Apr 9, 2021

Snapchat analytics: How to analyze and optimize your paid campaigns

10-MINUTE READ | By Joy Huynh

Performance Marketing AnalyticsTools and Platforms

[ Updated Jan 31, 2024 ]

If you’ve been running paid Snapchat campaigns, you’ve probably accumulated a ton of data.

You’re holding the key to driving more conversions. Of course, only if you know how to make the most out of your data.

In this article, I’m going to show you the basics of Snapchat analytics. Keep on reading to find out:

Sounds good? Okay, let’s dive right into it. ?

By the way, this article is based on an episode of the Marketing Analytics Show we did with Duane Brown.

Psst, thanks to Duane, you can claim your $1000 of free Snapchat ad spend now.

The benefits of Snapchat analytics

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty of Snapchat analytics, let’s take a quick look at some ways your business can benefit from it.

Show the value of your Snapchat Ads

The biggest misconception about Snapchat is that it’s only a platform for gen Z. That’s why many brands, whose target audience is above the age of 25 or 30, often hesitate to get on the Snapchat bandwagon.

You can take your mind off the guesswork by running some experiments and let the results speak for themselves. Snapchat analytics helps you:

  • Measure the ROAS of your Snapchat ad campaigns
  • Compare the performance of Snapchat against other paid channels

Optimize your campaigns

The secret to running successful Snapchat ad campaigns is knowing what resonates most with your audience. Snapchat analytics helps you understand exactly which campaigns, creatives, or audience segments drive revenue.

For example, you can analyze your creatives to see what images, videos, or messages work best for prospecting. You can then double down on the best-performing creative combinations.

Reallocate your time and budget

If you’re running multiple paid campaigns, Snapchat analytics helps you track and monitor your campaigns’ performance. From here, you can decide in which campaigns you want to invest more time and budget.

What Snapchat Ads metrics should you track?

The answer is it depends — and for two reasons.

First, the metrics you track should depend on your business goals. 

For example, if you’re running a brand awareness campaign, you may care about impressions, reaches, and cost-per-impressions (CPM). But if you want people to download an app or fill out a form, it’s better to track app installs or form fills.

Second, unlike other platforms where you can optimize for purchases immediately, with Snapchat Ads, you gradually have to unlock your goals. 

So you start off optimizing for swipe ups then pageviews. Once you have 50 purchases on your website, you can optimize your campaigns for purchases. As a result, the metrics you should pay attention to also depend on the stages your campaigns are in.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most important Snapchat Ad metrics.

Ad performance metrics

The first thing to look at when analyzing your conversion data is definitely your ads. You need to create attractive and engaging ads to capture the audiences’ attention, encourage them to visit your website, and ultimately convert.

Here are some metrics you can use to measure your ad performance. ?

Impressions. The total number of times Snapchatters saw your ads.

Swipe ups. The total number of times people swipe up on your ads to view the attachments. A swipe up is equivalent to an ad click on Facebook or Twitter.

Swipe up rate. The percentage of people who swiped up on your ad.

Swipe up rate formula

A low swipe up rate can be a sign of ad fatigue —meaning your audiences are bored with your ads already —, irrelevant ads, or low-quality ads.

Here are some ideas you can use to increase your swipe up rate:

  • Make them look less like ads, i.e., filming with your phone or using UGC (user-generated content)
  • Include captions to your video ads
  • Convey the most important message and offer within the first 2-3 seconds
  • Make your call-to-action super obvious and visible
  • Experiment with different ad types such as videos, gifs, etc.
  • Test your creatives with different audiences

For video ads, you should pay attention to quartiles.

Quartiles. How many times people viewed your video ads, and for how long. Since Snapchat ads are skippable, it shows someone’s interest in your ad and/or your product when they spend time watching your video. You can measure the total watch time in:

  • 25% quartile. The total number of times someone viewed your ad to at least 25%.
  • 50% quartile. The total number of times someone viewed your ad to at least 50%.
  • 75% quartile. The total number of times someone viewed your ad to at least 75%.

Completions. The total number of times someone viewed your ad to at least 97%.

Conversion metrics

Depending on what type of business you’re in, you can choose different conversion metrics such as app opens, or app installs.

For example, if you’re in ecommerce, you may want to track:

Add to cart. The total number of times a Snapchatter adds an item to their cart on your website.

Started checkout. The total number of times a Snapchatter starts a checkout on your website.

Purchase. The total number of purchases made on your website.

Return on ad spend (ROAS). Your profit relative to your media spend on specific ad campaigns.

Cost metrics

It’s not enough to drive a ton of conversions. You need to drive profitable conversions.

There are some metrics that show you if you make more money than what you spent.

Cost per add to cart. How much you’re paying for each item added to a customer’s cart.

Cost per add to cart formula

Cost per started checkout. How much you’re paying each time a customer starts a checkout.

Cost per started checkout

When running a campaign, there will usually be some ads that encourage more purchase intent than others. You can track cost per add to cart and cost per started checkouts to see which ads drive high-quality traffic.

Additionally, these metrics are also good indicators of a profitable campaign. For example, you spend $100 for an ad that only drives two adds to cart. In that case, your cost per add to cart will be $50. And if your average order value is $60, the cost seems to be a bit high.

You can lower your cost per add to cart by:

  • Improving the product copy on your website
  • Improving the on-site experience, e.g., making sure your website is mobile-friendly since the majority of users use their mobiles to log into Snapchat
  • Making your call to actions super obvious

Effective cost per mille (eCPM). The average cost per thousand views.

Effective cost per mille (eCPM)

Effective cost per view (eCPV). The average cost per video view (for at least two seconds).

Effective cost per view (eCPV)

eCPM and eCPV are good metrics to track if you’re running brand awareness campaigns. People are unlikely to buy from brands they’ve never heard of before. So you need to get your campaigns in front of your target audience first.

Effective cost per swipe up (eCPSU) the average cost per swipe up.  You can think of it as cost per click.

eCPSU formula

Similar to cost per add to cart and cost per started check out, eCPSU also measures your campaigns’ profit. The higher your eCPSU is, the less profit margin you’re going to get.

How to analyze your Snapchat Ads data

Numbers without context mean nothing. That’s why it’s important to analyze your metrics and put them together in a report so you can tell a meaningful story with data.

For your inspiration, I’ll show you three helpful Snapchat Ads reports, including:

Snapchat Ads overview performance report

A great way to monitor your Snapchat Ads campaigns is to create an overview report. With it, you can easily track:

  • Your monthly/weekly ad spend and ROAS
  • Weekly/monthly trends that are worth noticing

Since building a report is always easier said than done, we’ve created a plug-and-play Snapchat Ads dashboard for Google Data Studio to get you started. ?

Snapchat Ads overview performance dashboard
Snapchat totals

Next, you’ll find a sparkline chart showing impressions and video views by month and year. You can easily identify trends that are worth noticing. Let’s say there’s a decline in October impressions. Is this a seasonal drop? Did you see this trend last year? Or perhaps, it’s time to spice up your ad creatives.

Impressions and Video Views by Month and Year

There’s also a map and pie chart showing impressions by country, age, and gender.

Impressions by country, age, and gender

Finally, there are two tables showing your top campaigns and top ads.

Top campaigns and top ads

From here, you can see:

  • Your best performing campaigns
  • Your best performing ads

With these insights, you can double down on the campaigns and ads that work and write off those that don’t.

I’ll tell you more about how you can use this template in a bit.

Snapchat creative performance report

Unlike other platforms like Facebook or Twitter, where you can include lots of texts around your ads, with Snapchat, you don’t have room for long copy. That’s why you need to work harder on your visuals to communicate what your product is and what it does.

A creative performance report helps you identify the creative combinations that work best.

Snapchat ad creatives report

For example, you can include metrics like cost, add to cart, started checkouts, and purchases in your report. These metrics tell you which ads drive relevant and high purchase intent traffic to your website. You can switch off the ads that bring low-quality traffic.

You can totally copy/paste your data into Google Sheets or Excel to build this report. But if you want to stay away from all the hassle, you can use Supermetrics.

Once you’re all set up, launch the Supermetrics sidebar.

Supermetrics Google Sheets sidebar

My query looks something like this.

Query example
  • Data source: Snapchat Marketing
  • Select accounts: enter the Snapchat account you want to pull data from
  • Select dates: choose the date range you wanna see the data from. You can either choose one of the preset dynamic date ranges or set your custom range
  • Select metrics: cost (EUR), add to cart, started checkout, purchase, cost per purchase
  • Split by dimensions: creative name, creative type
  • Options: Attribution window: 1 day view+7 day swipe

You can combine Snapchat Ads data with data from other platforms to create a paid channel mix report.

This type of report shows you:

  • An overview of your paid campaigns
  • The channels that bring in the most conversions
  • Your best campaigns per channel
  • Your budget allocation across channels

For example, this Data Studio report shows me my ad spend and impressions across Snapchat, Facebook, and Google.

Ad spend and impressions across Snapchat, Facebook, and Google.png

Here’s a detailed tutorial on how to blend data from multiple data sources in Google Data Studio.

Getting started with the Snapchat Ads overview performance template

If you’d like to try out the Snapchat Ads overview template, here’s how you can do that.

First, open the template. Then click on “Use template”.

Next, under the “New data source” field, click on the drop-down menu and choose “Create new data source.”

Create new data source

In the connector gallery, search for a connector called “Snapchat Marketing by Supermetrics.”

Snapchat Marketing by Supermetrics

Next, complete the two-step authorization and give Supermetrics all necessary permissions.

Psst, by authorizing your account for the first time, you’ll start a 14-day free trial of Supermetrics for Data Studio.

In this window, you should choose the Snapchat Ads account you want to get data from and the type of data you want to analyze, then click on “Connect”.

Connect Snapchat Ads account

Now, click on “Add to report” → “Copy report.”

And that’s literally it. Your Snapchat Ads overview performance report is ready to use. If you want to share the report with your teammates or clients, simply click on “Share” and enter their email addresses.

Over to you ?

It’s time to bring theory into practice. After reading this post, I hope you will think about different cases to analyze your Snapchat Ads data and the types of reports you want to build.

And if you want to bring your Snapchat Ads data to a spreadsheet, a data warehouse, or a BI tool, check out the 14-day Supermetrics free trial.

Happy reporting! ?

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