For years, people have garnered an increased intrigue in the realm of digital marketing via social media platforms. Augmented Reality, Geofilters, and Lenses over Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook has created opportunities for marketing departments to engage with their audience in a new and innovative way. While Augmented Reality for third party developers has become the emerging opportunity, On-Demand Geofilters have been accessible for the better part of two years.
As a millennial, it excites me to see such fun and engaging new ways for businesses to incorporate innovation when interacting with customers on a global scale. While Augmented Reality is fast gaining attention, it would be ignorant to think that On-Demand Geofilters have been used up in terms of trendiness and ability to engage with a large-scale audience (although my millennial senses are always telling my short attention span to go after the new, bright, shiny object).
During my time at Geofilter Studio, our Account Managers have processed thousands of On-Demand Geofilters for a variety of clientele. These have ranged from Ma and Pa shops to Global Corporations. With each Geofilter I processed, the question is always the same, “How can this business use this Geofilter to its fullest potential?” While some businesses have intricate marketing strategies and performance metrics goals that they wish to meet, others are looking to hop on the bandwagon that is cool and hip with the teens (I, obviously, embody coolness in the 21st century). For those who get a Geofilter just for the sake of having one, I admire the ambition to pursue an innovative marketing endeavor (with 173 million active users on Snapchat daily, why wouldn’t you?). However, in my experience, if you have not considered the following before pursuing an On-Demand Geofilter via Snapchat, you are leaving money on the table in terms of potential reach to your customers! When you consider the addition of Geofilters into your marketing strategy, take a moment to contemplate these questions. These questions are by no means revolutionary but investing the time and thinking critically about your Geofilter campaign can be the difference between a successful campaign and a one off attempt at using a Geofilter.
1. Is the Audience of your Business/Event Active on Snapchat?
Before you get started in pursuing a Geofilter, ask yourself, “Is my target audience active on the Snapchat platform?” This is integral for success with Geofilters! It’s pretty tough for your audience to access a Geofilter on Snapchat if they do not have the Snapchat App on their phone or even worse, not know what Snapchat is (having explained what a Geofilter and what Snapchat is dozens of times at family gatherings has me resonating with this statement).
Although you would think this question is quite obvious, you would be surprised at the amount of orders I have received for industries I cannot image using the Snapchat App. (I don’t typically use my phone to take photos at the doctor’s office but maybe I am just out of the loop..)
According to a 2017 Greenberg Strategy study commissioned by Snap Inc. where customers were surveyed about their usage of Snapchat, the top 5 places that Snapchat gets used outside of the customer’s homes are at parties, restaurants, concerts, malls and movies (this last one shocked me).
This brings forward an excellent opportunity in the realm of sponsorship. Let’s take an industry such as insurance for example. Not often do those purchasing insurance utilize the Snapchat App. However, sponsoring large events like parties or concerts would be an excellent opportunity to begin exposing your brand to a new audience via personally endorsed digital shares.
Knowing your customers and how to reach them is critical to maximize the uses of your Geofilter. Strategic targeting and thinking outside of the box can lead to excellent digital branding opportunities.
2. Does the Nature of the Event Motivate Individuals to take Photos on Snapchat?
Building off of the last point of questions 1, it is important to understand that in order to engage with your audience via Snapchat, you need the customers to be in a position to take out their phone and capture photos using the app. Brands must think, “Does the nature of my business or event influence people to capture a photo memory?” Off the top of my head, I can think of creative venues such as McDonald’s PlayPlaces where parents are watching their children or something scintillating, similar to a racetrack which Pro-Tech found great success at garnering 144,000 views in a 12 hour period.
Thinking about picture perfect opportunities is one of the keys to finding success with branding via Geofilters.
3. Why are you Using a Geofilter for your Business/Event?
What do you hope to get out of your Geofilter by incorporating it into your marketing strategy? It is a simple question but it can steer the entire motivation behind creating the most effective Geofilter to match your brand, audience and customer engagement goals.
The attraction of designing a Geofilter (from a marketing standpoint) is their ability to create brand awareness where a business can attach their logos or incorporate their identity to inspire their designs. While this is an excellent start, it is important to dig deeper into this question and ask, “How are we going to engage our customers with our brand?” One of my favorite Geofilters was done with Texas A&M where they were able to incorporate not only their logo, but also recreate the atmosphere of a game day experience by including imagery of the Reed Arena where the game was being played. This deviation from the traditional Geofilter allowed fans in attendance to engage with the Geofilter and allowed this campaign to garner 75,000 views in one evening!
4. How Eye-Catching is the Geofilter?
Now that we explored our motivation and pre-Geofilter contemplation, it’s time to think about what kind of design we are looking for! With the ability to include, imagery, logos or even cartoons of real humans, it is interesting to see when brands want an engaging filter that is 100% text based. The designers at Geofilter Studio create magnificent custom text Geofilters, but again, there is opportunity to think outside the box and create masterpieces projected from those phone screens we spend hours on end glaring at.
Outside of your standard logo, think about other elements of your business and how they can be incorporated into your design. This is similar to something I did with Tres Lagos, a live-in community which includes a community symbol like their tower. Incorporating a component that will resonate with potential users on a personal level will greatly increase the likelihood of Geofilter users and shares. This example remains true with Texas A&M which I mentioned earlier with the inclusion of the Reed Arena.
In a digital platform booming with competition it’s critical to make your customers want to select your Geofilter when they may be presented with different options! Make yours stand out so people will want to use it!
5. Does the Audience know that the Geofilter Exists?
Surprisingly enough, once a Geofilter has been submitted and approved by the Snapchat system, I often wonder how people are informing audiences that their Geofilter exists. If you go through the trouble of designing and paying for a Geofilter and leave it up to chance that the Geofilter will be used throughout the campaign, you are definitely leaving ample opportunity on the table.
You must be strategic when informing others about your Geofilter’s existence. There are many ways you can do this. A simple and effective way is word of mouth. This works great at restaurants when you have customers waiting and staff that are able to easily inform individuals that a Geofilter exists and to give it a try! When you are less engaged one on one with your customers, social media can be your best friend! Posts on Instagram, Facebook or even on your own Snapchat accounts are a great way to spread the word that something cool to try exists! It only takes one post with a Geofilter to rapidly spread. It is worth the time to invest in a way to market your Geofilter (or talk to a lovely Account Manager at Geofilter Studio and they can take all that hassle away from you by creating wonderful social media posts with your Geofilter).
Considering the obvious yet easily missed question above could be the difference between getting 100 views and 100,000 views on your Geofilter.
I urge you to reach out to Geofilter Studio and question how to make the most of your hard earned money spent. The more than capable Account Managers would love the opportunity to help take your Geofilter campaign from an idea to an effective digital marketing campaign! Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and let Geofilter Studio know how they can help you out!
Sam, Corporate Relations Account Manager
 Source: Snapchat Internal Data as of Q2’17