SnapChat’s Ads Platform.. Ready For Your Business

Natalie Hannaford

Natalie Hannaford

March 21 • 5 minute read

SnapChat has opened it’s advertising doors, allowing more businesses to get on board and promote to it’s users. Strap yourself in… this IS going to get heavy… but if you want to connect with your customers through Snapchats ever evolving, addictive medium, here’s what you need to know.

Previously to gain access to SnapChat ads you’d have to go through a dedicated ads representative; and you also had to have a mega-bucks to get access to them!

Now the field has been relaxed and there are numerous ways and means of targeting new and current audiences. If you’d like to learn even more about Snapchat Ads just drop us a line and we’ll be happy to assist.

There are a number of different advert formats you can opt for. Some are still cordoned off to the super-big-time advertising spenders, but others are open to everyone:

Advert Formats:

Sponsored Lens:  These are augmented reality graphics, which are responsive to facial movements. It’s only available to people who organize their ads directly through the SnapChat sales team.
Sponsored Geofilter: These are illustrated overlays atop videos or photos, which can be privately shared in messages with friends, or publicly posted as stories. These are available via the SnapChat sales team or via the advertising API (Application Programming Interface).
Snap Ad: Available via SnapChat Sales Team, advertising API or SnapChat Ad Manager, this is a vertical video, which can run for up to 10 seconds, and appear within –

  • SnapChat original shows
  • Curated Our Stories
  • Media companies’ publisher stories
  • Between peoples’ publicly posted stories

Snap Ads can feature one of the 4 types of attachments:

Article – this attached advertorial featuring at least one image, video or GIF, but only appears when the advert appears in a SnapChat Show or Publisher Story.

This isn’t currently available via the more accessible platform, SnapChat Ads manager.
App Install SnapChat ads can deep-link to an install page in Apple or Google App Stores.

It’s currently available via SnapChat Ads Manager.
Long Form Video – Snap Ads can play a longer version of a video. This is currently available in SnapChat Ads Manager.
Web view – Snap Ads can open to a mobile web page, like an e-commerce site or Google AMP page. This is currently available in SnapChat Ad Manager.


Ad Targeting

Similar to Facebook Ads, SnapChat allows you to define the audience you’d like your adverts to be displayed to.

Using SnapChat Data
There are 4 ad-targeted categories, which are all accessible via the SnapChat Sales Team, advertising API and SnapChat Ad Manager.

Here are the 4 ad targeting options:

Demographics:  Demographics can be used for Sponsored Lens and Snap Ads

  • Age groups (13-17, 18-20, 21-24, 25-34 & 35+)
  • Gender

Location: can be used on GeoFilters and SnapAds

  • Country
  • State/County
  • Region
  • Designated market area

Device: available on Snap Ads

  • Mobile operating system
  • Wireless carrier
  • Connection type (wifi, 4G)

Snap Lifestyle Categories: can be used for Sponsored Lens and Snap Ads

  • Audience Groups – for example: ‘pet lovers’,  ‘Star Wars fans’, ‘Gym enthusiasts’

Using Your Own Data

You can use your own data for ad targeting, but this is only available for Snap Ads.

  • Snap Audience Match: Here you can upload email addresses or mobile advertising identifiers. SnapChat will match users’ accounts to your uploaded database and then give you a list of people it’s found as matches.

This is available through SnapChat Sales Team, advertising API and SnapChat Ads Manager.

  • Lookalike Audiences: SnapChat will take the advertisers Snap Audience Match and target people who aren’t currently in your list, but share similar characteristics.

This is available via the SnapChat Sales Team, advertising API and SnapChat Ad Manager.

  • Snap Engagement Audiences: Here SnapChat will retarget people who’ve previously interacted with a brands’ ad on SnapChat.

This is available via SnapChat Sales Team, advertising API and SnapChat Ad Manager.

  • Using 3rd Party Data

SnapChat has dealing with 3rd party data providers and uses it to augment the info it has on what people do on SnapChat with the info they obtain about behaviours off SnapChat.

  1. DLX Advanced Demographics (household income, education level, language)
  2. DLX Shopper Categories (based on people’s purchase history)
  3. ComScore’s TV & Film Viewers
  4. PlaceIQ Location Visitors (segments people by general location type – such as restaurant, retail store, dealerships and branded locations like McDonalds, Costa etc)

Ad Pricing

There are 3 options to choose from when it comes to the way the adverts are priced.

  • CPM – this is more commonly know as ‘Cost per Impressions’ and is based on how much you’re willing to pay for every 1000 times your advert appears on the users’ screen.

Here Sponsored Lens can be bought on a guaranteed basis via the SnapChat Sales Team.

This pricing option is ordinarily available via the advertising API and SnapChat Ad Manager also.

  • Goal Based Bidding – Snap Ads, using SnapChat advertising API or SnapChat Ad Manager, can price their ads based on how much someone is willing to pay for a swipe of their ad, to view their attachment or install a mobile app.

Although it’s charged based on the number of impressions, SnapChat try to serve ads to people most likely to swipe.

  • Maximum reach – SnapChat’s version of a ‘homepage takeover’ is only available via SnapChat Sales Team direct.

An iphone open on the snapchat app

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