Snapchat is certainly getting way more popular than ever before. What started as somewhat “difficult to understand” video sharing app which was populated more by teenagers, now definitely goes mainstream in higher age groups too. With hundreds of millions of daily users and billions of daily views, Snapchat is going to stay around long and gain much more attention both from people and businesses.
Advertising on the platform is getting more useful and quite creative too. Besides content marketing and video advertising in the app, marketers now have another interesting advertising tool – Snapchat Geofilters.
At certain places Snapchat allows its users to use Geofilters – fun illustrations related to a place or an event that you can overlay on your photo or video. Now, these Geofilters can be branded too.
Snapchat has made it available for anyone to upload custom filters to any area they choose. Businesses are able to use their branding in Geofilters on-demand, when normal users can submit free community Geofilters for their city, university, a local landmark, or another public location.
Big brands like McDonalds, Starbucks and others have already taken the opportunity to use branded Geofilters for their marketing purposes. It’s definitely a good time for small businesses to benefit from this feature and allow their visitors to apply branded Geofilter on their snaps (photos and videos) on Snapchat.
Snapchat has a pretty comprehensive Submission Guidelines to follow when submitting a Geofilter on their platform.
I will highlight some of those for businesses:
Please read full guidelines before working on Geofilters. Snapchat is pretty strict with it and you don’t want to lose time and energy. You have an opportunity to re-submit your Geofilter if you get rejected though.
You will need to design 1080px wide by 1920px high illustration in .PNG file which is no more than 300KB in size and has a transparent background. For those who think the last sentence was a complete gibberish for them, I would suggest contacting me or hiring a freelancer designer online for this task.
Make sure the design will go well on any background starting from a night shot ending with a bright, colorful scenery. Adding 2-3 pixel wide stroke (outline of an image or text) might help a lot.
Snapchat provides nice Photoshop and Illustrator templates to download for free.
Use original graphics and ideas. Make it eye compelling and valuable to the users. Keep in mind that Snapchat rejects Geofilters which violate any of the rules or simply don’t look good enough.
Below in the article you will see that I designed my Branded Geofilter for a place. It’s for illustration purposes only. It’s NOT really the best example how Geofilter should convey a message or promote your brand.
For discussing Snapchat Geofilters checkout this page on Reddit.
Now, let’s submit your Geofilter.
Login with your Snapchat account on this page.
Click [Choose File] button and upload your .PNG image. The page will show you how it will look on a mobile device.
Adjust the size of the design by dragging the scrollbar under the device picture. Give the name to your Geofilter on the top of [Next] button and go to the next page.
On the next screen you choose the dates and time you want your Geofilter to be active on. You are limited to 1 hour minimum and 30 days maximum.
Also remember, all times are in EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) and you will need to convert times if you activate the Geofilter in a different time-zone.
If you have used Google Maps before, this tool on the page is much easy to use than it looks like. Just type in the address (US, UK or Canada addresses only for now) you want to run your Geofilter on and draw a fence around the address or place. Your fence can have any shape and should range between the 20K to 5M sq/ft in size.
For illustration purposes, I drew a fence around Washington Square Park in New York City to cover the territory of the park. If my Geofilter got accepted by Snapchat, all the visitors of the park (in the selected dates and times) who would slide the gallery of Geofilters when snapping would be able to apply my Geofilter on their snaps.
On the last page you can review the details of the order and submit a payment for it.
Double-check and make sure everything is correct in your order.
In the [Filter Type] dropdown menu choose whether your filter is for [Personal Use] or [Business Use]. Personal use would be a birthday party or graduation with no branding, when business use would relate in any way to a business, product, service or brand.
Fill up the credit card information and click [Submit] button.
Snapchat will contact you about approval/disapproval of the filter, billing information and your Geofilter going live.
After your Geofilter stops running, you can analyze the campaign results by going in a Metrics tab in your app and see how many times people used it and how many users saw the filter on Snapchat.
I know the price of the service is very interesting factor for small businesses, especially for those on a tight marketing budget. As you can see, covering Washington Square Park (~474,951 sq/ft) for an hour would cost me around $30.
Basically the price is $5 per 20k sq/ft per hour, which is a very good deal for those who can use it smartly and squeeze out the most of it.
In order to get the best return on investment (ROI) and lowest cost-per-thousand views (CPM) make sure to bring your filter to the context of the place or event and perfect the design of it. Bring value to the visitors of the place (for example, make their snaps fancier with your filter) and they will make your campaign valuable too.
More people like your filter, more will use it on their snaps, so their followers (family members, friends and others) will ACTUALLY SEE it everywhere, around the world. And unlike the other advertising options on other social media platforms, this one is the closest to the product placement practice which has a big influence on customer psychology.
The best part is: even if you run your filter for one hour, it will stay 24 hours on the snaps where it was used on, until the snap itself disappears.
As you can see submitting your branded Geofilter is not hard. Probably, the hardest part is designing and finally making through the Snapchat’s review process. Other than that, it’s super easy and worth to try for your business.
This is a good time to incorporate Snapchat Geofilters in your marketing strategy, before everyone does it and things get harder or overpriced. It definitely has a big value in it. You just need to find the way to get the most out of it, and it is not really hard.
I hope you will find it very useful and valuable for your business or community. Let me know your thoughts about Snapchat Geofilters in comments and don’t forget to add me on Snapchat (devipirts)!