5 Practical Tips to Optimize Your Videos for Snapchat
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Optimize video length for Snapchat
  2. Use vertical video format
  3. Engage with text and graphics
  4. Add a call to action
  5. Test and analyze performance

With billions of daily active users, Snapchat is a platform that shouldn't be overlooked when it comes to video marketing. However, making your videos stand out and perform well on this platform can be a bit tricky. That's why we've put together this handy guide on how to optimize videos for Snapchat. Whether you're a small business owner trying to reach a new audience, or an individual looking to boost your Snapchat game, these practical tips will help you make the most out of your Snapchat videos.

Optimize video length for Snapchat

When it comes to Snapchat, the length of your video matters—a lot. Unlike other platforms where longer videos might be more engaging, Snapchat is all about quick, snappy content. So, how short should your Snapchat videos be?

Perfect Length for Snapchat Videos

While Snapchat allows videos up to 60 seconds, the ideal length is much shorter. In fact, the Snapchat sweet spot is around 3 to 5 seconds. Here's why:

  • Attention Span: Remember, Snapchat users are typically scrolling through quickly. A shorter video is more likely to hold their attention.
  • Engagement: Shorter videos tend to have higher engagement rates. That means more likes, shares, and comments—which can help your video reach even more people.

Of course, there are always exceptions. If you're telling a compelling story or offering valuable information, a longer video might be appropriate. But, as a general rule, aim for that 3 to 5-second mark.

How to Keep Your Videos Short and Sweet

Creating engaging, impactful content in just a few seconds might seem like a challenge. But with a bit of planning and creativity, you can make it work. Here are a few tips:

  1. Focus on One Key Message: You don't have much time, so get to the point quickly. What's the one thing you want viewers to take away from your video?
  2. Make the First Second Count: If you don't grab the viewer's attention in the first second, they're likely to keep scrolling. Use bold visuals, powerful words, or interesting sounds to hook them right away.
  3. End with a Bang: Just as it's important to start strong, you'll want to end your video on a high note. This could be a funny moment, a surprising fact, or a compelling call to action—anything that leaves a lasting impression.

By optimizing your video length for Snapchat, you're already taking a big step towards creating content that resonates with your audience. But remember, this is just the start. Keep reading for more tips on how to optimize videos for Snapchat.

Use vertical video format

Another key factor in how to optimize videos for Snapchat is the format. Snapchat is a mobile-first platform, meaning most users are accessing it from their phones. And how do people typically hold their phones? Vertically!

The Importance of Vertical Video

By shooting your video in a vertical format, you're making it easier for viewers to engage with your content. They don't have to turn their phone sideways or squint at a tiny, horizontal video. Instead, your video fills the screen, grabbing their attention and making a stronger impact. Here's why vertical video is a must on Snapchat:

  • Full Screen Experience: Videos shot in vertical format take up the whole screen on a smartphone, providing a more immersive viewing experience.
  • User Convenience: Since users typically hold their phones upright, vertical videos are easier and more comfortable to watch.
  • Better Engagement: Because of the reasons above, vertical videos tend to have higher engagement rates on Snapchat.

How to Shoot High-Quality Vertical Videos

Okay, so you're convinced that vertical video is the way to go. But how do you make sure your vertical videos look good? Here are a few tips:

  1. Use the Right Equipment: Many smartphones today are capable of shooting high-quality vertical videos. However, if you're using a camera, you might need to invest in a special mount or tripod.
  2. Plan Your Shots: Shooting vertically means you have less horizontal space to work with. Plan your shots accordingly to ensure important elements aren't getting cut off.
  3. Consider Your Background: With less horizontal space, your background becomes more important. Make sure it isn't distracting and adds to the overall feel of the video.

By using the vertical video format, you're aligning your content with the way users naturally interact with their phones. This can lead to a significant increase in engagement and overall performance of your Snapchat videos. So grab your phone, turn it upright, and start shooting!

Engage with text and graphics

When considering how to optimize videos for Snapchat, it's important to remember that Snapchat is a highly visual platform. Beyond just your raw video content, you should also think about how you can enhance your videos with text and graphics to make them more engaging.

The Power of Text Overlays

Adding text overlays to your Snapchat videos can help communicate your message more effectively. Not everyone has their sound on when they're scrolling through Snapchat, so text can ensure your message gets across. Here are some ways to utilize text in your videos:

  • Captions: If there's dialogue in your video, consider adding captions. This makes your video accessible to those who are hard of hearing or viewing in a noisy environment.
  • Headlines: Use bold, brief headlines to grab attention and quickly convey what your video is about.
  • Annotations: Highlight key points or interesting facts in your video with short pieces of text.

Get Creative with Graphics

Graphics can add a whole new layer of interest to your Snapchat videos. They can make your video more visually appealing and help to reinforce your message. Here's how to use graphics effectively:

  1. Stickers and Emojis: Snapchat offers a wide range of stickers and emojis that you can add to your videos. Use them to add personality and fun to your content.
  2. Filters: Snapchat's filters can modify the look and feel of your video, helping you to create a certain mood or theme.
  3. AR Lenses: Augmented reality lenses can transform your video into something truly unique and engaging. They're a great way to get creative and stand out on Snapchat.

By effectively using text and graphics in your Snapchat videos, you can create content that is not only entertaining but also communicates your message in a clear and engaging way. So don't be afraid to get creative and let your personality shine!

Add a call to action

Another important tip on how to optimize videos for Snapchat is to include a clear call to action (CTA). A CTA guides your viewers on what step to take after watching your video. It could be anything from visiting a website, making a purchase, to simply swiping up for more content.

Why Calls to Action Matter

Without a CTA, your viewers might enjoy your video but then continue scrolling without taking any further action. That's why CTAs are so important: they guide your viewers towards meaningful engagement with your brand. It's about turning passive viewers into active participants.

Tips for Creating Effective CTAs

Creating a compelling CTA involves more than just telling your viewers what to do. It's about motivating them to take action. Here are some tips to help you craft effective CTAs:

  1. Be clear and specific: Your viewers should know exactly what they need to do and what they'll get in return. For example, instead of just saying "Swipe up," you could say "Swipe up to get 20% off your first order."
  2. Create urgency: Encourage viewers to act quickly by making your CTA time-sensitive. You could say something like "Swipe up to claim your discount before it's gone!"
  3. Use persuasive language: Words like "discover," "get," and "try" can make your CTA more appealing. For example, "Discover our new collection—swipe up now!"

Remember, your CTA should be a natural extension of your video content. It should feel like the logical next step after watching your video, not an abrupt or unrelated request. With a well-crafted CTA, you can drive higher engagement and more meaningful interactions on Snapchat.

Test and analyze performance

Finally, the last step in learning how to optimize videos for Snapchat is testing and analyzing your video's performance. Without this step, it's like shooting arrows in the dark. You need to know whether your video is hitting the mark or not.

Why Testing and Analysis Are Important

Testing and analyzing allow you to see what's working and what's not. You can get insights into viewer behavior, video engagement, and much more. Armed with this data, you can make informed decisions about future videos.

Key Metrics to Monitor

When it comes to Snapchat video performance, there are several key metrics to keep an eye on:

  • Views: This tells you how many people are actually watching your videos. A high number of views suggest your video is reaching a large audience.
  • Completion rate: This metric shows the percentage of viewers who watch your video till the end. A high completion rate indicates that your video is engaging and holds the viewer's attention.
  • Swipes: This is the number of people who swipe up on your CTA. It's a good measure of how effective your CTA is.

How to Analyze Your Results

Once you have your data, it's time to analyze it. Look for patterns and trends. For example, if you notice that your videos with subtitles have higher completion rates, you might want to add subtitles to all your future videos. Or if your videos that include a special offer in the CTA get more swipes, you might want to include more special offers in your future CTAs.

Remember, the goal of analysis isn't just to gather data. It's to turn that data into actionable insights that can guide your Snapchat video strategy.

If you enjoyed these practical tips to optimize your videos for Snapchat, you'll definitely benefit from the workshop 'Level Up Your Videos on Social Media' by Carolyn Edge. This workshop will help you create engaging and optimized videos, not only for Snapchat but for other social media platforms as well. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from a pro and take your social media content to the next level!