How to Create and Upload a Custom Snapchat GeoFilter
Remember when Snapchat was known as the “sexting” app?
Yeah, those days are gone. And the phoenix that has risen from those ashes is now a social media powerhouse – especially with the addition of custom Snapchat Geofilters.
If you’re not familiar with Snapchat geofilters, simply turn on the GPS on your phone, take a photo and start swiping through the filters; there’s a good chance that if you live in a city or near one, you’ll find some kind of custom Geofilter with your city (or neighborhood’s) name on it.
From where I’m sitting right now, writing this post, I have three options available to me; two in which are just standard “San Diego” geofilters and a third one that is neighborhood specific, letting me advertise to all of my millions of followers that I am currently holed up in a coffeeshop in Point Loma. (Okay, maybe not “millions”.)
So why should you care about this as a business? Because Snapchat has made it pretty darn easy for anyone – personal or business – to create and upload a custom filter to any location you desire. And even though this option has been available for almost a year now, it’s still an underpriced and underutilized means of advertisement for businesses.
How to Get Started with a Custom Filter
Creating a Snapchat filter is as easy as 1-2-3. To submit your design, or for help on doing so, you first have to login to your Snapchat account here.
The first step is to submit your design. If you do not possess superior graphic design skills, your options are to pay someone who does or use the Snapchat templates that are available and ready for use. You’ll be given the option during this first step to either Use Your Own (aka upload one you or someone created) or Create Online (aka use their templates).
If you’re going to make your own, here are some quick and easy guidelines for your template design:
- The image should be 1080px wide by 1920px high
- The image should be under 300kb in file size
- The image needs to be saved as a .png file with a transparent background
Once you have the design figured out and uploaded, the next step is to pick the date and time in which you want the filter to be active. Keep in mind that the times listed in this Snapchat screen are all Eastern Standard Time; so if your filter is running in San Diego, ensure that you subtract and add the time for the correct time zone. It’s important in this step to double check and then recheck again the date and time you have selected; once your filter is submitted, you can’t edit the time.
In the third step, you’ll select your location. Simply put in the address or location you want to target, and draw a fence around it using the tools provided by Snapchat. The “fence” itself can be any shape, as long as it’s under 5 million square feet. How big is 5 million square feet? Picture three football fields in length; now image that in both directions (as a square) and that equals just 1 million square feet. Pretty big, huh?
Ok, you’re almost done! Now, all you have to do is give it a name, double check the times and location you selected, and choose personal or business for the category – then hit submit! Once you’ve submitted the order, you’ll get an email saying you submitted one; then you’ll receive one saying if it’s approved or not. You’ll also receive an email when they charge the credit card on file and then one more once your filter goes live.
How Much Will This Cost You?
So how much is this going to cost you? You’d be surprised in how inexpensive it can be.
The going price for a geofilter is currently set at $5 per 20k square feet per hour. If you’re throwing an event at your business’s location or hosting a booth at a convention, targeting that city block for 4-6 hours can cost you anywhere between $25 and $50.
Guidelines for Submitting Designs
Snapchat has a pretty easy to follow set of guidelines with all the rules you’ll need on their website here.
But here’s some quick and dirty guidelines to get you started.
- You can’t include URLs, Handles or Email Addresses in your filter. That means you cannot create a filter that blatantly says, “Follow me @_____”, so if you want more followers, you’ll have to get creative.
- Although the tool will allow you to submit stuff up until one day before you want your order to go live, the rule of thumb is to allow at least two business days for approval. If you are pushing the guidelines and worried that your design will get rejected, then allow yourself even more time so that you can get the issues fixed before you want it to go live.
- This may be a no brainer but it still needs to be said; don’t use logos or trademarks you don’t own and don’t use photos of people.
- Make sure you don’t cover up too much of the screen with your design; there are many ways to have a super creative, eye catching filter that is also simple in design.
Reviewing the Almighty Metrics
Although Snapchat’s Geofilter reporting isn’t super sophisticated (yet), you can still get some great data from what’s currently available.
After your filter has stop running, you can log back into your account (where you submitted the original design) and click the Metrics tab. This report will tell you how many times your filter was used and how many times it was viewed on Snapchat.
To calculate your total return of advertisement with these metrics, simply take the total cost of the filter and divide it by how many times it has been viewed. Since people can use your filter in their My Story, I would recommend waiting at least 24 hours after the last hour in which your filter was active to get a true sense of how many views the filter had.
To find your total cost per impression, let’s look at the aforementioned example of spending $25 for 4 hours at an event. If, in that 4 hours, your filter was used 50 times but ends up with a total view of 200, then you essentially paid just $0.125 per view. Not only is this pretty cheap advertising but it’s also advertising that people are consuming (unlike banner ads and the such).
Need more reasons why you should jump on the Geofilters bandwagon? Check out our post on the Five Reasons Your Brand Should Have a Snapchat Geofilter.
Good luck and get snappin’!