When Snapchat first launched in 2012, users were excited about storytelling, using fun filters, and creating off-the-shelf content. Since then, other apps like Instagram, Facebook, and now TikTok have created their own versions of this style of storytelling. While Snapchat pioneered this type of content, it seems that fewer people are talking about the platform these days.

Where will Snapchat stand in 2020 as a social media platform and marketing tool?

As of the end of the first quarter of 2020, Snapchat still has 229 million daily active users worldwide. While it appears that fewer people are using Snapchat for business purposes, usage has increased 20.5% since 2019. Since then the numbers have increased.

Compared to Twitter and Facebook, Snapchat is the busiest social platform among teenagers and young adults. And Snapchat users post over 210 million snapshots on the platform every day.

Who else can benefit from Snapchat marketing?

If your brand is geared towards Gen Z or younger millennials, Snapchat can have a significant impact on your business. These generations have a direct purchasing power in the billions as well as influence on household spending.

Snapchat is also best suited for direct-to-consumer brands who can use the app to drive traffic to an e-commerce website or app. Because Snapchat enables companies to create short, highly engaging content, users are heavily invested in those stories. Because of their high engagement rate, Snapchatters are 60% more likely to make impulse purchases based on products they see on the app.

Ways to Use Snapchat for Business in 2020

How can you, as a digital marketer, use Snapchat in a meaningful way and do justice to the demographic characteristics active on the platform? Here are some ways brands can keep using Snapchat in their marketing strategies.

Cross-promoted content from other platforms

In order to use Snapchat successfully, there must be followers on the platform.

If you have a large following on any other platform, let those followers know through your Snapchat to encourage them to check your content there. It helps to have a specific point of view or focus on your Snapchat content or share things that you don’t share on other platforms.

You can give your followers on other platforms a glimpse of the original content you post on Snapchat. This will create excitement and encourage people to follow you on this platform too.

Stay up to date with the latest social media trends to make sure you are consistently creating fresh and engaging content. This is especially important when targeting generations who are known to be in line with trends.

Create interactive filters for your brand

One of the things that make Snapchat so popular is the filters – or lenses, as they’re called – and geotags on the app. Businesses have the option to get their message in front of Snapchat users by creating interactive filters that Snapchatters want to use.

The average Snapchat user interacts with a Snapchat lens for at least 20 seconds and is likely to use the filter to share pictures or videos of themselves. This essentially creates user-generated content that gets your brand known to their audience.

Geofilters let you create location-specific filters when users wear your company or location. This works especially well for stores, restaurants, or businesses that have a physical store. When someone uses a geofilter or lens on Snapchat, they get instant attention, free advertising, and social evidence for their followers.

Creating a branded geofilter can cost anywhere from $ 5,000 to $ 5,000, depending on how widely you want to promote the filter. A national campaign with a high budget can reach up to 60% of Snapchat users in one day.

Dunkin Donuts used National Donut Day to create a goofy and fun Snapchat filter that will turn your head into a giant pink glazed donut. In addition to the lens, they made custom geofilters that would be unlocked when someone visited their store.

You’d like to miss our #NationalDonutDay lens on Snapchat 6/2 today! ????: Dunkindonuts pic.twitter.com/wEEJjRJ4xJ

– Dunkin ‘(@dunkindonuts) June 2, 2017

This campaign single-handedly earned them 10x more followers on their Snapchat.

Coordinate brand takeovers on your account

If you work with influencers, you can include an acquisition of Snapchat in your content agreement. When influencers take over your Snapchat account for a day, their audience will be encouraged to follow your account. The influencer will likely promote this takeover on their account as well, helping to drive traffic to your page.

If you are taking over Snapchat, try to make it exclusive to the platform. Reposting stories from an Instagram takeover on Snapchat might be a good idea, but you want to encourage people to follow you on both Snapchat and Instagram to get the full impact of the platform. Create Snapchat-specific acquisitions and work with influencers who are already active on the app.

Set specific goals for the platform that will contribute to your overall marketing goals

By setting specific social media marketing goals, you can better understand how Snapchat can help you achieve those goals.

If you want to increase traffic, Snapchat can help drive users to your website. The platform recently added the ability to add links to your snaps, which works very well when promoting products or offers on your website.

Each Snapchat business account has access to its account analytics through the platform’s native analytics tool, Snapchat Insights.

Image via Snapchat

These metrics include the demographics of views on your stories, including their age, gender, location, and general interest. You will also see who saw your Snapchat story to the end and how many people saw your story.

Invest in paid advertising

If you have an advertising budget and large audience for Snapchat, Snapchat ads can be a lucrative part of your social media marketing strategy.

Here are the main types of ads you can use on Snapchat.

Collection displays

Collection ads use tippable tiles to link to products that users can purchase directly from the app. These shoppable ads are ideal for ecommerce businesses. When testing this type of ad with standard Snap ads, eBay found five times more engagement when using collection ads for the same products.

Three examples of Snapchat carousel adsImage via Snapchat

Filters and lenses

We mentioned earlier how filters and lenses can increase app engagement and brand awareness. These Snapchat features also fall into the advertising platform. In addition to the fee for creating a filter or lens, you can also pay for sponsored filters or lenses that Snapchat will distribute to your target audience. The higher your sales budget, the more people you will reach with your filters or lenses.

Story ads

Story ads appear in the Discover section of Snapchat and as branded ads. Story ads allow you to create 3 to 20 images or video ads. These are usually simple full-screen ads that contain a call to action. Most of these ads have an attachment that users can use to swipe up and go to another website.

Hopper worked with Snapchat to create static story ads that targeted geographically specific users with flight deals in their area. The ads were straightforward and had a clear call to action, which was to install the app.

Screenshot of a Hopper Snapchat story ad

With these ads, Hopper found that Snapchat users were 37% more likely to download the app and watch a particular flight than their other capture channels. They also reduced the cost per install by 50% using Snapchat ads.


These ads cannot be skipped for at least 6 seconds and appear in Snapchat’s curated content. Commercial ads are great for increasing brand awareness in the app and reaching new audiences.

If you have a large enough budget and your target audience fits into Snapchat’s target audience, it is worth experimenting with running commercial ads on the platform.

Final thoughts

Even if it attracts a specific audience, there are still ways that using Snapchat for business can help your brand grow. Using Snapchat as a deliberate and strategic marketing channel can help you drive traffic and increase sales between Millennials and Gen Z more effectively than other platforms.

For more information on prioritizing the right social media platforms, see our article on Choosing the Social Media Channels that Are Right for Your Brand.