12 Snapchat Creative Best Practices to Grow Your Brand

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If you’re a brand marketer, you’re probably looking for loyal customers. And when it comes to social media, the loyalty of Snapchat fans is remarkable. They have been with the app despite the emergence of Instagram Stories and the rise of TikTok. You need to level up your Snapchat advertising game if you want to reach them.

In this article, we will go over these practices in detail so you can understand why each one is important and how you can leverage them to get the most out of your Snapchat marketing budget.

1. Make a Campaign‒Oriented Creative

Every ad has a goal, and Snapchat offers four different types of advertising campaigns. Most people design their creative first and then pick the mode of promotion. The best way to advertise on Snapchat is to understand the promotion methods, then select the one that works best for you. Then, you should design your creative with said promotion mode in mind.

The different types of Snapchat ads are:

  • Single Image/Video Ads ─ These ads promote a single image or video into the scroll feed of Snapchat users.
  • Story Ads  These ads interrupt stories and not the magazine-style content exploring experience.
  • Collection Ads ─ Collection ads allow you to promote a collection of images that can tell a story, communicate a list, etc.
  • Ads with App Install Attachments  These are like the rest of the ads, but you can attach an app installation package that allows users to install a game quickly.

2. Have a Hook in your Creative

Too often, Snapchat marketers shove their product in the “front and center” of the ad, which can be jarring. It gets their products recognition, but at what cost? Your creativity should inspire interest and curiosity from the viewers too.

If you use collection ads, use the first creative as a hook. If you’re using story ads, use the top portion of the creative to hook them in. A single video ad should have an attention-grabbing opener.

If you hook the customers in at the first impression, your Snapchat marketing prices can go down.

3. Join the Fun, Do not Interrupt it.

The next thing you must remember is that you have to entertain as an advertiser. Take a page from the influencers’ book. When they promote a product, they don’t just shove it on their feed – they make content around it.

And this starts at the ideation phase.

Ask yourself if the creative you’re crafting will deliver what the audience is on Snapchat for. When you start taking on the pressure of a content creator as an advertiser, your ads will outperform your competitors.

4. Be Unapologetic about your Call‒to‒Action

Many people will view your ad, and you’ll be paying for each impression. So don’t be frivolous with your budget by being timid in your creative approach! Make your call to action prominent in still image ads and refer to it in your audio for video ads. It must hit the audience from multiple points to inspire a response.

5. Do not let a Single Creative carry the Entire Campaign

There are at least three ways in which expecting a single ad to carry your campaign can be disastrous for your marketing:

  • You don’t get to test other creatives
  • The creative might outspend its welcome in the snapchatverse
  • The ad might be too long or copy-intensive for Snapchat

The duration of Snapchat ads should be no longer than 5-seconds. You cannot bet on a single 5-second ad to inspire action upon first impression. And having the same ad targeting the same people over and over is suboptimal at best and annoying at worst.

6. Use Urgency!

Everyone on social media has FOMO. It stands for “Fear of Missing Out”, which is a more straightforward way of saying regret aversion.

You don’t have to be crass and tell people they will regret not clicking the link. But you can still create urgency with words like “for the next 24 hours only” or “limited time offer”. Of course, you must honor however you position your offer or lose trust.

7. Make a Click‒exclusive Offer

Another way to inspire action is to make an offer exclusive to Snapchat. A video ad starting with, “This is not available anywhere else, not even on TikTok”, is an excellent hook. But the best way to make an offer that works is to make it truly exclusive to Snapchat.

8. Leverage Social Proof

Remember that humans are social beings and rely on others’ experiences to learn. This is programmed into the human condition, which is why social proof works. If your brand has been in the media, be loud and proud about it. If you have customer testimonials, incorporate them into your creative.

9. Do not Miss out on the Sound‒on Experience

You must understand that most Snapchat users don’t mute the app while actively browsing it. (This happens more often with other social media apps.) Designing creative for sound-off is better for Instagram. Don’t make your Snapchat creative so text-heavy when you can leverage audio.

10. Use Links. Always.

Use appropriate links. Not using links is the biggest mistake a Snapchat advertiser can make. The attention of your ad viewers will be flooded with so much content once they scroll past your ad that it is nearly impossible for them to recall your brand until they see the next ad. You can convert your audience’s attention to web traffic or even an opt-in by including links.

11. Keep Your Creative Fresh

You have to commit to making fresh creative assets for your brand. Without new content, you have nothing to entice people in the upper-middle portion of your marketing funnel. Awareness is a very fragile stage in the Snapchat marketing process. If you don’t use a stream of fresh ads to convert your potential customers into customers, you will be paying for awareness you won’t be able to monetize. (Related: Upper Funnel vs. Lower Funnel: 4 Key Differences on How You Should Market to Each)

12. Be Different (in a Good Way)

When it comes to advertising, the single most important rule across every platform is the same: to be different, but in a good way. This works so well that some brands can manage to blow up by just being different, even in bad ways.

But to protect your brand, remember the emotions you evoke in your potential customers’ hearts. These will be tied to your brand name forever. So be different in a way that is palatable but not ignorable.

Final Thoughts

Snapchat is a platform where impressions cost money regardless of clicks. To get more ad viewers to turn into considering customers, you need to keep your creatives fresh and entertaining. (Related: 9 TikTok Advertising Best Practices That Will Skyrocket Your ROAS (With Examples))

As long as you hit these two metrics, your brand will grow. But on Snapchat specifically, you have to optimize for sound-on and add links to get signups or subscriptions for long-term remarketing.

About the Author

I have been in the 'online business' space since 2009 when I started an eCommerce business selling motorcycle parts (sold in 2012). Since then I have owned and operated several successful online business (and had a fair share of failures), along with owning offline home services businesses. Currently my focus is online businesses that are profitable with paid traffic. As a 'self employed individual' I do not use Linkedin, but you can connect with my on my personal instagram and youtube which largely revolve around my mountain biking passion!