A few weeks ago, we created a blog post on how to start with Snapchat ads. We were covering the basics and of course there’s so much more to it. Our aim with this guide is to explain the reader our experience when advertising in Snapchat, what we’ve learned and what we believe this platform could use to improve.

Starting is Easy

Snapchat joins the advertising party a few years after its major competitors, which in many ways makes it very convenient for the advertisers. For starters, the process of opening an account couldn’t be simpler. Just add your data and you’re pretty much done. However, managing that account, is a touch more cumbersome than its peers.

Not as polished

For starters, note that by creating an account and adding a payment method, you’re actually getting stuck with it. What do we mean by that? Well, unlike Facebook, Snapchat ads don’t allow you for multiple payment methods when managing several accounts. The payment is stuck to the account you have, so any new payment method won’t be linked to each account. This is a very frustrating aspect of Snapchat ads, since any advertiser who manages multiple customers won’t be able separate the payment methods for each account. We believe the main reason for this, is Snapchat’s current service offering. As Facebook before, now we’re just given the choice of self-served ads, which entails you’re advertising on your behalf. However, when agencies want to advertise on behalf of their customers, the situation is slightly more complex.

Snapchat in Depth
The payment method is bound to the account

Fortunately, this can be fixed with a workaround, which while being far from perfect, allows agencies to advertise on behalf of their customer. Essentially your customer needs to create an account and give you access to it. However, even so, the system has very little role options, so you’ll have to end up being an admin in your customer’s account. So, use this at your discretion.

A clunky interface

Following the same pattern as the aforementioned, the interface itself is quite sluggish and constantly needs to be refreshed in order to work. We can only assume this is a beginning and Snapchat will keep polishing the platform to make it as smooth as the competition. The following screenshot illustrates this. Whenever you open a video to preview it and download the clip to your computer, the interface will crash and you’ll have to refresh the website.

Crappy support

This is by far the most infuriating aspect of Snapchat so far. The support in Snapchat is pretty much non-existent. This may be different in other markets, but in Norway, there’s not an option to chat or send an email when you have an issue. We know the Snapchat team is growing in Norway, but for now, self-served means you’re on your own. The closest thing you’ll have as support is shown in the following screenshot. It’s just a few check boxes where you are ultimately taken to a generic piece of information aimed at helping you. However, if your issue is not listed, you may as well move on, because for now there’s nothing else you can do!

Snapchat ads in depth
Crappy support

Ranting for a better platform

If you’ve read this far, you may be thinking “Is there anything remotely good about Snapchat ads?”. The reality is there are many things to like about this platform and we’re only quite critical, since with the amount of competition out there, we believe the product could be much more polished. However, there’s still a long way to go and we’re sure the platform will improve.

So speaking of things that we like about Snapchat, let’s start with the creation flow. Again (it is the pattern here) it’s still far from perfect, however, in its current state, it allows for some neat things that can make your life a touch easier.

We’ll start with the ad creation flow, which again is far from perfect, but allows for some cool things that can make your workflow easier.

The creative library

This feature allows you to see your ads and weave them into a new campaign. This is super handy, if you want to replicate a format that worked well for you and don’t want to create it from scratch. There’s a huge logic behind this feature, as Snapchat does not have the widest variety of advertising formats. In a much specific environment, Snapchat can afford to have a library with all your creatives ready to be used.

Versatility

By far the best feature of Snapchat in our experience has been the flexibility it offers us to mix different creative styles, texts and so forth. Unlike Facebook or Instagram, Snapchat allows more overlaid text in your pictures or videos and you can fully take advantage of it. If you combine this feature with the creative library, you can come up with an enormous variety of creatives to suit each mood. In the examples below, you’ll see the same video with different overlaid texts. That allows us to A/B test quite easily and finding out what works best.

Learnings for new advertisers

There’s a few elements we’ve learned so far and we hope can be of help to the new advertisers who decide to start with it. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Don’t mind the aspect ratio too much. When uploading a new creative, Snapchat won’t allow you to do so if the format is not 9:16. That would seem like the end of the world if you haven’t recorded a clip in such format. However, a little trick is to select “start from scratch” and play with the video’s size. That way you can frame the main action using the native preview
  2. Create overlays to play with. As mentioned before, Snapchat allows a bit more writing in the ads, so you can take advantage of that by creating a .png file with some text and your logo. That way you can mix it with several other videos. Upload all your overlays and start combining!
  3. Watch out for the preload. When creating an ad, make sure to untick the “allow preload” option, as it will mess up your analytics, even when using UTM codes. On our first test campaign, we generated 351 swipe-ups and Analytics showed more than 6000 users and sessions. As much as we’d love that to be true, the data is not realistic and therefore can’t be trusted.

Final Thoughts

Snapchat has proven great for engagement and exposure purposes. We’ve run some campaigns with a moderate budget and the response has been great, which of course makes total sense. The user base is very young and very engaged, although their acquisition power is not too high. As a low threshold approach, this platform is one of the greatest and if you play your cards smartly, you can gain tons of attention to your brand. You may not sell much at first, but your users will already be in the funnel, then you need to guide them through it!

 

If you want to discuss about the possibility of starting with Snapchat ads, be sure to write us at hello@singlot.no

Thanks for reading!

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to create a Snapchat campaign from scratch, plus the tricks and tips we've learned. May it serve you well!

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