Snapchat Advertising Options

Advertising Options and Engagement on Snapchat

Did you know that that Snapchat’s 100 million+ users share over 400 million snaps daily? That number is greater than the photo-sharing activity on both Facebook and Instagram. Yes, Instagram.

As mentioned last week, Snapchat has a user population of 13-35 year olds, making it the perfect app for ads catered to the infamous “millennial” demographic. However, similar to popular Facebook and Twitter when they were first introduced, advertisers are intimidated by the new and foreign platform. However, there is a more relaxed, engaging and fun component by advertising on Snapchat. I know what you’re thinking, where do I start? Never fear, Small Business Owner! This post will outline advertising options and advice for engagement.

Look at the Big Guys

There are many large corporations and businesses advertising on Snapchat today. It is beneficial to pay attention to how they do their advertising to take notes on what works, what catches your eye, and what doesn’t. It’s okay to critique the big companies, they were once a small business too.

Let’s take Taco Bell for example. In this Adweek article, it talks about how Taco Bell takes advantage of the engagement opportunities on Snapchat. These are either from simple self-destructing photos send to friends, or 24-hour stories created on their stories. They are able to keep track on how many people have viewed their content, and use the language used by a younger audience to connect better with their target market. By posting on Snapchat, they keep users engaged with their products, and the business comes alive.

MTV used Snapchat to release their nominees for the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. From a business perspective, this is a good tactic for releasing or new products. Especially if you put it on your Story, it can give users an insider’s sneak peek into your company for 24 hours. However, that will take a lot of other social media promotion to guide users to your Snapchat account to view the content. An easy post, picture and Tweet will solve the problem!

By researching other companies on Snapchat, it can help develop messages and nail down your target audience to make your own business stand out!

Snapchat’s Advertising Policies

Snapchat is pretty clear on the types of advertisements should be created for the app. A main point is that there is a daily young audience in different regions on the app, so it is the advertiser’s responsibility to be sure the ad is suited for that age and geographic location. Even though this may sound intimidating, it is not so bad.

Snapchat does have that ten second limit, which does not, and will not extend for any advertisement. There is also a strict list of prohibited and restricted content, as seen in the figure below.


Ways to Advertise

The most commonly noticed advertisement on Snapchat is seen as a TV-style commercial in the middle of stories. Whether that’s the local city’s story, or a globally-syndicated story, after about 5-7 compiled videos are an advertisement. This is beneficial to try to reach all users of Snapchat as a whole.snapchat-Discover

Discover. As talked about last week, Discover are Stories solely dedicated to specific brands and businesses. In Snapchat’s blog introducing Discover, they talk about how the feature puts on the focus more on storytelling, rather than trying to sell a product or service. This is similar to editorials in newspapers, but still allows a unique way to convey a message.


Branded Geofilters. Users are already familiar with the local Geofilters that can be swiped on top of a picture or video, usually to add a location. Recently, many brands have been using Geofilters to promote their own content. The first branded Geofilter was McDonalds, which used their slogan or cartoons of their food as a border for the pictures. Also, as seen in the figure above, there are many movies that create Geofilters to promote the release date in theaters. This contributes to sharing the message about a product, and can act as a persuasive tool.

McDonald’s Geofilter
Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 11.13.44 AM
Loyola University Chicago

Further discussion about the best look and feel on Snapchat is coming soon, so keep an eye out for that post in the near future!

How Can Businesses Use Snapchat?

Let’s be honest, for a small business, it will be hard to get a kick start on Snapchat. This begins with the fact that Snapchat does not have a Search feature similar to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram where users can easily search brands and businesses. Users on Snapchat have to either add you as a friend, or vice versa. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Type in the username. Although this is long, if you make your username simple and nearly exact to your business title, it will be easier for users to find you on Snapchat.
  2. Add friends through taking a picture. Below I added a step-by-step guide on how to do this. We are talking about Snapchat anyways, better visually explained, right?
Click on the little Ghost icon at the top of the screen in the middle. This will drop down a menu seen below.
The drop down menu shows your Snapchat square, that other users can take a picture of to add you as a friend. The same with adding people, you can take a picture of their Snapchat Square. You know it worked when you get a notification that so-and-so added you as a friend.

Overall, will Snapchat help my small business?

The answer to this question is that it really depends. If your target market is millennials and you can create a fun, and engaging video advertisement, why not? Financially, if you read this a year ago, the starting cost would have been $750,000. Yikes. Now, rates have dropped to around $50,000, some companies negotiating below that number or getting the ad for free simply because Snapchat liked the idea! Is that a goal or what? Don’t forget when creating your ad, Starting Social would recommend thinking in the mindset of an eighth grader. If they won’t understand, or grasp the key concept of your ad in the allotted time period (ten seconds), go back to the drawing board. Young demographic is the key to success.

P.S.- If you don’t understand my reference there, add DJ Khaled on Snapchat, and you will see the daily life lessons he leaves for his friends. Username: djkhaled305


Snap you later,




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