Facebook and Instagram advertising have been popular with all sorts of e-commerce and product-based businesses for a few years now. Brands all over the world have successfully been taking advantage of these social media platforms to reach their ideal customers and grow their businesses. But what about 'younger' platforms, such as Snapchat and TikTok? Could these be right for you? In this article, I take a deep dive into the world of Snapchat to help understand whether you should consider using Snapchat ads to promote your e-commerce business.
What makes Snapchat stand out? When it comes to social media platforms, Snapchat is quite unique. Augmented reality, engaging filters, and fun face swaps are certainly part of the attraction.
But a key element that makes Snapchat stand out is the fact that it has no 'vanity metrics'. Surprisingly, it's a world free from likes and follows. And for most users, this means it's a safer and more comfortable place to express themselves.
According to Search Engine Journal, "at a time when many people feel anxious or overwhelmed by social media, 95% of Snapchat users—more than any other app tested—say the app makes them feel happy."
And why, as a business owner or advertiser, would you miss an opportunity to reach out to an audience of people who are feeling positive when using a digital platform?
But who exactly is on Snapchat? And will you find your future customers there?
Who uses Snapchat?If you've been overlooking Snapchat in favour of other long-standing social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, it's probably because you don't think your ideal customers will be using the platform. Or perhaps you're not familiar with it yourself, and you're hoping to find new customers through Facebook or Instagram.
While this may be true to an extent, if you've decided not to include Snapchat in your marketing and advertising strategies, you may have been leaving opportunities on the table.
According to data shared by Fetch&Funnel, in the U.S. alone more than 30% of people on Snapchat are not active on Instagram or Facebook. Also, research conducted by Snapchat shows that the platform "reaches 90% of all 13-24 year-old's and 75% of all 13-34 year-olds in the US."
When looking at these age brackets, these numbers speak for themselves. And they suggest that Snapchat may be your best bet to make your brand noticed within these demographics. After all, if you're not on Snapchat, you're probably not influencing these audiences.
And while it's important to reach out to your existing customers and continue to build brand loyalty on other social media platforms, exploring the Snapchat waters may help you find new customers who could become your loyal fans and brand advocates.
But let's look at the Snapchat demographic in more detail.
Snapchat is the way to reach Millenials and Gen Z-ers
According to data shared by Fetch&Funnel, "51% of Snapchat users are 25+ years old" while "Snapchat reaches 75% of 18 to 34 year-olds. The breakdown below, courtesy of Hootsuite, shows similar percentages and includes shares of female vs male users.
With 249 million daily active users in Q3 2020 alone and 4 billion Snaps created on average each day, Snapchat is the go-to platform to influence Millenials and Gen Z.
And why are these generations important? Because they have direct spending power and are also responsible for heavily influencing their parents' buying decisions.
As digital natives, they're open to online shopping and being influenced online. At their age, they are still forming their preferences and exploring the kinds of services and products they want to engage with and buy from. This makes them willing to try new brands. And let's face it, in sharing their choices, they are also directly influencing their family and friends.
It's also worth mentioning that older demographics are becoming more engaged on the platform, as content has doubled year over year among those over 35 (source SocialPilot).
In case you're wondering, Snapchat is not just a US phenomenon. It's also popular in the UK and other European countries, predominantly France and Germany. As of October 2020, the UK had 19.5 million users (source Statista).
The graph below from Hootsuite shows Snapchat usage and figures per country.
Snapchat users are engagedRemember when we said that Snapchat users tend to be happier social media users? When you think about this, it's no surprise that Snapchatters are said to be more engaged and willing to take action compared to users of other social media platforms. It's why brands that experience success on Snapchat, report excellent conversion rates when trying to increase leads, downloads, and sales.
Data from Search Engine Journal shows that "a typical user opens the app 30 times a day".
They also state that:
If that isn't the definition of an engaged audience, I don't know what is!
Snapchat is all about videoAnother factor that sets the platform apart is that Snapchat is (and always has been) all about video. It's no surprise to read that the pandemic has increased the amount of time spent watching mobile videos. Data shared by Search Engine Journal states that 82% of Millennials and Gen Zers report watching more mobile video content after the pandemic hit the UK.
Also, "74% of Snapchat users say that vertical video is more personal and immersive than other forms of video". And "seven in ten Snapchat users say they would rather engage with a lot of shorter videos than get completely immersed in one longer video" (source Search Engine Journal).
So if you're going to invest in creating more video content this year, short-form vertical video is the way to go.
This is great news if you are considering Snapchat ads, as you have plenty of formats to choose from, including Snap Ads, Filters, and Lenses.
When it comes to setting ads up on Snapchat, the Ads Manager is an easy and intuitive tool to use. Once you have a linked business account, you don't need a lot of third-party editing services to get the job done, and you can create single-image or video ads in less than 5 minutes. The Instant Create workflow even allows you to input your business URL and will pull in photos directly from your website to help create your ad.
With similar functionality to the Facebook Ads Manager, you get to decide on your goals before creating your campaigns. So whether you want to create:
If you're unsure as to how to get started, you can test the platform out with a small daily budget (as small as $20 a day). With Snapchat analytics, you can then measure the performance and results of your campaigns in seconds. To make the most of your advertising budget, you can install the Snap Pixel, which allows you to collect information on actions taken on your website.
By using the Snap Pixel, you can:
While Snapchat may not be right for everyone, if you're operating in niches such as food, fashion, skincare, subscription boxes, digital products, etc. I hope this article convinced you to look into Snapchat ads to promote your e-commerce business.
Sure, what may work for one business, may not work for another. But with a minimum budget spend of $20 a day, the doors are left open for small businesses of all kinds. Start small and set daily budgets and spend caps and keep an eye on your results. By looking at data, you can tweak and adjust your ads to increase conversion without breaking your limits.
In summary, as long as you optimise towards your goals, you don't need to be a big international brand to advertise on Snapchat.
Would you like some help with your social media advertising? Adding Snapchat to your advertising strategy can help you find new customers, build loyalty with existing ones, and reach Millennials and Gen-Zers at scale. Will you take this opportunity?
If you're an established e-commerce business owner and would like some help with Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok advertising, get in touch. I offer a FREE 30-minute strategy call, which is perfect for you if you want to find out how I can help you run and manage your ads and make the most of your budget.
Have you started using paid advertising for your business and are wondering how to get the most out of your Facebook ads? In this blog post, I share six best practices that will help you create winning Facebook ads.
1. Keep your ad copy short and to the point
Internet users have short attention spans. And we all know this because we are those users ourselves - don't we all spend hours on our phones and on social media every day?
If you're starting to use ads for your e-commerce business to boost sales, it's important you take your audience's attention span and time constraints into account and create copy that:
For more tips on how to do this, check out my blog post on How to create the best Facebook ads for your e-commerce business.
2. Add multiple images of your product
When it comes to ad attributes, its visual elements, or 'creatives' can have a huge impact on the way your ad performs with your ideal customers. Because when you're trying to encourage social media users to buy your products online, showing them one single picture won't quite cut it.
The good news is that the Facebook Business Manager gives you the options to arrange your imagery into a carousel or a collection, and it's definitely something I recommend you try out.
The carousel format allows you to show two or more images (or videos) and makes it super easy for your audience to consume your content. They simply scroll through the pictures by either swiping the screen or clicking on the right/left arrows.
For best results, include headlines, links, and Calls to Action (CTAs) to your ad - these help you add context and detail to your copy and can act as further incentives for your prospects to click on that buy button. Of course, not all carousels will perform in the same way, so experiment with a few combinations of images and make sure you display your better-performing pics first.
It's worth mentioning that your images don't always need to be professional photoshoots. If you haven't arranged one yet, or if you only have a limited amount of professional photos, don't let that hold you back. Lifestyle photography and more 'native' imagery can also prove engaging and enticing. After all, it looks less staged, more natural, and more like a recommendation from a friend than an ad.
Plus, people will react to your creatives differently. If you're targeting prospects who have already clicked through to your website (i.e. retargeting), product photography may work better than lifestyle imagery, which is more appropriate for targeting prospective customers instead.
3. Keep image text to a minimum
According to Facebook, "images with less than 20% text perform better". This is why when Facebook ads were first introduced, a high percentage of them used to be rejected. In my experience, this doesn't happen as frequently anymore, but it's something to bear in mind when choosing your creatives.
Image text, especially when long and cluttered isn't always easy to read, and a large number of words can also take the focus away from your photos, and, therefore, your product. And that's the last thing you want!
If you need to add any text to your product images, such as a headline, a link, or a description, you can use the ad copy or space under the image instead. That makes for a better user experience and reduces your risk of having Facebook reject your ad.
And if, for whatever reason, you feel the need to use text over your images, keep it short, clear, and concise. Get your message across effectively, but ensure you're using fewer words and a small-enough font to keep the main focus on your images, rather than on the text.
4. Use vertical videos instead of square or landscape
If you've decided to include a video of your products, consider recording or creating your video in a vertical format. Why? Most people browse social media on their smartphones, rather than their laptops, tablets, or desktops. This means that when they're scrolling on social media, they're holding their phone in a vertical position.
If your video fits that format - and doesn't force your audience to rotate their phone to turn your video horizontally - you're already at an advantage. You're making it easier for someone to consume (and enjoy) your content.
Research from Buffer conducted in 2019 proved that vertical videos consistently outperform landscape and square videos in the Facebook news feed. And when you think about it, creating videos that utilise the full vertical frame means you have more space at your disposal than when choosing the square format, for example.
When your video takes up the whole length of the screen, you can focus and direct your ideal customers' eyes exactly where you want them to go. And with more space to play with, you can also think of different strategies to make your video more engaging, like splitting the screen in two or adding graphic or design elements to help you elevate the quality of your ad, which leads me nicely to the next point...
5. Enhance your images or videos with creativity and movement
In a busy market space (and crowded news feeds), you want your ads to stand out, and adding movement is an easy and effective way to do so. If you're sharing your ad on Instagram Stories, for example, Facebook provides free templates to help you animate your ads automatically.
But there's more you can do, such as creating timelapse videos, loop videos, animating text, or building videos that include images, text, and narration.
Here are a few apps I regularly use and recommend to my clients:
Never forget to include strong CTA buttons in your ads. You don't need to get extremely creative here. For most products, a simple "Shop now" or "Get offer" will be everything you need.
When deciding on your CTA, feel free to follow the Facebook Business Manager's recommendations, but be prepared to test a few combinations of copy, creatives, and CTA buttons.
For example, if you're running retargeting ads (specifically for those who have either visited your website or added your product into their basket but didn't purchase), you may want to try slightly different language in your copy. After all, these people have already seen your product, and this is your chance to remind them of what a great offer they're potentially missing out on. So perhaps consider giving them a little nudge and adding "10% off with this coupon code," for example.
CTA buttons can have different wording, colour, and formats depending on what you're trying to achieve with your ad, so, as I always say, be prepared to do some testing and see what performs better for you. Whatever you do when picking your CTA buttons, ensure they stand out. You want people to engage with your ad and take action.
Do you need support to get the most out of your Facebook ads?As you've probably gathered by now, running social media ads for your product-based business takes a lot of testing and experimenting. It's all about finding the right combination of ad copy, creatitves, CTAs, and platforms that will deliver the best results for you. So if you're an established e-commerce business and need some help to get the most out of your Facebook ads, get in touch.
I offer FREE 30-minute strategy calls that are perfect if you:
Are you a business owner and want to boost your sales with social media advertising? Perhaps you want to start creating Instagram or Facebook ads but have no idea about what would work for your brand? In this step-by-step guide, I share how to create the best Facebook ads for your e-commerce business.
1. Write engaging ad copy that inspires your prospective customers
The words you choose for your Facebook ad have the potential to make or break the success of your ad campaign. But what makes for engaging, inspiring copy? Let's look at this example from Boden.
You'll notice that the ad copy is short, concise, and to the point. When it comes to e-commerce and buying products from the internet, people aren't interested in reading long text.
Truth is, they're on social media (Facebook or Instagram, for example) to connect with friends and family, check what else is going on in the world, or generally looking for entertainment and inspiration. So when crafting your copy, bear this in mind and aim to create something short and snappy.
You want your ad copy to be entertaining, engaging, and inspiring. But how exactly do you achieve that?
First thing first, include a 'hook' and an offer. The 'hook' is that initial section of your copy that stops the reader in their tracks. Your job here is to grab your prospective customers' attention, make them stop scrolling, and look at your ad instead.
In order to do that, you may need to get a bit creative. Contrary to what a lot of e-commerce business owners might believe, your ad copy isn't the place to list all your product features. Because let's face it - that doesn't make for the most dazzling or interesting read, does it?
Instead, aim to inspire people.
What do you include in your ad copy?If you're looking for some ideas or inspiration around what to include in your ad copy, try with:
Using words and phrases your customers use isn't the only thing to think about when deciding how to craft your ad copy, especially because the wrong choices could make all the difference between your ad being approved or rejected by Facebook. Let's look at the example below from one of my clients, Laura De Zordo Jewellery.
Generally speaking, when you're selling a product, multiple images tend to do a better job at showcasing your product than one single picture will. Within Facebook's Business Manager, you can also combine multiple photos together to create a slideshow video, so that's yet another option for you to test out in your ads.
As for what type of photos you should include, professional photoshoots of your product aren't the only option. Sometimes lifestyle and more 'native' shots that show your product in use or 'in action' can contribute to making it look more appealing and within reach. More than anything, it looks less like an ad and more like a friend recommending something they bought, so try a combination of both.
3. Include a strong Call To Action (CTA)It goes without saying that the best Facebook ads for your e-commerce business should also contain a strong Call To Action (CTA). Think along the lines of:
When thinking about your CTA, it's important to be clear and direct. Also, never give your customers too much choice, because, as they say, "a confused mind never buys". So be absolutely clear and focused on what you want your customers to do next - give them one thing to do and make sure that translates into the text of your CTA buttons.
4. Decide on the best ad placementThe decision around where to publish your ad (i.e. which social media platforms) depends on where your ideal customers tend to be the most active. Within the Facebook Business Manager, you can select the platforms you want to push your ad onto:
If you do opt for the 'Automatic Placement' option, do check that the visuals you have included in your ad work for Instagram too. The last thing you want is for a video to be cut off or for your product to sit at an odd position within the ad. So before hitting the publish button, do make use of the Ad Preview feature and check that your creatives work.
Would you like some help to create the best Facebook ads for your e-commerce business?When it comes to best practice and recommendations around creating high-performing ads, rules change frequently. If you're an established e-commerce business looking to get better results from your Facebook or Instagram ads, get in touch. I offer FREE 30-minute strategy calls that are perfect if you need help with your Facebook Ads Management, would like an audit of your Facebook Ad Account, or need support with Shopify.
If you have an online store and advertising on Facebook, you might have hear about the speculations about the impact iOS 14 will have on ads. The reason for that is, in iOS 14, app users will be given the option to opt in or out of tracking. That’s a major change that will reduce the amount of data that’s collected by Facebook.
How many users will opt in, how many users will opt out, we will see.
Personally I prefer seeing ads that are relevant to me, so I will opt in. However, because of the privacy concerns, a lot of people might opt out of tracking.
We are all expecting to see the impacts of this over the next few weeks.
Facebook shared these guides about the upcoming changes that will affect advertisers.
“Apple has announced changes with iOS 14 that will impact how we receive and process conversion events from tools like the Facebook pixel. Businesses that advertise mobile apps, as well as those that optimize, target, and report on web conversion events from any of our business tools will be affected.”
This means Facebook will not be able collect data to understand what a conversion is, the targeting may not be as effective and the reporting will be affected, too.
What actions should advertisers take now?
Don't forget to subscribe to my email list to receive my FREE guide to learn what Facebook ad mistakes you might be making.
Need expert support for Facebook and Instagram advertising? Apply for a free discovery call.
Where did the idea for your business come from? Tell us how and why you get started. I have always loved stationery and could never walk past a stationery shop so when I left my previous career with redundancy (thankfully) I decided to do a start your own business course with a stationery shop in mind and that was it. It is also a little bit different as I personalise some of the stationery too (pencils & notebooks) and I have my own Fold & Seal range
What's a typical day like? It’s a real mix between packing orders, emails, PR and then once my two children are home from school it’s homework, dinner, usual family life and then a little bit of work in the evening when they go to bed.
What is the best part of having your own business? Making decisions, getting good customer feedback and working to my own timetable
What's the hardest part? Making decisions and sometimes the responsibility of delivering good quality products that customers will be happy with.
What’s your best selling product? Definitely the Personalised Pencils & Notebooks – I personalise using my hot foil printing press, customers love this.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be? Engage with your audience as much as you can
Let's talk tech. Which softwares do you use in your business? ( Online store, email marketing, scheduling tools, video apps, accounting & banking apps etc)If you're on Shopify, I'd also love to learn your favourite apps. My website is Wordpress, I use Storycutter for my IG stories and Mailchimp for my Newsletter.
Which social media platform works best for you? Instagram
What business book/podcast/courses would you recommend? I’m terrible I don’t read any business books … but I do listen to podcasts , my favourites include The Futurist with Jo Linehen , Let’s Talk Shop with Therese from the Small Business Collaborative and most recently I have started to listen to Work, Actually with Kate Chaundy
I am also the Community Manager for REALWORK which is the online co-working space for Women, founded by Fleur Emery. This is not a course but I absolutely recommend being part of it if you are a female founder or business owner.
Where can people find you? www.foldandseal.ie @foldandseal firstname.lastname@example.org