So, you need to create an app install Snapchat ad but don’t know where to start? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll go over how to set up your campaign and a few quick tips and trick to optimize your campaign.

Snapchat campaign objectives

The Setup

Before you start creating your campaign, it’s best to think about who you intend to target and segment those audiences into categories. Snapchat has great audience categories you can choose, from lifestyles, shopping behavior and places they’ve physically visited.

Snapchat audience targets

Tip – As with any app campaign, it’s best to upload a list of users who have already installed your app and create a lookalike audience of current users. By excluding current app users, you’ll avoid spending on audiences who already have your app. With a lookalike, you’ll reach users who are similar to your current app users resulting in a lower cost per install. From my experience, it could take anywhere from 1 minute to 5 hours for the list to load and get ad approval, so upload these items ahead of time.

Once you’ve decided on your audiences, it’s a good idea to group these into categories. For example, Android vs iOS users, age buckets, bidding method (install vs swipe) and audience targets (lifestyle, shoppers, visitors etc.). The reason is, once you need to optimize campaigns, you’ll gain a better understanding which of these audience segments is the better performer.

Snapchat ad set examples

Tip – After you’ve finished creating your ad sets, it’s EXTREMELY important you closely review your ad sets targeting. You will not be able to make any targeting changes or add new creative after the ad sets have been set live.  You will, however, be able to change end dates, budgets and bids.


Suppose a couple of days have passed and the performance of your campaigns isn’t looking so great. What can you do?

Download an ad set report and segment your data by operating system, and any other audience targets you selected. Take notice of any ad sets that are performing well. Shifting budgets and increasing ad set bids by 10-20% will help increase your competitiveness. For poor performing ad sets, think about lowering their bids 20-30%.

For one of my client’s, we noticed 80% of iOS users installed the app and 79% of those users installed using the “App Install” bidding method at the lowest CPI possible. We allocated more budget to iOS users, increased bids 15% and paused all the iOS ad sets using “Swipe” as the bidding method since these were above CPI goal.

To further improve performance think about increasing your age range and broadening audience targeting. It’s possible you may find a niche audience. Who knew vegans and organic foodies could be a cost-efficient audience?