Snap Ads Creative Best Practices

Snap Ads Creative Best Practices: Engaging Your Audience in the Ephemeral World

In the ever-evolving mobile advertising landscape, Snapchat presents a unique opportunity to reach a highly engaged audience of Gen Z and Millennial users. Understanding how to leverage Snap Ads effectively requires a strategic approach beyond repurposing existing ad creatives. This article delves into Snap Ads creative best practices specifically tailored for the mobile app and gaming industry, empowering you to craft captivating ad experiences that resonate with Snapchat’s unique user base and drive successful User Acquisition campaigns.

Understanding Snap Ads

Snap Ads are short, vertical video or image ads displayed within the Snapchat app. Unlike traditional mobile ads, Snap Ads disappear after a single view, mirroring the fleeting nature of the Snapchat platform itself. This fleeting format presents both challenges and opportunities for advertisers. Here’s a breakdown of the different Snap Ad formats:

  • Snap Ads: These short video ads (up to 60 seconds) with sound are the cornerstone of Snap Ads. They can leverage creative elements like text overlays, filters, and lenses to capture user attention.
  • Story Ads: These full-screen video ads seamlessly integrate within users’ Snapchat stories, offering a more immersive ad experience. Story Ads can be up to 10 minutes long, although shorter durations tend to perform better.
  • Collection Ads: These interactive ads showcase multiple images or videos of your app, allowing users to swipe through and learn more about its features. Collection Ads are ideal for highlighting key functionalities and are particularly relevant for eCommerce.
  • Lens Ads: These playful and interactive ads leverage Snapchat’s popular Lenses to overlay augmented reality (AR) experiences onto a user’s environment. Lens Ads can be a powerful way to promote your app in a fun and engaging manner, particularly for mobile games.

Why Use Snap Ads for Mobile Apps and Games?

Snap Ads offer several compelling advantages for promoting mobile apps and games:

  • Reaching a Highly Engaged Audience: Snapchat boasts a massive user base of over 300 million daily active users (at the time of publishing this article!), with a significant concentration within the coveted Gen Z and Millennial demographics. These users are known for their high engagement levels, spending an average of 30 minutes daily on the platform.
  • Ephemeral Nature Drives Attention: The disappearing content format of Snap Ads can pique user curiosity and encourage them to pay close attention before the ad vanishes. This urgency can translate into higher view-through rates measured against traditional mobile ads.
  • Creative Flexibility: Snap Ads offer a variety of formats, including video, image, AR Lenses, and interactive elements, allowing you to tailor your ad experience to resonate with your target audience.
  • Storytelling & Entertainment: Snapchat thrives on a culture of storytelling and entertainment. Snap Ads that leverage humor and relatable scenarios, or integrate seamlessly within the Snapchat user experience can leave a lasting impression on viewers.

Snap Ads Creative Best Practices for Mobile Apps & Games:

1. Embrace the Ephemeral Format

  • Short & Punchy Creatives: Keep your Snap Ads concise and captivating. Aim for video ads between 3-6 seconds in length and prioritize the most impactful message within the fleeting timeframe. Get straight to the point and showcase the core value proposition of your app or game.
  • Focus on Visual Appeal: Since users have limited time to engage with your ad, prioritize high-quality visuals that grab attention. Utilize bright colors and captivating visuals of your app or game in action, and leverage Snapchat’s native filters and effects to create a visually compelling experience.
  • Disappearing Call to Action (CTA): Consider incorporating a disappearing CTA element within your Snap Ads. This leverages the transient nature of the platform and encourages users to act before the ad vanishes. Examples include swipe-up prompts that disappear along with the ad.

2. Prioritize Mobile-First Design

  • Vertical Orientation: Snap Ads are exclusively displayed in a vertical format. Ensure your ad creatives are designed specifically for mobile viewing and optimized for portrait orientation. Avoid repurposing horizontal video ads from other platforms, as they will appear cropped and provide a subpar user experience.
  • Minimize Text Overlays: Excessive text overlays can clutter your ad and be difficult to read on a small mobile screen. Keep the text concise and focus on clear communication of your app’s value proposition or key features.
  • Leverage Sound Strategically: Sound can enhance your ad experience, but it’s not mandatory. Many users have their phone sounds muted while browsing Snapchat. Ensure your ad’s core message is conveyed effectively even without sound. If you include audio, keep it short, and impactful, and avoid relying solely on audio cues to communicate your message.

3. Capture User Attention with Engaging Elements & UGC

  • Humor & Entertainment: Humor is a powerful tool for breaking through the clutter and capturing user attention. Consider incorporating lighthearted humor, relatable scenarios, or unexpected twists within your Snap Ads to make them stand out.
  • Interactive Elements: Explore the interactive capabilities of Snap Ads. Utilize polls, quizzes, or interactive features like swipe gestures to encourage user participation and boost engagement. This can make your ad feel less intrusive and more like a fun, interactive experience within the Snapchat platform.
  • Influencer Marketing: Partner with relevant content creators to promote your app or game. Leveraging the credibility and reach of influencers can be a powerful way to reach a targeted audience and build trust with potential users. Ensure the influencer aligns with your brand and resonates with your target demographic.
  • AR Lenses for Mobile Games: Consider creating engaging AR Lenses that give users a taste of the gameplay experience for mobile games. This can be a fantastic way to showcase unique game mechanics, characters, or environments and pique user interest in downloading the full game. We do not see these being a primary format for performance campaigns, but they can be a strong format to experiment with – for example, with a timed event or a broader brand campaign.

4. Leverage Data & Analytics

  • Track & Measure Performance: Snap Ads provides robust analytics tools to track the performance of your ad campaigns. Monitor key metrics like impressions, clicks, app installs, and cost-per-install (CPI) to identify what’s working and what improvements are needed.
  • A/B Testing Creatives: Don’t be afraid to experiment – in fact, it’s mandatory to stay competitive! Utilize A/B testing to compare different creative variations of your Snap Ads. Test elements like video length, CTAs, visuals, and humor to see what resonates most effectively with your target audience. Data-driven insights can help you optimize your creatives for maximum impact.

5. Align with Snapchat Trends & Culture

  • Stay Up to Date: Snapchat is a trend-driven platform. Keep an eye on current trends, challenges, and popular filters or Lenses within the app, and consider incorporating these elements into your Snap Ads to feel relevant and engaging to users.
  • Authentic Storytelling: Don’t just promote your app – tell a story. Craft Snap Ads that feel authentic and resonate with the storytelling culture of Snapchat. Focus on user emotions, relatable scenarios, or humorous takes on everyday situations to connect with viewers on a deeper level.

Key Takeaways:

By adhering to these Snap Ads creative best practices, you can create captivating ad experiences that resonate with Snapchat’s unique audience and drive successful user acquisition for your mobile app or game:

  1. Embrace the Ephemeral Format: Utilize short, punchy creatives, prioritize visual appeal, and leverage disappearing CTAs to pique user curiosity and encourage immediate action.
  2. Prioritize Mobile-First Design: Design specifically for vertical orientation, minimize text overlays, and strategically leverage sound to optimize the ad experience for mobile viewing.
  3. Capture User Attention with Engaging Elements: Incorporate humor, interactive features, UGC marketing, or AR Lenses (for mobile games) to make your ads stand out and encourage user participation.
  4. Leverage Data & Analytics: Track campaign performance, A/B test creative variations, and utilize data insights to optimize your Snap Ads for maximum impact.
  5. Align with Snapchat Trends & Culture: Stay with current trends and challenges, and craft authentic stories that resonate with Snapchat’s user base.

By understanding the unique nature of Snap Ads and tailoring your creative approach accordingly, you can unlock the potential of this platform to reach a highly engaged audience and drive successful user acquisition for your mobile app or game. Remember, with Snapchat, creativity and a data-driven approach are key to crafting Snap Ads that disappear before users forget, but leave a lasting impression that compels them to download your app.

Picture of Zachary van Driel

Zachary van Driel

Zach entered the digital market in 2013, co-founding an eCommerce male fashion shop that closed after a successful 3 years. After completing his Bachelors in Mathematics, he immediately entered the mobile space at Peak in 2016, joining Adam in the User Acquisition Team, before the pair co-founded Miri Growth in 2017.

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