In our last post about sprucing up brand promotion tactics in 2016, we brought up Snapchat geofilters as one such method to do something new and exciting. What we left out of that post was the story of our journey, the RTB journey, to understand, create, and use a branded geofilter to attract the attention of not only a local audience but, more specifically, Gary Vaynerchuk.

This is that story.

Heeding the Call

It was late February. Snapchat had just revealed their on-demand geofilter feature, changing the game of geofilter creation forever. From here on out, any number of specific events–weddings, office parties, company conferences, your 13-years-old niece’s dog’s birthday party–could merit a customized overlay on Snapchat to delight anyone in a targeted location at a particular time.

The potential for creativity, on both an individual level and business level, exploded. Our team was excited to see where it would go, especially considering the possibility for brand impressions. With Snapchat being as big as it is, and filters being new and novel for now, we knew this was a good way to amuse an audience and inspire interaction.  And then, not even a month later, one of our team members raised his head from his laptop, thrilled. Gary Vaynerchuk, one of our business heros, had just published a blog post all about geofilters.

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We took it as a sign. Armed with Gary V’s explanations and Snapchat’s guidelines, we set out to create a geofilter we could call our own.

The Path to Understanding

Staying true to Mr. Vaynerchuk’s recommended steps, we first put together an overlay using Photoshop. We made sure to adhere to Snapchat’s specs for files:

  • 1080px wide by 1920px high

  • Sized under 300KB

  • .PNG file and transparent background

  • No URLs/hashtags/social media handles

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(source)

Once the filter was ready, we uploaded it to the Snapchat website and picked dates and a timeframe for the filter to run. The max amount of time a filter can run for is 30 days. Then we changed that timeframe because Snapchat picked EST as the default time–rude–and, as Gary had noted in his post, we had to allow for the time difference over here in San Francisco.

Then came the fun part: picking the location.

Some people may say our choice was creepy. We don’t entirely disagree. But considering this undertaking was inspired by one muse and one muse only, there was only a single clear path for us. Yes. We chose Gary Vaynerchuk’s office building as our target location.

We paid the fee ($5 per 20,000 square feet for each hour), and waited two business days for Snapchat’s approval of our filter.

The Result

Finally, the moment had come. Our filter was out in the world, ready to be “snapped” by anyone lucky enough to be in the vicinity of Gary Vaynerchuk’s office space.

Our team happily noticed engagement rising, with over 45,000 impressions gained. But the highest point of this endeavor…what really set off the twinkle in our eyes was, well…

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In early April, Gary used our geofilter and put it on his story. His Snapchat story, on his Snapchat account. The one that gets millions of views. Yeah. No big deal.

Follow Up

Encouraged by our success, we later used our geofilter to target Programmatic I/O in San Francisco, a digital marketing conference involving “Over 1000 marketing executives representing top brands, media agencies, publishers and tech providers”.

We began this journey hopeful, but uncertain. Before long we hit our goal of engaging our target audience (*cough* Gary *cough*), and for that, RTB-Media gives two thumbs up for geofilters.

 

Have any of you had a good or bad experience with Snapchat’s geofilters? Have you seen a particularly noteworthy one lately? Let us know in the comments.

 

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