A Guide to Advertising On Campus With Snapchat Geofilters

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Snapchat, the app where images disappear just seconds after they are viewed, is no doubt a big deal among college students. It has become another icon on the screen that shares real estate with other popular student apps like WhatsApp, Yik Yak, Instagram, Kik, and Periscope. According to comScore, about 69% of U.S. smartphone users age 18 to 24 are on Snapchat. This is a 24% increase since 2013. We think it might be even more. As college marketers, we understand that once a new technology catches on, advertisers will want in. College students, of course, scream in protest at this, and sometimes we can’t help but cringe, too. Afterall, we use and love these apps too and, like students, hope that advertisers stay away or, at the very least, respect the platform.

So, how should today’s top brands and ad agencies advertise on Snapchat? What should they expect or not expect, for that matter? How do you even do it?

We think that the best way for advertisers to experiment with Snapchat is with on-demand geofilters. Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters let you design custom filters that Snapchatters can elect to use on their snaps based on a custom location that you define.

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Example: W Hotels created fun filters for guests to use

This simple tactic is used to reach people in a specific geographic area and gets them to share your event or business imagery with their friends.

You don’t have to be a household brand name to be engaging on campus. With a little creativity and a willingness to put yourself out there, even advertisers like colleges and campus recruiters can get in on the action. Here are a couple of examples:

Enrollment Marketing: Drake University used a geofilter to connect with potential students attending the state high girls' basketball championship in Des Moines, Iowa, overlaying an image of the school's bulldog mascot onto Snapchat images from the event.

Recruiting: 180LA wanted to fill a social media manager role, so their geofilters targeted people who were already employed at the West Coast HQs of Google, Facebook and BuzzFeed. According to this Mediabistro article, potential hires “within the boundary of those physical offices could view open positions, application instructions and even take a mini tour of their ‘new’ workplace.” (source)

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Advertisers looking to use Snapchat this fall when marketing on campus should do so as a way to amplify what they are already doing. Don’t expect to drive clicks to your website (you can’t) or drive conversions (you won’t). Snapchat is a brand engagement and awareness play. Don’t overthink it. Design a filter that’s fun and engaging, and if you are lucky, students will latch on.

If you need help setting up your on-campus Snapchat presence, please contact us today. We offer full-service planning, design, and management of all types of campus advertising, including Snapchat!

Snapchat Campus Advertising