Snapchat Marketing Tips

By: Dahlia Farhat

Snapchat’s growth in popularity is what makes it a great channel for marketers. In the past, Snapchat has had its ups and downs. Snapchat seemed to be going downhill in 2018. However, we are now in the middle of a comeback!

Snapchat seems to be snapping out of it.

In the second quarter of 2019, there was an increase in 13 million daily active users and the app now has about 203 million daily active users. This proves that Snapchat has (and can sustain) a worthwhile audience. Also, did you know that 70% of millennials use Snapchat? So, it is also a great way to reach that demographic. What’s even more amazing about this platform is that users under the age of 25 are highly active users, logging on up to 18 times a day. In addition, Snapchat videos are viewed more than 14 billion times a day.

If you're thinking what we’re thinking, then yes, this could also apply to you. Your business could be promoted among those videos too! Recently, Snapchat has expanded advertising options for brands, and now brands can enable their Snapchat users to make purchases directly through the app.

Snapchat has so much to offer. Want a piece of the pie? Here are some Snapchat marketing tips that will help you do just that.

Know Your Audience

Success on Snapchat will only come when you have clearly identified your audience and know as much as possible about them. The better you understand who your target audience is and the characteristics, the better you will be able to create copy and art that will capture their attention, interest, increase desire, and force action. If you look into Snapchat’s user demographic, it’s mainly made up of young individuals in their teens and twenties. But this is also changing, as the older demographic using the platform is increasing too.

If you already know your audience, you're ahead of the game. But if you’re still working on understanding who your target audience really is, then you could try Snapchat Insights. Snapchat Insights is Snapchat’s built-in analytics tool, which can tell you the following:
Snapchat isn't used the same way by every user. You have to understand this principle before jumping into the Snapchat world. If you are aware of the way your audience is using the channel, you will be able to highlight your message without ruining their “Snapchat Experience.”

Be Creative with your Snaps

We know a lot of people are guilty of this, but it's important to point out. DON’T, I repeat, DON'T use the same content you’ve made for other platforms and try to fit it to Snapchat! It’s not going to work, so don’t even think about trying. We know it would be a time-saver to create vertical content that you could translate to both Instagram Stories and Snapchat. But, if you’re aware of the differences between each platform, you’d think twice. Posting the same content from other platforms would just reduce your brand’s authenticity and creative presence to stand out.

Snapchat’s content has got to be fun and creative. One thing you could try out is behind the scenes footage, which gives your customers a sneak peek of the process that goes into making your products. Your customers love to see your brand’s personality. Showing them that side of your business through personalized video clips and images promotes an emotional connection to your brand. This, in turn, can lead to increased brand loyalty and positive feedback.

Posting day-to-day snaps is a great idea if you're just starting with Snapchat or have a unique product. Constantly posting content helps familiarize your followers with your business and what you offer. This is where you can take advantage of behind the scenes footage. Snapchat also provides several drawing tools and filters that you could use to your advantage to craft creative and engaging snaps.

If you're not sure what to post to your stories, give your followers something they can actually use; like discount or promotion codes and offers. This action could help increase your sales and the number of conversions. Sometimes, being on social media as a business can be distracting. Try not to lose the purpose of your existence on the platform - sales. Offering discounts in your Snapchat stories is a great way to accomplish that.


Ghostcodes are great marketing tools because they can help you find Snapchat users by name or category. There are many different categories to choose from including business, fitness, news, vlogger, beauty, pets, etc. This is great for if you are trying to find a Snapchat influencer to partner with. Ghostcodes can also show how many followers a user has in each category.


Snapchat contests are a great way to incentivize individuals within your target market so they can follow and engage with you on Snapchat. The best way to run a contest on Snapchat is to ask people who would like to enter to send a snap to your company’s username which fulfills the conditions you have outlined. Examples of conditions could be to provide an answer to a question you’ve asked, using Snapchat’s drawing function to create a doodle, and/or taking a specific type of photo or video. After you randomly choose the winner, sending the winner and other entrants product samples and discount codes is a great way to increase interest and engagement.

Snapchat Ads

Make use of Snapchat’s recent offering, Snap Ads. What is a Snapchat ad? The best way to picture it is as a full screen vertical mobile video ad that only lasts for about 3-10 seconds. What’s great is that while the ad is playing, users can swipe up to continue watching a longer video, read an article, or get redirected to a website or app installation page. Snap Ads can also pop up between stories put up by friends, publishers, and Snapchat itself. Snapchat ads have been proven to be more effective than ads on other platforms, as the swipe-up rate for a Snapchat ad is five times higher than that of the average click-through rate for ads on other social media platforms.

There are a variety of ads that can be used to advertise your brand on Snapchat:
  • Collection Ads: This is a carousel-like collection of ads, which are formatted to resemble catalogs. This is perfect for commerce.
  • Story Ads: This type of ad allows one to feature a series of 3 to 20-second snaps, which all contribute to an overall story. The main differentiation from other types of ads is that it only appears in the Discover feed.
  • Commercials: Snapchat allows unskippable 6 seconds of ads that are like actual tv commercials or similar to ads on YouTube and other platforms.
  • Sponsored Augmented Reality Lenses: This is essentially a filter that can overlay your content. More on this later.
  • Filters: This is just a cool and creative way to promote your business, since they are a staple to the Snapchat experience. Snapchat now allows businesses to create their own filters and geo-filters, which we will get into more detail later on too.
As good as it may seem, don’t forget about the cost. The advertising costs for Snap Ads start around $3000 per month, and that doesn’t include either an agency fee or the fee to create the ad itself. Consider the pros and cons of this marketing strategy before driving in to ensure its effectiveness.

Sponsored Lens

One of the things that makes Snapchat so popular is the ability to use the filters and lenses. People love using them to take creative photos and videos. About 16 million users see sponsored lenses each day. Some filters allow users to change background colours, have their face in another body (human or animal), make their eyes enormous, wear makeups, change their hair colour, wear accessories (like hats or glasses), and can even change the pitch of your voice to the pitch of Alvin, Simon, or Theodore. The point here is that filters were created to allow users to have more fun, and to send entertaining and humorous images or videos to their friends.

Sponsored Filter

Guess what? Snapchat is allowing businesses to now create their own sponsored filter as well. The filters are silly, but they help create brand awareness and engagement. The users would be able to play around with the filters and interact with the ad. The only problem with this strategy is that you are going to be needing a truckload of money, between $100,000 and $750 000 to make it happen. Going with this strategy will be EXPENSIVE, and will only keep your filter active for 24 hours. Also, the costs vary from day today:
But, if you have the money, you could be making a huge return on investment.

One of the largest successes with this strategy was with Taco Bell. They made a filter that would put your face in a taco. The filter received 224 million views. In addition, it was found that the average user spent 24 seconds playing around with the filter first before they shared it with their friends.


Geofilters are a fun way to connect with your followers and spread awareness. Geofilters allow businesses or individuals to purchase and create their own Snapchat filters to be shared for a certain period and available only in a specific geographic location. Geofilters are a great idea if you’ve just opened up a new retail location and want to spread the word!

Snapchat on-demand is a tool provided by Snapchat. It’s great for those who want to create geofilters because it helps you create and upload them. Snapchat on-demand can allow you to create your own designs from scratch or start from a Snapchat provided filter. In addition, you can pick a time and set the parameters for the area you want the geofilter to be available in. Additionally, once you have finished creating your filter, you can submit it for review. Keep in mind that many brands choose to incorporate both the name and logo somewhere within their design for more brand awareness. This is something you could consider adding into your designs as well if you decide to use Snapchat on-demand.

Promote Events

Broadcasting events on social media is a great way to inform your followers and customers about an upcoming event, even if they can’t join or live too far away. You can use your Snapchat to post stories of yourself explaining the importance of the upcoming events, as well as the date, time, and location of the event. You can also use your Snapchat to lead your followers to registration links. Additionally, it would be a good idea to follow up on event promotions by continuously posting stories during the live event. This benefits your business in two ways: individuals who were not able to make it would love to get a sneak peek into the action and attendees would likely want to make an appearance on your Snapchat stories.

Influencer Marketing

Spreading the word through influencers who have dedicated followers in your target market may be the way to go. The key here is to find Snapchat influencers who are relevant to your business and who have followers that are a part of your target market. After identifying the influencers you would like to partner with, you need to reach out to them in order to partner up and create sponsored posts. This will indeed cost you money but is still less than the cost of either a Facebook or Instagram post. Keep in mind that the Snapchat posts only last for a maximum of 24 hours. Also, an influencer campaign may not result in immediate sales. However, having a trustworthy figure promote your product will likely increase the chances of it being added to the influencer’s followers’ ‘consideration sets’, which are the list of brands a consumer chooses from when making a purchase decision. Below is a list of best practices for sponsored posts:

Make the posts seem as natural as possible. You don't want it to seem like a commercial. Thus, make sure your influencer takes the photos themselves and adds anything else they’d like to be in the photo or caption. This will really make it more authentic and relatable. Make sure that the influencer is present in the photos with your products. This will help strengthen brand connections that you are trying to grow through sponsored posts.

Give your influencers their own personalized discount code. This will give their followers an additional reason to purchase. This gives you a way to track the success of an influencer campaign.

Snapchat Q&A

One way to initiate meaningful relationships on Snapchat with followers is by hosting a Q&A session. Although it isn’t a simple process, it can in fact establish more followers and help gain more sales. The first thing you have to prepare when hosting a Q&A session on Snapchat is to set both a date and time for when it will be held. Encourage your followers to send in questions through Snapchat or through any other social media platform (whatever works for you or your customers). You could use Snapchat videos to inform them about the session and also to remind them to send in questions. Collecting questions beforehand is a great way to ensure that you won’t experience a shortage during the session. It also serves as a way to prepare meaningful answers without getting flustered when the Q&A actually starts.

Keep in mind that not all questions have to be related to the business or product, so make sure that your company's team members conducting the Q&A answer any personal questions that may come in. It serves as an advantage to show off some of the people that work within your company as well as your brand’s personality.

Here are some guidelines you could follow to successfully implement a Snapchat Q&A session:
  • When reading out the question, make sure to mention the author, as it adds an element of recognition and personal connection to your brand.
  • Since Snapchat videos only last for 10 seconds, it would be more effective to separate the question and answer in 2 separate Snaps.
  • Always keep things fun and interesting. To get your followers more engaged, think about changing locations or having different people in each Snap you answer or each time you read aloud a question. This will also help add variety to your answers.

    Final Thoughts:

    Building up a following on Snapchat will take time, so don’t get discouraged if you have a low follower count or engagement with your content. Take some time to experiment with different content formats to figure out which works with your brand and image you're trying to portray. Snapchat is different from other social media platforms, so make sure you mix up your content with an even level of photos and videos to keep things interesting. Also, double-check that your content is short, concise, and as visually creative as possible to keep users coming back for more. So what are you waiting for? Claim your Snapchat username today and start reaching your target demographic in a way that your competitors may not have even considered yet!

    Also read more of our blogs about Snapchat and influencer marketing here: