Did you know you can now create your own Snapchat Geofilters?

It’s only been a few months since Snapchat debuted this feature, and there are already some amazing results flowing in for businesses and brands of all sizes (we’ll share a few quick case studies in this post).

Right now, Snapchat Geofilters can offer an enormous competitive advantage because 1) not a lot of brands are using them and 2) Snapchat users love to share filters – even branded ones!

In this post, I’d like to give you everything you need to know about Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters as well as share a step-by-step guide on how to create your own.

Ready? Let’s go!

create-geofilter

In this article, we’ll do three things:

  1. Introduce you to Snapchat On-Demand Snapchat Geofilters and share some examples;
  2. Guide you through how to create a Geofilter and provide some templates so you can get started right away;
  3. Share a quick case study of a campaign that generated over 90,000 impressions for just $30!

Let’s begin with a quick summary of Snapchat Geofilters and some real-world examples…

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What are On-Demand Geofilters?

On-Demand Snapchat Geofilters behave in much the same way as traditional Snapchat filters: you take a picture or record a video and can then overlay a design on top.

The main difference is that anyone can create an On-Demand Geofilter. That’s right; Snapchat has opened up Geofilters to everyone. Whether you’re celebrating the opening of a new store, running a special event or looking for a unique way to grab consumer attention, you can now create a custom Snapchat Geofilter to go alongside your activations.

Quick tip: How to view available Geofilters

To see the available filters in your area, simply take a picture or record a video and then swipe across the screen:

NY-snapchat

Example Geofilters

Here are three examples of how different brands have embraced Snapchat Geofilters:

1. W Hotels

W Hotels created a number of filters to give visitors the chance to share their views and experiences at W’s hotels with their friends on Snapchat.

w-snapchat

These filters were the Starwood Group’s first venture into Snapchat and delivered above-expected results. Digiday shared that the filters drove more views than they estimated, as well as a higher conversion rate — the number of users who actually used the filters divided by those who just saw them — than other paid filters.

2. Blue Fountain Media

Blue Fountain Media designed a custom filter to attempt to get its employees to get firsthand experience with the feature.

bfm-snapchat

Karina Welch, associate corporate marketing specialist at the agency explained that they also found the filter to be ideal for employee engagement, “Our staff loved it, and we saw great engagement. Over a hundred employees used it, and we had over 4,000 views,” she explained.

3. Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk was an uber-early adopter of Snapchat Geofilters and used them a great deal during his #AskGaryVee book tour, setting up a custom filter for every talk, Q&A, or event he hosted.

gary-snap

On his blog, Vaynerchuk explains that a filter which cost him $62.98 went on to generate 229,713 views and a CMP of $0.27.

Everything you need to get started with Snapchat Geofilters


Before we jump into the action and talk about “how to create a filter,” it feels necessary to cover some of the guidelines for what content you can include within your filters and also talk a little about pricing.

The essential guidelines

Snapchat has a full list of guidelines for On-Demand filters on their website, and I’d love to share some of the essentials here – as well as a few that may sometimes fall under the radar.

The first thing to note is that two types of On-Demand filters are offered: Personal and Business. In their guidelines, Snapchat explains:

  • A Personal Geofilter is one that doesn’t include any branding, business marks/names, or logos, and doesn’t promote a business or a brand. You might submit a Personal Snapchat Geofilter to celebrate a birthday or graduation, for example.
  • A Business Geofilter is one that promotes a business or a brand.

If you’re creating a Business filter, you must have the necessary rights and permissions to include any business names, marks, logos, or trademarks and you must also supply a business name while purchasing the filter.

Secondly, filters must not contain any photographs of people, URLs, phone numbers or emails. This means you may need to get creative when it comes to adding a CTA to your filter. And with your first few filters, I’d recommend submitting them at least 3-4 days before you’d like to use them. This way, if they’re rejected for any reason you have time to make changes and re-submit.

The last two essentials I’d love to share here are that Snapchat Geofilters must be between 20 thousand and 5 million square feet, and each filter can be active for a maximum of 30 days.

How much do Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters cost?

Right now, filters feel like AMAZING value. Pricing depends on a few factors including the size of the Geofence and how long you want it to run. As a roundabout figure, Snapchat charges $5 per 20,000 square feet.

How to create a custom Snapchat Geofilter

Step 1: Design your filter

The first and most important step in the process is to design your filter. If you’re not a designer or aren’t experienced with Photoshop, Illustrator or Sketch, it may be worth seeking assistance here. Though Snapchat does have some simple-to-edit templates available (more on these below) and Canva is also a great alternative.

When designing your filter it’s important to keep in mind:

  • The filter must 1080 by 1920 pixels with a transparent background (.PNG)
  • It must be under 300KB in size
  • Snapchat suggests you only use the top or bottom 25% of the screen so Snapchatters can still see their original picture behind your filter

I’d also recommend testing your filter with multiple images to make sure it’s clear and looks great in all situations. It’s great to experiment with your filter over a mix of light and dark photos.

Templates

If you’d like a little assistance with the design or even a little inspiration, Snapchat has a set of templates available in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator format, which can be downloaded here.

The templates cover a range of events from weddings to parties and events. No matter what you’re creating a filter for you’ll probably find one close to your needs in this set.

snapchat-templates

Looking for a little more inspiration? This Tumblr is jam-packed with of hundreds of Snapchat filter designs.

Step 2: Upload your filter

Once you have your design ready, head on over to the Snapchat On-Demand site and click “Create Now.” You’ll then need to login using your Snapchat account details.

snapchat-site

Once logged in, you’ll be prompted to upload your design. And when I created my first filter I ran into a few issues with the size of my PNG file, if this happens to you, TinyPNG is a fantastic service to shave some KB’s off your file and get under Snapchat’s 300KB limit.

Once your image is uploaded, you’ll see a cool preview of how it’ll look and also have the option to give it a name.

snapchat-upload

Step 3: Set the date and time

On the next screen, you need to select the duration you’d like your filter to run for. Be extra careful here as the times and dates cannot be edited once you’ve submitted your filter.

snapchat-date

Step 4: Choose the location

Now that you’ve selected the duration your filter will be live for, it’s time to select the location. Currently, On-Demand Snapchat Geofilters are only available in the USA, UK and Canada and the area you select must be less than 5 million square feet.

To select your location, enter the address in the search bar and then draw a fence around your selected area. It’s best to be a little generous here.

snapchat-location

Now you’re all set! Once you’ve completed the above steps and paid for your filter, you’re ready to go and will receive a few emails from Snapchat to confirm your order.

Measuring the success of your filter

Once your filter has expired, Snapchat provides some basic reporting on how your filter performed, showing you Uses and Views. Uses show you how many people used your filter and Views is how many times people saw it. This data can sometimes take a day or two to appear.

Snapchat-analytics

To view your metrics, head to over to Snapchat, login, hover over your username in the top right-hand corner of the screen and select ‘My Orders.’

snapchat-data

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Quick-fire case study: How a 700-person event achieved over 90,000 impressions using Snapchat


The Hoopsfix All-Star Classic is an annual event showcasing the best in British basketball talent. And searching for a way to engage the audience in attendance and spread the word about the event far beyond the arena in Brixton, London, Hoopsfix founder, Sam Neter, turned to Snapchat.

The filter went live the evening before the event so that the Hoopsfix team could show some behind the scenes action of the arena coming together and it expired just after the event finished. A total of 25 hours at a cost of $30. By the time the filter expired it had been used 389 times and received 91,346 views. 

filter-case-study

Over 90,000 views for $30 feels like brilliant value. Especially when you consider views on Snapchat are far more immersive than an advert in a feed. People are actively choosing to view this content, and the overlaid filter is effectively a part of the content.

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Over to you

Snapchat appears to have a real winner here. Not only are Snapchat Geofilters easy to create and fairly cost-effective (for now, anyway), they’re also incredibly engaging for consumers and highly shareable.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Snapchat filters: Have you created one yet? How could you see your business utilize them?  Feel free to share your thoughts and any questions in the comments below.

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Written by Ash Read

Content crafter at Buffer. I’m fascinated by storytelling, entrepreneurship, and travel. When I’m not writing, you’ll usually find me on a football pitch or basketball court.

  • alexbrooks

    Haven’t had great experiences. We tried submitting a community filter for our University, waited 3 weeks and it got rejected. No word on why it was rejected, so we’re guessing that it was because we used a logo. Yet we see many logos used in community filters for University’s.

    • Ah, sorry to hear that, Alex. Sounds like that three-week waiting period probably wasn’t too ideal either. Did you end up going back with a second version of the filter? Curious to learn more from your experience here. Thanks so much for sharing!

      • They were slow to get back to me when I submitted a community filter too. However, my on-demand one was accepted after a couple of hours. So, I assume that they are much quicker for the on-demand (paid-for) filters.

  • Perfect timing! I’m preparing a couple of snapchat filters for clients- this article has been very helpful!

    • Awesome! Wishing you great results, Amy. Would love to hear how it goes for you!

    • sasha aurand

      This will make it SO easy to do!! appsto.re/us/O6iHbb.i

  • Sherman Mohr

    Great stuff. Many thanks.

  • Hi Ash, thanks for the article!

    I found one typo here – “…USA, UK and Canada and the ARE you select must…”

    • (hopping in for Ash) Thanks so much, Lubos! Eagle eye! I’ll get this fixed up. 🙂

      • Hey Kevan, so it’s you who keeps sending me those emails from Buffer! 👻 Anyhoo, no worries hehe

  • Justin Dearing

    I am currently offering these services (design, hosting, analytic tracking) to clients. Would love to help anyone out with their upcoming campaign. Desring22@gmail.com! Website is coming once I return from the UK

  • Great information.Perfectly detailed and anyone can create a geo-filter easily. It could be used to promote a blog too.A good content is the key to a successful blog. Blogs showcase your works and can be included in your resume too. One can also hire a professional resume writer that provides resume writing service and reviews ,with reviews from many users that would help them decide which service to go for.

  • sasha aurand

    Wanted to let everyone know about this app called Geofilters for Snapchat
    By ATJK Ventures LLC: appsto.re/us/O6iHbb.i

    You can create your own snapchat filter without using photoshop or any other editing program. It’s an app for your phone or ipad. Super easy and user friendly. You have them make one for you and upload it too!

  • khicks21

    I don’t know exactly how her experience personally was, but one of my teammates created a geo-filter for our tournament! It was really awesome! And she said it didn’t cost much. I’m going to try to make one for my wedding and for a Movember fundraiser I’m in charge of. This info has been super helpful! Great idea to include the basketball event. Made me feel confident that I could actually afford it haha.

    • Thanks so much for your comment. Excited to see you giving geofilters a try – would love to hear how you get on 🙂

    • akehr

      If you’re still looking for a filter for your wedding, you should check out Geofilter Place: https://geofilterplace.com/

    • ahmed magdy

      if you need to buy snapchat i suggestion you to try FineFilterz.com

  • Great post, Ash! Random: can I ask how you guys were able to make an animated GIF the featured image of your post? 🙂

    • Hey @letsgetourgeekon:disqus, thanks for reading. Awesome question too! We created it using Photoshop, the technique we used is explained a little in this post: https://blog.bufferapp.com/animated-gifs. I found a pre-made template for the iPhone swipe and then customized it and exported as a GIF. Hope that helps. Feel free to ask any questions and I’d love to hear how you get on.

      • Hi Ash – oh no, I’m not asking how to create a GIF in Photoshop. (Thanks, though!) What I’m asking is how you were able to make your GIF the featured image of this blog post within WordPress. To my knowledge, that functionality isn’t supported by WordPress, and is often done via workaround or a plugin. Curious as to how you guys did it! Thanks. 🙂

      • @ashleyread:disqus Hi Ash – oh no, I’m not asking how to create a GIF in Photoshop. (Thanks, though!) What I’m asking is how you were able to make your GIF the featured image of this blog post within WordPress. To my knowledge, that functionality isn’t supported by WordPress, and is often done via workaround or a plugin. Curious as to how you guys did it! Thanks. 🙂

        • Hey @letsgetourgeekon:disqus, oh, my bad 🙂 That’s a really great question and I’m not entirely sure myself. Our theme is custom built and there may be a workaround in the code but it’s not something I’m aware of or we use a plugin for. So sorry I can’t give you a better answer here, Lindsay.

          • @ashleyread:disqus No problem! Just thought I’d ask. Thanks! 🙂

  • Brilliant idea! Every school fete could use this (hint to all the graphic designers wanting to get in front of the school audience)

  • Tom Soderstrom

    How did you create the visuals for this?

  • akehr

    A great place for people to find filters for events (such as weddings) is Geofilter Place. Check it out: https://geofilterplace.com/

  • Dave

    I found this website and you get great custom work for a low price!
    http://mysnapgeofilter.wixsite.com/mysnapgeofilter

  • Ash Hilton

    Late to the party, but I’m attempting to create an on-demand geofilter and Snapchat wants to charge me $1100 for 440,000 square feet. Based on the numbers provided, I would have assumed it would be closer to $110. Any info on why certain locations or dates would cost more than others?

  • John

    I recommend this website for custom geofilters
    They are fast and do amazing work for low price

    mysnapgeofilter.wixsite.com/mysnapgeofilter

    • John

      Actually a site I used and can recommend is pepperfilters.com, it took me only about 5 minutes to get my filter ready with their editor

      • If you want to create on android – there’s snapstudio.co It’s just like pepperfilters but for mobile

  • bayoubrandon

    How many filters can be submitted per event?

    • You can submit only at a time. And repeat the process as many times as you want and pay for each one

  • Robert Frachen

    Awesome Article Ash. I just got my filter done and approved by Mark at geofilter-design.com and he pointed out that the $5 charge for submission works for most areas, so basically chose the most dense borders for the reach of your filter to maximize your impressions.

  • naufal priyatama

    after this year in may 2017 i want to make geofilter snapchat for my school event, my school event is held ten days, how much that i have to pay to snapchat? @ashleyread:disqus

    • If you make a community geofilter for school, it’s free and lasts forever. But if you want to make one for an event, you have to pay. Pricing starts around 5$ day

  • T

    If my filter has been approved, am I able to change background filter?

    • You can’t change anything about it, once it is approved. If you wish to, you have cancel the filter and send a new one after making changes.

  • Nicola

    Do you know if you can get the images that people upload using your geofilter? If I were to use them for a work event, could I have the photos / videos that people upload using that filter at the end of the event?
    Thank you 🙂

  • Parker

    bummer that this isn’t available for a destination wedding in Mexico 🙁

  • Kareem Mohd

    Thank you so much! I was exploring the idea of making a geogilter maker app and was skeptical about the market. This post validated it! Many thanks!

  • Alex Karap

    Ash, thank you for this amazing tutorial!

    I recommend also FineFilterz.com

  • Martin Friedrich

    Great article!

    One question though:
    I’d like to create a snapchat filter for an event within a bigger event. We are a nonprofit working at big festivals and we’d like to know if it is possible for us to create a filter around our tents, even though the festival already fenced the whole site around us.

    Can two filters “compete” on the same location?

    Thanks

  • Julian Guzman

    The truth is that geofilters work very well,
    At first I thought they would not be very useful, but they have given a bonus to my company
    https://www.fiverr.com/crdesigners/create-customized-snapchat-geofilter
    Here I found a page where the services are very cheap and good, here I designed 3 professional geofilters for 5 dollars (more or less in that are the services they offer).
    I hope my information helps,
    Greetings.

  • Paige

    I have uploaded my personal Geofilter and it got approved. I set up a test time for today to make sure it worked before my event. Nothing is coming up. Do I have to “upload” or do something to get my geofilter to appear. I cant find it anywhere. Thanks

  • Great article. Thanks. I use http://approvedgeofilter.com/ for my filters! They did my birthday and wedding and were pretty cheap.

  • adrian craig

    Thank you for the information in your blog! I would like to recommend FineFilterz.com

    Here are the things we offer:
    We offer 24 hour turn around time.

    We offer 100% custom made geofilters.

    Our company has been operating since the Snapchat opened up their On-Demand Geofilter platform. Our brand is trusted by businesses, celebrities and thousands of other clients.

    For more information you can visit anytime this website.

  • gray

    Try this. This is amazing.You will love it https://finefilterz.com/

  • Isabella

    Hello Customer,
    Do visit our website FineFilterz to get your true amazing geofilter. Do visit now.
    Thank You.

  • Isabella

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  • Isabella

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  • Isabella

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  • Isabella

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  • john paul

    AwweSome Snapchat!!!!

  • carol

    Superb Snapchat!!!

  • leah

    Wonderful Geofilters i li
    ke it!!

  • carole

    its great! try also FineFilterz.com

  • leah

    wonderful snapchat…i rcommend also FineFilterz.com..its good

  • Isabella

    i try this site FineFilterz.com and i suggest any one need to buy snapchat geofilters try FineFilt erz.com

  • Isabella

    LOOK THIS IF YOU WANT TO MAKE YOUR EVENT MEMORABLE AND UNIQUE https://finefilterz.com
    THIS IS AMAZING, TRY IT RIGHT NOW

  • nina partez

    Hey guys! I really recommend you to visit FineFilterz.com to see some new snapchat filter!

  • nina partez

    Hey guys! I really recommend you to visit FineFilterz.com to get some great snapchat filters!