Whether you’re a Snapchat expert or just getting started there’s no denying the recent popularity of on-demand geofilters.

These custom graphics are similar to existing Snapchat filters but only appear when you’re in a certain location. Regardless if you use them for fun or business these geofilters are the perfect way to add overlays to video and photos to let others share where they’re snapping from. They are free to use and with over 100 million daily active users and 7+ billion videos views a day Snapchat geofilters can add a unique experience to any event.

[twitter=“If Snapchat is the entree, then filters are the dessert that users can’t get enough of.”]

Before we dive into the fun part of designing your new filter there are a few things to consider.

Set your objective

The first thing to know is that there are two types of Snapchat geofilters.

Personal on-demand geofilters for people can’t include any business names, logos, or other promotional content. They’re meant to be used for personal celebrations such as birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries, and graduations as seen in the following example.

Business geofilters, as the name suggests, are used to promote a brand or business. When submitting these you’ll also need to include a business name. This text will briefly appear next to the words “Sponsored by” when Snapchat users swipe your filter into view. These are not automatically forced upon users but are an optional choice after someone creates a photo or video snap. Users could choose to add a time or temperature overlay, your custom filter, or none at all.

It’s worth noting that geofilters are free for users but are a paid service to activate them. With that in mind you may want to consider the following questions before creating one.

  • Who will see my filter and will they want to use it?
  • Is the location popular and will my filter compete with others?
  • What’s unique about the event or location that can be used in the design?
  • Is the purpose to simply spread brand awareness or attract customers?
  • How long will the filter be available available?

Choose your location

When it comes to Snapchat geofilters, think local. They are meant for smaller areas as opposed to an entire country, state or province. While you can add landmarks or other areas of interest it’s best not to include private information. For example, you wouldn’t want to submit a geofilter of your grandma’s house just because you think she bakes the best cookies in the world.

[twitter=“Snapchat geofilters are meant to be local but shouldn’t include private information.”]

In addition to personal events here’s a few ideas that could greatly benefit from these filter overlays.

  • Festivals
  • Conferences
  • Product launches
  • Customer appreciation parties
  • Award ceremonies
  • Networking events
  • Restaurants & Food Trucks
  • Real estate open houses
  • Trade shows
  • Landmarks & Public Venues
  • Concerts
  • Ribbon cutting ceremonies
  • Bar/Bat Mitzvahs
  • Holiday parties
  • Seminars
  • Sporting events & fun runs
  • Golf outings
  • Fundraisers

Design your filter

As with most designs it’s best to use the correct size for the intended platform. Snapchat uses a size of 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels high. Since starting with a blank canvas can be intimidating for most people, Snapchat provides a small set of templates to get started. You can also check out this Tumblr page for a growing collection of geofilters.

Here’s a few tips to keep in mind when creating your designs.

  • Keep it simple. Don’t cover up too much of the screen.
  • All graphics need to be 100% original. It’s ok to use free clipart but don’t use copyrighted images or branded logos.
  • Be original. Popular locations will often have several filter choices so try to create something that stands out.
  • Since most photos and videos will have darker tones light colors work best.
  • Use a mix of solid and semi-transparent objects and text so they don’t completely obscure the photo or video.

Your final image should be saved as web-optimized, transparent .PNG files and the file size should be under 300KB. This can sometimes be hard to accomplish so we suggest using a free tool called TinyPNG to compress your image.

If you don’t have Photoshop and are looking for an easy way to design your Snapchat geofilter RELAY can take the guesswork out of the process.

Submit your design

When you’re ready to submit your design go to Snapchat’s submission page. We suggest starting with a small test first before scaling your reach up to larger events.

After uploading your image and filling out your information you’ll need to create a geofence for your filter. Snapchat’s map tool helps you create a virtual fence that defines the area where you want the filter to be available. This geofence must be more than 20,000 square feet and Snapchat will prompt you if you’ve met that minimum requirement. The larger the area, the greater the price.

Once you submit your geofilter you’ll need to wait for approval. After that, simply follow the steps to set the duration and process payment. One tip is that if you need to replace a filter with a new one, add text indicating that you are creator of the filter and would like to replace it with the new one. It helps if you can explain why you think your new filter is better.

In summary

Hopefully you’re beginning to realize that Snapchat is hear to stay and that it’s no longer just for kids.

Geofilters provide a way to differentiate your event and create a unique experience to your attendees. For those using Snapchat, a fun and branded filter could amplify your reach exponentially.

Get "make marketing images" off your to-do list.