Tips from Ed Sheeran’s Perfect SnapChat Strategy

Snapchat launched in 2011 and has since become one of the most popular forms of social media and messaging worldwide, making CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel is now one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in social media. Snapchat has 347 million daily active users on average as of the second quarter of 2022. Around 48% of internet users in the United States between the ages of 15 and 22 were reported to use Snapchat, and it has a high satisfaction rate among users which ranked above both Twitter and Facebook but is ranked below Instagram and Pinterest. Users spend over 30 minutes each day on the app on average which gives various ads more exposure during their usage.

Types of Ads

Snapchat has various styles of ads which range from photos, videos, and augmented reality lenses, or sponsored geo-filters.

  1. Photo or video formatted Snapchat ads typically last between 3-10 seconds and have a call to action towards the bottom where you can swipe up for a link to the business.  These ads are beneficial because they can influence users to download apps, access product information, or explore sales pages from the link.
  2. Augmented Reality (AR) lenses are used to monetize a specific Snapchat interaction with a filter.  This creates engaging AR experiences that people can share with others.  These filters could be a face lens that recognizes facial features and places the brand’s filter on your face accordingly.  Additionally, there is a world AR lens that lets users see their environment from another perspective which will use location and map detection. 
  3. Sponsored Snapchat geo-filters are advertisements that users can place over a picture or video they took.  These ads must occupy only up to 25% of the screen, and these work well for branding by exposing the users to something that stands out from the brand.

Benefits from advertising on Snapchat

The benefits of advertisements on Snapchat include ease of creating and publishing ads, custom audience targeting, a brand-safe environment for businesses, and more.  Custom audience targeting allows brands to reach Snapchat users through demographics, interests, and location by specifying custom audiences.  Snapchat ads are also quick and easy to create, and Snapchat offers advanced and instantly create modes for ads allowing each business to determine how much they are willing to work on an ad based on their goals.  Snapchat also strives to cultivate a safe environment that allows a brand-safe environment for businesses.

Successful Ads by Ed Sheeran

Musical artist Ed Sheeran has had a number of successful Snapchat advertisements over the years to promote his new music and engage with fans. Because many of his fans are younger and in the demographics that use Snapchat, this was a prime app to market on. His advertisements primarily utilized the augmented reality Snapchat lenses.  By using augmented reality, the advertisements allowed fans to participate by taking their own videos using these filters and share them with their friends on Snapchat.  These advertisements were for songs including ‘Shape of You’, ‘Perfect’, and ‘Bad Habits’.

  1. The advertisement for ‘Shape of You was an augmented reality lens where people could put on a pair of sunglasses, have lights in the background, and listen to 30 seconds of Sheeran’s new song. Artists often give sneak peeks of songs, so fans quickly figured out that the new filter was a small section of Ed Sheeran’s new song.  The filter and portion of the song were rapidly shared between users on the app, and Sheeran’s song gained quick traction when it was released shortly after this advertisement.
  2. Sheeran’s advertisement for his song ‘Perfect’ debuted a world lens that featured Sheeran’s Bitmoji serenading you with the song.  Bitmojis are personalized cartoon avatars, and many Snapchat users have their own Bitmoji. This filter allowed people to take a video that showed Ed Sheeran’s Bitmoji singing his new single ‘Perfect’ to you while playing his guitar.  
  3. When Sheeran released one of his newest singles, ‘Bad Habits’, he advertised it by using another augmented reality lens that gave the user fangs.  The music video for ‘Bad Habits’ was a play on the nature of the habits of vampires, so the Snapchat filter referenced the vampire fangs from the music video. He advertised the filter on his Twitter and encouraged fans to “show their fangs” and share videos of themselves using the filter.  Fans quickly took to using the filter and shared videos of themselves with the filter across many different social media platforms.

Ed Sheeran has done multiple advertisements on Snapchat, and each advertisement has created traction for the artist and created great community engagement.  Additionally, the advertisements have allowed him to gain exposure to people in various demographics that may not have been aware of him before.  Time and time again, Sheeran has had successful advertisements on Snapchat, and that leaves no question as to why his team continues using the platform to promote new songs.

Tips for Advertising on Snapchat

  1. Provide swipe-up links that land correctly – If a brand uses a swipe-up link to allow users to reach their website, it is important that the link lands on the correct website.  
  2. Use shoppable AR lens feature – The shoppable augmented reality lens is a feature that allows users to view a product on a lens and then click a direct link to purchase the product.  This is beneficial because it allows potential customers to view the product details with ease after they virtually “try on” the product.
  3. Use audience insights – Using audience insights is also beneficial to brands because it allows brands to see who is viewing their advertisement as well as who is interested and clicks for more information on their advertisement.
  4. Add sound to the content – Adding sound to an advertisement sets the advertisement apart because it provides a unique flare to the content.


Based on the numerous brands that use Snapchat for marketing as well as the number of daily active users, Snapchat is a great tool to use for advertising. Brands who have not yet tried using Snapchat should consider advertising on Snapchat and utilizing tips from research to better their content.

Published by rbharbin

Hey! I am currently a student at Coastal Carolina University studying marketing.

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