Looking for a unique and creative way to reach 290 million daily users with your ads? A Snapchat business account could be your winning strategy for grabbing the attention of Millennials and Generation Z. 

While there are several competing platforms, such as Tik Tok, Snapchat offers the most reach for your advertising dollar. It’s a more mature and versatile social media option that’s geared toward leads. If you’re not sure if Snapchat is a viable option for your paid advertising efforts, we’ll explain how Snapchat works and why we recommend it for many of our clients.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a visual messaging app where users exchange short videos and pictures that disappear after they’re viewed. These “snaps” can be sent to anyone in the user’s friend list and may also be uploaded as a story that’s accessible by all added friends for 24 hours.

Users have the option to utilize filters and lenses in their pictures and videos. This gives a unique and creative twist on typical pictures and videos. These lenses (over 2 million of them) and filters are incredibly popular. You can purchase them in the snap mode, and place video ads in the others. This opens vast opportunities to advertise your business.

What is Snapchat’s Largest Demographic?


It is well-known that snap chatters tend to be younger. In fact, the company reports that over 75% of the 13–34-year-old U.S. population uses Snapchat. Statistics show those active users open Snapchat 30+ times/day and will spend 50 minutes or more looking at posts.

That’s a lot of traffic.


Snapchat does not release gender demographics, but in July 2021 Statista reported that about 60% of Snapchat’s users were female. 


Geographically, the app is most popular per capita in the UK, Saudi Arabia, France, India, Mexico and the United States.  

The takeaway for demographics? Snapchat is where the kids and young adults are in the US; it is also where the 25-35 year-olds are emerging.

Setting Up Snapchat for Business

The Snapchat sign up form.

Snapchat business account setup is easy. Simply go to the app store and download it. You’ll need to supply your business name, phone number, email address, and a username and password. They will ask you for your date of birth, and then you are set to start snapping.

To set up your Snapchat business account, visit the registration page and provide the necessary details. Within minutes you can be creating your first ad.

What Types of Ads Can You Create on Snapchat?

Lenses and filters are what makes Snapchat unique. Since its inception, thousands of advertisers have used Snapchat to present their brand across Snapchat to users in new, creative ways. These options allow for a very personalized delivery so that you can target your specific demographic and geographic location.


Snapchat users use ad filters in their chats.

A sponsored filter is the most common and easiest way to get creative fast. Filters are stagnant graphics that you can either design on your own or work with Snapchat’s tools and designers to create. You’ll want professional-looking graphics backed by tested methods to get the most out of your placements. When a targeted user is creating a snap, your sponsored filter will come up as an option for them to use in their picture or video. Snapchat then provides statistics for how often your filter or lens was used and viewed. 

For optimal success with this option, get familiar with geotargeting. The Snapchat software operates in an aerial view that allows you to draw a polygon over any area you like, so long as it meets the minimum amount of square feet (20,000). You may then set the parameters for date, time, and location. 

Another great feature you will want to take advantage of is the fact that Snapchat’s map is limited to two-dimensions. This means that advertising in an area covering multi-level buildings costs the same amount as advertising over green space, thus multiplying the bang for your buck.

Aside from creating awareness, your filter can include a code that viewers can use to redeem as an incentive to earn their business. If you own a bar near campus, run a filter at the nearby four-story library on the last day of finals, with a code to get the first drink free if they screenshot it!


Lenses are smart graphics that adapt to what is in view. These engage when the camera is in selfie mode and a finger is held on the screen. Lenses are reserved for large-budget clients as they come with a minimum of $500,00 for a day. Snapchat’s programmers create the lenses and in general, only allow them to be run for a day.

Lenses are among the most innovative advancements in advertising present-day. Instead of bearing through, or passively watching your ad, the audience interacts and plays with your ad. It’s a big reason why Snapchat has turned social media, and ad placement, on its head. Take for example Taco Bell’s Cinco de Mayo lens, which racked up 224 million views.


You can create your own video ads or utilize an agency. The videos play after stories, in the Discovery content, and in Live event content. Viewers have the choice to skip your video, so the key is to create something eye-catching with a call to action. 

When placing a video advertisement, consider the ad’s purpose. If it is to drive app downloads, the ad may be set up to perform this with a swipe and a tap. If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, the ad may similarly lead users there and even perform some autofill functions. If you wish to drive awareness, you can simply show a video, with the option of a swipe-up to play a long-form video.

How to Get Insights on Snapchat

Snapchat has built in tracking features that make it easy to see how your ads are performing. Based on the results, you can better target your campaign and maximize your spend. Having a professional marketing team constantly monitor your Snapchat ads positions you for better, more immediate results. Gemini’s team knows how to get snapchat analytics to work for your business.

Snapchat’s analytics (“Geofilter Metrics”) report impressions, video views (defined as a minimum of 2 seconds viewed or swipe up), quartiles of watch duration, watch completion totals, and average screen time.

Spend metrics show effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPM), effective cost per video view (eCPV), total Swipe Ups, Swipe Up rate, effective cost per Swipe Up (eCPSU), average attachment screen time, app installs, app install rate, and effective cost per app install (eCPI). Geofilter Metrics also break down the watch time of Swipe Ups by quartile.

Expand Your Snapchat Reach Organically

Once you’ve created your ad campaign, spread the word. There are numerous organic channels you can use to get more people aware of your presence on Snapchat without spending more money, including: 

A business team plans their Snapchat ad campaign.

Phone contacts. Add friends through your address book and invite them to join the app if they’re not already on.

Facebook contacts. Copy all your contacts from Facebook and paste them to Snapchat. 

Customer Reputation Management System. If you have a CRM, import your contacts to your Snapchat friend group.

Snap Codes. Create snap codes, which link to your contact. Share them across social media, on business cards or even in digital ads where a user can click.

Email. Shoot off a quick message showcasing your new Snapchat ad. Share your Snap code and let contacts know what kind of exciting stories to expect.

Website. Promote your Snaps on your website in blogs or news. Share your username in your “contact” information.

The Secret to Succeeding on Snapchat: Quality Content

People will only follow you and view your snaps if they enjoy your content. Often your content can be limited to one video or picture, but the most engaging content utilizes multiple snaps and a storyline starting with a hook and ending with a sign-off/resolution. Here are some ideas to keep your followers engaged and coming back for more:

Step-by-step tutorials. Create a tutorial about how to use your product, how to perform a related activity, or other how-to videos. Linked to your product, these can be fun, entertaining, and valuable to viewers.

Q&A session. Feed questions from followers either via snapchat or from other social media platforms and then create snaps that answer those questions. This is a good way to 1.) be relevant with the mind of your followers, and 2.) let other’s generate ideas for content when you are feeling stagnant generating your own.

Takeovers. Give a loyal customer control of your snapchat for a day and give your viewers a captivating change of pace – especially if the customer is an influencer. Reach out to these customers and offer some of your product in exchange for their day of snapping and promotion. Use your other social media platforms to promote the day.

Polls. Polls are interactive and can range from silly to providing valuable feedback. They also create an opportunity for shares.

To execute, create a series of snaps. Introduce the poll, set up a vote by a screenshot, with a snap for each of the options and then end with a thank you snap. Include a call to action in your last snap, like a swipe up option to visit a landing page of your choice.

User generated content. Give an example snap with your own personal answer, then provide a snap asking users to send theirs. For example, if you’re a peanut butter company, make a snap about why crunchy peanut butter is tastier than smooth. Then, ask which your followers prefer and why. Screenshot your favorite submissions and create a story from the best submissions.

Promotions. Periodically post discounts and deals. Let your viewer know they need to screenshot to redeem! 

Behind the scenes. If you are a distillery, take them to the back rooms where the stills are and show your master distiller in action. If you are putting on an event, snap a scene backstage or show them the setup process. Users love getting the VIP peek into your world.

Not sure what type of Snapchat ad content would make the biggest splash for your business? We can help get you started.

We Know How to Get Your Business on the Snapchat Map

Advertising is a snap with the right agency. Chat with the Gemini team to learn more about Snapchat and how you can use it to bring more traffic to your business.