11 Jan 2021 Social media

Should I be using Snapchat for business in 2021?

Snapchat ghost icon on iPhone 7 with a yellow background

You have created a detailed marketing plan about where your brand needs to be seen, but should you be using Snapchat for your business in 2021? Simply, yes. There are many benefits to using Snapchat to promote and build your business and brand.  

This blog will take you right from the basics of understanding what Snapchat is, how to use Snapchat effectively for business, how to create Snapchat ads and why Snapchat is a tool that cannot be missed out of your marketing arsenal. 

So, first things first, what is Snapchat? 

What is Snapchat? 

Snapchat was founded in 2011. It is a mobile communications app that is used for messaging, news and content creation and is a great home for social media influencers. However, it is not only for friends and Snapchat influencers, but it’s also big for business. 

Snapchat has now reached more than 238 million daily users. That is a huge market that, without Snapchat, would not be reached. Snapchat allows you to reach a vast audience with photos and short videos that will disappear after they have been viewed. They can also be replayed and screenshotted, though, to cherish those special snaps that bit more. 

Everything is shot and edited within the app as well. Snapchat is not about that perfect shot, it’s your view of the world as you experience it.  

And you can make your snaps even more special with selfie lenses, geo-filters, stickers and, of course, text. We will go into more detail a bit later. Added in 2013, Snapchat also includes a stories feature which lets you publish content to your profile that remains available for 24 hours. 

Snapchat isn’t like any other social media platform. It’s a more intimate, behind-the-scenes platform. Previous unseen elements of your company can be highlighted on your Snapchat to make users feel more connected to the brand rather than just the finished article. 

So there you have it, that’s Snapchat. Shall we delve a little deeper into Snapchat for your business? 

What are the best practices for Snapchat? 

If you are new to the platform you are going to need to understand the difference between Snapchat and other social media platforms.  

Be original 

As I mentioned before, Snapchat is not about the perfect shot, you must be original. You should publish original content on Snapchat that can’t be seen on any other channel.  

Snapchat is all about creating an inclusive community and rewarding them with fresh content. Audiences are greedy, they want access to every element of your day-to-day and Snapchat is the place to give it to them. 

Be friendly 

Your audience does not want to see ad after ad after ad. They want to consume your original content that we have already discussed, but your audience will still want more. So, what do you do? Engage. Send your audience members a message. This will give a human face to the brand and enhance your reputation. 

Give your audience exclusive access 

Give your audience direct access to special moments, let them share in your journey and your success. 

For example, you could use Snapchat to give your audience access to live events, product launches, trade shows or one-offs like the 10,000th customer.  

This gets your audience excited because you are giving them an unprecedented look into your business. They feel like part of the brand family.  

Competitions, prizes and promotions 

Everybody loves getting something for nothing, so social media promotions and handouts are a great way to use Snapchat for business. Think, what makes your audience tick, what will make them come back for more?  

Promo codes for your product or services are great. If they watch the full story or create some UGC (user-generated content) with your product, they get discounts for your products and services and you get a loyal customer.  

GrubHub carried out a Snapchat scavenger hunt. Every day during the five-day event, GrubHub asked its followers to post a daily food-related snap with the opportunity to win prizes every day.  

This turns a one-time giveaway into a memorable event that will have more impact for your business. It showed the brand’s personality and gives the brand exposure, meaning there could be two communications between the consumer and the brand.  

They were also able to gain some valuable UGC and brand loyalty, which is always a win for your business. 


Much like other social media channels, such as Instagram, there is an abundance of social media influencers on Snapchat that can help grow your business and bring in that extra brand awareness. Keep in mind, though, that influencers may not be suitable to your brand, so pick carefully. 

On the other hand, if they are the right fit and a good Snapchatter, then that content is going to boost your online reputation and take your brand voice and personality and amplify it. 

How to create Snapchat business ads 

To create Snapchat ads for business you will need a Snapchat Business Account. If you don’t already have one of those, follow these handy instructions

Creating your ad can be difficult to start with, but luckily Snapchat ads give you two options when creating an ad: 1) Instantly Create and 2) Advanced Create. 

Instant Create 

Instant Create lets you create your ad without all the advanced targeting options. It’s great for beginners and those who are short on time. I would not recommend using this if you want the best possible results for your business. 

Select Instant Create.

Screenshot of Snapchat Ads homepage
Choose the instant create option for a quicker Snapchat ad creation process.

Select your advertising goal.

Select your advertising goal from the five options.

Enter the URL for your desired destination (you can tick an options box to download the images from your webpage here)  

We want people to visit our blog, so we have chosen website traffic.

Create your ad: Enter your business name, headline and description and select a relevant call to action. 

Get creative, design your ad your way.

Targeting: Choose your demographics and location settings. Then enter your business billing address and card details. Select your budget and hit publish.

Target your wonderful audience (Do the research, it’s worth it)

Finally, you can review and publish your Snapchat ad.

Advanced Create  

Advanced create is a far more specific way for you to hit the right people with your Snapchat ad.

Select your campaign objective, start and end date and your budget limits.

Screenshot of Snapchat Ads advanced campaign builder.
What do you want from this ad? Website traffic, to raise awareness of your brand? You choose.

Create your ad set: Rename your ad set, set the ad format and enable the pixel if you have one on your webpage.

Screenshot of Snapchat Ads Pixel Creator.
Pixels are a great way to track how your ad is performing.

Select Placements: Pick and choose where you want your Snapchat ad to be shown. (Finding out what placements work will take time, so perhaps just leave them automatic to start with). 

Keep it simple to start and find out what works for your business.

Select location and demographics: Do you want your ad nationwide? Is it a local product? Who do you want to see your content? Is your ad age-appropriate? 

Screenshot of Snapchat Ads Location and Demographic settings
Get your audience right, else what’s the point of all of this?

Select audiences and devices: You can choose from a list of predefined audiences from games and films to hair and beauty. Then choose which devices you want to deliver to. Then select delivery options, confirm your budget and campaign goal.

Screenshot of Snapchat Ads campaign builder.
Delivery and audience are not to be targeted nonchalantly, do your research.

Create your ad.

Don’t be afraid to get creative, but don’t over polish your ad.

Review and Publish.

Screenshot of Snapchat Ads review an publish page.
Its time to get your Snapchat ad out there, what are you waiting for?

Types of Snapchat ads 

Now that you know how to create Snapchat ads, we can look at all the advertising options available to you and your business. 

Collection ads 

These are basically a carousel-like collection of ads. These ads are formatted like product catalogues and made for commerce. Snapchat allows you to display four product images, and users can then tap on the image for more information and the link will open directly in Snapchat.  

According to Snapchat “online retailer Wish.com earned a 17 per cent higher engagement rate with the Shoppable Snap ads compared to standard Snap ads featuring the same product. eBay saw five times the engagement rate, and Guess saw 4.1 times the engagement rate with Shoppable Snap ads “. 

Story ads 

Story ads on Snapchat lets you display between three and 20 snaps to tell your brand story. However, be aware that this Snapchat ads option is only visible in the Discover tab. You may be able to show more content, but you are limited to where you can show it.  

And you will be alongside popular content curated to your audience’s needs and, with one click, your users are where you want them. Plus, if you add an attachment to your ad, your audience can swipe up and surf through your products and services outside of Snapchat. 

Sponsored Augmented Reality lenses 

Augmented Reality lenses are a fun way to advertise on Snapchat for your business and they are easy to create. They are essentially a filter than can overlay your content. This could be anything from giving your dog bunny ears or a Game of Thrones dragon on the streets of London. 

Don’t worry, though, you don’t have to use those examples because your business can create your own AR lenses. Just develop a frame, filter or lens, pick a subject and get started. 

Snapchat for business has launched a new program called Lens Creative Partners. Through this, you can discover certified AR creators to build branded lenses. It’s yet another interactive way for users to create unique memories on Snapchat with special lenses relevant to your business. 


Filters are a staple of the Snapchat experience, so they need to be utilised. They are a cool and creative way to promote your business on Snapchat. You can now create your own filters and branded geo-filters. 

Geo-filters allows users to share the location of their experience via a filter overlay. They are usually specific to location and event, reflecting both the culture and people attending. Plus, they are very easy to make and totally worth it for the big occasions for your business. 


Since 2018, Snapchat has offered unskippable six-second adverts. They are very similar to TV ads and have no rules as the users can’t skip. Nonetheless, Snapchat is a young audience so keep it light, playful and engaging. 

What are the benefits of using Snapchat for business? 

Now you know the best practices on your Snapchat business account and how to create Snapchat ads, you can start creating your content.  

But what is the value of Snapchat for your business? Why would you put the effort in to use it? 

Snapchat has a distinct audience with powerful targeting and an altogether immersive experience. The advertising on Snapchat is exciting and a largely untapped channel of marketing for modern marketers. 

Here are three benefits of Snapchat Ads for your business: 

Snapchat has an active user base of around 203 million people using their app daily. These people spend, on average, more than 30 minutes in the app, opening it 18 times a day.   

There is a distinct audience on Snapchat. An overwhelming percentage of US daily Snapchat users cannot be reached through other social media channels, such as Facebook (35%), Instagram (46%) and Twitter (81%), according to App Annie. There were similar trends found in the UK, too.  

The targeting on Snapchat ads is very powerful. With Snapchat’s data, you can reach your audience based on their demographics, plus online and offline interest and behaviours. 

If you are still a little wary about the effectiveness of Snapchat ads, these stats may help. MediaScience carried out the research, commissioned by Snap Inc, and found that Snap ads are more effective than other social ads in many ways:   


Users are more than twice as likely to buy your product or service after seeing a Snap ad. 


Because Snapchat ads are full screen, they receive up to two times more visual attention than other social media ads.  


Snapchat ads swipe up rate is five times higher than the average click-through rate of other social media ads. 


Over 60 per cent of Snap ads are played with audio on, compared to 85% watched on Facebook with the sound off. 

Should I be tracking my Snapchat business account? 

You are running loads of ads and posting out original content, you’re a Snapchat wiz! However, are you tracking your progress? 

As with all social media, should be tracking your work. What is working, what needs improving, how can we improve based on the stats we are looking at? 

To help you with tracking your Snapchat business account, here are some key metrics you need to be aware of: 

Unique views 

This is the number of people who opened the first snap of the story. This does not mean they have finished your entire story, but this stat is very accurate.  

View time

This is how long users watched your story. You can view the year-to-date information and the time in weeks and months, too. It’s also great to keep an eye on as you can easily understand how engaging your content is and when it’s time for a change. 

Completion rate

This is the percentage of users who watched your story from beginning to end. 


 This is how many users took a screenshot of your Snap Ad or story. All you have to do is check the number next to the triangle that will appear in the left bottom of your story. 

Fallout rate 

This is how you determine when people dropped off when viewing your story by dividing the difference by the views between the first and last snap and multiply by 100. This formula will help you gather useful data and create more engaging and useful content for your fans. 

So, should I be using Snapchat for business in 2021? 

As we told you at the start, the long and short of it is YES. You should be using Snapchat for your business in 2021 and there are many reasons why, as we have discussed in this blog. The audience on Snapchat is one of a kind, they can’t be accessed from other social media channels. Your brand can create a community on Snapchat with exclusive content and personal direct messages. The possibilities for you and your business on Snapchat is endless. However, if you are still struggling to think of content for your Snapchat story, check out another of our blogs for more story ideas. 

If you want our help with your social advertising or have any questions about Snapchat, or anything else marketing-related, please get in touch below and we will get back to you as quickly as we can. 

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