Have you ever considered advertising on Snapchat? If so, you needed to be willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get in on the action. That’s fine for bigger businesses with the budgets to match, but smaller brands have been left out of the picture. Until now. The app’s parent company – Snap Inc. – is offering new ways for brands to advertise on the social app.

Over the last few years, Snapchat has had over a dozen partners that help sell its inventory, which ranges from video ads to sponsored geofilters. In June, Snap is offering a new collection of self-service tools that brands of all sizes and budgets can use. The change is expected to bring Snap’s ad business to a new level, with a projected revenue of $1 billion this year alone.

Getting Your Business Ready for Snap’s New Ad Options

How will the addition of self-service tools affect your smaller business?

First, it will open up new opportunities to advertise on the app. The majority of small to mid-sized businesses have been kept off Snapchat because of the costly advertising fees, while the big brands dominate. While it’s expected that larger buyers will continue to work through auction partners because of better custom targeting features, there will be less friction.

Second, if you plan on taking advantage of Snapchat’s new advertising tools, you will need to get familiar with your options and the strategy you want to use. Snapchat’s new ad manager gives you the ability to buy, manage and view reporting for your campaigns, much like you do on other social channels. There are also a number of ad formats to choose from, including app install ads, sponsored geofilters and fullscreen video. The ad manager is free and has no minimum ad spend.

Monitoring the Performance of Your Ads

As you get into advertising on Snapchat, you’ll want to track your results and get a better understanding of the people engaging with your ads. The new mobile dashboard lets you monitor the performance of your ads in real time. You can view analytics, receive notification updates and edit campaigns. Snapchat is confident that the dashboard will be easy to follow. Essentially, you can jump right in and start enjoying the ad options right away!

The new advertising features are expected to roll out in June. Currently, over 20 brands are testing out the options and sharing favorable reviews. Specifically, the self-service tools are easy to use, and the targeting options are abundant. It has been reported that there are even “lifestyle” categories that let brands tap into niche audiences, such as millennial women who enjoy going to the movies.

Three Features to Watch For

While we wait for beta testing to be complete, it’s smart to prepare your brand for Snapchat advertising. When the ad system does roll out, you’ll be ready to move in with a strong campaign.

Here is a breakdown of the key features that will be included with Snap’s advertising.

  • Ad Manager. Using ad manager, you can buy, manage, optimize and analyze all campaigns, including video and webview. A host of targeting capabilities are also included, allowing you to create custom audiences.

  • Mobile Dashboard. Through the dashboard, you may view and share ads, review campaign performance and receive notifications about key metrics. Snapchat also offers a range of tools to keep you in control of your campaigns.

  • Business Manager. Configure roles and permissions for the members on your team using business manager. The tool also makes account management and billing information simple and streamlined.

Possible Limitations of Snapchat Advertising

Until we have a look at the finished product, it’s hard to know what limitations there might be. However, it appears that running advanced A/B tests can’t be easily done, making it difficult to compare campaigns. Also, advertisers can’t buy sponsored geofilters through the ad manager, though they can use the self-serve geofilters tool.

Finally, we hope to see some type of educational material that teaches advertisers how to create effective Snap Ads. There’s the misconception that brands need a lot of followers or expensive ads to get clicks, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Instead, it’s about creating quality ads that are targeted to the right audience. To make the most of this ad platform, Snapchat should offer a tutorial or business education campaign.


If your business has a younger audience, such as teens and millennials, get up to speed on Snap’s new advertising features. Snapchat has a unique audience that often can’t be reached on Facebook or Twitter. Marketing on the app opens up new opportunities that weren’t possible before and reduces friction between big and small brands.