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Snapchat advertising: what do you need to know before starting?

BY TOM HART | February 10, 2021

Snapchat - if you’ve not used it before, there’s a chance you’ve at least heard of it! The American messaging app, approaching a decade since its initial release, has entranced younger audiences with its self-deleting messages and emphasis on new, rapidly generating content.

It seems like fertile ground for advertising - but should you be rushing to jump onboard?

Who uses Snapchat?

Like any platform, Snapchat has its own inbuilt audience - it’s best to take a note of these before you decide to advertise with them.

  • Snapchat has approximately 17.6 million users in the UK, though their biggest market is the USA with an eye-watering 101.4 million users
  • Snapchat users are 20% more likely to make purchases on mobile - so make sure your website is optimised accordingly!
  • 61% of Snapchat users identify as female
  • 82% of Snapchat users are 34 or younger

With these stats in mind, have a think about whether your brand is the best fit for Snapchat: clothing and cosmetics might be attention-grabbing impulse buys suitable for younger users, but business loans and pensions are going to favour older users who are likely to do a bit more research before they spend their money.

For those kinds of users, other paid social media platforms with an older install base like LinkedIn or Facebook might be more suitable.

Snapchat Advertising

What kind of ads can you run on Snapchat?

There are six different types of ads that can be run on Snapchat:

  • Single image or video ads - full screen ads that can appear in between or after other content. These can take the form of photos, videos, cinemagraphs or even GIFs.
  • Filters - These overlays can be added to pictures, including text and images. Used to advertise locations and events.
  • Lenses - These use augmented reality to create new, interactive experiences. Turn your head into a dragon or see what you might look like with a new hat!
  • Story ads - Placed into the ‘Discover’ section of the app, a story ad allows you to use between 3 and 20 images to construct a narrative to draw customers in. Bite sized but engaging!
  • Product Catalog ads - Show off your products with this direct, shoppable format (note that you will need to have created a catalogue on Snapchat before you can use this ad type)
  • Commercials - Non-skippable for six seconds (and available for 3 minutes), make a good first impression with these videos to grab attention and build interest in your brand.

While your instincts might be to hedge your bets and give each of these a try, it’s more cost-effective to do some research and pick the type of ad that most suits your product or service. For example, lenses may work well for jewellery, but not make sense if you’re trying to advertise a jetski!

How to get started with Snapchat advertising

To get started with Snapchat advertising you will need the following:

Once those have been set up, making sure that you have verified your business email and uploaded a payment method, you can begin creating your first campaign.


If you’re interested in running a social media campaign we’re always happy to help! Get in contact or call us on +44 (0)203 368 8556 to speak with our paid social team.


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