Advertising on Snapchat and TikTok

This article provides an overview of two prominent social media platforms leveraged by younger Millennials and Gen-Z audiences. The platforms in question are Snapchat and TikTok, and the purpose of this piece is to analyze the various reasons for potentially incorporating each channel into your broader business marketing mix.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Section One: Snapchat
    • Snapchat Ads
    • Ideas for Creative and Exciting Ads
  • Section Two: TikTok
    • TikTok for Business
    • Marketing Tips
  • Final Thoughts


Knowing your target audience is the most crucial component of determining the best social media platform for your marketing campaigns. For example, if you are targeting a professional audience and B2B or B2C connections, LinkedIn is likely your best opportunity for advertising. Or, if your market encompasses all ages and your intent is to build relationships with your audience, Facebook can provide the right demographic. But what about the younger generations? The Millennials and Generation Zers?

Seventy-five percent of Snapchat users are under 34, and 60 percent of TikTok users are between the ages of 16-24. These two social media platforms serve the younger, yet still profitable, demographic members.

If this is your target market, and you decide to use Snapchat and/or TikTok to reach them, how do you attract your audience and monetize your content? In this blog, we dive deep to share information to help you determine how to use these platforms for your social media marketing campaigns. 


Established in 2011, the social media platform Snapchat was founded with the intent of communicating, messaging, networking, and creating content to be shared between friends through “snaps” — short videos and images lasting for the amount of time the sender chooses before disappearing from the receiver, never to be seen again. Snaps are shot directly from the app. Options to edit the snaps through selfie lenses, geofilters, text, and stickers enrich the sharing experience, increasing the appeal to users. Over three billion snaps post to Snapchat every day, and this number only continues to grow, especially during and following COVID-19 quarantines as people have used the app to stay connected with friends they haven’t been able to see in person.

In 2014, Snapchat began offering the opportunity to incorporate ads through the creation of the “Discover” page. Since then, the monetization of Snapchat ads has escalated exponentially. Sixty percent of the millennial and Gen Z Snapchatters are likely to buy goods and services they find through Snapchat ads. 

Much like in other social media advertisement, Snapchat offers advanced targeting capabilities through location, demographics, interests, and devices. It allows you to create custom audiences via Snap Audience Match, where you upload current customers’ information and target those customers on the app; Lookalike Audiences, which assists in targeting Snapchatters similar to your existing customers; Pixel Custom Audiences, which reaches those who have previously engaged with your website; and more. 

Implementing Snap Pixel allows you to track and retrieve data on how many Snapchatters browse and engage with your website after seeing your ads. This delivers real-time insights into your customers’ actions following their viewing of your ad, which educates you on the best way to achieve the highest ROI. 

Other methods of obtaining insights include Split Testing through Snapchat’s Ads Manager, which permits you to test your ad campaigns in order to see what resonates the most with your target audience. And Snapchat’s Audience Insights lets you see your ad engagement. Through this feature, you can create more relevant content to direct towards newly discovered audience segments. 

Once members of your target audience have viewed and engaged with your ad, retargeting is a brilliant way to remind them of your product or service and provoke them to reengage with you. Reengagement campaigns move potential customers from awareness to consideration, and later into purchasing your product or service, increasing your ROI. 

Creativity is at the core of the Snapchat platform. Snap, Inc., the company behind the social media platform, offers free Snapchat tools, such as Snapchat Publisher, which help you to build creative advertising content as well as repurpose existing marketing materials in an effective and inexpensive manner. Some creative tips for boosting ad engagement include choosing the proper ad format, making ads feel native to Snapchat in their length, and optimizing your ads for viewing

Some ideas for creative and engaging ads:

This image gives three examples of Snapchat ads.

• Incorporating a coupon in your snap. 58 percent of college students would be likely to purchase a brand’s product or service if they were sent a coupon on Snapchat.

• Utilizing other campaigns. Other marketing campaigns easily infuse within Snapchat marketing, such as incorporating influencer marketing into your mix. There is always a content creator who will match your niche in some form. 

• Creating a filter. Filters are images or logos that a person can add to their snap for a touch of creativity. Creating your own filter will increase your exposure to both your target audience and your target audience’s connections. 

Snapchat proves excellent in reaching the younger generation, but be wary. Once someone sees and closes a snap, the image or video is gone, unable to be retrieved. Therefore, investing the time and effort into making your ad as memorable as possible, instead of simply text over an image, is worth it. 


With over 1 billion users a monthTikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms among Millennials and Generation Z in the past three years, since merging with the app in 2018. The app is composed of videos that last from 15 seconds to three minutes. Features on the app include a “For You” page with suggested videos for the user, a “Discover” page with currently trending videos, and a page displaying people the user follows. 

TikTok differs from other social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Instagram. While those platforms are primarily focused on the sharing of images or texts, TikTok was designed for video sharing. This gives you a new channel to reach and engage with your audience, which can make the investment in the platform worth it for your brand. 

While still relatively new, TikTok For Business continues to grow, allowing paid advertisements to appear on someone’s feed. Options for paid advertisements include Branded Takeovers, In-feed videos, TopView, Branded Hashtag Challenge, and Branded Effects. Presently two budgets exist: daily or lifetime, each which can be altered throughout your campaign. Much like ads on other social media platforms, you can target your audience by gender, location, ages, interests, and more. Further, creating “Custom Audiences” and “Lookalike Audiences” to reach new audiences resembling your existing is an option as well. 

Other, more organic, means of elevating your business through the use of TikTok exist. For starters, you can create your own channel and upload relevant videos showcasing products, going behind the scenes, incorporating calls to action, etc. Another method is to collaborate with influencers to spread content to a broader range of audience. A combination of both is typically used. 

Some marketing tips for using TikTok include:

• Use relevant hashtags. Hashtags increase the reach of your content and follower count. Avoid generic hashtags which could cause your content to get lost — instead, aim to have it rise to the top of more niche categories. Also, avoid an abundance of hashtags when only a few are needed. 

• Follow current trends. Current trends are easily found on the “Discover” page or under the “Search” tool. Staying up to date on these trends and creating content which aligns with them boosts the likelihood of your videos being viewed, remembered, and spurring engagement.  

• Incorporate influencer marketing into your mix. Influencers play a key role in TikTok, rivaling Instagram in popularity. Collaborating with an influencer who aligns with your target audience can astronomically accelerate your reach. 

• Encourage engagement from viewers by sharing and commenting on others’ videos. The more engaged you are with other TikTokers, the more likely they are to become engaged with you. 

• Maintain a consistent posting schedule. To remain consistent is to remain relevant in the eyes of your viewers and followers. It keeps you on their timeline and increases their likelihood of engaging with you. 

Pay attention, and evolve your marketing strategy based on viewers’ responses. Do not get discouraged if a specific piece of content does not perform as well as expected. Instead, switch up your next video based on any lessons learned.

Much like Snapchat snaps, creativity is a crucial aspect to the creation of TikToks. Sharing creative content sparks conversation, educates, triggers emotion, and shows the authenticity of your brand. It improves exposure, which ultimately increases the probability of finding new customers and retaining existing ones. Implementing some of the same tactics as used in video marketing in shorter bursts while also adding some other elements specifically for TikTok elevates your video’s creativity and chances of exposure. 

Final Thoughts

Millennials and Generation Z are emerging as the next generation of consumers, a profitable market ready to engage with your brand. And you can reach them through the Snapchat and TikTok. Whether funding paid advertisements or creating your own content to be shared, the two social media platforms will help you reach and expand your younger target audience.

For more information or assistance with your social media marketing campaign, contact us