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.

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