No one could be blamed for saying: “People hate seeing ads.” After all, users the world over hate getting interrupted by flashy banner ads, eye-glazing pre-roll videos, and most other ad schemes marketers come up with.
The good news? With each advertising innovation comes another chance to change that truism. Perhaps we can start here: “People hate seeing ads… but they love using Snapchat Geofilters.”
We might be onto something. Snapchat Geofilters fit beautifully with Snapchat’s philosophy that advertising should be native to the platform and blend with — not interrupt — user experiences. On a much simpler level, they’re just a blast to use.
So, let’s dive into the world of Geofilters. What are they? How can you use one? How can they promote your brand?
Welcome to Snapchat Geofilters. Population: The planet
Geofilters are sleek overlays placed over Snapchat photos that give details about what you’re doing (your general location, the temperature, your current speed, etc.). There are two types of Geofilters: Community Geofilters and On-Demand Geofilters.
Let’s examine Community Geofilters first:
Community Geofilters are submitted by artists and designers repping cities and local landmarks. Anyone can submit Community Geofilters for free, provided the Geofilters don’t include brand logos.
Snapchat also offers On-Demand Geofilters, which let users (oftentimes businesses) create Geofilters for fun or self-promotion. Basically, you send in a design and select a time and geographic area where you want your Geofilter to run.
Check out these On-Demand Geofilters, two of which advertise for big brands (Taco Bell and Comedy Central), and one of which is used as a fun perk for a personal event:
If that all sounds sweet, you might ask how you can create an On-Demand Geofilter to promote your brand. It’s pretty easy!
How to create an On-Demand Geofilter
Yes, brands have paid $750,000 for Snapchat ads, but don’t let that scare you. Geofilters are the most accessible ads Snapchat runs, and you can create and use one for as low as $5.
You don’t have to go through a complex ad process either. Check out how simple it is to create an On-Demand Geofilter:
1. Create a Geofilter design and upload it
First, whip up a Geofilter design. You can click on “Download Templates” on the Geofilter upload page for some snazzy Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop templates.
If you’re not an Illustrator or Photoshop whiz, try using Canva. It has lots of pretty graphics you can use and, with a subscription, lets you download files with transparent backgrounds.
Once you’ve created your design, save it as a PNG file and upload it:
2. Pick your dates
Now, choose the dates you want your Snapchat Geofilter to run.
3. Draw your geofence
Here’s where it gets fun. At this point, you can draw a geofence around where you want users to have access to your Geofilter.
4. Shell out the money
Now all you have to do is pay for the Geofilter and submit it to Snapchat for approval. If your Geofilter follows Snapchat’s submission guidelines, there’s an excellent chance it’ll be approved. Once it’s approved, it’s ready to use.
Tips for creating killer Geofilters
Snapchat Geofilters are awesome, so make yours epic. Here are some tips to help you knock your Geofilter out of the park:
Great design is a must. Geofilters are a type of added social proof — they let users brag about their adventures to their friends. A Geofilter can add that extra “cool factor” to each snap, but only if it looks good enough to enhance a photo instead of serving as an ugly distraction. So, take the time to create a well-designed Geofilter. The better it is, the more people will be willing to use it. Remember also that if your Geofilter doesn’t pass the bar for quality, Snapchat can reject it.
Run your Geofilters around big events. There are two possibilities for timing your Geofilters around major events. For one, you can be the one running the big event; if that’s the case, you should definitely create a Geofilter to maximize your moment in the spotlight. On the other hand, even if you’re not running the big event, you can still draft off the event’s popularity by running your Geofilter at around the same area and time (keep in mind that some popular areas may be blocked off for the event). Users will hop around town during the event, and they’ll likely run into your Geofilter along the way.
Check out these Geofilters for the USA vs. China Olympic showcase basketball game, electronic music festival Tomorrowland, and music, art, and technology festival Panorama:
Get the word out about your Geofilter. Because Snapchat is on fire right now, asking your audience to engage with your brand on the platform will sound like a fun proposition. Don’t be afraid to tell your social media following about your Geofilter. You don’t have to sell it too much — just present it as a cool add-on to your audience’s Snapchat adventures. If your Geofilter takes off, social shares will advertise it further and you’ll get a lot of positive, organic brand visibility.
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) August 1, 2015
Create interactive Geofilters. Geofilters don’t just have to be static overlays — they can also be interactive features that increase user engagement even further. Take a look, for example, at these Geofilters for the Greek Islands, L.A. street art, and the Tour de France. Notice how the first two Geofilters include check boxes users can use to further personalize their snaps, and the last one shows a map of the Tour de France race so users can follow along.After you get your Geofilters running, check out our other Snapchat guides:
- 5 Types of Content to Superfuel Your Snapchat Strategy
- How to Use Snapchat Content on Other Social Channels
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