Digital Marketing

Brands Need to Understand Snapchat Geofilters OnDemand

It’s time to take another look at Snapchat to see what the popular social networking app is capable of doing for you and your business. Since its initial release in July of 2011, Snapchat raised approximately $3 Billion in funding and has an approximate valuation of $22 Billion. You might be thinking, this sounds like a bubble about to pop. That’s because you don’t understand how they make money and how they will be making money in the next 12 to 18 months. I hope this post will help shed some light on what potentially will happen.

First, let me set the stage. I’m coming at this from a marketing perspective. Businesses have often asked how they can integrate Snapchat into their marketing strategy. Most consultants will describe how the business should share their story on Snapchat and acquire followers. This is great if you can consistently focus on growing your audience organically. What you won’t hear much about is Snapchat’s On-Demand Geofilters and their hidden potential.

What are Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters?

The usage and variety of  Geofilters and Lenses on Snapchat have grown since they were first launched in July 2014 and September 2015, respectively. Geofilters are like graphic frames for the snaps (photos and videos) you take in a geographically defined area called a Geofence.  In March 2016, Snapchat launched On-Demand Geofilters and gave the ability to users and marketers to pay to add a Geofilter to Snapchat.

It’s important to keep in mind that these On-Demand Geofilters are temporary and you will likely need to hire a graphic designer to create an awesome Geofilter that’s consistent with your business’s brand. They are designed to be accessed in a defined area for a limited amount of time. This remains consistent with the purpose of the social network. Marketers cannot look at Snapchat as a platform for their Geofilters to maintain a permanent presence without forking over a ton of dough to their business development team.

What’s the Snapchat Marketing Strategy?

Not long ago, I was asked by a prospective healthcare client to present a social media strategy that would help them reach Hispanic millennial expectant moms in the Miami, Florida area. After reviewing the research available by the American Marketing Association and eMarketer, it was apparent that Snapchat had to be part of the strategy. What also stood out to me was how this this demographic will welcome the brand to be part of “That Moment.”

What is “That Moment?” You already know. You strive to get to “That Moment” with every customer you encounter. You desire to know your customers and deliver the experience they desire from you.  “That Moment” happens when the customer reaches a significant milestone made possible by you. It’s “That Moment” when the customer will never forget what you did to make “That Moment” possible. “That Moment” is significant. When it comes to millennials, you have an opportunity to be part of it by using Snapchat.

Examples of “That Moment”

“That Moment” at the Hospital

I’ve had this moment happen to me five times over. Each one is special. Can you think of any other moment in a parent’s life that is worth more to them than welcoming their newborn child into the world? Mom and baby meet for the first time back in the maternity ward. It’s an incredible indescribable moment. The hospital knows this as well. That’s why they have set up Geofilters with special filters that help Mom remember that moment with as she snaps a picture of her and her baby, applying the hospital’s, gently branded, “It’s a Boy!” Geofilter.

“That Moment” at the Car Dealership

Your first car. What a moment. It’s not the one your parents got you. It’s the first car you bought on your own. The dealer has built such rapport with you and knows how special this is. She’s even traveled out of state to get you the exact car you wanted. After the car has arrived you are greeted by the dealer with the keys to your new car. Before you drive off, you and the dealer both take out your phones to snap this moment. To your surprise, the dealer has set up a branded Geofilter to remember the moment. It’s simply says, “I bought my first car!”

“That Moment” at a New job

It’s the first day at a new job. You walk in the door and meet with your new boss. As you’re discussing getting started, he mentions how important it is to meet with other people around the office. To make it a little more fun, he assigns you your first task, to create a Snapchat story based on a list of people you need to meet. As you get started, you are surprised to discover a branded Geofilter that says “It’s my first day!”

“That Moment” at a Wedding Reception

As a wedding coordinator you want to make the bride’s day as special as possible. Just at the reception gets started, you slip a note to the DJ to inform the guests that there is a special Snapchat Geofilter available to remember this special occasion. The Geofilter is designed to coordinate with the theme of the wedding and mentions the names of the bride and groom. Guests are able to send their snaps to the bride and groom. Using Snapchat’s new Memories feature, the bride and groom can save those snaps to remember their special day.

“That Moment” at a Conference

Conferences are great places to pick up new skills, meet new people and catch up with customers. Networking runs rampant at conferences. But as a first time attendee, it can be intimidating. While at your first sales conference, you notice in the conference guide that there is a Snapchat Geofilter available for attendees. You have just scored the perfect conversation starter. As you walk around to meet with vendors and other conference attendees, you ask if they would take a snap with you and show them the filter. Thanks to you, the word spreads and more attendees start using the Geofilter too.

Planning your Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters

Setting up a Geofilter is relatively easy. To get started, do your research and define your budget. Typically, there are two items you should get a cost estimate for. The first is the design of the filter. There are websites you can go to and design your own or hire a graphic designer. A couple include and MySnapFilter. Secondly, you need to estimate the cost of your Geofilter on Snapchat. You can do this on their self-service platform. Fees start at $5 per filter and go up depending on the amount of time you want your filter available and the square footage of your geofence. For example, I ran an estimate for one Geofilter inside a 50,000 square foot area for one week and determined it would cost about $150 for the week.

You are going to need to plan your campaign. At a minimum, plan a week for graphic design and submit your Geofilter at least 24 hours before you want it to be available. To be on the safe side. My recommendation is to start as least a month before you launch the campaign.

You know what “That Moment” is

I hope you can see how “That Moment” is a wonderful milestone in someone’s life. It’s a moment worth remembering. Not only that, It’s a moment worth sharing with friends. The scales can tip in your favor if your brand helps make those moments possible. Don’t worry about if others will see the snaps that have your filter. Even though Snapchat is a closed social networking platform and doesn’t integrate with other social platforms, the moments make an impact. Snapchat users find a way to share those moments with their friends. Remember, the goal here is not about how many people saw your brand’s post. It’s about how many times you made “That Moment” possible.

The Next 12 – 18 Months

This is an incredible opportunity for revenue growth at Snapchat. As more and more businesses figure out how to make Snapchat part of their marketing strategy you will see more uses these filters to be part of “That Moment.” For larger businesses, managing filters can be a problem at this point. If you have multiple locations, managing Snapchat filters is very manual and time consuming. It’s the same problem that franchises and other businesses had with managing multiple Facebook pages a few years ago. Recently, Snapchat announced limited access to their API so developers from agency partners could start developing applications for Snapchat. My hope is that someone develops a platform that makes deploying and managing Geofilters easier for businesses with multiple locations.

What are some examples of “That Moment” you can share with your customers? Leave your comments below.

About Greg Hyer

Greg Hyer is a digital marketing and social selling strategist and instructor.


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