Geofilters: A nice change of place

Snapchat has a huge, and we mean huge, following. It boasts that it added more users in 1 year than Twitter did in 4, but the other facts speak for themselves: Over 300 million active users; over 400 million snaps sent every day; it reaches 41% of 18-34 year olds in the US on a daily basis; and is the most popular social platform amongst users under 24. Its stories feature has been co-opted and altered by all of the big social players including Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. No wonder it is one of the largest social touchpoint creators in modern digital marketing.

This is bolstered by some of the unique quirks that help Snapchat stand out from the crowd in terms of digital marketing. Being a video/picture only platform, with interesting retention mechanisms, means it has much lower uptake by many big businesses, who feel the effort to create content is not worth the pay off. This may sound like it isn’t an advantage but bear with me! As opposed to most social media this means Snapchat is far less inundated by large monopolising companies using digital marketing agency services. This means it can be perfect for small or medium businesses, with a good social media following culture, especially with under 30s, to make contact with their audience unimpeded by competition; in a way that can’t help but meet the modern marketing content ideals, of being affable and authentic.

Some slightly more relevant stats for all you marketers out there :-

  • Young Snapchat users visit Snapchat more than 20 times per day.
  • They spend an average 25+ minutes on the platform every day
  • On average 60% of Snap Ads are watched with the sound turned on, quite high compared to the other large video advertisers.
  • Total spend on Snapchat ads is expected to grow to over $700 billion in 2020
  • A sponsored filter across the US can cost between $450,000 and $750,000 per day
  • 55% of Snapchat users report that they follow one or more brands or businesses on the platform
  • More than 50 percent of Snapchat users will open a brand’s story, and more than 85 percent of them will watch the entire story
  • A Geo-filter ad delivered nationally will be seen by 40-60% of Snapchats daily users

That last point is bold for a reason. Today we’re going to talk about Geofilters, what are they, why should you care?? The premise comes care of the rich filter system in Snapchat, by which snaps can be overlaid with images and styles that move, sometimes according to what is being captured. This feature is highly utilised by digital marketing creators already, who pay Snapchat to add filters they design to the application which are then distributed to the user base who effectively become walking advertising, sending the snaps out to all their followers with corporate messages emblazoned about their person. These filters, as mentioned above cost a lot to commission and add to the platform, but many will create an immense amount of brand visibility. However, there is another form of filter that may work better for some companies to roll out a less branded message. A Geofilter is a feature Snapchat added to the app in 2014 but which has been quietly improving ever since, and now allows anyone to design their own Geofilters. Using in built location services, the same stuff that helps Google know your location, the app ‘sees’ where you are, and makes a location specific filter available to you to use on your snaps. These can take many forms and even be somewhat editable by the end-user but their key to marketing lies in their availability dominated by location. Much like targeted local advertising using people’s location to advertise to them produces much better engagement consistency than advertising that does not target using location. Anyone can design a Geofilter, they can be submitted via the Snapchat website for free, however, Business related Geofilters are paid for. Users can also design for a wedding, party, or event and it will be available for a limited period of time on the app in a small location boundary around the venue. These are also paid, but with prices starting at around £3.50 it usually represents an almost insignificant investment compared to its event advocacy power.

Dime a Dozen: The Catalogue of Cheap Companies

What’s your company worth? In real, cold hard cash, do you know? It’s pretty likely very few businesses employees or even management will ever know that until they come to sell because the value of a business is constantly changing, fluctuating with the markets, with each added project, every sway of popular opinion and pension payment. Well, what if when the time came it turned out your company was only worth a measly £1?? It happens more often than you think and there’s often a juicy story behind it, so let’s take a peek behind the curtain at some of the most amazing businesses that sold incredibly cheap! Most for just £1 (or less!)

 

Lehman Bros Europe

The financial crash of 2008 was felt worldwide and caused a lot of upheaval and turmoil as far as the financial sector was concerned. One of the key figures at the centre of the controversy was economics powerhouse Lehman Bros. They filed for bankruptcy at the height of the crisis and were soon parsed out and bought up by other, less destitute financial institutions. The European arm of the company was acquired by Nomura Holdings for a paltry $2. (yes, I know technically more than £1 but still pretty small!)

 

Lotus Formula 1

While the automobile manufacturer had been producing cars in the UK since the 1950’s its somewhat niche productions and handmade methods lost some of their lustre in the latter part of the century and so come the mid 2000’s was beginning to struggle. The Lotus Group was made up of many different manufacturing sub sectors and were divided up as and when god enough offers were made, in 2015, after many years as a shareholder in the F1 arm of the business, Renault, an already huge name in the sport, procured the necessary shares (6,744,444!)

and became the official ‘parent’ of Lotus’ racing endeavours with a token purchase payment of just £1.

 

BHS

At it’s peak British Home Stores was considered by many as a mainstay of the British environment, running as it had, from 1928 few town high streets were without one in its hay-day. However, a relatively slow and unabashed lack of development in the modern age meant the company was losing customers and money hand over fist as the 2010’s began. In 2015, down almost 10% of its sales from two years previous, surrounded by a whirlwind of media controversy Sir Phillip Green sold the company to an investment firm for just £1. The fallout being the eventual break-up of the company which at that point employed 12,000 people and had a pension fund of around £100m. Most extremely disgruntled that their ex-owner had taken a large bonus the previous year amid rising company profits.

 

Chelsea FC

Roman Abramovich oversees one of the most affluent football clubs in the UK, Chelsea FC. How it came to be so however is a much-vaunted fable of this style of rock -bottom pricing. In 1982 Chelsea was not one of the UK’s most soluble clubs, it had debts of around £1.5m and the Landlords at its home ground of Stamford Bridge were on the verge of evicting them. The then owner sold the club to a wealthy hotel mogul, Keith Bates, who used his business savvy and not inconsiderable fortune to turn the club around. When he came to sell in 2003 Chelsea were once more a top tier team and Roman was willing to pay 140 million times Keith’s initial £1 investment

 

Millennium Dome

The Millennium Dome was conceived by the government of the UK in 1994 as a way to mark the Millennium. It was to be a hyper-modern pavilion exhibition space on the banks of the Thames. Unfortunately, when it opened to coincide with the 1st January 2000 it was not packed as any would like. It didn’t reach it’s first year goal of 6 million visitors and as such was seen as an overpriced money sponge. The government briskly passed the space on to Meriden Delta, an investment consortium, who within 4 years managed to broker a deal with telecoms giant O2 to license the dome as a performance venue, and thus The O2 was born, from a sale that cost Meriden’s investors the princely sum of £1.


 

Bonus!

 

Terminator Franchise

It wouldn’t do to end without the tale of the Terminator. James Cameron had the monopoly on blockbuster movies for quite a while back in the early 2000’s. Titanic is without doubt the biggest blockbuster of the 1990’s and Avatar not only held the record for highest grossing film of all time (until recently) but also essentially single-handedly kickstarted the 3D cinematography trend. Having said all this, everyone starts somewhere and Cameron was no exception, before he made The Terminator he was basically a nobody in the world of cinema, so, given how well the movie holds up it’s no surprise he needed some backing to get the project off the ground. So what’s a man to do when he’s got nothing but a script and the shirt on his back, sell the rights of course! So he did, to producer Gale Anne Hurd. This gave him the money he needed to go on and produce two incredibly well received movies in the franchise and become the household name he is today. How much did he sell for … you guessed it $1 not even £1! Since then some have said the Terminator properties have taken a dip in quality without their original father at the helm … but Mr Cameron gains the rights to his creation back this year … he’s planning to keep hold of them this time.