Everyone knows how important a good social media strategy is to small business success, but the question of which platforms to use can be harder to address. With Facebook ads becoming pricier and less effective to run, and new platforms popping up every day, it isn’t always easy to work out which platform you should be using or when to use it. Snapchat advertising offers small to medium sized businesses a great opportunity in the social media space. When done right and targeted to the right audience, Snapchat advertising can be a super effective and cost-smart option. If you’ve ever wondered if Snapchat ads are a good option for your small business, then this blog is for you. Here we’ll explore the ins and outs of Snapchat advertising, including how it can benefit your brand and its unique offerings compared to other social media platforms. So without further ado, let’s dive in.
Benefits of Snapchat advertising
Snapchat is a platform that offers great opportunities when used as a part of your holistic social media strategy. Here’s why.
- It’s less competitive
Compared to older platforms like Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat advertising costs are lower.
- It’s booming
Despite its positioning slightly behind Facebook and Instagram in terms of competition and costing, Snapchat usage is formidable, with 186 million daily users. With that kind of user base, your brand has the opportunity to reach its niche.
- You can reach young people
A study of Snapchat demographics in 2020 shows that Snapchat is the preferred social media app for teens. Snapchat even beats new upstart TikTok and old favourite Twitter when it comes to popularity among young people, making it the perfect space to reach this audience.
- You can reach older people too
Even though the app’s main demographics are millennials and gen Zs, Snapchat’s popularity is growing among older demographics. According to the same source, Snapchat is paying attention to attracting and retaining older users, and recently made changes to the app that saw increases in usage among older demographics.
As you’ll see below, Snapchat offers a suite of different advertising possibilities, all of which burst with creativity. It’s very easy for small to medium-sized businesses, who may have modest advertising budgets, create fun advertising that successfully engages their users.
Types of Snapchat advertising
Now that you’re up to speed on why Snapchat is such an important and powerful social media tool, here’s a quick overview of the various types of Snapchat advertising products on offer.
Snap ads: photos, videos or gifs lasting 10 seconds, with an optional swipe up feature linking a website or external app.
Lenses: brand-created lenses that users can use with their own photos, videos or stories to create branded Snaps.
Story ads: 3-20 branded snaps that appear as tiles in the app’s discover section, allowing visitors to browse through 3-20 branded ads.
Product ads: perfect for displaying products and services for a shoppable experience, these ads come with an additional subset of options, meaning that they can be customised for your brand’s unique needs.
Filter ads: these branded filters can be made available to users in specific locations, great for engaging users in a fun way and generating brand awareness.
While we’re on the topic of Snapchat, we can’t avoid the elephant in the room: user-generated content (UGC). User-generated content is a way to engage users in meaningful interactions with your brand, to boost brand or product awareness, and can even drive customers to your physical store. With its interactive and game-like qualities, Snapchat advertising lends itself beautifully to UGC campaigns. If you’re looking to take advantage of UGC campaigns as part of your social media strategy, then Snapchat advertising is a great place to start. To learn more about how user-generated content can boost social media engagement, you can frequent business forums and blogs, talk to your business peers, or even talk to your business mentors.
Snapchat advertising examples
Now that we’ve looked at Snapchat’s benefits, compared it to other platforms, and run through the various advertising possibilities, it’s time to dive into some illustrative examples. As you look at these big-brand examples for inspiration, consider how your business can deploy the same principles to engage your users with creative and interactive content to raise brand and product awareness.
Snapchat commercials: Domino
Dominos created engaging Snap Ads based on similar principles to old-fashioned TV commercials, creating snappy, attention-grabbing videos. The video ads featured people trying to carry oversized pizza boxes, presenting a funny and relatable experience. The ad drove brand awareness and honed in on branded messaging, differentiating Dominos in the saturated pizza marketplace as a maker of big pizzas.
Fun filters: Starling Banks
Named for the bird with iridescent feathers, Starling Bank in the UK came up with a killer UGC campaign that made their brand go viral. In this example, they used augmented reality to allow users to overlay flocks of birds over their videos and snaps. Even if you don’t have the in-house resources for such fancy augmented reality filters, the principle of filters is accessible to all businesses, and super fun for users.
User-generated content: Top Hatter
This mobile discovery app wanted to tap into people’s love of shopping experiences. So they set about encouraging users to share their shopping experiences with the Top Hatter app. In this example, you’ll notice that the DIY qualities of user-generated content work to the brand’s advantage, creating a sense of authentic and credible sponsorship.
Conclusion: Are Snapchat ads worth it?
As an up-and-coming platform that’s building speed just like the social media big-hitters, Snapchat is a great tool for small businesses. This app offers your business a unique space to build brand awareness through innovative, creative, and engaging content that goes beyond the scope of traditional social media advertising. While Snapchat is used largely by younger demographics, don’t let this statistic deter you—Snapchat has a large enough user-base across most demographics to justify your ad campaigns. In fact, there are benefits to reaching older demographics through this platform. Your advertising costs will usually be lower, and you can focus your advertising to grab a niche audience.
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