How to Do Snapchat Ads for Beginners – A Comprehensive Guide

How to Do Snapchat Ads for Beginners – A Comprehensive Guide

A year or two ago, advertising on Snapchat was complex and expensive. Businesses had to spend thousands of dollars to purchase advertisements through Snapchat’s third-party ad tools or sales team, and the process was not simple.

Thankfully, Snapchat has now launched Self-Service Ads Manager wherein businesses of diverse budget and sizes can advertise on this social media platform in a more effective manner. By eliminating the option of advertising through an auction partner, businesses can buy and manage their own advertisements via Snapchat app or website.

This guide is designed to help beginners with everything they need to know about advertising on Snapchat. Learn why Snapchat is a powerful advertising platform today and ways to do Snapchat ads.

This blog-post covers:

  • What are the Benefits of Advertising on Snapchat
  • Different Types of Snapchat Ads
  • Snapchat Ads Manager: An Overview
  • Steps to Create a Snap Ad Using Snapchat Ads Manager
  • Sign up for Snapchat Ads Manager
  • Create a Snapchat Ad Campaign
  • Design a Snapchat Ad Set
  • Build Your Snapchat Ad
  • Run Your Snapchat Ad Campaign
  • Monitor Your Ad Campaign, Optimize, Report
  • The Final Words

What are the Benefits of Advertising on Snapchat?

Snapchat is the “social media sensation” today, with 190 million daily active users globally. Starting its journey as a multimedia messaging app, Snapchat now provides an interactive platform to send text messages, photos, and videos to people.

While Snapchat does not have such a humongous audience as Facebook or Twitter, its user base is more engaged than any other social networking platform. According to a social media usage report published in 2018, a whopping 78% of the American population aged between 18-24 years have and uses a Snapchat account to connect to people. Moreover, an astounding 71% of these users visit the social media platform multiple times daily. Adding to the surprise, 70% of the users are women.

As explained by Hootsuite, “this ability to reach the majority of consumers within such a sought-after demographic is one of the key reasons to consider using Snapchat for advertising purposes.”

Here are some key advantages of using Snapchat as an exciting and lucrative advertising platform for your marketing efforts:

  • i) Active and Diverse Audience Base: As mentioned earlier, there are over 190 million Snapchatters using the app on a daily Moreover, the audience base is distinct and more engaged than you can find on any other social media platform like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
  • ii) Higher Engagement Level: Snap Ads, or vertical video ads, are full-screen sized advertisements that enjoy 5x better engagement and higher average click-through rate than other ads on social media.
  • 1. iii) Effective Targeting: Snapchat provides a powerful tool that lets you target Snapchatters on the basis of their behaviours and interests and demographics.
  • iv) Attention & Persuasion: Snap ads are displayed full-screen and in a vertical format that helps garner 2x more user attention and increased boost in buying intent.

Different Types of Snapchat Ads

Now that you know why advertising on Snapchat can help boost conversion and increased sales, discussed here are three main types of ads you can do on Snapchat:

1) Sponsored Geofilter

This is one of the most popular types of Snapchat advertisements. It has an “illustrated overlay” that changes based on where the audience is located and what their interest is. It is an effective marketing tool because Snapchat’s sponsored geofilters are viewed 2.16 billion times per day on an average. These can be shared publicly in Stories or added to photos or videos sent privately.


Sponsored Geofilter


Depending on your marketing campaign objective, you can choose how long the filter will be available.

Adding branding or custom messages to your sponsored geofilters are a fantastic way to highlight your business.

2) Sponsored Lenses

Snapchat Sponsored Lenses is a kind of filter that can alter faces of the users or the surroundings with amazing animations. As over 70 million active audiences test and experiment with different types of lenses, this is considered a powerful ad tool for the marketers who have a high budget.


Sponsored Lenses

The lenses can be created around major holidays, special events, or industry campaigns that your audiences can connect with.

3) Snap Ads

Despite being highly popular with high revenue-earning potential, a disadvantage of advertising using Geofilters and Lenses is they have to be purchased from Snapchat’s sales team or via its advertising API.

To address this, Snapchat has recently introduced Snap Ads, which are 3-10 seconds full-screen “vertical video” ads that the users can swipe up to have an immersive experience – watch a full-length video, visit a website, install an app, or read an informative article. These ads will appear in between friends’ stories or memories and Snapchat’s content such as publishers’ stories or Snapchat’s stories.


Snap Ads

Snap Ads are a great option when you want the users to take a particular action, i.e., get more product information, install your app, visit your sales page, etc. The video ads are as small as 10 seconds, and so you can upload a series of videos together to offer a more engaging experience, narrating your brand story in an interesting manner.

A major advantage is you can purchase Snap Ads also through Snapchat’s latest self-serve Ads Manager. It is flexible and budget-friendly, and therefore, a fantastic advertising option for beginners and small businesses.

Earlier, businesses had to spend a minimum of $1,000 per day to use Snap Ads. However, with the introduction of Snapchat Ads Manager, there is no need to maintain a line of credit or minimum spending. You can pay on the basis of per goal or per thousand impressions, and the ad units will remain similar to that of Instagram or Facebook ads.

Snapchat Ads Manager: An Overview

Before we delve into how beginners can start with creating Snap Ads, let’s introduce to you the Snapchat Ads Manager.


The important sections of the Snapchat Ads Manager are:

  • Dashboard: On your Snapchat Ads Manager dashboard, you can create, manage, and view your Snap Ads. The dashboard also has the feature to present your ad metrics in the form of a table or graph.
  • Custom Audiences: Using the customer data you have, you can build your list of Snapchatters in Custom Audiences section. This you can use to target your ads.
  • Creative Library: In this section, you can create, edit, and view the creatives of your advertisements.
  • Help Center: The section provides informative guides on how to perform different things using the Ads Manager and to get help from Snapchat.

Now let’s understand how to create a Snap Ad step-by-step.

6 Easy Steps to Create a Snap Ad Using Snapchat Ads Manager

If you already have experience working with Facebook Ads Manager, creating advertisements using Snapchat Ads Manager will appear quite similar – ad sets, campaign, and ads. Even if you haven’t, it is simple and convenient to create Snap Ads using this intuitive self-serve tool.

Let’s dive into creating awesome Snap Ads on Snapchat Ads Manager.

 1. Sign up for Snapchat Ads Manager

To get started with Snapchat Ads Manager, you have to first sign up for free. Creating an account here is simple and fast.

When you click Snapchat Ads Manager, the below-mentioned page will appear on the screen:

Since you are new to Snapchat, click the option “Sign Up.” If you already have an account, “Log in” with your Username/Email and Password.

Once you click “Sign Up,” the following page will appear:


Fill in all the required details and click “Sign Up & Accept” to create an account. Next, log in with your Username and Password, and provide basic business information to create your business account. You have to also provide payment information – PayPal, Credit Card, or Line of Credit – to start creating and sharing ads.

 2. Create a Snapchat Ad Campaign

To create an ad, you have to work in the following structure – CAMPAIGN >> AD SET >> AD.

Once you log into Snapchat Ads Manager, you will be prompted with a pop-up to create a campaign. You can also click the tab “+New Campaign” to start building an ad campaign.

  1. i) The first step is to choose an objective for the Snapchat ad campaign.

There are 4 campaign objectives that you can choose from, depending on what you want the users to do when they see your advertisement. These are:

  • “Drive Traffic To My Website”
  • “Drive Installs Of My App”
  • “Grow Awareness”
  • “Drive Video Views”
  1. ii) Next, set a schedule for the Snapchat ad campaign. The Ads Manager gives you the option to run the campaign immediately and for an indefinite period of time, or specify campaign start and end dates. You can also set the status of the campaign – active or paused.


       iii) Then, set a budget of your campaign under the “Daily Spend Cap” and “Lifetime Spend Cap” option.

  1. iv) Lastly, name the ad campaign and click the option “Build Your Ad Sets” to move on to the next stage of creating an ad set.

 3. Design a Snapchat Ad Set

Snapchat Ads Manager offers numerous ad creation tools that you design campaigns in a manner that you can test and measure the results to determine which ad is most effective.

To create a Snapchat Ad Set, you have to choose the Ad Set Audience – Budget – Schedule.

  1. i) First, choose your desired “Audience.” The section includes five categories where you can specify who your target audience is:
  • Geography: Choose a country that you want to target through your ad campaign. Next, select which locations of the country you want to target by adding or removing certain areas specifically.
  • Demographics: Under this category, you can segment your audience based on their gender, age, income, language, parental status, etc.
  • Audiences: Using this option, you can choose to target your users based on what their interests are, their watch history, buying preferences, and the places they visit. You also get the option to target the audiences on Snapchat using Snap Audience Match Audience, or Snapchatters who are like your customers using Lookalike Audience.
  • Placements: Choose the option “Content Placement” if you want the ad to appear only in Snapchat’s stories and publisher’s stories. Select “All Snapchat” if you want to place the ad everywhere, including between Friends’ stories.
  • Devices: Select the devices that you want to target depending on the operating system (iOS, Android, or both), the service provider (O2, AT&T, etc.), and type of connectivity (Wi-Fi, mobile network, or both).


Here, it is important to note that Snapchat does not allow creating ad sets to target audience size less than 1,000 people.

  1. ii) Next, in the “Budget & Goals” section, you have to specify your daily budget, goal, and the bid


To set your ad sets’ daily budget, the minimum amount has to be $100. Next, you have to specify the goal and the bid amount, based on which ‘ad delivery’ will be optimized. However, you have to pay for the number of times the ad is served and not the number of times the ad goal is achieved.

For instance, the ad goal is “app install,” and the bid amount is set at $20. Now, Snapchat will show the ad to the audiences who have the most likelihood to install the app. However, it will not charge you $20 every time a person installs the app but based on how many times the ad is being served. So you may have to pay more than $20 for each app install.

Therefore, it is advised to set a bid amount that aligns with how important each goal is to you.

    iii) Finally, under the “Schedule” tab, you have to set a specific schedule for the ad set. However, the schedule must be different from what you have earlier set for the ad campaign.

Once you have set the schedule, click “Next” to move to the next stage of creating an advertisement.

 4. Build Your Snapchat Ad

To begin with creating a Snap Ad, here are the steps for you:

  1. i) First, you have to design your Snapchat ad creative.


Provide “Your Creative Name” and then choose your preferred Snap Ad type from the following options:

  • Top Snap Only: This is a 3-10 seconds vertical video ad where there will be no option for “swipe-up Call to Action.” You cannot provide any link attachment or video along with Top Snap Only advertisement.
  • Web View: The web-view ad is designed to generate traffic for your website and exclusively, mobile traffic. The ad can be created to encourage the viewers to take action like book a demo, buy a product, read a blog, etc.
  • App Install: This kind of Snap Ad is targeted to increase traffic to your app page on Google Play or Apple App Store. App installation is the key objective of this advertisement.
  • Long-form Video: One of the most popular types of social media ads used today, it comes with the option of adding swipe up CTA to offer a more immersive experience to your audience. The ad serves as a teaser and opens up to display your long-form video on full screen. The long-form video can be of a maximum of 10 minutes and helps drive better engagement and higher conversions.
  • Deep Link: This type of Snap Ad allows you to attach different web content varieties to offer an engaging experience to the users.
  • Camera Filter: The ad uses filters that appear based on the location of the users.
  • Story Ad: One of the best ways you can narrate your brand story where the content is displayed in a “branded tile format.”
  1. ii) Once you have chosen the right ad type, next, you can choose to upload your ad content or create a new one. To do this, you have first to fill up some basic information:
  • Brand Name: You have a maximum of 25 characters (including spaces) to provide your brand name. It will be displayed on the upper-left side of the Snap advertisement.
  • Headline: Write the ad headline in a maximum of 34 characters, which will show up below the brand name.
  • Call to Action: Next, you have to choose a call-to-action from the options available. This will vary based on the ad type you have selected earlier. The CTA will be displayed at the bottom of your advertisement.

Here is an example for you:

If you want to use a vertical video for the Snap Ad, you can “Upload” if you already have one. If you do not know how to create vertical Snapchat videos, click “Create” option and you will be redirected to Snap Publisher page – the online video editing app of Snapchat.

Lastly, you have to upload the attachment or fill up the elements that you want the ad viewers to see when they swipe up the video ad – app page, website, or long-form website.

 5. Run Your Snapchat Ad Campaign

Once you are done creating your ad creative, click the option “Launch Campaign.”

Congratulations! You have just launched your first ad campaign to leverage the potential of Snapchat social media platform.

 6. Monitor Your Ad Campaign, Optimize, Report

Once you have set up your Snap Ad campaign, Snapchat provides the option to monitor and optimize it to improve its overall performance. Depending on the performance of the ad, you can choose to edit the budget or schedule for more effective results. It also provides the option to report the results in a clear and easy-to-understand manner.

The ad-performance metrics can be accessed on Snapchat’s website, Ads Manager portal, or on its mobile dashboard. Regardless of the ad campaign objectives, the Dashboard displays the following basic metrics to analyze ad performance:

  • Impressions: This is the number of times your Snap Ad has been viewed by your target audience.
  • Spend The total amount of investment done on the ad campaign to
  • eCPM: Average cost of the ad per thousand impressions.

Again, there are certain metrics as discussed herewith that are unique to campaign objectives, such as video views or swipe ups:

  • Swipe Ups: It is the total number of times Snapchatters have swiped up the ad to view the long-form video or attachment.
  • eCPSU: It is the Effective Cost per Swipe Up.
  • Swipe Up Rate: It defines the average number of swipes (as a percentage) per impression.
  • Completions: It refers to the number of “Snaps” viewed up to 97% of total duration.
  • eCPV: The Effective Cost per Video View is the average cost for each qualified video view, with view counting as 2 seconds of swipe up or watching, whichever comes first.
  • Average Screen Time: It refers to the average time that Snapchatters spent in watching the ad across all set of impressions.

In Snapchat Ads Manager Dashboard view, you can also choose to see the ad performance results by specific date range.

If you scroll down to the “Results” section of your Dashboard view, you can further breakdown the results into all ads, individual campaigns, or ad sets. The Ads Manager also allows you to export data you want. Customize the key ad performance metrics you want to view, select the time range for the report, and export the performance results as PDF or CSV file.

If you have installed the Snapchat app, there is a Mobile Dashboard that allows you to view the ad-performance metrics while on the move. It also allows you to monitor and review all your completed, pending and rejected advertisements, and not only the active ones.

The Final Words…

For a beginner or a small business owner, Snapchat offers a lucrative platform to promote and advertise your brand, and boost conversions. Starting with building Snap Ads is simple and quick once you follow the steps with diligence. Unlike earlier when advertising on Snapchat was time-consuming and costly, the new Ads Manager makes creating an ad and measuring its performance goal-driven and simple. This aids in driving better campaign results in the long run.

Also make sure to check out our other similar articles:

⭐️ Facebook Ads vs. Instagram Ads: Which platform is better for your business?[Guide]

⭐️ How to Use Facebook Ads to Generate Revenue and Leads [Comprehensive guide]

⭐️ Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads [Marketing comparison + Infographic]

⭐️ How to Make a Facebook Ad – Easy walkthrough

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