Founded in 2011, Snapchat has grown to become one of the largest social media platforms. It focuses on sharing images or “snaps” and millions of people use it to connect with others, and share photos and videos of memorable experiences with their social circle.
The platform has many filters and options to enhance your images and videos. Users can’t save or share the images they receive, and once they’ve been viewed, the app deletes them, which provides users with complete privacy when sharing content on the site.
While the platform is known for its disappearing messages (10 seconds for private messages and 24 hours for Snapchat Stories), it also offers a lot of advertising features that allow brands to boost their visibility, increase traffic, and maximize conversions.
This includes things like Snap Stories, localized sponsored lenses, and dynamic ads. The platform also offers a broad range of calls to action (CTAs) to help you achieve different goals.
Best of all, Snapchat has extremely high engagement levels with the average user spending at least 30 minutes at a time shopping and socializing on the site.
With over half a billion monthly active users, this popular messaging app offers great opportunities for businesses and marketers who want to make money online.
Read the rest of this guide to learn how you can take advantage of Snapchat’s unique format to find effective ways to pull in cash on the site.
Can You Really Make Money on Snapchat?
Snapchat has an estimated revenue of $1.3 billion, which makes it a great place to earn money – mainly if you’re targeting younger audiences, such as Gen Zers.
You can earn money in a number of ways. One way is to promote your products or services in order to create income on the platform. For instance, you might choose to become an influencer, which means you’ll have to grow your following around a specific niche and then promote your product or service to that audience.
This is a fun way to engage with other like-minded people and attract new followers. You can use the app to follow trends and share images with helpful tips and insights for your audience as a way to grow awareness of your business.
The average income on Snapchat can differ widely, depending on factors like industry, number of followers, etc. However, influencers can expect to make between $10 and $100 per 1000 followers.
To get a creator account, you must have at least 100 subscribers on the platform. And since the majority of influencers are paid according to the number of followers they have, it’s a good idea to grow your Snapchat following to at least a few thousand followers before you can expect to earn a substantial income.
Remember, it all starts with amassing devoted followers so your activity can be seen. From there, it’s a matter of making the app work for you by publishing high-quality content to generate attention for your business pursuits.
Below I’ve listed the top ways to earn money on Snapchat. Keep in mind that while it’s possible to make money on the platform, it’s not necessarily easy. You’ll have to put in the work if you want to enjoy the rewards.
Best Ways to Make Money on Snapchat
1) Affiliate Marketing
Promoting affiliate products will help you create a source of passive income on the platform. Once you have followers on your Snapchat account, you can sign up to one of the many affiliate networks relevant to your niche, such as Amazon Associates.
Find products your audience will love and you can earn commissions by recommending these to your followers.
You can boost your affiliate marketing strategy by writing reviews. For instance, if you have personally used (and liked) a product, you can tell your followers all about it. Show the benefits of using the product or service and add an affiliate link to the product within your review.
2) Sell Your Own Products or Services
On Snapchat, the majority of users are inclined to make impulse purchases on the app. What’s more, a third of shoppers share snaps of the products they would like to purchase, giving brands even more visibility and broader reach.
This means that there are great opportunities for you to sell your own products on the platform. You can create your own products, whether digital or physical and sell them on the app.
This can be anything, such as:
- Digital books
- Video courses
- Music lessons
…and so on.
But, for this to succeed, it’s vital that you promote the right items that are relevant to your audience. Make sure you develop a specialty in your niche. For example, your specialty can be self-improvement, photography, vegan recipes, etc.
In such a case, running paid Snapchat campaigns for your business is a great plan for increasing sales.
Promoting your business in this way presents you with a lot of possibilities, but to get the biggest impact from your campaigns, you must get creative. The platform has a variety of ad formats that offer you great options for engaging users in unique ways (more on that below when we look at some tips for increasing your earnings on Snapchat).
3) Earn with Sponsored Content
This method is somewhat similar to affiliate marketing and involves advertising the products or services of brands you support.
A lot of companies are constantly looking for influential social media users who can help them attract the attention of their target users.
The opportunity to work with brands often comes after you’ve gained a large enough (and engaged) following.
Brands will propose to compensate you with cash or merchandise in exchange for marketing their products or services to your fan base. Just make sure you only endorse products or services that you believe in.
By advertising for big brands, you stand to not only earn thousands of dollars from a single post, but you also get to provide your fans with great recommendations of products that you actually like and/or use.
4) Send Traffic to Your Site
In case you can’t get people to purchase your product right away, it’s a good idea to try and capture their email details so you can get them on your subscriber list and start nurturing them. Eventually, you’ll get another opportunity to convert them into paying customers.
You can direct people from Snapchat to your website where you have a landing page designed specifically to capture their details in exchange for something valuable, such as a discount, or access to premium content.
Choose any lead magnet that is relevant to your audience and provides massive value. This way, you’ll be able to increase your conversions and get as many visitors as possible on your email list.
5) Get Featured on Snapchat Spotlight
Although it’s last on the list, this is actually a great way to make money on Snapchat. After realizing the growing popularity of the platform, Snapchat decided to launch a new feature, Snapchat Spotlight, which works similarly to TikTok or Instagram Reels.
Users can upload short, engaging videos and viral videos have the potential to reach a lot of users on the platform – not just their followers or those looking at a particular location on SnapMap.
In addition to the increased exposure, creators also get an opportunity to win their share of $1 million paid out by Snapchat every day.
This feature is great for both influencers and brand new creators because it provides both of them with equal opportunities for getting their viral moments and making money from a single video.
Here’s how to get started with Snapchat Spotlight:
- Create the snap
- At the top of your “Send To” screen, select “Spotlight”
- Tap the arrow to submit your snap
That’s how easy it is to upload your content to Spotlight. However, you must ensure that your content meets a few basic guidelines, which are as follows:
- The snap must be a vertical video, with sound, up to 60 seconds long.
- All videos must have a topic (this is basically a hashtag)
- Videos need to be appropriate for a 13+ audience
- Snaps cannot be sponsored or promotional
- The following snaps aren’t allowed: gambling, tobacco, controlled substances, weapons, and underage/excessive alcohol consumption.
Important Note: Spotlight has a lot of similarities to TikTok, but there are some noteworthy differences that you must be aware of. For example, Spotlight Snaps don’t come with a public comments section, which means you don’t get interaction with viewers.
Also, user profiles are set to private by default (although users can adjust the settings to make their profile public). This is a great feature that ensures that private Snapchat users can submit videos without making their accounts public.
One of the biggest earners on Snapchat Spotlight, Sarah Callahan (better known as Sarati) offers these tips for earning big on Spotlight:
- Post daily
- Format videos to fit the screen
- Use the sounds in Spotlight
- Stand out and avoid doing what everyone else is doing
- Make the first couple of seconds of your video as engaging as possible
- Put a sticker or text on your video to get people’s attention.
Bonus Tip: Ad Revenue Sharing
Snapchat recently launched a program that allows select users to share in the platform’s ad revenue generated from ads in their Snap Stories.
Right now, this program is only open to the platform’s most prominent creators, also known as Snap Stars. The program is still in beta and while there is no set timeline for when it’s going to be available to smaller creators on Snapchat, users are hopeful that will be progress by the end of the year.
Keep in mind that Snap Stars is a different designation from the gold star on your Snapchat profile, which you get when you verify your account.
Important Note: Snapchat has no publicly released data about how much revenue is shared in this program. As a reference point, creators, and YouTube get 55% of ad revenue and TikTok doesn’t offer at sharing as one of the many ways to make money on the platform.
Who Are the Highest Earning Snapchat Accounts?
DJ Khaled (Khaled Mohamed Khaled) is a DJ, radio personality, record label executive, and record producer from Miami. This personality never fails to entertain and regularly shares tips and advice on how to succeed in life.
His popularity has a lot to do with his witty one-liners and clever use of the emojis that allow him to turn even normal everyday activities into hilarious content for his huge Snapchat audience.
Each time he posts, he gets up to 4 million views, which has led to him becoming known as the king of Snapchat. His secret, in his words, is to “Always be authentic”.
After noticing how popular her pimple popping Instagram posts were, Dr. Sandra Lee started posting content to all the social media accounts, including her YouTube channel and Snapchat.
Although some of her pimple popping, cyst removal, and skin extraction videos are hard to watch, she has become a viral sensation with a huge following who find her stories an oddly satisfying type of entertainment.
In fact, her social media accounts became so popular that she was offered her own TV series, Dr. Pimple Popper on TLC.
According to Forbes, this Snapchatter earned $1 million in three months on the app’s reward program for users who master the new product, Spotlight.
Launched in November 2020, Snapchat Spotlight is the primary way that the majority of people make money on the platform right now.
Users submit their best videos for the opportunity to earn their share of $1 million each day. Earnings are determined using factors like the number of views, engagement, etc.
All the Snapchat creators mentioned earlier make money with Spotlight, and it’s all due to their viral videos.
7 Tips to Earn the Most Money on Snapchat
While everyone can earn money on Snapchat, only a select number of people earn the majority of the income on the platform.
In order to achieve this, they follow best practices like the ones listed below. This helps them create content that is personal, authentic and resonates with their audience, providing them with effective ways to maximize their earnings on the platform.
1) Use Snap Ads
A great way to earn more money on Snapchat is to create descriptive ads. Users on the platform are hesitant to leave the app. This means that you must let them know exactly what they are getting themselves into if you want them to navigate away from their inbox.
That’s where descriptive ads come in. Have a clear and concise description of what shoppers will get when they click through. You can use discounts to encourage them to take action and ensure that they know exactly where they will be redirected if they swipe up.
Just make sure that you showcase your product right away. Your product should be clearly visible in any of your posts or ads, otherwise, there’s a good chance your audience will swipe to the next story and completely forget about you.
The best part about this is that Snapchat has a built-in ads manager that’s designed for ease of use.
It has a simple and intuitive interface that lowers the barrier to entry for beginners looking to start making money using ads on Snapchat. Within minutes, you can create your account, set up a payment method, and be ready to hit the ground running.
Snapchat offers several different ad formats including:
- Filters (artistic overlays)
- Single image/video ads
- Story ads (these are a series of ads)
- Commercials (up to three minutes long)
- Lenses (interaction with augmented reality)
- Collection ads (a series of products)
Ads can be used for a variety of purposes, including selling eCommerce products, driving app installs, attracting clicks to a website, or driving foot traffic to local businesses.
2) Leverage Geofilters to Attract Local Users
If you want to capture local audiences to your physical store,, or if you want to expand your reach to a specific region, ciry, or town, you can use the platform’s geofilters. To do this, follow these steps:
- Toggle your Location Services to “On” for the Snapchat app
- Tap the settings icon in Snapchat and select the “Manage” option
- Enable geofilters by toggling Snapchat Filters on, which will enable geofilters
You can use this method to serve location-specific ads to your target audience. For example, you might run a discount for users who shop in Los Angeles or drive customers to your brick-and-mortar store in Atlanta.
Starbucks used this method successfully by creating a fall-themed sponsored geofilter that was only displayed to users near a Starbucks.
When using this tactic, make sure any sponsored geofilters you use are actually interesting for users.
Simply adding your brand name or logo to a filter won’t get much use. Rather, add appealing images, and fun layovers, or take a leaf out of Starbucks’ page and add exciting holiday-themed filters that will get your audience to notice your content.
On Snapchat, the more fun you make your geofilters, the more likely it is that users will use the filter and share your snap with their own social circles.
3) Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC)
Another powerful way to earn more on Snapchat is to use UGC as part of your marketing strategy.
According to recent studies, 55% of consumers state that they trust user-generated content more than any other form of advertising. It makes users feel more secure when making purchasing decisions which is why you should use it to land more sales.
Snapchat’s organic nature lends itself well to this type of content, including customer reviews, videos, and photos of users enjoying your products and services. Whenever you have a chance to let potential customers hear from the experiences of your past shoppers, it can greatly enhance your marketing strategy.
4) Sponsored Lenses and Posts
Sponsored lenses and posts have been shown to be more memorable and therefore more effective for increasing business sales compared to other channels.
This strategy is particularly useful for helping to promote your consulting or coaching services. If you have this type of business, such as a life coach, fitness trainer, business consultant, etc., Snapchat can help you create more interest in the services you provide.
First, you must get to know your target audience so you can connect with the right people to optimize and lead generation efforts. You can then invite people to join you on Skype for consultancy and coaching services.
Creating branded lenses on Snapchat is easy, and the platform can create designs with your products and logo when you outline your business goals. The audience will then see and share the lenses with others in their social circle, giving you even more exposure for your business.
This strategy is used by a lot of powerful brands like L’Oreal and Michael Kors as a way to increase sales and rates.
Here’s an example of how Dunkin’ Donuts uses lenses and filters as an effective and fun way to get users to engage with the brand.
5) Use Snapchat Premium
Although many content creators argue that Snapchat premium doesn’t offer much more than a regular account, it does have a feature that allows you to lock your content, which means that anyone who wants to access it has to pay.
This can be a great way to increase your earnings on the platform by encouraging your followers to pay a biweekly, monthly, or annual subscription fee to get exclusive content from you.
Many influencers make use of this feature. Some use it to post adult content, but a lot of others are using it in regular niches as a way to provide premium content to their followers.
6) Boost Your Followers
To make more money on Snapchat, you obviously have to increase the number of people who follow you. In order to achieve this, you have to focus on different things, including content quality, post frequency, originality, engagement, etc.
You have to be active on the platform and most importantly, you must engage with your audience so you can discover ways to create even more content that resonates with them.
A very effective, yet underutilized tactic for boosting your followers on Snapchat is to network on message boards. Social media message boards allow you to share information with other members, giving you the perfect opportunity to build your brand on Snapchat.
Another tactic is to connect with other social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, etc.
There, you’ll have the opportunity to attract even more people to your Snapchat account. Use your SnapCode in as many places as possible to get as many people as you can to start following you on Snapchat.
Pro Tip: Pay Attention to Audience Insights.
The platform’s internal analytics dashboard will provide you with all the information you need to know about your follower demographics, interests, location, devices used, and much more.
With this information in hand, you’ll have the insights you need to create better content that users are more likely to engage with.
7) Connect with Influencers
One of the best ways to increase your earnings on Snapchat is to partner with influencers or create your own affiliate program.
The platform can be hit and miss for most users since it doesn’t provide much support or features for content creators. However, if you find relevant accounts, you can partner with them to promote your products or services and reach new audiences through a credible and trusted source.
Alternatively, you might try affiliate marketing by offering your customers and influencers special links that they can use to recommend your products to their audience and earn commissions for any sales generated.
Summing Things Up
I hope this guide has helped you understand how you can turn Snaps into cash. Snapchat continues to grow year on year, which makes it a powerful social media app that you can leverage to get better results for your business starting right now.