Skip Navigation
August 18, 2020·6 min read

Make It Snappy: How to Use Snapchat Video for Your Brand

Snapchatters are engaged social users—ones who are open to content from brands. Find out how to use video to engage them.

Snapchat is often seen as a social platform that caters to teens, but as its audience has grown, brands have taken notice and are taking advantage of the video marketing opportunities available on the social network.

Snapchat users are loyal to the platform and prolific in their posting: 186 million people use Snapchat every day, posting a combined three billion Snaps daily.

The ephemeral sharing app’s user base still skews younger than most social networks: 71% of users on the platform are under 34. And its younger audience is particularly open to engaging with video content shared by brands, especially if businesses post video Snaps that are relevant to the audience and fit in with popular Snapchat content styles.

Your business can grow its audience and connect directly with customers by creating a video strategy for Snapchat. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to get started marketing your brand on Snapchat.

  1. Contents
  2. 1.What are the Benefits of Using Snapchat Video?
  3. 1.1You Can Reach a Wide Audience
  4. 1.2You’ll Reach an Engaged Audience
  5. 1.3You’ll Reach Users That Engage with Brands
  6. 2.How to Use Snapchat Video for Your Business
  7. 2.1Snapchat Video Stories
  8. 2.1.1Specs for Snapchat Video Stories
  9. 2.1.2Best Practices for Snapchat Video Stories
  10. 2.1.3How to Share Video Stories on Snapchat
  11. 2.1.4How to Measure the Success of Your Video Stories
  12. 2.2Snapchat Video Ads
  13. 2.2.1Specs for Snapchat Video Ads
  14. 2.2.2Best Practices for Snapchat Video Ads
  15. 2.2.3How to Measure the Success of your Video Ads

What are the Benefits of Using Snapchat Video?

Snapchat video marketing offers some great benefits to brands looking to connect with Millenials and Gen Zers. The platform started as a way for friends to share photos and videos that disappeared after 24 hours. The short lifespan of its content makes it an intimate medium that encourages users to share often.

Snapchat has since branched out to allow businesses to market their products and services on the platform. But, that sense of personal connection is still there, which makes it a great opportunity for brands looking to communicate directly with fans and customers.

There are a few key benefits of sharing video on Snapchat.

You Can Reach a Wide Audience

Snapchat is known for being loved by Millennial and Gen Z users. And while that’s true—making it a great platform for connecting with younger audiences—Snapchat’s user base is expanding. As of 2019, 52% of U.S. internet users age 26 to 45 were active on the platform. This means that, with the right strategy, you can reach a diverse audience using Snapchat video.

You’ll Reach an Engaged Audience

Snapchat users are a highly engaged bunch. More than half of Gen Z users check Snapchat 11 times per day. And overall, its users spend around 30 minutes on the platform daily. With such a captivated audience who revisit the app multiple times daily, you can push out a lot of video content on your business account without overwhelming your followers.

You’ll Reach Users That Engage with Brands

Snapchat users are more open to engaging with brands than users of other social networks, even if they’re not familiar with the brand in question.

One survey of Snapchat users found that almost three-quarters would open a Snap sent from a business and, nearly half of the users surveyed said they’d open a Snap from a brand they didn’t know.

That’s great news for smaller or newer businesses, since it means you’ll find an audience on Snapchat that’s willing to hear your message even if they aren’t already familiar with your products or services.

Put Your Videos to Work Create, host, manage, and share your videos.
Sign Up Free

How to Use Snapchat Video for Your Business

Now that you have a better sense of how your business can benefit from marketing itself using Snapchat video, let’s take a closer look at the different ways you can leverage video on the platform and the best way to connect with audiences using video content.

Snapchat Video Stories

Snapchat Stories are a collection of Snaps that you can add to on an ongoing basis. Each individual Snap from your story will be live for 24 hours before disappearing from your account.

Specs for Snapchat Video Stories

Since Snapchat is a mobile app, you’ll want to make sure all your video is optimized for vertical viewing on a mobile device.

Here are the ideal specs for Snapchat videos:

  • Recommended Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16
  • File Type: .mp4 or .mov
  • Maximum File Size: 32 MB
  • Video Length: 3 to 10 seconds long
cover graphic for Social Video Specs Guide
Get the Social Media Video Specs Guide cover graphic for Social Video Specs Guide Every different social platform has its own requirements for videos. Every single one is in this guide. Get the Specs

Best Practices for Snapchat Video Stories

You want your Snapchat videos to suit the platform and resonate with its users. Here’s how to make the most of your Snapchat video marketing plans:

  • Blend in With Your Surroundings: Make sure your creative fits in with the overall aesthetic that Snapchat users have come to expect from the platform. Give it a user-generated feel, rather than focusing on creating heavily produced video content.
  • Keep it Simple: People tend to view Snaps on the go and check in frequently for short bursts of time. Knowing that your audience’s attention span isn’t long and they have a lot of content coming at them on Snapchat, make sure you keep your messaging clear and simple. Don’t pack too much information into a single video.
  • Speak to (and Like) Your Audience: Knowing who your audience is can help you communicate with them better. Just as you want your video to look like it belongs on Snapchat, you also want your content to sound like it belongs. Don’t be too polished and scripted. Speaking directly to the camera can feel more natural on Snapchat.
Learn From the Pros

While Snapchat might not seem like a natural fit for a traditional tech company, Cisco uses its account to share behind-the-scenes footage of what life’s like at the company as part of its #WeAreCisco campaign. It gives people a better understanding of the company culture, and the campaign has been so successful they’ve even collaborated with NASDAQ.

How to Share Video Stories on Snapchat

Now that you know how to optimize your video content for Snapchat, here are the nuts and bolts of how to share video Snaps to your account:

  1. Open the Snapchat app, which will immediately take you to the camera screen
  2. Choose your camera mode by clicking the button in the top right hand corner to toggle between front-facing and rear-facing
  3. You can add a Snapchat lens to your frame, an AR effect that changes the way the subject looks or adds objects to the frame. Just tap and hold anywhere on the screen and your lens options will appear
  4. When you’re ready to shoot your video, press and hold the Capture button
  5. When you want to stop recording, just release the button and you’re done
  6. Press the blue arrow button in the bottom right to navigate to the sharing page—choose to share to My Story and/or send to any contacts
Learn From the Pros

Skincare company Birchbox makes great use of the personal connection Snapchat allows. It uses Snapchat’s video chat capabilities to host live call-ins with its social media team, putting a human face to the brand and allowing its fans to ask questions from the brand’s team of experts.

How to Measure the Success of Your Video Stories

Once you’ve started sharing video Stories on Snapchat, you’ll want to keep track of how they’re performing with your audience. Here are some of the key metrics you can monitor through Snapchat Insights:

  • Unique Views: See how many people watched your video
  • View Time: How much time users spend watching your videos, broken down by week and month
  • Completion Rate: How many people watched your story in full, from beginning to end
  • Screenshots: How many people took a screenshot of your story, which is a major form of engagement on the platform

Snapchat Video Ads

Snapchat video ads are videos you can pay to promote to a wider audience. They offer more flexibility in terms of video length and you can feature interactive elements including custom filters and lenses.

Learn From the Pros

Ace & Tate, a glasses company, used real customers in its ad campaign, which made the video feel particularly at home on Snapchat’s platform. The message of the video is simple and shows the benefit of using the company’s try-at-home service.

Specs for Snapchat Video Ads

Here are the ideal specs to ensure your video ads look their best:

  • Recommended Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16 or 16:9
  • File Type: .mp4 or .mov
  • Maximum File Size: 1 GB
  • Video Length: 3 seconds to 3 minutes long
cover graphic for Social Video Specs Guide
Get the Social Media Video Specs Guide cover graphic for Social Video Specs Guide Every different social platform has its own requirements for videos. Every single one is in this guide. Get the Specs

Best Practices for Snapchat Video Ads

Make the most of your video ad budget by sticking to these Snapchat video guidelines:

  • Start the Action Early: Get your viewers hooked right away by dropping them right into the action. The sooner you grab attention, the more likely viewers are to stick around to see the full video.
  • Feature Your Branding Right Away: Not everyone will watch your full video ad and that’s okay. You can still make an awareness play for viewers who drop off by including your branding within the first two seconds of the ad.
  • Stick to a Single Message: Simple creative works best for Snapchat video ads. Aim to get one clear and concise message across in your video, for maximum impact.
Learn From the Pros

McDonald’s used its #Snaplications campaign to attract new young workers to apply for opportunities at the chain. Young people could send a 10-second video explaining why they wanted to work for the burger joint, with a filter that put them in a McDonald’s uniform.

How to Measure the Success of your Video Ads

To track your campaign performance and learn from every execution, be sure to pay attention to these key Snapchat video ad metrics:

  • Total Impressions: The total number of times your ad was served up to users
  • 2-Second Video Views: The total number of times a user watched at least two seconds of video
  • 15-Second Video Views: The total number of times a user watched at least 15 seconds of video
  • Completions: The number of times your video was viewed to at least 97% of its total length
  • Average Screen Time: The average number of seconds users spent watching your video ad, across all paid impressions
Put Your Videos to Work Create, host, manage, and share your videos.
Sign Up Free

Phoebe Powell

Phoebe is a freelance copywriter and content strategist who writes for tech companies, startups, and nonprofit organizations. When not at her desk, you can find Phoebe cycling the streets of Toronto, checking out local breweries, or exploring Ontario's parks with her dog Pippy.

Record and send videos for free

Vidyard helps you create engaging presentations for clients, onboard new customers, keep your teammates in the loop, and more – all with video.

Learn More
900+ glowing reviews
10+ glowing reviews