June 10, 2016

Snap All About It: Geofilters are a Marketing Must

Have you ever heard that the average human attention span is only 8 seconds? This is exactly why photo- and video-sharing app Snapchat—which limits content to 10 seconds—has been rising up the social media ranks. It’s the fastest growing mobile app among teens in the United States, surpassing both Twitter and Instagram. In fact, more than 60% of U.S. 13-to-34 year-old smartphone owners are Snapchatters. The application now has over 100 million daily active users, and this number will only continue to grow. With this surge of usage comes an increasing focus on using this platform for marketing purposes, which brings us to today’s topic: on-demand Geofilters!

Geofilters are essentially digital stamps that can be overlaid onto a user’s snap. They are typically only available in certain locations or during certain times. Companies not only in America but also in the United Kingdom and Canada can now take advantage of this added feature to increase brand recognition and customer engagement. Geofilters naturally increase awareness by letting Snapchat users post the filter over their pictures so that their friends see it. The more these filters are used, the more known the product or event becomes. Letting users brand their own pictures and send your logo to their friends? Genius.

McDonald’s was the first to take advantage of this new feature, and you can see how it executed its filter here:

Since then, larger brands and even small businesses have jumped on the bandwagon to “connect with millennials and show that they’re socially-savvy.” Brands, movies and media publishers are creating Snapchat filters for various locations to promote everything from special events to updates, challenges and holidays. Even universities, Greek organizations, restaurants and cities are paying to have their geofilters featured on Snapchat for local users to enjoy.

The advantages of using geofilters as a marketing strategy include an easy upload process and simple management. Additionally, brand logos are permitted in the design. All you have to do is create and submit one, and Snapchat takes care of the rest!

Interested in trying it out? There are a couple of steps to follow on your road to geofilter success:

Step 1: Design the image

Make sure it’s something eye-catching and shareable. The file should be a 1080 wide x 1920 tall web-optimized .PNG.

Step 2: Submit your image

It must meet these guidelines and criteria for a geofilter.

Step 3: Select the desired time period

On-demand filters can be active for up to one month.

Step 4: Define the location

This involves drawing a digital square around the area in which the geofilter will be active for your specified time period.

Step 5: Pay for your geofilter

The fun part! The cost will depend on both the length of time and size of the area you’ve chosen for your filter.

Step 6: Wait!

Snapchat will decide whether or not your design matches the criteria for a geofilter.

Step 7: Analysis
After your filter is accepted and activated, you’ll be able to see how many views and uses it earned, allowing you to determine whether your design and parameters were successful or not.

As you can see, it is a fairly simple, straightforward process to developing and overseeing a Snapchat geofilter.

Unfortunately, roses come with thorns. Once the time period you chose runs out, you can never use this design again. That’s right — you have to start all over again with a different filter. However, this may just get your creative juices flowing. The saying “practice makes perfect” may have some merit for these geofilters! Another limitation is that users can only schedule or submit their design idea up to 30 days before the activation date. And, as stated earlier, a filter cannot be active for more than 30 days total.

Luckily, we’ve got some tips on how to maximize the use of your geofilters. First off, target your location carefully. Making your filter available to a larger area is more expensive, so choose it wisely! Also, plan ahead, as it may take up to a few days to get your geofilter approved. Last but not least, be creative! You want users to have fun with and enjoy your creation. Some geofilters are now even available in selfie mode. The more entertaining and interactive, the better, so think outside of the box.


Happy geofiltering!

This post was written by current Renegade intern Katalina Bock. You can follow her on Instagram @katalinabock.