Snapchat takes on business marketing: Not just selfies any more

Lightbox Image
×

We have what we like to call a good news/bad news situation on our hands. If you’ve been holding out against Snapchat as a last bastion against gratuitous selfie-taking and over sharing, you might need to give up on the game. The good news is that it’s for a really good reason. Earlier this spring, Snapchat began introducing customized geofilters that allow individual users and business accounts to create photo overlays for their location, store, or event. Starting at just $5 per filter, excited Snapchatters can promote everything from their wedding or a girls’ getaway, to product launches and charity events. Several months after launch, business marketers are starting to see the value.

Naturally, Snapchat has not missed the opportunity to monetize your monetization efforts. The price of each filter is set on a sliding scale based on the filter’s exposure size (which must fall between 20,000 square feet and 5-million square feet) and length of time the filter runs (the shortest amount of time a filter may run is one hour). When we initially learned about Snapchat geofilters, we were reticent to jump on the trend because we weren’t sure what a business would do with them. Now that we’ve brainstormed a few awesome ideas (if we do say so ourselves), we have officially joined the bandwagon.

Geofilters let you engage with your target audience while they are already consuming content, which increases your chances of catching – and keeping – their attention. Here are our top three ways to get started.

Start with a product launch:

Dip your toe into the geofilter pool with a location-based promotion. This is a fantastic vehicle to promote a product launch. Most obviously, it presents an opportunity increase foot traffic to a brick and mortar store as customers pose with your new product or entice nearby Snapchatters to stop by (you might consider offering a 5% or 10% discount to new customers if they Snap your product on site). You shouldn’t feel restricted to solely promote your physical location, however. Michael Kors introduced their new summer line of sunglasses in key target markets (such as Miami and Los Angeles) with a filter that allowed users to pose with a digitized overlay of these sunglasses on their face. Even if those Snappers weren’t purchasing the sunglasses, it raised awareness about the product and generated buzz for other would-be customers. They key is ensuring the filter geography is set to locations where potential customers routinely congregate. And because geofilters can span a 5-million square foot radius, that shouldn’t be too difficult. Seriously, does organic marketing get any better than this?

Graduate to an event filter:

The novelty of purchasing a Snapchat filter for a personal event is fairly obvious. For businesses, it’s a little more nuanced. First, consider your options. An event filter may be valuable before an event to promote ticket sales or fundraising efforts. It may be useful during an event if you are unveiling a product, special edition item, or unique feature. Similarly, it can help generate buzz during a reoccurring event such as a conference or festival. It may even be useful after an event ends if attendees are taking ideas and products home with them (how cool would it be if there was a customized geofilter after the Apple product release conference for those lucky few who get to beta test new products?). Geofilters promoting an event are one part marketing gold and one part public relations magic, so timing is everything to ensure you get a positive return on investment.

Or go for an anytime, lifestyle filter:

If you happen to have a business that represents a lifestyle brand, you’re in luck because geofilters are a great idea anytime. Brands that let customers signal they are a certain type of person think: community establishments such Starbucks or a local coffee shop, bars, or restaurants, membership-based clubs and organizations, car dealerships, tourist hot spots, and resorts. Brands, such as Pacific Sunware, that have a certain type of customer (in this case, surfers and beach lovers) can also benefit from a custom filter to help increase brand awareness between other likeminded customers.

Despite ourselves, we love the idea of Snapchat geofilters because it turns your customers and fans into brand ambassadors and marketers. In other words, you just increased your marketing team by … oh … 10,000.

Back to Thinking