Snapchat has just released a guide for brands all about ads at Christmas. It’s helpful stuff, and has plenty of ideas about how to get the most out of the Christmas ad period.

Christmas is an amazing time of year for brands. There is a ton of preparation to do, and for some brands it happens to be the time of year during which they make the most money. It’s serious stuff, and brands can work all year round preparing how they are going to manage their ad spend during the holidays.

Snapchat has come to the rescue of brands. It has published what can only be described as a bit of a ‘cheat sheet’, which outlines how brands can get the most out of their Christmas ad spend. It’s an enlightening text, and some of the ideas in it suggest ways to get the most ROI on all social media platforms, not just Snapchat.

Ad formats

In the guide, Snapchat helpfully identifies which ad formats best meet the different goals an advertiser will have. It outlines all of this as follows:

  • Build brand awareness. If this is the goal of an advertising campaign, Snapchat suggests advertisers use Story Ads, or an Extended Play Commercial. In addition, it identifies the Lens AR experience as a great way to get a brand known.
  • For driving sales and sign-ups, Snapchat suggests Story Ads, Collection Ads or Single Image/Video Ads.
  • App installs and engagements can also be catered for by particular ads, Snapchat says. It suggests using the App Install attachment, which sits at the bottom of the majority of ad formats.
  • Finally, it suggests using Story Ads for successful retargeting of past customers.

Heroes and Showcasing

Snapchat makes the rather obvious (but necessary) observation that brands really need to showcase their products with ads. It brings up ‘Hero’ images that can be used to maximise visual impact. The main thrust of this section of advice is to take the key aspects of your product, real-world store or e-commerce options, and make them the key element that audiences see when they first encounter your ad.

Size issues

Snapchat makes it clear that brands need to fit in with the Snap mentality. This is an intriguing concept, because the guide states that users generally watch ads that are in the spirit of Snapchat, rather than the ‘more polished’ content a brand might use. It also suggests that brands keep ads under six seconds, which ties in neatly with the attention span of users and the overall culture of Snapchat.

Sound is really important

Snapchat makes it clear in the guide that your content should include sound. According to Snapchat, 64% of the ads on Snapchat are viewed with sound enabled. This means that using sound will add that extra bit of flair. Standing out among your competition will be a lot easier if you’re the one using sound. Snapchat suggests using something as simple as a customer testimonial for audio.

Ad creative

Some sound advice is given on creative. Most brands are used to testing ad creative as a way of making sure of a better chance of getting results. However, Snapchat makes a big deal of it in the guide.

Snapchat suggests testing for 2-4 weeks to gain enough ad impressions, so that informed decisions can be made.

Targeting

Snapchat also talks about broadening targeting. This concept may not apply to every brand, simply because some brands have achieved laser focus when it comes to targeting. However, Snapchat’s advice is to broaden it a little, and look at some other variables (as in gender, location etc.) and see if the targeting can be broadened a little. If it can, it could mean more impressions.

Linking

One key aspect of the guide concerns linking. The guide focuses on making sure that ads have the right links in, and it goes back to looking at outcomes that advertisers are looking for:

To drive online sales, Snapchat suggests using Web view attachments. This will bring audiences directly to a Web page that is instantly loaded. These attachments can be used on Story ads, Snap ads and Lenses.

When it comes to driving app installs, brands simply need to use App install attachments, which allow users to swipe and quickly install a brand’s app.

Deep links are also discussed as a way to drive deeper engagement. This can also bring back a user who has shown some engagement with your app previously. The swiping action simply takes a user to the app, and if a user doesn’t yet have the app, they are taken to the store to install it.

These are the most useful aspects of the guide. It does merit a read, and we think some of the advice is good for whatever platform you are leaning on for the holidays.