Top 6 Tips for Using Snapchat for eCommerce Marketing

Snapchat may have started out as a fun app for sharing disappearing photos and videos, but it has grown into a powerful marketing tool for eCommerce brands. According to Snapchat statistics, it boasted over 360 million daily active users at the end of 2022.

Add to that the fact that you can reach a potential audience of over 575 million with your ads and Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are no longer the only options. To help you leverage the platform’s unique features to reach this massive audience and increase your eCommerce sales, here are six easy-to-implement tips. From influencer content to various types of ads, there are more ways than one to create product awareness and attract more loyal followers.


Top Tips for Using Snapchat for eCommerce Marketing:


Tips for Using Snapchat for eCommerce

Snapchat for eCommerce

1. Understand Your Snapchat Audience

If you’re targeting a younger audience, using Snapchat for eCommerce marketing can be worth your time. More than two thirds of Snapchat users in the United States are between the ages of 18 and 29. Basically, all the other users are in their 30s. As for gender, it’s slightly more popular among female users.

Here are a few more interesting numbers shared in We Are Social’s Global State of Digital April 2023 report to help you understand Snapchat users better:

Snapchat users statistics

  • Its biggest advertising audience is found in India, followed by America and Pakistan.
  • Snapchat users spent on average three hours and 17 minutes per month on the app.
  • About 40% open the Snapchat app each day.
  • Over 75% of Snapchat users also use Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
  • Surprisingly, Snapchat isn’t that popular among TikTok users. Only about 60% of Snapchat users also use TikTok.
  • The main reason why social media users use Snapchat is to post or share videos or photos, followed by using it to message friends and family.
  • About a third of Snapchat users use the platform to find funny or entertaining content.
  • Just over 20% follow a brand on the platform or use it to research products.

To sum up, if you’re mostly targeting females in their 20s, Snapchat is a great channel to use. However, for the best impact, keep your content entertaining, even better yet if you can add some humor.


2. Use Creative Ads

One of the features that make Snapchat such a great channel for marketing is its choice of ad options. There are a number of creative ad formats that you can leverage to increase brand exposure and drive additional interest in your brand.

You can, for example, use:

Creative Ads / Snapchat

The first step in using Snapchat ads for eCommerce marketing is to create a business account and develop a content strategy. Your business profile will enable you to access Snapchat's Ads Manager, a self-serve platform where you can create, manage, and run ad campaigns.

Single images or videos

This format is pretty straightforward. You’ll use an individual photo, add a headline of up to 34 characters (spaces included) and add a clear call to action. Snapchat will take care of CTA placement and visuals.

As for specs, here are the requirements:

  • The aspect ratio must be 9:16.
  • The resolution must be 1080px x 1920px.

If you want to use the video format instead of a static photo, you can do that too. A top tip, though, is to keep the video short. Video length is capped at three minutes, but don’t feel obligated to make it that long. In fact, the platform recommends that you limit it to only six seconds, with your offer message already featuring two seconds into the video.

Other best practices for using this ad format are:

  • Add a persuasive, message in your opening frame
  • Don’t add too many images and stickers as these can distract your potential customers from your CTA
  • Try to use user-generated content (UGC) that you haven’t featured on some of your social media platforms

Sponsored lenses

If you want to experiment with augmented reality (AR), here’s your chance. Snapchat also lets you create AR experiences that users can share with friends. It’s pretty simple to create and there are hundreds of free elements in its Lens Web Builder to speed up the creation process.

The only trick is logo placement. The logo or brand name should be visible, but it shouldn’t be hidden by the carousel at the bottom or a UI element. Snapchat’s recommendation— at the top, towards the left or right.

Some other best practices include:

  • Featuring music
  • Adding gamified elements for longer play time
  • Focusing on your product, character, and the Snapchatter experience

This is one of the must-have ads to try. As mentioned, Snapchat is all about fun.


Filters

Filters are similar to lenses and present a perfect branding opportunity. It’s an artistic overlay that’s displayed after you take a snap and swipe right/left. While you can add your brand name or logo, it may not be positioned within 310 px of the bottom or top.

This type of ad is best used for specific events or awareness campaigns.


Story Ads

If you have a lot to communicate, consider using Story Ads. It’s a series of between three and 20 video ads or single images that can be shared in between content or by means of a branded tile in the platform’s Discover section.

The trick is to ensure that the different ads or images are somehow connected. It should tell a story in which your brand or its products take center stage.


Collection ads

To advertise multiple products, you can use collection ads. It features four tappable tiles that you can use to feature a series of your products. You’ll use a single static image or video focusing on one key hero message that will direct attention to the thumbnails. When users swipe up, they’ll be redirected to a corresponding URL.

This is a create format for upselling complementary products, but you’re also welcome to use it for only a single product. For example, if there’s a product that you want to showcase using different angles, you can use the thumbnails for that.


Commercials

A commercial is a six-second video ad that will appear in Snap’s curated content. You can make the video longer by opting for an extended play commercial, but only the first six seconds will be non-skippable.

It can be a live video, motion graphic video, or stop motion video. Whichever format you pick must include audio. The platform will also add a tappable card with your brand name, profile logo, and headline to the ad’s corner.


3. Create Quality Content that Resonates with Your Audience

Ensuring that you create high-quality content is only half the battle won. Just like with most other digital marketing strategies, you need to keep your target audience in mind at every step of the process.

When using Snapchat, you’ll most likely be trying to appeal to a younger audience. Let this inform your content strategy. Whatever you decide to create should resonate with them.

Here are some engaging content ideas that you can explore:

content ideas / Snapchat

As mentioned earlier, Snapchat is all about having fun. You can, for example, combine fun and funny by playing around with stickers (including sticker memes) or emojis.

Snapchat stickers are great for communicating your brand’s personality and spark conversation around your brand. Planning a new product? Why not create a custom sticker by taking a photo of the packaging? This type of sneak peek can work wonders for building excitement around product launches.

In addition to branding, you can also use it to incorporate social purpose into your marketing strategy. You can, for instance, create a sticker pack to celebrate events like LGBT Pride Month or Black History Month. There are many examples from brands doing great work with stickers to help promote diversity and inclusivity.

In the past, bigger brands like Ralph Lauren have also collaborated with Snapchat to let users access virtual branded clothing that they could use to dress their personalized digital avatars (aka Bitmojis). This way, their target audience could experience the brand in a digital space.

These are just some ideas and examples of fun features that you can use to create original content. Let your branding guide you and look at what other retail brands have done, without copying their content.


4. Connect With Influencers

Influencer marketing isn’t only restricted to platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Sure, it’s more uncommon on Snapchat for users to befriend someone other than their own friends, but the platform can still be used for influencer marketing.

The best approach is to work with an influencer to narrate your brand story. If you want to use it for product promotion, it should look organic. Snapchat’s younger user base prefers messages that are simple and raw. So, avoid coming across as promotional.

The trick is to identify Snapchat influencers relevant to your niche and share your values. Ideally, they should also already believe in your brand and its series of products. Then, before you reach out to potential influencers, first build a relationship with them by engaging with their content.

Once you have your influencers on board, you can use an approach like a social media takeover. Basically, you’ll hand over your social channel to the influencer. What makes this strategy such a great idea is that influencers know which type of content works best on the platform. You can combine this with an invite to join you for a day and let them film behind-the-scenes content while they “take over” your office too, for example.

If you don’t like the idea of leaving an influencer in charge of your Snapchat account, you can also partner with a marketing agency for Snapchat. There are a number of influencer marketing agencies that include Snapchat in their services like Viral Nation.


5. Measure Your Success With Performance Metrics

Whether you prefer to focus on ads, influencers, or simply stickers, make sure that you track key metrics such as views, impressions, and tap rates.

For example, if you’ll be running ad campaigns, you can track campaign performance in the Ads Manager. Via its Ads Manager, you can access a Report Builder page that you can use to create a new report and select the campaign or ads for which you want to see delivery insights. You can, for example, select metrics like age, gender, country, and operating system.

The value of this data is that you can also use it to optimize your future campaigns and increase conversions. For best results, track your campaign's performance over time. You can easily jump to the wrong conclusions if you base your optimizations on only one report.

You’ll also have to test different campaign formats and offers to find the most effective approach.


6. Experiment With New Features

Not only should you ensure that you stay up to speed with your own performance metrics, but also the platform’s latest features. Snapchat is constantly rolling out new features and updates to help businesses engage with their audience and drive more sales.

Most recently they introduced:

  • Screenshop (a shoppable feature that lets you browse clothing by scanning photos of outfits)
  • New calling lenses
  • After Dark Stories
  • Communities
  • A new location-sharing option for Snap Map

To unlock even more extra features, you can also consider upgrading to Snapchat Plus (Snapchat+). It’s a paid, enhanced version of the app that’s being rolled out to users in select countries gradually. Some of the exclusive features in Snapchat Plus that you can leverage include:

  • Ghost trails on the map
  • A story rewatch indicator (useful for measuring performance)
  • Custom app icons and themes
  • A friend solar system

Wrapping Things Up

While Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are the obvious choices, Snapchat has emerged as another effective channel for online businesses to engage a wider audience. It might not be the most popular social media platform, but it offers enough fun features and opportunities to make it a powerful marketing tool for eCommerce businesses.

If you mainly target Gen Z consumers, and even millennial audiences, strongly consider incorporating the platform into a future marketing campaign.

All it basically takes is a business account and a creative content strategy. Sure, you can use paid advertising, such as sponsored lenses, to build brand awareness and drive traffic or collaborate with an influencer to promote your account to their audience. However, you’ll find that it offers enough free features for building engagement with your audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are some of the top Snapchat influencers?

Some of the top influencers on Snapchat to follow include:

  • Naomi Davis
  • Bella Hadid
  • Gigi Hadid
  • DJ Khaled
  • Chrissy Teifen
  • Neghar Fonooni
  • Brittany Furlan
  • Ashley Graham
  • Shaun McBride

Are there any good Snapchat advertising agencies?

There are a number of reputable advertising agencies that include Snapchat marketing that you can check out. Some of the best marketing agencies include:

  • Disruptive Advertising
  • inBeat Agency
  • Online Optimism
  • Taktikal Digital
  • The Snow Agency
  • The Social Shepherd

Who can use Snapchat Plus?

Snapchat Plus (also called Snapchat+) is available to iPhone and Android users in the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, and New Zealand. After it has been rolled out gradually in these countries, Snapchat plans to make it available in more countries. After a free seven-day trial, pricing starts at $3.99 per month in the US.

What Is Snapchat Group Chat?

A Snapchat Group Chat is a chat feature that lets you add multiple members to a group (you can add up to 100 friends). This way, users can communicate with all the group members at the same time. In addition to messages, users can use it to share videos and images. All messages will be deleted after 24 hours automatically after everyone has seen them. This creates a new opportunity for eCommerce brands to engage with their customers, brand advocates, or even employees.

How much does it cost to advertise on Snapchat?

The cost to advertise on Snapchat is determined by how much you’re willing to spend, but there’s a minimum spend of $5 per day. That said, Snapchat suggests that you spend between $20 and $50 per day. To optimize your ads, experiment with different bidding strategies and suggested bids.

About the Author
Koba Molenaar brings nearly a decade of rich experience in content writing, specializing in digital marketing, branding, SaaS, and eCommerce. Her passion for helping brands, from solopreneurs to established companies, connect with their audiences shines through her work. As a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, Koba’s commitment to excellence is evident in her work, showcasing her as a relatable and knowledgeable voice in the industry.