If you’re a regular AD blog visitor, you may have seen our article on Instagram Stories and how that platform has surpassed Snapchat, which we still stand by! However, the Snapchat platform itself still has a lot of benefits, if you know how to harness it. So, in this blog, we’re going to look at the ways Snapchat advertising still has one up on the competition.

Although Instagram Stories have far exceeded the daily usage of Snapchat, there are certain features of this platform that Instagram doesn’t currently match. In fact, comparing the platform to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Snapchat was one of the first social media channels to provide guaranteed engagement on ads. This is because users have to physically hold their finger on the screen to watch snaps, unlike other platforms where you are able to just scroll past without taking too much notice. With a current daily usage rate of around 12 million in the UK, 77% of which are under the age of 25, this is an ideal place to reach a younger audience.

However, it’s only been fairly recently that advertisers have been allowed onto this platform and unlike other platforms, which do rely on mobile first options, Snapchat advertising centres their digital marketing offerings around one thing, your smartphone’s camera. Despite this being a great platform to hit the younger generation, only 8% of marketers are making the most of this platform and 72% say they have no plans to in the next year. This makes Snapchat advertising a relatively underused method of marketing when we compare it to the 94% of marketers that are using Facebook. With such an unsaturated marketing option, if you’re looking to reach 18-25 year-olds with some of your products or services, why wouldn’t you give this platform a try? Let’s look at the ad options that set it apart from its competitors.

image of snapchat open on a phone for snapchat advertising

Snap ads

Snap ads were the first form of advertising available on this platform. It’s comprised of a 10-second video ad, sized to fit a smartphone screen, that plays between a users Snap Story. The main focus of these ads is of course to advertise, but also to provide an ad experience that seems streamlined with the content they are already looking at, keeping it engaging and easy to consume within the 10-second window they have.

These ads can also have features to take engagement further than just views, from including a link to a video with more info, to asking the viewer to swipe up for more information (taking them to a website) or to download (taking them to the app store), there is certainly the opportunity for actionable content on Snapchat. Snap ads slot in naturally between user-generated content, making it more likely for a Snapchat user to actually watch the ad, as opposed to skipping or scrolling past as someone would do on Facebook or YouTube.

This ad option is easy to set up on your own and would work well for smaller/medium businesses, costs vary depending on the ad itself and the runtime of the campaign, as with any ad on any social media platform, however the general ballpark figure for Snap Ads is around $3,000 (circa £2,350) per month for campaign spend. The Snap ads platform will also give you in-depth analytics on snap open rate, response rate, engagement, video views, overall impressions, and more. Take a look at the example below from Simple's campaign with Little Mix.

snapchat advertising by simple wipes featuring little mix

Geo filters

Geo filters are based on location, making them an ideal option for events (charity fundraising events or even a wedding) or specific locations (hosting an event in a certain bar). This is a great feature for, not only, making people aware of where you are located, but also users to generate brand awareness through their own content.

On Snapchat, users are able to swipe through various filters, both static and moving, which apply graphics to the screen, geofilters give you the option to create one of these and tie it to a location that suits you and your business. Giving people a time-limited and location-limited filter for them to use. The key is creating a filter that people want to use, making it more likely that people will come to you, in search of the filter, and these filters can be created for very specific areas.

Sponsored geofilters are mostly used by bigger brands, due to the scope of the product, it can be targeted to a specific location or even nation-wide, making it a more costly ad option if you were to go for the latter. Some brands are even set up to have the filter available on various locations, cutting out the unused area by that brand, making it more cost efficient and personalised to that brand and their stores or locations. Knowing how much it is to run a campaign like this is a bit of a grey area, but, it can be assumed it is a tailored and costly price. However, if you are a university, or maybe even a charitable organisation, Snapchat has been known to do this feature for free providing no logos are used (along with some other rules), it’s something worth looking into!

On-demand geofilters are a consumer-facing version of the above option, there isn’t an exact formula for costs kicking around, however, there is the opportunity to target a street or building for as short as an hour and for as little as around $5 (circa £3.90). As you would expect the price increases with the scale of ground covered and the time the campaign is running for. To take part in this feature, all you have to do is design a filter and submit it for approval.

Sponsored lenses

Like filters, but way, way bigger, Snapchat lenses are always nationwide campaigns that allow the user to incorporate their own branded AR content onto a filter. You will see that this Snapchat advertising option is used by big name brands to create an augmented reality environment around the app user.

Though they are incredibly effective and certainly leave an impression, with nationwide implementation and creation, this Snapchat advertising option is expensive. Running a sponsored lens will set you back anywhere from $450,000 (circa £35,300) to $700,000 (circa £54,9500) per day for special holidays and events.

Perhaps not achievable at the moment, but you never know what could happen!

screen shot from the snapchat advertising website

The example is taken from the Snapchat website

Snapchat QR codes (‘Snapcodes’)

A while ago, Snapchat gave their users individual QR-style codes in an attempt to make it as easy as possible for fellow users to add one another. You’re also already able to create and use your own Snapcodes online that direct users to open a specific website or link to content that you want your followers to see.

We all know, QR codes, surprisingly failed to take off, mostly due to the fact that a lot of them required people to download single-use apps in order to use them. However, Snapchat believe that this option may be a little more accessible as 30% of adults already have and use the app, it’s likely that more have the app dormant on their phone.

Snapcodes work exactly like QR codes, however, run inside the Snapchat app, and can be used as a Snapchat advertising option. Snapcodes placed on a physical advertisement allows the users to open their apps, scan the code and then interact with the media that it sends them to, for example, a movie trailer, or a link to a special page on your website.

Again there isn’t a huge amount of info on cost, however, it seems easy to use and accessible, perhaps aligning it along with the likes of the Snap Ads in cost.

As you can see, there are plenty of options on Snapchat that you could add to your digital marketing strategy, however, some may be easier to implement than others. To get started, get a Snap Ads account by signing up. This will allow you to set up your own Snap Ads, on-demand geofilters and URL-directed Snapcodes. Otherwise, you will have to get in touch with Snapchat directly or work with one of their partners in order to get any of their other advertising offerings up and running.