A Guide to Video Advertising on Snapchat

Snapchat has made it simpler for marketers to promote their brand, product or service. Finally! The social media platform recently introduced its new self-serve Snapchat video advertising feature. That means marketers can just head to Snapchat's website and buy a video ad. 


In the past, advertisers had to refer to Snapchat’s sales team or payout and ad partner to utilize the mobile app's API. The long process made it harder for brands to create ads on Snap. Also, the app is dead set on just using a vertical format. That forced marketers to build ad campaigns from scratch instead of repurposing content.


Snapchat is finally addressing said advertising hurdle through Snap Publisher. This is a browser-based tool for ad creation that anyone with access to Snap Ad Manager can use.

How to Advertise with Snap Publisher

Marketers can use Snap Publisher to automatically convert any image or video into a vertical video ad. To make the process even simpler, there's an option for brands to use photos and videos straight from their website.


If the brand doesn't have any photos or videos yet, the marketer can use any of the templates provided. These presets include pictures and videos of millennials doing the typical stuff they do. Think of taking selfies, hanging out with friends, or looking at their phones.


Snap Publisher’s most important feature is its crop tool. It is automatic, so ad creators don't have to wrestle with adapting to the app's vertical video format. Marketers don't have to spend time trimming top-to-bottom models of their existing horizontal video ads. Now, the mobile app will do the cropping and editing for them.


For the more techy marketers, Snapchat offers their downloadable computer vision technology. Through this program, they can learn the best way to turn a horizontal clip into a vertical one. The technology can also be used to trim and cut short snippets from a long video. That way, the clip's length is within Snapchat's 3-to-10-second range. Moreover, it may be helpful to identify focal points within the video. These will be to automatically pan-zoom the parts that the audience needs to pay attention to.


If marketers don’t like automated edits, they can either modify them manually or delete them to make their own version. They can also set the times for the video ad to pan from one area of the frame to another. They may zoom in and out on specific parts of the clip. These are called keyframes. They establish which part of the video will be in view. They also set when and for how long the pan will take effect. To edit and add a keyframe:


• Choose a focal point in the video.

• Use the viewfinder to adjust the part of the frame that will be in view.

• Create the action intended to highlight the focal point like zooming in on a person's face. 

• Proceed to other options like fading in and out of the frame or animation effects. 

• Save the edited video ad.


The keyframes give marketers control on editing horizontal videos. They also make it easy for them to use photos without worrying if the static images may not work in a video ad. For instance, the marketer can pan across various parts of an image, or from one picture to another to produce a slideshow.

Snap Publisher Templates

As mentioned above, Snapchat offers templates to make ad creation as effortless as possible. There are 13 templates, and each has placeholders for images, videos, logos, and text. Marketers can customize these elements based on the look and feel of their campaign. The Snap templates also differ in features. Some are photo slideshows. Others are videos that glide into a CTA. Snapchat sorts the templates by probable marketing goals.

Snapchat’s video advertising options are not the most sophisticated in the social media bunch. But with the attention of hundreds of millions of users at stake, it’s definitely worth using.

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