Top 10 Things to Do on Snapchat

1. Use Story Ads. For Guild member company Curology, Story Ads are their biggest lever for ad placements on Snapchat. A few keys to finding success with Story Ads is to continuously iterate in order to find the best headline and thumbnail for engagement. Fabian, CMO of Curology, likes to think of Story Ads as two ads in one. The thumbnail serves as a static Facebook-type ad, while the content itself is another ad opportunity.

2. Be organic. UGC Snapchat ads often outperform because they read as authentic and a form of storytelling, rather than selling. In many cases, the best performing ads don’t mention the brand name until the end to maintain an organic feel.

3. Drive users to dedicated landing pages. Many Guild members shared that their Snapchat ads drive traffic to dedicated landing pages, rather than the company’s homepage. Sending viewers to specific landing pages allows for more targeted calls-to-action, and many companies are exploring how to make landing pages even more personalized/dynamic.

4. Create fast-paced content. Platforms like Snapchat and TikTok are optimized for short-form content, so keeping ads under one minute in length is beneficial both for engagement and cross-posting opportunities.

5. Cross-post on platforms. Both Snapchat and TikTok use the vertical format, making them potentially great cross-posting opportunities. Guild members shared different experiences around this strategy. One Guild company mentioned that they often use the same creative on Snapchat and TikTok, while another company mentioned that they had both Snapchat-specific and TikTok-specific creative with similar look and feel. However, Instagram was noted to reach a slightly different audience, making cross-posting on that platform less effective.

6. Know your target audience. Guild members agreed that Snapchat ads performed best for audiences younger than 25, with steep dropoff in conversion for 25+ groups.

7. Know what drives your product. Knowing your product so you know how to place/structure your ads is crucial. In Curology’s case, they didn’t find much success in Lens AR because their product is especially story-driven, less suitable for Lens. Similarly, Curology, as a brand, doesn’t have many SKUs, making Collections Ads an inefficient placement.

8. Engage with your reps. One Guild member believes Snapchat reps are some of the best in the industry, so definitely take advantage of those relationships. It’s also useful to know that Snapchat tends to drive towards offering packages, which may be helpful for brand marketing, but Snapchat CPM is also extremely volatile, so be careful about what you commit to spending.

9. Choose your bidding strategy carefully. On Snapchat, you have three bidding options: Auto-Bidding, Target Cost, and Max Bid. Guild members shared that they found Target Cost most optimal. While Max Bid will definitely increase conversion, it comes at a dramatically higher cost.

10. Leverage Influencer Marketing. Much of the discussion revolved around the benefits of using influencer marketing when done well. We share tips to influencer marketing below.

Top 5 Tips for Influencer Marketing

1. Look for up-and-coming influencers. Up-and-coming influencers (as opposed to large influencers or celebrities) are the most cost-effective partners and often organically resonate the most with young audiences--and represent a great opportunity for those dipping their toes in the influencer marketing waters. For example, Curology partnered with Emma Chamberlain (TikTok superstar) an influencer when she was first emerging on YouTube (before she even had an agent), and now a brand deal with her can cost upwards of $500,000.

2. Diversify your influencer partners. Partnering with influencers, whether at a micro, mid, or large level, should be a deliberate choice. It’s often best to diversify partnerships across this spectrum. For example, micro influencers often have the most organic brand, but mid-level influencers are the most practiced at content creation. (As a benchmark, a mid-level influencer may have 20,000-150,000 followers). Large influencers bring the most brand awareness, but may also be perceived as less authentic. Knowing the pros and cons of partnering with influencers at each level is essential to leveraging influencer marketing successfully.

3. It’s tough to test influencer proof of concept. In influencer marketing, it'sactually quite hard to get early proof of concept, because initially you won'tfind the right influencers in the beginning, you’ll get the wrong creative, andyou won’t have the confidence to spend enough in some places. So one Guild member with a mature influencer strategy advised those who are just startingout to decide whether or not you think it's going to be a core part of your strategy and commit to it. They noted it will likely take you 18 months to feellike it's working.

4. Know the risks of influencer marketing. There are several risks involved with influencer marketing, including low quality UGC, high brand association with an individual influencer, and slow-to-no results. Additionally, while influencers can be great for authenticity and connection, relying too heavily on this strategy can lead to stunted growth in unaided awareness if the brand is too secondary in the creative assets. One member added that for digital, unaided is not that critical, but for brands going into retail or needing to be top of mind for another channel, that would be a critical miss. Knowing these risks, and that you’re willing to bet on the influencer despite the risks, is important.

5. Know the alternatives to influencer marketing. Several Guild members mentioned alternatives/adjacent strategies to influencer marketing that are useful to consider including podcasts, affiliate marketing, and customer influencers.

Bonus: There are some influencer-like affiliate companies like RewardStyle that you can pay a lump sum to and they’ll organize a campaign for you. One member shared that while they don’t advertise this as something they do, you can push them hard on performance measurement and performance outcomes and potentially get them as a service and outsourced team, where you say “we're going to give you $25K/month for the next 6 months, but every month we want a number of new influencers, a hypothesis-based testing plan of small vs. big, and a GEO-target, age target, and they can do it.