How to make a snapchat filter

AdParlor Blog Post: How to Run a Successful Snapchat Geofilter Campaign

How to Run a Successful Snapchat Geofilter Campaign

Gary Vaynerchuck put it well when he said, “Compared to other mediums, a custom Snapchat geofilter is a branded impression on steroids.”1

If you’re not familiar with the concept, Snapchat Geofilters are graphic overlays that are only available when a user is in a specific location.

Back in November 2016, P&G tried a bold experiment to see if Snapchat advertising can be tied to in-store sales. Spoiler, the answer is yes.

Here’s how it worked: Whenever a Snapchat user was within a certain proximity to an Ulta store, they were given the option to place the CoverGirl custom filter on their photo.

Snapchat CoverGirl custom filterCredit: Procter & Gamble

Though they didn’t release specific numbers, a company representative stated that the campaign was cost-effective and had a measurable impact.

At the time P&G ran the campaign, the feature wasn’t available to just anyone.

But now it is.

Why Geofilters are great for advertisers big and small

Last year, Snapchat introduced On-demand Geofilters, an online tool that allows both individuals and businesses to create custom geofilters starting at just $5.

We were curious to put Gary Vee’s statement to the test, so we ran a campaign for one of our launch events in Toronto.

For just $5 we drove:

  • 115 conversions (or uses of the filter)
  • 13.5k views

Pretty solid for a tiny geofence and attendance of less than hundred people!

Snapchat geofilter: Examples

Making sense of the reporting

One drawback about geofilters is that you aren’t be able to see how your filter is performing while the campaign is running.

Once your campaign is over, this is what you’ll see:

Snapchat geofilter metrics

Here’s what those numbers mean:

  • Impressions = Swiped past / tested the geo filter
  • Conversions = People who actually used the filter
  • Views = People who saw your filter that was applied to an image or video
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You have the formula, now what are you waiting for?

Snapchat geofilters are easy to build, budget friendly, highly effective, and take almost no time at all to get up and running.

So what are you waiting for? Start experimenting!

And if you’re an AdParlor client, not only will you soon be able to run geofilter campaigns directly through our platform, but we can help design your geofilter creative as well!

Special thanks to my co-contributor Nick Lenko for adding his input about what makes a great geofilter.

The Different Snapchat Features

Snapchat offers several options for creating custom Filters and Lenses. Understanding your options might be the biggest hurdle in the whole process, so let’s break it down! When you visit their website, you’ll see three options:

1. Community Filters: Anyone can create community filters, but they are not available for business use and must be completely original designs—they cannot be created using Snapchat’s tools. community filters are either:

  • Geofilters: Location-based filters for a city or neighborhood
  • Moments: Object-based filters that can show up at any location when a user snaps an image identified as fitting in a category (like food or pets)

2. Filters: This category consists of Geofilters only. You can create these using Snapchat’s web or mobile app, or in a tool of your choice and then uploaded to Snapchat’s website.

3. Lenses: Lenses are animated, augmented reality (AR) experiences. Anyone can customize an existing AR template on Snapchat’s website or mobile app. These utilize the front-facing camera for fun effects like sunglasses and animal ears, and pros can upload custom designs using Snapchat’s Lens Studio. Pro Lenses utilize the rear camera only and are unlocked using a Snapcode.

Filters (not Community Filters) and Lenses can either be for personal or business use,  which you will indicate as part of the purchasing process:

  • Personal Geofilter: Doesn’t include any branding and doesn’t promote a business. Typically for events like birthday or bachelor/bachelorette parties.
  • Business Geofilter: Promotes a business or brand and must adhere to business guidelines.
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Save the date.

Once you’ve got your design finalized, Snapchat allows you to select the dates you want your filter to be available. However, as of right now, you cannot select dates more than month ahead of time.

Draw your geofence.

Now decide where you want your filter to be available. Snapchat uses Google Maps and allows you to zoom way in, so geofences can be quite specific and accurate. Your fence can be as big or as little as you want – anywhere from a building to five million square feet.

Once you’ve done all this, your cost is shown. The price is determined by the popularity of the date, time, and location you choose. For example, creating a filter for a professional sporting event or a major concert will cost significantly more than other filters because multiple businesses are competing for that same space, date, and time.

After submitting your filter, Snapchat reviews it, which usually takes less than one business day. If approved, it will automatically be available to any Snapchat user who is within the geolocation during your event. If rejected, you will receive an explanation via email and you won’t be charged.

How to Make a Snapchat Filter

You’ll need to create an account at Snap here and then read over these guidelines. Trust me, if you spend 2 hours making an awesome filter and it gets rejected, a single tear will drip down your face…or you’ll just be super annoyed.

Main things to take away from the guidelines:

  • Make it 1080px wide by 1920px high
  • Leave most of the screen open… so users can capture images/videos
  • Make it fun! You want people to WANT to use this filter.
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Now design your filter.

Snapchat filter

A Snapchat filter that I wish existed.

I use Canva to design my Snapchat filters. I create a custom dimensions project and use shapes, fonts, and pre-set text decorations. Canva has a transparent background option which is perfect for Snapchat. No matter which design software you use, make sure you download it with a transparent background.

Upload your creative to Snapchat

Snapchat filter upload screen

Select your dates and time

Snapchat filter date selection

The time zone will default to what you have selected when making your account, so if you are making a filter for a location in a different time zone be sure to adjust your times accordingly.

Draw your fence

Snapchat filter geo selection

Try to make it around as much area as users at your business or attending your event might need to use it. Geofilter fences must be at least 20,000 square feet.

Give Snap Money

Snapchat filter order summary

Once you have set the fence the price will display and you can adjust as needed. Filters are always a minimum of $5.00. Fill your billing information, name your Geofilter (I usually include the date so it is easy to keep track of). Then simply agree to the Snap terms and submit!

You will receive emails letting you know if your filter has been accepted or rejected as well as once the filter runs. This will also allow you to see the usage statistics for the filter.

You can build filters for special sales, promotions, events, or just during your peak sales times.

Good luck! If you have questions about Snapchat Geofilters or other social strategies, reach out to the social team here at Volume Nine.

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