How and Why are Brands Using Snapchat Geofilters?

How and Why are Brands Using Snapchat Geofilters?

If you’re one of Snapchat’s approximately 100 million daily users, by now you’ve likely encountered a geofilter. For those who haven’t, geofilters are pretty simple: they’re a visual representation of where you are when you’re taking Snapchat photos and videos, whether that’s a certain city, building, business, public event or even a private party.

A user can find and select a geofilter by swiping across their phone screen after they take a Snapchat and before they send it to someone else or post it to their Snapchat Story.

Originally, geofilters would only describe the city or part of town you were in, but these days, individuals and brands can submit geofilters that celebrate events or mark a place of business. Since their rollout in late February 2016, Snapchat geofilters have served as a remarkable new opportunity for brands with audiences made up of many Generation Z’ers and young millennials.

In our last post, we discussed reaching Generation Z on new platforms with innovative new strategies. So what better way to connect with Generation Z - and young millennials -  than through a geofilter on Snapchat? I say that with the knowledge that about 65% of 18-24 year olds are Snapchat users.

Before we get into more detail with how and why a brand might create a geofilter, let’s talk about the different types of Snapchat filters.

Community and On-Demand Geofilters: What’s the Difference?

There are two major types of Snapchat filters: community filters and on-demand filters. Community geofilters mark a place such as a city, an area of town or a landmark. They are free to submit because they don’t include business names, logos or personal elements.

On-demand filters are available for individuals and businesses to submit, and they can include all kinds of branding and personal flair. They’re submitted for everything from street festivals and concerts to birthday parties and weddings.

After designing the filter, the individual or business pays for it during submission to Snapchat, and the price varies based on the square-footage and location in which the filter is selected to appear, along with the length of time it’s designated to run.

Prices are relatively affordable too, especially if you’re only covering a small area. For example, running a Snapchat filter for the 23,824 square feet in and around the Speak building in Memphis for a month would cost $38.54.

Why Would Brands Use Geofilters?

The advent of on-demand geofilters has been especially exciting for some of the colleges and churches we work with, and they would be equally beneficial for any business or organization with a significant Generation Z and millennial audience.

For example, a college may want to run a geofilter to welcome their first year students to campus for orientation. We would agree that this geofilter would feed students’ enthusiasm and encourage them to share their school spirit with their friends and family back home.

Possible designs for this filter could include the freshmen's graduation year, or it might play on the popular trend for colleges and towns to include an illustration of their trademark building in their filter.

Essentially, colleges and many more organizations that are getting into Snapchat realize that the easiest way to connect with their audience is to become a natural part of everyday life for them. For many Generation Z’ers and young millennials, Snapchat is a natural part of everyday life, and geofilters are a fun way to show their friends the interesting places they’re visiting and the exciting events they’re attending.

With geofilters, Snapchat took the same principle of “checking into” places on Facebook, and made it visually appealing with creative designs and unique type that can turn a selfie into a virtual passport stamp.

Geofilters as Brand Awareness Tools

As with many social media platforms, Snapchat at first had the public wondering how it would allow brands to connect with consumers without being too intrusive. On most social platforms, the content from businesses and that from individuals are distinct from each other, at least in that they’re separate posts. But on Snapchat, the branded and the personal can collide in the form of on-demand geofilters filters.

Now think about that for a minute: If you can arrive at a point where users are more than alright with swiping your logo over the photo they just snapped with their friends, that’s some pretty strong brand loyalty, not to mention the favor they’ll do you by sending your logo directly to all of their friends.

And let’s not overlook the “cool factor,” if you will.

When you run a geofilter, it’s clear to your audience that you had enough spunk to try out something that’s just plain fun! You also took the time to engage with your audience where it’s most convenient for them, and you gave them something they actually want to use in their Snapchats. That’s a win-win-win in the marketing world.

From finding your name on a Coke bottle, to turning yourself into Peanuts character, the most personalized, engaging brand experiences are the real winners in marketing today. Those are the marketing efforts that customers actually enjoy, and on-demand geofilters are proving to be no exception.

Ready to Create a Snapchat Geofilter for Your Organization?

Because Snapchat is a platform that’s pretty much all about fun, it pays for your filter to be fun to use, or in other words creatively designed. That’s where our digital marketing team comes in, to help you come up with ideas that both reflect your organization’s personality and delight your audience enough to make them want to use your filter and send their pictures to friends.

We’re also here to help you make sure that the time frame and location of your filter are cost efficient for you, and that the submission process goes smoothly. Now we invite you to get in touch with our Snapchat experts today!