The Complete Guide to Snap Ads
This is a concise, but complete, guide to the ins and out of Snap Ads. We share minimum ad spend numbers, fees, targeting, etc. If you have any questions, contact us.
Last updated: May 4, 2017.
Snap Ads Details:
- Minimum Ad Spend – $10,000/month (month to month contract) [Note: Options available for budgets under $10k – contact us to learn more]
- Snap Ads Management Fee – 20% of total ad spend (lower if spend is $30k+)
- Countries Available – United States, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, & Turkey
- Demographic Targeting Options – Location, Gender, Age, Interests (See full list of current interest targeting options below)
- Targeting Options – Goal-based bidding for app installs, Lookalike audiences, Customer match (by email or mobile IDs), Retargeting (only retargeting based on actions within Snapchat), “Snap to Store” (offline conversions)
- Ad Reporting Metrics – Impressions, click rate, swipe-up rate, video views (reporting views to 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%)
- Tracking Options – Vanity URLs, UTM tags, mobile-friendly landing page
- Destination Options – Video views, App installs (swipe-up leads to app install page), Web views (swipe-up leads to landing page of your choice)
- Ad Creative Options – Video only for now (click here for video specs)
Are you interested in starting a campaign on Snapchat? Then you’ve come to the right place. We’re your team from creative and strategy, to execution and management. Click the the link below and let’s get you started on making more money. It’s a snap!
Snap Ad interest targeting options:
Check out two Snap Ads case studies below!
Last updated: May 4, 2017.
Snapchat is blowing up right now. Their recent IPO filing stated that they have over 160 million daily active users. And these users are HIGHLY engaged. Most users consume every post they see. Snap also announced that their average user spends 25-30 minutes on the app every day. And they command 41% of the coveted 18-34 age demographic. Humans only have enough time to dedicate to 5-7 apps a day, and Snapchat is quickly rising to the top. To stand out on Snap, you must be fun, creative, and engaging. To help get you started, here are 20 creative Snapchat campaigns from different brands to inspire your strategy! Want to get started with Snap Ads? Contact us today!
- Taco Bell – Cinco de Mayo
Taco Bell got a lot of press when they created a filter for Cinco de Mayo. Here’s what that looked like:
The filter performed extremely well. It was viewed 224 Million times. That’s an absolutely incredible number. They paid an estimated $750,000 for 24 hours of that filter. That works out to be 0.3 cents per view. Not three cents. Three tenths of one cent! That’s insane. It paid off though. People thoroughly enjoyed playing with the filter and it surely helped increase Taco Bell’s sales.
- X-Men: Apocalypse – Movie Promotion
X-Men did a massive takeover on May 23, to help promote the release of the new X-Men: Apocalypse movie. They didn’t just create one sponsored filter, they created ALL of them. Every filter, for the entire day on Snapchat, was related to X-Men. Analytics haven’t been released yet, but if their numbers mirror those of Taco Bell, they would have received around 1.5 Billion views!
- Sphero from Star Wars – Toy Launch
Star Wars utilized influencers on Snapchat to promote their new toy, Sphero, during the holiday season. One of the influencers they worked with, Shaun McBride, gets 2 million Snapchat views every day. According to the Wall Street Journal, the toy sold out in a matter of hours and their campaign got 10 million views. Check out one of their stories here:
Working with influencers on Snapchat is a must. They know their followers best and can often help your brand create fun, engaging content that delivers results.
- Terminator: Genisys – Movie Promotion
To promote the release of the new Terminator movie last year, a custom filter was created. Users were able to overlay the filter onto themselves or their pets. Smartly, Arnold Schwarzenegger also promoted this on Facebook. His Facebook post about the custom Snapchat filter received 3,000 shares and 55,000 likes. Cross-promoting onto other platforms is a good way to increase your organic reach with not much extra effort.
- The MTV VMAs – Behind the Scenes
During the 2015 VMAs, MTV did a Live Story on Snapchat. This allowed anyone in the area to post pictures and videos to that Live Story, for all to see. Celebrities and audience members shared hilarious behind-the-scenes footage onto the story. About 10 million people tuned in to watch the VMAs on TV, and about 12 million people viewed the story on Snapchat! And at a much cheaper production cost.
Mondelez makes delectable candy bars. To increase brand awareness and sales, they created a competition on Snapchat. To enter the contest you had to snap a photo of their chocolate bar, modify it using Snapchat’s drawing tools, and send it to the TIMEOUTAU Snapchat account. The winner of the competition won $10,000! Mondelez also showcased some of the best creations on a website. Mondelez’s idea to create a microsite to enhance the competition was a great way to increase awareness and increase customer loyalty (and product sales).
- GrubHub – Hiring
GrubHub is a cool online food ordering company. They used Snapchat to look for an intern with “Snapchat Skillz”. They used the image sequence below to recruit applicants to grow their company. Very creative!
- World Wildlife Fund – #LastSelfie
The World Wildlife Fund used a Snapchat campaign to raise awareness about different endangered species. They came up with the creative #LastSelfie hashtag campaign that also allowed them to promote the cause on other social platforms. Check out the video here:
- DJ Khaled – Snapchat All-Star
DJ Khaled is a Snapchat all-star. He’s not your typical brand, but he is increasing his celebrity presence on Snapchat, and brands can learn A TON from what he’s doing on the platform. His snaps are attracting 3-4 million viewers each. He has coined some fun mantras like “bless up” and “keys to wisdom”. His content is extremely shareable. Check out a compilation here:
- Burberry – Spring Sneak Peak
To create some extra hype for their Spring 2016 Fashion Show, Burberry revealed their newest line of clothes through a series of snaps. They also produced pictures and videos featuring their designers and models. They also live-snapped the actual show, piggybacking off the hype they previously created.
- Major League Soccer – Player Takeovers
MLS dedicated an entire week to Snapchat takeovers. A “takeover” is when someone else takes over and runs your Snapchat account. So each day, MLS handed over their account to a new soccer star. The stars promoted this on their own accounts leading up to their turn, and then created fun, engaging content on the MLS account on their day. Takeovers are a great way to build your Snapchat following.
- Target – Holiday Geofilters
Target has been using geofilters around different holiday events. They target these geofilters around their physical stores to help increase brand awareness and sales. This is an easy, fun campaign idea that any brand can use to succeed on Snapchat.
13. Chubbies Shorts – Behind the Scenes
Chubbies Shorts is one of the most engaging brands on Snapchat (and all of social media and email, really). They constantly make me laugh out loud. They have an ongoing Behind the Scenes type campaign going. They mix in giveaways, stop motion, jokes, pranks, and more. They show how to effectively make content fun and memorable on a consistent basis. Check them out!
14. Rocky Horror Picture Show
Fox recently did a remake of the classic, “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Fox partnered with Snapchat to create a trio of Snapcode activations that went live during the telecast. This is the first time anything like this has ever been done. The two companies partnered directly on this project. Fox ran Snap ads and a custom lens leading up to the telecast, and then offered more on the day of. Take a look below…
15. Netflix and Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls is launching four new episodes exclusively on Netflix in a few weeks. To build awareness for the launch, Netflix printed actual cups and distributed a total of 10,000 cups to a group of 200 coffee shops around the country. Each cup had a snap code, and when scanned pulled up the image below. The logistics behind a campaign like this can be complicated, but there are great lessons to learn here. A campaign with a smaller budget can still produce similar results with targeted geofilters around brick and mortar locations.
16. Budweiser Super Bowl Ad
Budweiser, always on the cutting edge when it comes to advertising, launched a Snapchat advertising campaign for the 24 hours leading up to the Super Bowl. The Snap Ad was actually a game you could play, and it was amazing. It was a mini-football game within the app. You could run different plays with funny, on-brand names. If you won, you unlocked an exclusive filter to use. This level of innovation and ingenuity isn’t possible for all brands. But if you have the budget for this type of advertising, it is incredibly effective. See more here.
17. Lucky Charms
Lucky Charms just ran this Snap Ad campaign during The Bachelor episode on Snapchat Discover. It was a short video ad that showed a woman fall in love with a man based on a relationship of Lucky Charms. Very on-brand, and very targeted placement as well. A great example of how to do effective marketing on Snapchat.
Walmart ran this campaign leading up to Easter to promote its festive treats. Take a look at the fun screenshots below!
19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical
This is an innovative new Snapchat marketing campaign we haven’t seen before. Below is a screenshot from the Facebook page of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical. They have “hidden” Snapchat geofilters all over New York City. If you find them and send the account a snap, you can win free tickets, swag, and more. Fantastic idea!
Equinox is a high end gym with locations around the country. Below is a screenshot of a Snapchat geofilter that they are running at their competitors’ locations (this one is at a 24 Hour Fitness). Fantastic idea here. Hat tip to Ryan Hoover on Twitter for catching this one.
Last updated: February 16, 2017. Five minute read.
Small businesses have avoided Snapchat for a variety of reasons and we get that, but it’s time to set that all aside and join the advertising revolution. Snapchat just launched an update with massive implications for advertising and if you haven’t figured out your brand on Snapchat, it’s time. We’ll talk about what Snapchat is and isn’t, why you should be using it, and 6 ways to effectively establish and position your brand. Snapchat is quickly becoming the best way to connect to the millennial demographic.
Why your small business should be using Snapchat right now
Have you ever wondered how some people (and brands) became famous on Instagram or YouTube? Many gained fame simply from being early adopters of the platform. Early adoption can save advertising costs and position your business as a thought leader (or industry leader) in the space. But you’ll have to hurry, opportunity to be among the first of your competitors there will disappear fast.
Snapchat is inherently different, of course, than platforms like YouTube and Facebook as driving organic traffic is not as simple as dropping a link in a post. Though Snap ads have the ability to swipe to visit a web page, organic Snapchat is more a game of branding, storytelling and engaging an audience than grabbing a quick sale. Don’t be afraid of the ROI in Snapchat investment though, check out these statistics for comfort.
Here’s the bottom line:
If you market a product or service to millennials, don’t have a massive marketing budget, and want to position your brand to succeed long term, you should give Snapchat some serious thought because it’s not just a social media platform–it’s a growing media company.
Several patents filed that confirm Snapchat’s intent to develop its own eCommerce platform. Snapchat’s API is opening up to advertisers and they’ve entered the world of consumer products with their Spectacles product. If you consider the example of Facebook, what started as a social media platform has become a media giant; you can start to see the trajectory Snapchat may be on and fortune has long favored those who get in at the ground level.
How you can build your small business’s brand on Snapchat
Numerous articles have been written on the basics of using Snapchat. If you don’t know how it works and don’t have a trendy millennial at your company to help you, check out this article for Snapchat basics and this one for some fun tips. If you have more questions, you can always give us a call as well.
You need to create a solid foundation
It’s not by mistake that Snapchat calls them stories; for businesses, the platform is all about telling a compelling story about your brand. What makes your brand unique? How can you provide value to your followers? Gone are the days of consumers accepting intrusions into their lives. Successful businesses now engage their followers and Snapchat gives companies the unique opportunity to help their consumers pull back the curtains and get a peek at the people and voice behind the brand.
How to make your Snaps not suck
Let’s talk about a couple overarching ideas first:
The focus on this platform is telling a story. Some advertising brains will hold onto the direct sales model, but Snapchat embraces a different ideal: Engage an audience and make them want to purchase–not tell them they need to. Though a little off of the mainstream advertising concept, brands have been increasingly successful with this storytelling model over the past year.
When we talk about developing your brand on Snapchat, we’re talking about the tone and style of your Snaps. The best way to figure this out is to experiment with some of the different ideas we’ll talk about below. Then, let your audience decide what it likes by tracking your completion rate (just wait, we’re getting there), and when you find a tone and style that your audience engages with, stick with that.
These two metrics are the most important (and really the only ones for your account)
Views and completion rate. These are the only two metrics you can track for your company’s organic Snapchat efforts. One way of tracking effectiveness is checking your completion rate–the number of people who begin viewing your story vs. the number of people who watch it through to completion.
At Wallaroo Media, we’ve jumped on the Snapchat express as early as possible and have helped dozens of brands begin to build their following and establish their share of the Snap-sphere. Below are 6 things we’ve done to help companies become successful on the rapidly growing platform:
1) USE SNAPCODES ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE
Snapchat lacks the robust search functions inherent in other social platforms. This means that you may have to get a tad creative to get your audience to find and connect with you. Snapcodes’s are Snapchat’s easiest function for adding new people to their Snap address books. This is a code, unique to Snapchat, that functions as a QR code for the platform that, when snapped, automatically adds the account to the user’s list. We have companies establish the Snapcode as their temporary profile picture on other social media platforms and even print out physical copies of the code to take to trade shows and storefronts to get customers snapping it and joining their Snap community.
Snapchat’s most recent update even allows you to create a unique Snapcode for any URL. This means people can go to your website/blog/whatever without having to leave the app! Leveraging Snapcodes is a great way to promote your account and begin building your following.
2) USING CUSTOM GEOFILTERS
Custom Geofilters are a great way to use Snapchat to promote your brand. With a little design ability and some forward-thinking, you can design a filter and have it live for some length of time inside of a Geofence so that when Snapchat users snap photos to each other, your brand or business’s filter can be used as a frame for their photos–unique to their location. Check out our Snaphacking article for a step-by-step guide, but here’s a quick comparison for the cost of a custom geofilter around our office in Provo, UT and VaynerMedia’s office in NYC.
If you’re interested in having us design and launch filters, we’d love to help! Check out That’s a Snap! (one of subsidiary companies) who have become so good, they were even featured in the USA Today.
3) TAKEOVERS | INFLUENCERS | SNAPCHAT ARTISTS
Influencers are individuals who have built up a following around a specific niche. Simply spend some time searching to find a Snapchat influencer who has a following in your brand’s niche audience, and then reach out! See what they can do to expose their audience to your organization.
But remember, most influencers run their accounts as part of their living. This means that you should expect to discuss a budget with them and compensate them for their time. This cost is variable and depends on the size of the influencer’s following and the number and type of mentions you’d like on their accounts.
4) GIVEAWAYS & SCAVENGER HUNTS
The visual nature of Snapchat (as well as the disappearing messages format) gives a lot of opportunity for businesses to get a little inventive. We have run more than on giveaway and scavenger hunt through Snapchat that have led to great results. Check out this one by Delta Airlines. Millennials are an audience of adventurers, so feel free to tap into that side of them with a little creative adventure of your own.
5) SHOOT WEEKLY CONTENT “EPISODES”
Picture these as something like really short television shows. Find something that connects with your audience and plan some video content around it each week. Standardize your day and time so viewers know when to “tune in” to catch the next episode of your content. This can be a great way to tell an elongated story or narrative, or even create a fun video series or how-to sessions. Fuse TV does a great job of this, even using custom graphics with built-in advertising that they upload to the beginning and end of their segments.
These sunglasses represent Snapchat’s jump into the retail camera world as the company’s first consumer product. They were released specifically for Snapchat, shoot 110-degree circular video so your community can watch your stories vertically or horizontally and can post directly to your Snap account. Right now the only way to get a pair is from a SnapBot or eBay, but once secured, they can open up your organization’s Snap game. Check out the creative storytelling of Sam Sheffer and Chris Monachino using Spectacles.
Snapchat can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the platform. We hope this piece has opened your eyes to the possibilities on how you can promote your brand with Snapchat! And, if you need a little help or want to get into the world of paid Snapchat advertising for even greater reach, contact us today for a free consultation!
Snapchat Ads Specs
Below are the specifications for Snapchat ads. If this is something you’re interested in running for your company or brand, first read our piece on Snapchat advertising costs and our piece on Snapchat CPMs. Also, feel free to contact us if you want to have us run an incredible campaign for you :).
Here are the specifications…
Assets Required for Snapchat Ads:
- Maximum ad length: 10 seconds (4-7 seconds is recommended)
- Maximum file size: 32 MB
- Asset dimensions: 1080 x 1920 (image must use the entire canvas)
- 150px margin on top and bottom, 64px margin on each side
- Resolution: 9:16 aspect ratio
- File type: .mp4 or .mov file
- Video code: H.264 encoded
- Audio code: Audio 2 channels; PCM or AAC codec 192 minimum kbps 16 or 24 bit only 48 KHz sample rate
- Note: Ads served via Snapchat API. Contact us for more information.
Snapchat Ads Restrictions:
- Snap Ads are not allowed to have borders of any kind
- Ads imitating organic Snaps or tools are not allowed (i.e. doodles or Snap style fonts)
- CTAs involving sharing or screen shots are prohibited
- Silent or still Snap Video Ads are restricted (i.e. must include sound)
- Overly-complicated URLs are not allowed
- Use of Snapchat branding is prohibited
- Content must be approved for audience ages 13 and up
- Snap Ad creative must vary if running multiple ads
Execution Timeline for Snap Ads:
- For approved Snapchat advertisers, turnaround time from campaign inception to launch is 2-3 days
Contact us today to talk creative Snapchat Ad campaigns!
Snapchat CPM Cost and Analysis – A Full Breakdown
Snapchat has been quiet about their CPM costs thus far. So we have been aggregating our own data. This, for now, is specific to geofilters (which is the only ad offering from Snapchat currently available to everyone) and influencer sponsorships (something we manage here at Wallaroo Media). CPM geofilters range widely in cost (depending on the square footage you want the filter to cover, and the length of time).
CPM Rates for Snapchat Geofilters:
Below are some official numbers from different geofilter campaigns that have been done. Keep in mind a few things: a) If you do a filter in an area with a larger population, or where an event is going on, the views will be greater; b) The minimum area to cover is 200,000 square feet and the maximum is 5M square feet; c) The minimum cost for a geofilter is $5.
- $66 for 19,486 views – CPM of $3.38
- $62 for 229,713 views – CPM of $0.27
- $6.49 for 23,871 views – CPM of $0.27
- $11 for 226 views – CPM of $48.67
- $5.59 for 1,154 views – CPM of $4.84
We have much more data than that, but that is just a sample to illustrate the variance that can occur with Snapchat geofilter CPMs. Now, here is some data for CPMs using influencer sponsorships through Snapchat:
- $100 for 192,000 views – CPM of $0.52
- $50 for 111,000 views – CPM of $0.45
- $200 for 403,000 views – CPM of $0.49
- $20 for 38,000 views – CPM of $0.52
- $500 for 1,200,000 views – CPM of $0.41
As you can see, there is less variance when it comes to the CPM rates for influencers on Snapchat. The ROI is pretty fantastic here.