By Nicole Weathers and Jim Hennessey

It seems like everyone has been keeping an eye on the incredible rise of Snapchat. Starting out in 2011 as an obscure mobile app, this social media platform has skyrocketed to success with more than 158 million daily active users sharing almost 2.5 billion “snaps” each day.

Marketers specifically have paid close attention to Snapchat’s growth and have been waiting for measurable advertising opportunities to engage this active audience that spends an average of 25-30 minutes a day on the app. Until recently, advertising opportunities with Snapchat like sponsored lenses and video ads, costing in the six-figure range, were limited to wealthy, big-name brands.

Now that Snapchat is a publicly traded company, the pressure to attract more advertisers is critical, resulting in lower-cost advertising options. Options that – with some creativity – can boost your event marketing without breaking your budget. If you’re looking for ways to increase your Snapchat visibility, then you should check out geofilters, the low-cost and easy addition to your digital marketing strategy.

At this point you might be asking yourself, “What is a geofilter?” Geofilters allow Snapchat users to overlay artistic designs over their selfies, photos, and videos. As soon as a snap is taken, users have access to a handful of filters targeted to their specific location.

Late last year, Snapchat quietly rolled out sponsored geofilters, made, and paid for, by brands and businesses. There are various ways you can use filters as part of your event’s digital strategy, but we’ll focus on three here: event promotion, brand support, and registration/ticket fee information.

Event Promotion: A branded geofilter can promote your event to engaged Snapchatters in a specified location, either before or during your event. When creating an On-Demand geofilter, marketers have the option of either uploading their own design, or using one of the many templates Snapchat provides. Once that’s finished, creating the “geofence,” which is your targeted area, comes next. The size of the fence and promotion’s duration will ultimately be the deciding factors on price. Once the geofilter goes through Snapchat’s approval process, the filter will go live during your selected dates. Using a geofilter live on event adds an element of exclusivity and will help to build awareness for a cause and event. Marketers can also cross-promote the snaps taken by participants at events on other social media channels and request to use them in future marketing materials.

Brand Support: Branded geofilters allow brands to reach an entirely new, geographically-relevant audience. Snapchat as a social media platform makes it difficult for brands to be easily discovered, so a great alternative is to create a geofilter in support of your brand. This allows users in the vicinity of your choosing to view and hopefully use it on their snaps. When strategically targeted, this is a very low-cost way to reach thousands of potential participants.

Registration/Ticket Fee Information: If an event is coming up, why not create a custom geofilter to establish a sense of urgency about registration or ticket fee increases? By creating a filter local to your event’s city, you’ll reach a vast audience of people who might already know about your event but were potentially unaware of price increases. Simultaneously, event marketers will also inform new audiences about the event and create urgency around registration deadlines.

There are so many ways to use Snapchat geofilters since they offer a very large reach with very little investment. No matter the reason for creating one, they will provide new ways to engage, inform, and excite your audience and help to grow your event and brand. So, venture out and add a new and entertaining element to your digital marketing strategy with Snapchat geofilters!

Nicole Weathers (LinkedIn) is the Manager, Consumer Marketing at Event 360. She manages digital marketing and social media strategy for the Florida AIDS Walk & Music Festival and Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Team for the Cures 5K.

Jim Hennessey (LinkedInTwitter), is the Director, Consumer Marketing at Event 360. He leads the marketing and social media strategy for MuckFest® MS and works with other organizations including Bike MS, the Florida AIDS Walk & Music Festival, and the MMRF Team for Cures 5K with digital marketing and social media strategies to support their peer to peer events and fundraising. Jim lives in Chicago.

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