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Are Snapchat Ads Worth It? Your Definitive Guide for 2024

Should you invest in Snapchat Advertising? Read this guide to find out more. We cover AR lenses, filters, story ads, dynamic ads, examples, and much more.

Ben Kazinik
By Ben Kazinik
Natalie Stenge
Edited by Natalie Stenge

Updated November 28, 2023.

Are Snapchat Ads Worth It? Your Definitive Guide for {year} main image

When brands think of the best platforms for social media advertising, most think of Facebook and Instagram. You got lots of less-known advertising platforms that can be equally effective like Pinterest Ads and TikTok Ads.

In this post, we want to introduce you to Snapchat Ads, which can be a powerful tool in your marketing strategy arsenal. This channel has some pretty engaged audiences and high conversion rates.

So if you're fed up with Facebook's shorter attribution window or not getting the ROAS you were hoping for, maybe it's time to launch a few campaigns on Snapchat. Here's the guide that will inspire you and get your creative juices flowing.

Why advertise on Snapchat?

Launched in 2011, Snapchat is one of the top 10 most-used social platforms in the world—and many of its users aren’t on any other social apps.

So Snapchat Ads presents an opportunity for you to reach untapped audiences, some of whom might actually have a higher-than-average propensity to convert.

You can create a Snapchat ad in a matter of minutes, starting with a single photo or video for just $5 a day, and choosing from a variety of solutions to meet your business goals. Here are a few of the top reasons you should advertise on Snapchat.

Reach social and interactive shoppers

Snapchat is the app of choice for those who enjoy sharing the purchases they love and shopping moments that mean something to them.

Grow your business on the best platform for sharing life’s moments

Snapchatters are empowered to be happy, connected, and open-minded—precisely the kind of people more willing to support businesses whose mission and vision they can stand behind.

Meet the Snapchat generation where they are

Snapchat reaches 75% of Millennials and Gen Zers, who spend half an hour on the platform every day. It's a super powerful platform for brands that are looking to target specific audience segments or whose core audience is Millennials or Gen Zers.


Customize your audience targeting

You can reach Snapchatters by location, interests, and demographics, easily creating custom subsets like Customer List audiences and Lookalike Audiences.

Upload and publish your ad in minutes

You can begin your Snapchat Ads campaign with just a single photo or video. Produce engaging fullscreen ads that elicit action and drive results, and browse for the format that best represents your business.


Find the solution that suits your business goals

Head to Snapchat Ads Manager, where you can view, create and update your advertising campaigns. Ads Manager has an abundance of tools like goal-based bidding, Campaign Lab, Snap Pixel, and Audience Insights, which help you measure and optimize your ads to meet your performance goals.

What types of ads are available on Snapchat?

Snapchat has lots of options for customizing your ads, so it’s easy to produce a brand that’s totally on-brand while also melding organically with users’ experience on the platform.


Filters are fun overlays that users can add after taking a Snap. Filters might feature bitmojis, apply artistic effects, or display practical information such as an event's date, time, and venue.


You should use filters to represent your brand in an entertaining but relevant way. So when purchasing or even designing your own filters, always keep your customers front-of-mind: where and why would they be using these?

AR Lenses

According to one of Snapchat’s global reports, 200 million users engage with AR, and the platform’s AR Lenses are a fabulous way to draw on that widespread enthusiasm.

This AR feature drives engagement while helping users connect with your brand in a unique and impactful way. You can even create shoppable Lenses, enabling users to virtually try out your products before purchasing.


There are two types of AR Lens.

Face Lenses leverage advanced technology to recognize a user’s facial features to transform them into characters from your brand.

World Lenses detect a user’s location and map their surroundings, and the rear-facing camera gives them the ability to see their environment in a whole new light.

Story Ads

With Story Ads, you can place a branded tile in Snapchat’s Discover section. When users tap the tile they’re directed to an aesthetic collection of 3–20 ads.

Story Ads are a branded content experience, forging a narrative that quickly engages users. No need for an introduction—just pique your users’ interest, then entice them into your marketing funnel.

Collection Ads

Collection Ads is the most recent development of Snapchat’s programmatic offering, enabling you to showcase a series of products in a fun and seamless shopping experience.

Collection Ads are essentially basic Snapchat video ads with a product thumbnail at the bottom. They are similar to dynamic product ads on other platforms. You can upload your entire product catalog and feature them dynamically or upload them manually one by one.


Collection Ads are a little more complicated than basic Snapchat Ads, and there’s more to fill out for them in the Ads Manager - like CTAs, unique links, and swipe-up URLs.

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic Ads are an easy way to personalize your ads for your customers. You can use your product catalog, the Snap Pixel, or a mobile measurement app, to automate ad creation while optimizing toward the marketing goals that matter most to your business, like driving purchases online or in-app.


Commercials are non-skippable video ads that help you drive awareness and engage your audience within Snapchat’s high-quality curated content. Standard Commercials are 3–6 seconds long and non-skippable, whereas Extended Play Commercials are 7–180 seconds long, and only the first 6 seconds are non-skippable.

How do you set up an ad on Snapchat?

Like most platforms, Snapchat offers a single centralized dashboard with real-time reporting. In Snapchat Ads Manager you can view, create and update your ads, ad sets, and campaigns.

You can also track your performance metrics and continually refine and optimize your ads to drive awareness and engagement.

In the Reports section of Ads Manager, you can schedule reports, build dashboards, and share results. Snapchat also offers a campaign tab, where you can explore effective strategies and use features like split-testing and advanced targeting.

Use Snapchat’s targeting options to create:

  • Lookalike Audiences
  • Pixel Custom Audiences
  • Ad Engagement Audiences
  • Third-Party Custom Audiences
  • Saved Audiences
  • Snap Audience Match.

Once you’ve started running campaigns you can harness granular insights like location and demographic breakdowns, user interests, and other first- and third-party audience information.

What are some Snapchat advertising best practices?

When you build your Snapchat Ads, be sure to follow these tried-and-tested rules for delivering maximum ROI:

Focus on the first 2 seconds

The very start of your ad will make or break its performance. Optimize your results by having the promo popup appear straight away. Ads that do this consistently outperform those with the promo in the final card by a vast margin.

Lead with your brand and value proposition

You should always show your target audience your branding right away so they know who you are and why they should care. However, don't just open with a large image of your logo - booooring. Instead, create an engaging introduction that shows off your company's values and benefits.

Open with a visual CTA

Drive user conversions with a dynamic CTA in the opening frame (as opposed to at the end). A strong visual will help boost your click-throughs and conversions.

Keep your ad creative fresh

Refresh your ad creatives at least once or twice a week. If you don’t have the resources to do that, strive to refresh it at least monthly. You don't want your audience to experience ad fatigue.

Remember, refreshing your ad creative doesn’t necessarily mean rebuilding your ads from scratch—it might be that a tweak here and there is more than enough to give user conversions a boost. Plus, small changes generally do better with Snapchat’s algorithm than completely overhauling your ads.

Mirror your organic content with a short and simple message

Keep your ad creative simple and concise, with a clear message. Snapchatters share small and linear communication across the platform, so your ads need to mirror this form of messaging. Most users play ads with the audio on, so an easy way to further drive engagement is to include music or a voice-over.

What are some top examples of Snapchat Ads?


How much does it cost to advertise on Snapchat?

The great thing about advertising on social platforms like Snapchat is that you’re always in control of your expenditure, able to continually tweak your approach to incrementally improve ROI.

Set your own budget

Snapchat Ads cost as little as $5 a day, although of course increasing your budget will probably enhance your results.

Manage your spend

With Snapchat’s numerous advertising solutions you can optimize toward your advertising goals to get the most value from your campaigns.

Create valuable assets for free

With Snapchat’s free creative tools and learning resources, you can save on creative costs and learn about how to build irresistible ads for your audience.

Ready to take advantage of Snapchat’s unique advertising opportunities?

Snapchat Ads are immersive fullscreen productions, quick to engage and sure to inspire, and they tend to be more playful than ads on other platforms.

You can easily tailor Snapchat Ads to your marketing goals, and they're especially effective in helping your business expand into younger markets or build brand awareness and loyalty among young customers.

By incorporating Snapchat into your paid social media mix, you create audience-driven content designed to perform well on the platform. What’s more, Snapchat Ads Manager offers granular audience insights which you can draw on to optimize campaign performance through ever more refined targeting.

Snapchat can be a powerful tool within your social advertising arsenal, offering several strategic benefits for brands looking to meet their campaign objectives and business goals. Snapchat Ads presents a prime chance to introduce your brand to an untapped market and unique audience who aren’t to be found on other social apps.

Ready to launch your ads? Need help optimizing your ad campaigns? Talk to one of our Snapchat marketers today!


Are Snapchat ads better than Facebook ads?

Snapchat Ads are a fantastic way to connect with your audience and drive people to your website, although they’re not without their challenges. The platform is more limited in its reach than others because you can only target users based on their age, sex, and location.

So if someone hasn’t seen an ad from you before, there’s no way for them to see your message unless they’re already following you. Whereas with Facebook you can reach a larger audience but it will cost you significantly more than with Snapchat Ads.

Why are Snapchat ads so expensive?

Snapchat Ads are actually much more effective and give you more bang for your buck compared to some other platforms. They're especially useful for businesses operating on a strict budget. The average cost per impression on Snapchat is $2.95, compared to $4.20 on Instagram and $5.12 on Facebook.

So the advertising costs are lower but the bidding capabilities and audience targeting are a little more basic than on these other social networks.

Are Snapchat ads worth it?

Snapchat is a thriving social platform, with over 300+ active users. That means you simply can’t pigeonhole them with other social users. The platform is fast, fun, and interactive, with a general tendency toward impulsivity that you don’t find on other apps.

Are Snapchat ads better than TikTok ads?

Snapchat Ads have been criticized as convoluted and difficult for new users to navigate. In contrast, TikTok offers a more streamlined approach to marketing, with a more user-friendly interface and more organic ways to engage with followers.