The VPM Blog

Create your own Snapchat on-demand geofilter

Posted by Don Crow on Sep 15, 2016 9:00:00 AM

We're going to introduce you to Snapchat's on-demand filters, walk you through why they are important, and finally, teach you how to create your own Snapchat on-demand geofilter.


But first, what exactly is an on-demand geofilter?

They're like traditional filters, except YOU are in charge! If you've used Snapchat even passively, you've seen filters (images/text) which are simply overlaid on your finished photo or video. They are assigned to specific locations and over time, some locations have collected multiple, colorful filters. But guess what? Now YOU can create your own filter and add it to a location or event for a defined period of time.

Here's a quick video from Snapchat on creating an on-demand filter (I am sharing this even though it has a cat theme): 


So, why are Snapchat geofilters important?

It's pretty simple to me. Snapchat users are active, young, and engaged. The youth aspect will change over time, just like every other major social media network that captures a generation and then drags the others in later.

Consider these stats on Snapchat:

  • There are over 9,000 images shared on Snapchat per second
  • There are over 10 billion (with a B!) daily video views
  • And 60% of daily Snapchat users regularly contribute content

Eye-popping statistics aside, giving Snapchat users a custom filter for your new store opening, campus tailgate, block party, wedding, or bar/bat mitzvah is a great way to capture audience views and extend your reach to the network of the users who share your filter.

Still not convinced on whether or not Snapchat is important for you?

We've also written several posts on Snapchat, including comparing it to Instagram and leveraging their new geo-filters back before it was an option to create custom designs as easily.

You're still with us, now let's create your own Snapchat on-demand geofilter!

First, know the rule. Snapchat has a set of guidelines you should read, but I've given you a snapshot in the list below.

  1. Don't wait until the last minute. Literally. You should allow at least two business days from submission time until your event. This will give you a narrow window to edit your filter if Snapchat denies it for any reason.
  2. Don't go nuts begging for followers and clicks. In fact, avoid using "@" in front of your name and don't include website URLs in your filter.
  3. Do specify Personal or Business as each has its own set of rules for use. If you're looking to give your wedding, birthday or other personal invite guests something extra to play with, you're obviously, "Personal". If however, you're a business looking for brand awareness, make sure you own all artwork, images, etc. and avoid going overboard on branding. Less is more! 
  4. Have a budget in mind. Snapchat (as of this publish date) charges $5 per 20,000 square feet of geofenced space per hour. You can't fence an area larger than 5 million square feet and you can't leave your filter "up" for more than 30 days.

When it comes time to create, you've got an option to work with a designer, use a service like Canva, OR use one of Snapchat's templates. For the purpose of this blog, we're going to focus on using the new, readily available templates.

Login to your account via a browser.


Choose, "Create Online" to select from occasions and then design templates.


Select the occasion - we're going to choose, "Celebrations" but even if we change our mind later, we can easily go back to either Birthdays or Weddings.


Once here, you can choose from different templates, color palettes, and even preview your filter against several different sample background images. A best practice is to limit your filter image to the bottom 25% of the screen so your users can easily add themselves and their surroundings.


We're all about getting people involved with Verge Pipe Media events, so we want to encourage group photos on Snapchat for our upcoming tailgate party. #SquadGoals


Once you've settled on your template, text, colors and so on, just click next to set your date and time.


Double check your date and time against your event! It can be a painful process to go back and adjust it if you realize you've chosen the wrong dates, or start and stop time. In fact, you'll basically have to cancel the filter and start over and if you discover the error late, you may not have enough time to add a new filter. Yes, this is a true story and happened to me at Digital Atlanta earlier this year.

Once the date and time are set, you get to draw your geofence. You'll need to know the address or building name to get the map started, and then zoom in or out appropriately to draw your fence. The dollar amount will adjust in the upper left corner of the screen as you enlarge or decrease the square footage of your filter for the date and time already specified.


Triple check time! Verify your price, geofence location, date and time and then click, "NEXT" in the yellow button in the bottom right. The following screen is where you enter your payment details, the name for your filter and whether or not it is Personal or Business. If Business, you'll have to enter the Business name.

It's really that simple and this process, outside of time to build, cost us $7.00! Our tailgate filters through the first couple of uses in 2016 have yielded an average of 1,000 views. That's a tremendous value when it comes to brand recognition and awareness campaigns.

Your school or college, business or other organization should really be able to get involved with Snapchat users by using the templates provided. I would caution you to incorporate other social media elements and messaging as part of an overall social media marketing strategy, and not just rely on a quick Snapchat on-demand geofilter. This is a great new addition from Snapchat, and one that no doubt will increase accessibility and views, but it's not a standalone marketing tool.

If you're interested in using not just Snapchat but all forms of Social Media to generate leads, take a look at our FREE guide by clicking the link below, or request a Free Analysis here on our website.

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And if you're near Auburn University on Gameday, stop by our tailgate event and by all means, look for our on-demand Snapchat geofilter!

Topics: social media marketing, Snapchat

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