Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



Marketing in a Snap

Posted by Connor Wiemann on 8/4/17 5:30 AM
Topics: retail technology, snapchat, social media marketing

Grabbing my attention, or most college students’, isn’t easy because we are bombarded with images and advertisements all day every day. However, catch my eye on Snapchat, and suddenly you have my attention — at least for 10 seconds.

Marketing in a SnapSnapchat geofilters for all budgets

Snapchat is an image-based social media platform where users can send pictures or videos to friends that disappear after 10 seconds. One thing people love about Snapchat are the filters. Whether you are distorting your face, swapping faces with a friend or checking out the most recent filter creations, it is a feature most Snapchat users use daily. Some businesses have been using custom filters for years to gain the younger demographic’s attention for new movie releases, restaurants and makeup. The companies who have utilized this advertising feature have been large — with budgets in place to create awesome filters — but not anymore.

Snapchat’s most recent development of on-demand geofilters has opened the door for small businesses without large advertising budgets to attract college students to their business or promotional event.  Businesses can personalize geofilter templates by choosing which one fits with their event and entering their own text. An easy step-by-step process allows you to create an interactive advertisement that reaches your targeted audience where they spend most of their free time.

The location-based image shows up in a Snapchat user’s list of filters whenever they are within the geographical boundaries of the area you set. When your filter is selected, a frame-like image lays over the user’s screen displaying your message. After the user takes a picture, they then send it to their friends or followers, spreading the word about your event or sale.

Why Snapchat will work for you

Many businesses have already successfully used Snapchat to generate foot traffic. Starbucks, for example, uses geofilters to market its happy hour. It also promoted the launch of its loyalty system the same way. Game of Thrones recently used a geofilter to make sure everyone knew when the new season started. River Island, a London-headquartered fashion brand, uses Snapchat to communicate sales and promote their brand. All of these companies used Snapchat to penetrate a difficult demographic: Generation Z.   

How Snapchat works for a college store

Students prefer Snapchat. 79% of people in the U.S. who are 12-24 years-old use Snapchat. We may or may not see signs hanging around campus or in a store, so reaching us on our phones is ideal even if it is only for a few seconds. Qdoba, a Mexican grill, used geofilters to increase foot traffic to their restaurant and helped speed along their marketing efforts by offering free burritos to people who used their filter. The more people who shared their filtered image with their friends, the wider the reach of the campaign, extending it beyond the borders of the geofilter’s radius.

You can choose the area for your geofilter, establishing the boundaries that work best for your store. You could include the whole campus for your event or just part of it. Numerous times, I have seen a friend post about getting free Starbucks or pizza on campus. With a Snapchat filter, not only do I see it happening, I read the exact offer and often take part — unable to pass up a good deal.

Track your results

Depending on the time and location covered, geofilters are inexpensive and easily analyzed to determine your return on investment. You can see how many people saw the geofilter, how many interacted with it and how many used it. The data gauges how successful your campaign was at engaging students and how you can adjust further campaigns to reach more potential customers.

Snapchat’s on-demand geofilters can increase the foot traffic into your store for an impromptu sale or promotion — just allot 24 hours for the approval process. So if you want students’ attention consider hanging a sign — or geofilter — right where they will see it: on their phone.

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