make money off snapchat

A step by step guide on creating sponsored content on Snapchat

If a brand wants to talk to millennials then it makes sense to go where they are and they are definitely on Snapchat. It is set to grow in to one of the biggest platforms (in my opinion) and smart brands have already jumped on the Snapchat bandwagon. I really don’t think brands should be wasting their time with their own channels (I feel so strongly about this that I even wrote a piece for Memeburn on why brands would be dumb to set up profiles). However, I think not being on Snapchat is an even worse mistake. Which is why smart brands should (and already are) be working with content creators on the platform.

Creating sponsored content on Snapchat is something many smart influencers are doing. Internationally, Snapchat superstars have risen up through the ranks and partner with brands to make fun and entertaining stories for their audience that also create awareness around the brand or product they’ve been commissioned by. I’ve been watching a lot of these Snapchat stories and think I’ve been able to create a guide to help you with creating sponsored content on Snapchat. Here’s how:

Step 1: Perfect the pitch

creating sponsored content on Snapchat

If you’re a Snapchat superstar you’re likely already being approached by brands and know how to work it. However, if you have a strong following on another platform and utilise Snapchat as a second medium then you will need to ensure you pitch the use of Snapchat properly. In rising markets like South Africa, Snapchat is still rather new and our users are not at superstar level yet. This means they need to incorporate the platform in to a bigger marketing campaign rather than as a stand alone channel.

Incorporate your Snapchat as a “value add”. Maybe you’ve been commissioned to create a blog post, film a YouTube video or take a photo for Instagram. Why not offer your Snapchat channel as an added extra? If I’m asked to attend an event and blog about it or use a product, I like to add a Snapchat story to the mix. For brands a bit nervous about the new network, this sets their mind at ease, they get what they know and then can also experiment with something new. You’re also able to still guarantee them the coverage they expect and not stress too much about your smaller following not delivering on Snapchat.

Step 2: Show don’t tell

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We’re all guilty of it but no one cares about the freebies you got or watching a product come out of the box (unless unboxing videos are what you’re known for). Aspiring writers are always told in writing classes and in how to articles to try show with their writing, rather than tell. Painting the picture is far more effective if you’re attempting to create engaging content – whether you’re using the written word, images, video or Snapchat! Before you create a story, ask yourself:

Do I care?

Would you care if a beauty blogger got a free lipgloss and video’ed it coming out the box? Or would you like to see her using the lipgloss and documenting her day (eating, talking etc) to see how long it lasts?

One of my favourite sponsored Snapchats was one done leading up to the launch of Sphero’s BB-8. Three Snapchatters (Chris Carmichael, Shaun Shonduras and Jerome) were given a BB-8 the day before the toy launched and each sent to a different country (Chris went to Ireland, Shaun was in London in the UK and Jerome was in Paris, France). Each of them explored their city using the BB-8. The stories were fun because us viewers got to see the BB-8 in action and its different features but we also got to experience new cities through the eyes of our favourite Snapchatters.

branded content on snapchat

Another piece of sponsored content came from Shaun Shonduras. He was sent a pair of Soft Science sneakers that were touted to be the most comfortable sneakers yet. We saw them come out of the box and Shaun told us about the claim. He decided to put them to the test. He put the sneakers on and then designed the most comfortable shoes for his friend in the form of Pillow shoes (they strapped pillows to his feet). The pair went on an outdoor adventure in the snow. There was snow wrestling, jumping off things and a host of other activities putting the sneakers to the test. It was extremely funny to watch and entertaining. I’m a sneaker fan so straight after watching the story I visited the Soft Science website to see what all the fuss is about.

Remember, sponsored content is not an advertorial. Your audience comes first. Show us why we should be interested in a product don’t tell us (because its boring!).


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Make sure that you know exactly what the brand expects from your campaign. Before you give them an idea ensure you know what their end goal is. It might be awareness, maybe it is app downloads or it possibly is a sales conversion. Tailor your content around that and make sure the story you’re coming up with will help the brand achieve their goals…. else you won’t be hearing from them again.

Step 4: Plan. Plan. Plan.


If someone is handing you cash or a product and has stipulated a Snapchat story make sure you have a comprehensive plan in place. Write it down, design a storyboard and submit it to the brand to make sure it is in line with their requirements. Word of warning though – do not let them dictate the content. Discuss, debate and meet in the middle but be wary of brands who respond to your storyboard saying: “but you must say xwy” or “we want a shot of you doing such and such with the product” and the like. You know your audience. Your audience knows you. It’s imperative that the content in your snaps is originally you or your audience will get annoyed. Some money once in awhile is nice, but consistent and loyal viewers is far nicer (trust me).

Step 5: Report back.

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When you’re done with your story make sure you report back to your client. You can download a full Snapchat story to your phone and attach it as an email. Don’t expect the brand to view it on Snapchat. They’re busy! You can also upload the downloaded story to a Tumblr account which makes it far easier to share. I did that here:


Alternatively, I told you about Slinger recently. This is such a fab app to use as a means to upload and store your content. You can then share it with the brands from the app. Easy! Also remember to set your alarm for 5 minutes before the 24 hour Snapchat expiration and screen grab your views. This shows the brand how many eyeballs were on the content and this is VERY important.

One last thing

Every time you work with a brand you become a brand ambassador for every other Snapchat user attempting to monetise their content and platforms. When you do a bad or half hearted job you don’t only create a bad impression for you but also for Snapchat as a platform as well as other users. Be honest and open. We’re a community and need to ensure we have the best interests of our audience and other Snappers at heart.

If you have any questions or found this post helpful please let us know in the comments below. I’m trying to decide if we should do similar styled guides in the future. 


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