Snapchat has been using geofilters for a while, but it only recently became a feature anyone could use, including community members and small businesses.
Trends come and go, but occasionally one sticks around and gives you the ability to do something really interesting. Snapchat looks to be one of those trends. One of its most-used developments, the geofilter, has since been made available to the public as a feature they can customize and purchase. The process is simple and the price, which starts as low as $5, makes it a somewhat irresistible marketing well to tap given more than 60% of 13-34-year-olds in the United States are active users on Snapchat.
The question is, what are the benefits? And which businesses are going to gain the most from creating their own on-demand geofilter?
A closer look at the Snapchat geofilter function
Geofilters are image overlays that can be applied to both pictures and video by swiping to the side after you’ve taken the snap. These filters give users the opportunity to share the “where and when” of their snaps. There are thousands of locations worldwide that feature their own unique geofilter. They’ve provided entertaining, location-based context to snaps; and with the introduction of on-demand geofilters, this function’s utility has expanded greatly.
The new on-demand geofilter: create your own
On-demand geofilters work like the standard version, with the exception that anyone can create an on-demand geofilter. You can create one for parties, weddings, special events, or a business. The process is pretty straightforward.
- You design the image using whatever image editor or program you prefer. You can use any of their provided templates or build one from scratch.
- Once your filter is created, you map it out by creating a geofence around the area you want your geofilter to pop up for. For example, if you pick one city block around your business, anyone in that area would be able to access the geofilter.
- Make your purchase. After a short review process, let you know if you need to make any changes, and then make it available when it passes their review. The final price depends on the size and location of your geofence, and the time period you want it to be available for, which can range from an hour up to thirty days.
Buffer came up with a pretty comprehensive guide to the actual geofilter creation process here.
Moments where custom geofilters shine
Imagine your business is hosting a special local event, like a charity fun run. You could create an on-demand geofilter to commemorate the moment and have the geofilter run for as long as the event does, and anyone in the area could use it to spread awareness of the event and your company.
Another good example would be a grand opening, product launch party, or even a work-related celebration.
Anytime your business wants to create a shared experience between itself and its customers or engage their sponsorship is a perfect opportunity to utilize a Snapchat geofilter. Some other great occasions you could consider a custom geofilter include:
- A promotional giveaway
- Black Friday at any store
- Sporting events
- Political speeches, events, or voting day
- Movie theaters during the release of an anticipated new film
The key is to be creative and to design something that really captures the attention of your target market.
What makes these geofilters such a powerful marketing tool is the relatively short lifespan of the average snap, lasting anywhere between seconds of being viewed, up to 24 hours if it’s part of a story. Snapchat allows users to exist in the now, and savvy marketers can create on-demand geofilters to capitalize on everything from a weekend sale to the weather.
The best part?
Due to the low cost and how quickly they can make it through the approval process, you could try out a couple different geofilters a month and measure engagement via impressions.
How your business can benefit from using the Snapchat on-demand geofilters
We’ve mentioned some of the benefits briefly already, but there are four benefits in particular that businesses big or small can really take advantage of.
1. Own the location of your office space
If you're one of many businesses who share an office building, you could consider establishing a regular geofilter to not only claim your location but potentially capturing competitor locations and other businesses with only a small geofence.
2. Share company culture
This not only serves to promote your company culture externally—to sell customers on the experience of working with your business—but internally as well. If your office had a custom Snapchat geofilter, they could become brand advocates and share behind-the-scenes activities, a ‘day in the life of’ snap stories, or even post little interviews with their colleagues about what it’s like to work for the company.
3. Support your presence at trade shows and conferences
Whether you’re there to run a booth or simply to take everything in, letting others know that your company is present and/or being represented at big trade shows can be an easy way to get others to notice you. You can pull prospects to your booth or simply bring attention to your company’s social media, letting your industry colleagues know you’re around and present at all the big events.
If you have a booth, an on-demand Snapchat geofilter could include your company’s name and booth number, informing prospects of your location; and you can even run a contest through Snapchat, requiring people to take snaps of various parts of the conference. Doing something like that could be their raffle entry to win a prize at your booth. The geofilters are really just a simple, creative way to keep your company front of mind with prospects at trade shows.
4. Associate your brand with user-generated content
Giving people the people to be creative is tremendous, especially when those people are your customers and prospects. They can use customize geofilters provided by your company to create custom content and snaps, turning them into some of your biggest digital advocates. Even if it’s a silly geofilter, you can still capture the attention of leads and of everyone they send their snaps out to with a cleverly designed and well-timed geofilter.
Like every other aspect of social media, the Snapchat geofilter is one more instance of marketers turning a popular social service around and aiming it right back at all of the people using it—their target market, customers, and future leads. It goes along with the notion of making the customer experience more enjoyable and about improving their lives. Using on-demand geofilters gives your prospects something new to play with, and because it’s a branded geofilter, they’ll know they have you to thank for that hilarious snap they just took.