furniture placement to eyewear selection, AR try-on is applicable across various sectors. Showcase product variations and personalize the experience for different audiences.
  • Track key metrics: Monitor swipe-up rates, trial completion rates, and purchase conversions to measure the effectiveness of your AR try-on campaigns.

2. Snapchat Conversions API:

  • Optimize campaign attribution: Gain deeper insights into user journeys by connecting your app or website data directly to Snapchat ad campaigns. Track actions like purchases, sign-ups, and app installs triggered by your ads.
  • Measure real-world impact: Go beyond clicks and impressions to understand the true value of your Snapchat advertising efforts. This data allows for precise campaign optimization and ROI measurement.
  • Improve targeting and personalization: Leverage conversion data to target users most likely to convert and personalize ad messaging based on their past actions and interests.

3. Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs):

  • Showcase product catalogs seamlessly: Automatically generate personalized ads featuring your latest products based on user data and preferences. This ensures timely and relevant product recommendations.
  • Reduce ad creation time and effort: DPAs automate much of the ad creation process, freeing up your resources for strategic planning and optimization.
  • Drive product discovery and sales: By showcasing relevant products at the right time, DPAs encourage exploration and purchase decisions within the Snapchat platform.

4. Spotlight Challenges:

  • Embrace user-generated content: Launch interactive challenges encouraging users to create and share Snaps using your branded lens or filter. This builds engagement and brand awareness organically.
  • Drive viral reach and discovery: Successful challenges can gain traction quickly, spreading your brand message and reaching new audiences through user-generated content.
  • Track challenge performance: Monitor key metrics like participation rates, shares, and brand mentions to gauge the success of your Spotlight Challenges.

5. Shoppable Stickers & Lenses:

  • Simplify the purchase journey: Integrate shoppable elements directly into your Snaps and Lenses, allowing users to seamlessly purchase featured products with just a tap.
  • Reduce friction and boost conversions: Streamlining the purchase process within the app encourages instant action and reduces cart abandonment.
  • Measure shopper behavior: Track clicks, product views, and purchases triggered by shoppable elements to understand user behavior and optimize your campaigns.


  • Stay updated on the latest features and experiment with them to discover what works best for your brand and audience.
  • Leverage creative storytelling and engaging formats to capture attention and stand out in the competitive Snapchat landscape.
  • Continuously track and analyze campaign performance to refine your strategies and maximize your return on investment.

Integrating Snapchat Ads into Your Social Media & Omni-Channel Strategy: A Seamless Synergy

Snapchat advertising offers unique features and reach, making it a valuable addition to your broader social media and omni-channel marketing strategy. Here’s how to successfully integrate it:

Target Audience Synergy:

  • Understand your overall audience: Analyze audience demographics, interests, and behaviors across all your social media platforms to identify overlap and potential audiences on Snapchat.
  • Refine targeting on Snapchat: Leverage insights from other platforms to refine your targeting on Snapchat, reaching the right audience with tailored messaging.
  • Segment and personalize: Create diverse ad sets targeting specific audience segments identified across your wider social media landscape, personalizing messages based on their previous interactions.

Content & Messaging Alignment:

  • Maintain brand consistency: Ensure your brand voice, visuals, and messaging remain consistent across Snapchat and other social media platforms, fostering brand recognition and trust.
  • Leverage platform-specific strengths: Adapt your content to Snapchat’s ephemeral nature and vertical storytelling format, utilizing engaging Snaps, Stories, and Lenses.
  • Cross-promote and drive traffic: Promote your Snapchat presence on other platforms, encouraging your existing audience to follow you and engage with your Snapchat content.

Campaign Integration & Optimization:

  • Run coordinated campaigns: Launch coordinated campaigns across platforms, using Snapchat to amplify messages, drive website traffic, or promote specific offers initiated on other channels.
  • Utilize retargeting: Retarget website visitors or app users who interacted with your brand on other platforms on Snapchat, staying top-of-mind and encouraging further engagement.
  • Track and analyze data: Leverage analytics across all platforms to understand campaign performance and user behavior, identifying areas for improvement and optimizing your overall social media strategy.

Omni-Channel Opportunities:

  • Offer exclusive incentives: Provide Snapchat-specific promotions, discounts, or early access to content to incentivize engagement and drive traffic to other platforms or your website.
  • Utilize QR codes: Include QR codes in your Snapchat ads that link to landing pages, online stores, or social media profiles, creating a seamless transition between platforms.
  • Run contests and giveaways: Organize contests or giveaways across platforms, requiring participation on both Snapchat and other channels, boosting engagement and cross-platform awareness.


  • A clothing brand runs a coordinated campaign across Instagram and Snapchat, showcasing new products in Instagram posts and offering exclusive try-on options and discounts through Snapchat ads.
  • A restaurant launches a “Snap & Share” campaign on Snapchat, encouraging users to share photos of their meals for a chance to win a prize and promoting their Instagram account for more food inspiration.
  • An e-commerce store uses Snapchat retargeting to reach website visitors who abandoned their carts, offering a special Snapchat-only discount code to incentivize purchase completion.


  • Maintain a cohesive brand experience across all platforms.
  • Utilize platform-specific strengths and formats effectively.
  • Track and analyze data to optimize your overall social media and omni-channel strategy.
  • Experiment with creative integrations to maximize engagement and impact.

Snapchat Advertising FAQs

Q: How much do Snapchat ads cost?

A: Snap ads start around $5 per CPM while Snapchat Lenses can cost $450K+ for a day.

Q: How can I target Snapchat ads?

A: Target by demographics like age, gender, and location. No interests or placement targeting.

Q: What campaign objective options are available?

A: Awareness, web conversions, app installs, video views, and lead generation.

Q: How do you track and measure results?

A: Within Snapchat Ads Manager view impressions, swipe ups, spending, and other data.

Snapchat Advertising Conclusion

Snapchat’s immersive advertising formats provide a major opportunity for brands to creatively engage users, especially younger demographics. Tailoring vertical video ads, Lenses, Filters ,and more to the platform allows showcasing brands’ personalities while humanizing the experience. With testing and optimization, Snapchat ads can convert impressions into loyal followers and customers.

At ProfileTree, we offer a range of digital advertising services and training. If you would like more advice on advertising on Snapchat or even get help with social media marketing ideas, simply drop us a message. We can’t wait to get you started!

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