Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc. announced that it has officially launched a new self-serve advertising tool. This is a big step forward for the social media platform, which until recently, required potential advertisers to work with partners or the platform itself. Now, advertisers can create and run ads by using a completely new and intuitive dashboard. It should look familiar to anyone who has experience with similar tools on other social media platforms.

Getting started

Getting started with the platform is a quick and easy process. It only requires filling out a short sign-up form on Snapchat’s advertising website. The form asks for information about the company that will be advertising, its official representative who will be running the ads and an estimated budget. Once this information is provided, one can directly move to planning Snapchat advertising campaigns.

Ads in just a few steps

The campaign creation process starts with choosing an objective — from growing awareness to driving app installs or traffic to a website. Then you go through the basic set-up of a campaign, including budgeting and targeting. The later includes some interesting options, like lifestyle categories, which make use of data collected by the platform, to extend the range of available targeting choices. This lets advertisers reach specific users interested in certain types of content. For example, you could target users interested in NASA’s official channel with your tech or science content.

Get creative (with help)

After completing the planning phase, one last important step is required — uploading an ad to the platform and clicking the “Launch campaign” button. This is also the point where things might get tricky.

On other social media platforms, a fancy image with accompanying text and a link can be enough to start a campaign. However, Snapchat’s video requires some more skills. The platform is aware of this issue and is trying to help users by launching a new browser-based tool called Snap Publisher. It should be available in June and will feature templates and solutions that enable users to build their ads without any trouble.

Soon, other options will be available, including tools for importing brand assets and combining them with pre-made Snapchat assets, converting horizontal videos into vertical videos, adding motion to photos and even running A/B tests. Snapchat says that with the help of the new tools, it will be possible to create Snap Ads in as little as two minutes. In this way, the social media platform is trying to reduce the barrier to entry for smaller companies that may not have the in-house resources needed to prepare great ads like bigger brands.

As though this is not enough, Snapchat also announced that it will run a Certified Partners program. Its aim is to provide in-depth training to potential advertisers who want to make the most out of already existing and just-announced tools.

With an audience of over 150 million daily users, many of whom are millennials, Snapchat is undoubtedly an attractive platform for advertisers. New tools should make the platform an equally inviting place for brands planning their campaigns, but it will take some time to see if Snapchat’s latest moves will prove to be successful.