Snapchat—the disappearing photo and video messaging app used by millions every day; often times the culprit of teenage heartbreak and family data wars. Checking out new Geofilters, a location-based graphic overlay on Snapchat, is one of the first things I do while traveling—hence the data wars.
With 100 million daily users and a 350% increase in Snapchat video viewership over the past year, businesses are starting to believe in ghosts and want their 10 seconds of fame. Many companies have serious FOMO and want give Snapchat a try but not all businesses know how to get on board—and quite frankly, not all business should.
Snapchat offers several options for brands to advertise, including Sponsored Geofilters, Sponsored Ads and Sponsored Lenses—all of which provide unique ways for users to generate their own content and share with friends and family all while advertising a specific brand. The Sponsored Geofilter pioneer, McDonald’s, launched their first filter at U.S. McDonald’s locations in June 2015. Since, many businesses have recognized the massive success in sponsored Snapchat features and are taking a stab. While many doing it, not all doing it well.
So, what makes a sponsored Snapchat filter #successful?
1. Keep it simple
Look, there is nothing worse than a busy in-your-face Sponsored Geofilter. In a world where creating a Geofilter is as easy as getting your designers to whip up a 1080 x 1920 px .png file and then convincing your department that it's worth it to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars on a selfie decoration, it's easy to get lost in the clutter of all the other crazy brands out there doing the same thing. Personally, I look for the most tasteful filter when swiping through my options. You know, ones that will still leave room me to see my photo. When your company is spending unsightly amounts on a digital sticker, it's tempting to over do it with the graphics to get your pixels worth. Please don't. Just keep it simple like Hollister, because who doesn't want to show off their "Friday Vibes" wit a quirky Snap Story?
2. Make it interactive
With users' ability to add text, stickers and doodles to their snaps, the possibilities for interactive Geofilters is endless. While not as interactive as a Sponsored Lens, a Geofilter that allows for users to engage with the brand is unique and allows for personalization. GE's Sponsored Geofilter at the JFK airport invites users to insert their own destination on the digital boarding pass. Snapchat is the hottest tool for people to visually share where they are and what they are doing. This interactive filter is a simple way to accomplish what most Snapchatters are there to do: tell the world they are doing something awesome.
3. Know your audience
Many snapchatters fall between the age range of 18-34 (aka millennials). Arguably, the recent flux of grandparents on Snapchat and the occasional 8 year-old who pukes rainbows and knows how to work an iPhone better than you skews this demographic a bit; however, you must be aware of your audience when opting to drop the big bucks on a Geofilter. First, ask yourself: who do I want to use this Geofilter and how will it help my brand grow? Toys"R"Us, for example, sponsored the filter below. Let's think: Who exactly is Toys"R"Us trying to target with this filter? Busy parents who are frantically looking for a last minute gift for their kid's classmates birthday party? Surely they don't have time to pull out their cell phone and take a snap to document their shopping trip. Likewise, this is the one store where the kiddos in the shopping cart aren't playing on their mom's iPhone, taking Snapchat selfies and making dog faces. Perhaps Toys"R"Us should have further considered their audience before launching this Sponsored Geofilter.
So, before your brand gets Snap happy, consider these three major keys to create a successful Sponsored Geofilter: Keep it simple, make it interactive and know your audience.
I am a digital marketing student in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia keeping up with the latest in social media marketing. Enjoy, share, comment, connect!