Using Snapchat Ads to Increase App Downloads

2016 saw Snapchat overtake Instagram in usage to become second to Facebook. For marketers, this makes the platform very useful for advertising. More so if the advertisers wish to reach Millennials: Snapchat has a knack for young audiences. People aged 18 to 24 make up to 37% of Snapchat users.

Snapchat is a handy tool for an app publisher who wants more app downloads from millennials. However, before you start planning for Snapchat ads, you need to understand them so that you can leverage that knowledge to drive installs.

Types of Snapchat ads

Snap Ads

Snap ads resemble a regular Snapchat post. They are video ads that can go as long as ten seconds and allow the user to choose to swipe to get more similar content. The difference between these ads and the user-to-user communications is the tag. The ads are labeled. A display Snap Ad costs an average of two cents per view with the price doubling for more engaging and dynamic ads.

Sponsored geofilters

For these ads, you can upload geofilters that are specific to a location for users to engage with. These ads drive more engagement than the Snap ad, but they are more expensive. They often start at $5000 per hour.

Sponsored geofilters are more popular with established brands. Snapchat claims that they reach 40% to 60% of all daily users on the platform, making them perfect for any type and size of business.

Sponsored lenses

These ads take entertainment a notch higher on the platform. They let users edit their images using content your brand. Sponsored lenses are the most effective, but they are labor intensive and costly. Besides what you invest on the ad, you will need a team member who is skilled enough to develop quality lenses. Some businesses choose to outsource the service to branding agencies.

Case Studies

Below are examples of famous brands and how they have marketed their products and services via Snapchat. From them, you can glean the best ROI practices.


Gatorade has demonstrated their tech-savvy marketing strategies by targeting millennials through Snapchat. The company created an 8-bit video game in which users can play like Serena Williams. Users can get interactive experiences within the game that leave them feeling nostalgic.

If anything, Gatorade proved that you need to know your audience if your advertising will do well on Snapchat.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell used Sponsored lenses to create a filter that helps transform the face to a half taco, half human hybrid.

The results were strange, but then, a lot of good things begin that way. The brand recognized their users’ affinity to comedy and sought to help them share that with their friends. At an average cost of 0.3 cents per view, the strategy worked very well to produce impressive ROI for its simplicity.

Cedar Point

The marketing team at Cedar Point amusement park realized that when people spend a lot of time looking at your Snapchat story, they learn more about your brand. They sought to use this concept. They ran a campaign with ‘ghosts’ in their videos. The users’ responsibility was to screenshot the ghost before they disappeared. The first five would win coupons to visit the amusement park. The company designed a competition and incentivized it forcing people to engage with their content.

**Why is Snapchat Ads Good for Your App? **

The examples in the case study above may not be apps, but they present crucial elements to a successful marketing strategy on Snapchat so that users will want to interact with your content. More importantly, users share content that they like. No wonder people often recommend the platform as a cost-effective way to push brand awareness regarding a new app.

On a large scale, a Snapchat ad campaign could appear expensive. However, if the campaign succeeds, the results are well worth the investment and more.

With the following tips, you can maximize your ROI and increase app downloads.

Short ads are timeless

An initial Snap Ad video is limited to ten seconds after which you point users to swipe to get more content.

You do not need to take advantage of the swipe feature. Users on Snapchat are looking for shorter content. Thus, if you can get to the point of your app and communicate its value within those ten seconds, you will not need any more time.

Vertical is upstanding

If you are new to the platform, you may find yourself falling for the horizontal video during your recording sections. Remember that this will work against you.
A horizontal video may feel like the most natural option. However, users check the app with their phones vertical. If you are going to optimize your app installs, you will have to meet the audience halfway.

User activity should be tracked

You may be using the Snapchat ad to get users to know and download your app, but you should still follow their behavior after they do. You need to find ways of monitoring in-app purchases together with other user behaviors on the app. That way, you can better understand your ROI.

Publish content that can be shared

Users are more likely to share your ads if they are entertaining. As such, do not take your campaign so seriously. In fact, a light-hearted approach is the best way to go if you want to increase shareability.

Watch your store page

A user who is impressed with your ad is likely to follow a link that you provide. More often than not, that link leads to the store page of your app. Remember they have not yet downloaded the app and they can quickly go back to Snapchat without it. Your store page helps them to make the jump. It must look professional and be engaging. Use screenshots that are enticing and informative and describe your game concisely. Tell a compelling story that gets the user to see why they need your app.

Snapchat marketing gives you countless opportunities to boost both app download and brand awareness. You can access a lucrative and motivated audience. You cannot afford to squander the opportunities the platform brings.

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