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TikTok Ads vs Snapchat Ads – Which Are Right For You? 

Selecting the right platform for your paid social campaigns is hugely important – but it can be difficult to know where to invest your marketing budget to maximise performance. 

TikTok and Snapchat are both established advertising networks, offering sizable audience reach, creative ad formats, and data-driven targeting options. 

But which partner is going to deliver optimal results for your brand? 

Where can you launch paid social campaigns that will connect with hot prospects, drive mass engagement, and generate cost-efficient conversions?

It’s time to put both of these social media platforms under the microscope and outline whether Snapchat ads or TikTok ads are right for your business. Let’s get started. 

As a specialist Snapchat ads agency we can help you with your campaigns just get in touch for a free consultation.

What are TikTok ads?

TikTok ads are served in and around the main feed of the TikTok app – they’re available in a wide range of formats, which can be leveraged to achieve different marketing objectives. 

TikTok places a heavy emphasis on short, snappy creative content that captures user attention, so if you want to run successful ad campaigns, you’ll need to bear this in mind. 

Basic video placements on the platform (e.g. In-Feed, TopView) can quickly generate impressive reach and frequency, helping marketers to reach a huge number of engaged users. 

For advertisers looking to make an impact on their target audience, more bespoke ad formats (e.g. Branded Hashtag Challenges, Branded Effects) can deliver colossal amounts of engagement – and even achieve viral fame. 

(Source: tiktok.com)

What are Snapchat ads?

Snapchat ads are full-screen placements that are delivered throughout different areas of the social media platform. They’re usually served between pieces of organic user content, which helps them to feel more engaging and authentic. 

There are several different ad formats available on Snapchat, but punchy short-form videos tend to deliver the best results on the platform. 

The Snapchat app is packed with video content from publishers, advertisers, and normal users, so it’s vital to produce creative assets that can stand out and drive engagement. 

Standard ad placements (i.e. Single Image or Video ads) can be highly effective for Snapchat brands, but eye-catching formats such as Sponsored Filters and AR Lenses can be leveraged to maximise creative impact. 

Snapchat filter

(Source: snapchat.com)

TikTok vs Snapchat – Audience Comparison

TikTok and Snapchat are both hugely popular advertising platforms. 

But how do they stack up in terms of audience size and scale?

Let’s start with TikTok. 

TikTok is a social media phenomenon, having rapidly gained immense global popularity since launching in 2016. This popularity has translated into a massive audience of loyal followers – the TikTok app currently boasts around 1bn monthly active users.

Number of TikTok monthly active users

(Source: statista.com)

As for Snapchat, the platform has steadily grown an impressive user base since first launching in 2011. 

The app currently attracts around 750 million monthly users, and although it can’t quite match TikTok in terms of sheer size, it still offers brands significant reach and scale. 

Number of daily active Snapchat users

(Source: statista.com) 

TikTok has achieved jaw-dropping growth in a relatively short space of time, building a user base that rivals (and even exceeds) established networks like Snapchat. 

However, it’s important to remember that Snapchat still offers access to a sizable audience for paid social advertisers. 

When you’re weighing up the right marketing platform for your brand, it’s also vital to think beyond audience reach. While scale is important, you should also consider user demographics, targeting options, and ad formats when you’re planning a new campaign. 

What are the pros & cons of TikTok ads? 

TikTok offers a huge number of benefits for digital advertisers, allowing brands to deliver exceptional results with their marketing budget. 

For one thing, TikTok provides marketers with unrivalled access to younger audiences. 

The platform is insanely popular with Gen Z and younger Millennials, so if you’re looking to connect with (and convert) young shoppers, TikTok is the place to be. Almost 40% of the TikTok user base is aged 18-24, and 71.3% of TikTok users are under the age of 34. 

Distribution of TikTok users worldwide

(Source: statista.com)

Despite the surging popularity of TikTok among both users and advertisers, many brands have also been slow to embrace the platform – which provides you with a golden opportunity. 

By adopting TikTok ads as part of your paid social strategy, you can access brand new audience segments and position yourself ahead of the competition. 

Many businesses are hesitant to leverage TikTok because it requires a solid understanding of specific content trends and user behaviours, but if you’re able to produce campaigns tailored to the platform, the results will speak for themselves. 

What about the cons of TikTok ads? 

However, although TikTok presents a range of valuable marketing opportunities, no platform is perfect.

If you want to succeed with TikTok advertising, you’ll need to constantly tap into the latest trends and content styles to stay relevant. While this can pay off massively for marketers, it can also be time-consuming, which is worth bearing in mind. 

On top of this, while the TikTok audience is growing and diversifying, it may not be the best network for reaching older shoppers. If you don’t have much interest in reaching Gen Z and younger Millennial users, you may be able to launch more efficient campaigns elsewhere. 

What are the pros & cons of Snapchat ads?

So what does Snapchat advertising bring to the table for digital marketers? 

For one thing, the platform offers a versatile range of ad formats that can be used to achieve a number of business objectives. 

If you’re keen to drive mass brand awareness, Single Image or Video ads can help you to effectively reach a huge number of Snapchat users with a simple message. However, if you’re more interested in generating cost-efficient conversions, then Collection ads are ideal for showcasing (and selling) your products. 

Snapchat ads are also designed to deliver sky-high levels of engagement, which is great for increasing familiarity with your brand and connecting with your target audience at scale.

Eye-catching placements like AR Lenses and Filters are built for interaction, and can rapidly drive incremental reach as users engage with and share them across the network. 

(Source: snapchat.com) 

What about the cons of Snapchat ads? 

One potential downside of Snapchat advertising is the sheer amount of content that you’ll be competing against, from publishers, users, and other marketers.

For example, the Snapchat Discover Page is absolutely packed with fresh content that’s constantly refreshing for users. 

If you want to stand out and drive engagement with Snapchat ads, you’ll need to ensure that your creative assets are highly impactful. It’s incredibly easy for your target audience to tap and switch between different videos, so if you’re not grabbing their attention within a couple of seconds, you may be lost in the crowd.

What are the differences between Snapchat ads and TikTok ads? 

Cost Comparison

When you’re planning a new paid social campaign, it’s important to understand how far your marketing budget can stretch. 

Let’s take a look at some average costs for Snapchat ads versus average costs for TikTok ads. While both platforms operate with slightly different pricing models, we can compare their average CPM to understand how much a campaign might cost. 

You can expect to pay a CPM of approximately $10 on TikTok, while Snapchat charges around $2.95 per thousand impressions. 

However, this does come with a couple of caveats. While TikTok’s CPM may seem expensive, its average CPC is actually relatively cheap, so you’ll need to weigh up the price of reaching your target audience with the cost-efficient traffic you can drive to your website. 

Snapchat costs can also escalate rapidly depending on the formats you’re using. Bespoke formats like Filters and Lenses can be very expensive, which is worth bearing in mind!

Your campaign costs will also fluctuate wildly depending on many variables, including your target audience, industry, bidding strategy, and ad quality. In saying that, if you’re working with a limited paid social budget, Snapchat may be slightly more accessible when it comes to running cheaper ad campaigns. 


It’s tricky to compare a potential ROI between Snapchat and TikTok because there’s no guaranteed return on investment for either network. 

A ‘positive’ ROI will vary depending on your optimisations, objectives, business type, and various other factors. 

However, what we can do is compare the average CTR for both Snapchat and TikTok as a proxy. The more clicks you can deliver with your ads, the more opportunities you have to generate conversions, meaning CTR is a solid indication of potential ROI. 

The average CTR for TikTok In-Feed ads floats around 1-3%, while Snapchat delivers a CTR of around 0.3-1.5%. 

Although there are certainly no guarantees when it comes to your campaign ROI, TikTok has a slight edge in this department. 

Targeting Options

The ability to accurately target your ideal customers is hugely important for social media advertisers. 

Fortunately, both TikTok and Snapchat are well-equipped in this category. 

Both platforms offer advertisers a range of pre-built audience targeting categories, allowing them to reach active users based on their demographic info, behaviours, and interests. 

These tactics can be highly effective, enabling brands to maintain scale while focusing on relevant prospects. 

However, some of the most powerful targeting options on Snapchat and TikTok come in the form of Custom Audiences. Both of these networks allow marketers to leverage their own data sources (e.g. pixel, customer lists, app activity) to build custom segments – these audiences have already engaged with a business and can be hugely profitable. 

Snapchat and TikTok both provide brands with a range of standard and custom targeting strategies, so this round ends in a draw. 


Maintaining a positive engagement rate is very important on social media. 

When your target audience frequently engages with your advertising, they become more familiar with your product offering and more likely to visit your website through a click or swipe. 

So which platform will deliver optimal results in terms of engagement? 

TikTok boasts an impressive engagement rate of 4.25%, making it one of the most engaging social platforms on the market.

Snapchat, on the other hand, is a little trickier to analyse in terms of engagements. While TikTok enables users to comment on, duet, and repost video content, Snapchat only permits viewers to share and swipe on videos. 

If you’re looking to maximise engagement through paid social advertising, TikTok provides you with more options to connect with your target audience. 

Ad Formats

TikTok and Snapchat are both equipped with a versatile range of ad formats that can be leveraged in creative ways. 

The following ad formats are available on Snapchat:

  • Single Image or Video ads
  • Story ads
  • Commercial ads
  • Collection ads
  • AR Lens ads
  • Filter ads 

While TikTok offers brands access to these paid formats:

  • Feed ads
  • Top View ads
  • Brand Takeover ads 
  • Branded Hashtag Challenge
  • Branded Effects

Both platforms allow brands to utilise more standard placements (i.e. Single Image/Video, In-Feed) as well as high-impact formats that are designed to grab audience attention. 

However, Snapchat has a slight edge in this category. 

AR Lens and Filter ads can help marketers to launch extremely impactful creative executions that often generate a lot of incremental reach. Although both networks encourage advertisers to get creative with their campaigns, Snapchat offers a few more tools that can enable marketers to stand out from competitors. 

Snapchat AR Lenses and Filters

(Source: snapchat.com) 

Campaign Features

Intuitive and intelligent campaign features are extremely useful for paid social advertisers – particularly if you’re new to the world of social media marketing.

Fortunately, both Snapchat and TikTok have you covered here. 

For example, TikTok and Snapchat both enable brands to launch dynamic ads that can be tailored to a user’s interests and behaviours. These ads can deliver insanely cost-efficient conversions, as they display products that potential customers are genuinely interested in. 

Both partners can also facilitate fully-automated bidding strategies, meaning you can rely on the platform algorithms to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of your ad budget. 

Ease Of Use

Snapchat and TikTok both recognise the importance of ad revenue, meaning these platforms are designed to be as convenient and accessible as possible for marketers. 

Even if you’re a brand new player in the paid social space, you’ll be able to get to grips with both of these networks relatively quickly. 

Both channels are built for simplicity, allowing you to plan, launch, and optimise ad campaigns quickly and easily. While TikTok may be slightly more streamlined (with fewer ad formats available), you’re unlikely to run into any major obstacles on either network.

Plus, both platforms offer dedicated support for advertisers, so you can always reach out with any pressing questions or concerns. 

Deciding which platform to use 

TikTok and Snapchat can both help advertisers to deliver exceptional results, grow brand awareness, and generate efficient conversions. 

So which is the right candidate for your next social media campaign? 

If you’re willing to stay up-to-date with the latest content trends, and you’re keen to connect with a younger demographic of shoppers, then TikTok offers an unmissable marketing opportunity. 

However, if you’re more interested in experimenting with creative ad formats to reach a broader demographic audience, then Snapchat can be a very solid option. 

It’s a tough choice. But if you have a healthy marketing budget, why limit yourself to a single paid social platform? 

Using TikTok & Snapchat ads in tandem

If you’re working with a decent paid social budget, then you can maximise performance by running campaigns across both TikTok and Snapchat.

Both of these networks offer a wide range of unique benefits and smart marketing tools, so if you can harness the power of both channels, you’ll quickly reap the rewards. 

(It’s just like they say – two social media platforms are better than one. Or something like that.) 

Below are just a few ways that you can effectively utilise Snapchat and TikTok ads in tandem: 

  • Apply cross-channel learnings (e.g. audience segments, product messages, CTAs) to improve performance across both networks.
  • Stay reactive with your budgets – don’t hesitate to shift money towards your best-performing tactics, but make sure both partners have sufficient spend 
  • Tweak your creative assets for each platform. It can be tempting to copy/paste your ads across the channels, but you’ll see vastly superior results with a tailored strategy.

Getting started with TikTok and Snapchat ads 

Keen to get started with your next TikTok or Snapchat ad campaign?

That’s what we like to hear. 

Just remember to prepare a few fundamentals before you start any paid social activity. Get a clear idea of your target audience, campaign budget, and primary marketing objectives – once you’ve established these, it’ll become much easier to launch an effective campaign. 

Click here to find out more if you’re looking for a Tiktok ads agency.

Handy resources for Snapchat and TikTok marketing 

Searching for some additional guidance to help you get ahead of the competition on Snapchat and TikTok?

Look no further. Below are some useful resources that will help you to maximise the impact of your campaigns and accelerate your business growth through paid social. 

How Much Do Snapchat Ads Cost?

How Do Snapchat Ads Work? The Quick Guide

TikTok ads vs Facebook ads – which is best for your brand?

Google Ads vs TikTok Ads – The Digital Marketing Showdown

Snapchat ads and TikTok ads can both be extremely valuable tools in your paid social marketing arsenal. 

If you have a budget that can accommodate campaigns on both networks, then you’ll be able to unlock the full potential of both channels. 

Just keep in mind the best practices for ads on both Snapchat and TikTok. While there are some similarities between these platforms, there are also some key differences in terms of audiences, ad formats, and campaign tools.

If you tailor your paid social marketing strategy to both of these networks, you’ll be driving mind-blowing results for your brand before you know it. Good luck!


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