How To Run A Successful Snapchat Geofilter Campaign

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We here at Bell Media get asked all the time about Snapchat Advertising. Unfortunately, Snapchat video advertising is extremely expensive, but their geofilter option is quite affordable for small businesses. Most marketers have limited knowledge of Snapchat Geofilters and several of them don’t even know that they exist. For those that are in the dark, here’s how Snapchat describes them:

“Geofilters are special overlays that communicate the “where and when” of a Snap in a fun way, whether you're sending it to a friend or adding it to your Story.” - Snapchat

To simplify, a Snapchat geofilter is a design that a user can overlay on their snap and share with their friends. The geofilter is ONLY available in certain specific locations that the advertiser chooses to target. You can view these geofilters on Snapchat by swiping left on your phone after you’ve taken a snap. The graphics that pop up are the geofilters.

Now that you know what a Snapchat Geofilter is, let’s learn how to create a successful geofilter campaign.

The Goal

It’s important to understand that this is strictly a brand awareness play, with the goal being to expose your brand to as many users as possible. For your Snapchat Geofilter campaign to be successful, you need to be able to hit the mark on the following elements: design, message and location. These three components are linked together, so if one of them fails, the entire campaign will be a bust.

The Examples

a sign on the side of a road
a woman smiling for the camera
a woman wearing sunglasses posing for the camera
a person wearing glasses and smiling at the camera


Your design needs to be compelling enough to stand out from the other geofilters that will be available to the user. It should include your logo and other high quality graphics to bring the design to life. IMPORTANT: Your logo alone is NOT strong enough to achieve your goal of maximum exposure. Don’t go that route. The result will be poor engagement and wasted ad dollars. Remember, this is a brand awareness play, so the design needs to leave a lasting impression.

Let’s take a look at Taco Casa’s geofilter design:

  • The logo is in a prominent position, but it’s not the overwhelming focal point of the design.
  • A red circle was placed behind the logo to avoid any possibility of the logo blending into the user’s snap. The remaining space within the circle was used to incorporate Taco Casa’s taglines.
  • The green and yellow stripes at the bottom reflect Taco Casa’s trademark awning that Taco Casa fans find nostalgic.

There are certain rules you must follow when you’re designing your geofilter. Check them out with a few design tips of our own below.

Graphic specs and tips for Snapchat Geofilter designs:

  • 1080px wide by 1920px height – we recommend only using 25% of the design’s full height, putting your ideal design size as 1080px wide by 480px height. Anything more than that might clash with the user’s snap.
  • 300KB maximum file size.
  • Export files as a PNG with a transparent background.
  • Adobe Illustrator is the preferred design platform.
  • Stick with vector graphics in your design. Low quality raster images could result in blurry, pixelated designs. Most smartphones now feature a retina display, which further magnify the grossness of a pixelated design.
  • Regarding type, make sure the text is large enough to be read and don’t use any colors that could potentially clash with the user’s photo/video.
  • Snapchat will not allow you to place phone numbers, website URLs or email addresses in your design.


The messaging in your Snapchat Geofilter design needs to align with your target audience, location and timeframe. Be clever with your messaging and make sure it speaks to the user. Tell them what they want to hear or something that would capture their emotions.

When developing your geofilter message, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who will see the design?
  • What words or phrases can I use that relate to them?
  • What words can I use to entice the user to share the design?
  • How can I make messaging align to the location that I’m targeting?

Let’s use the Nine Tuscaloosa, a luxury student housing property, as an example. They launched their geofilters (see above) the weeks before and after spring break to connect with college students and promote their brand. The phrase “Almost There” combined with the beach elements amped up the college kids dying to get down to the beach. The design with “Take Me Back” consoled students as they pitifully went about their post-spring break school week. The messaging was clever and beautifully paired with the designs. The college kids were able to relate to both of the messages, resulting in high usage and maximum exposure.


When choosing a target location, make sure the area is heavily populated and a prime spot for making memories. Famous attractions, landmarks, sports venues, amphitheaters, schools, conferences and community events are all hotspots for snapping. Before launching your campaign, make 100% sure that your targeted location will contain people that fall within Snapchat’s demo. According to Statista, 18-34 year olds make up 64% of Snapchat’s users and those aged 35-54 make up 12%. So, if you’re targeting your local amphitheater, make sure your geofilters are running during a Kings of Leon concert and not a Rod Stewart one :).

Bringing It All Together

Allow us to share a Snapchat success story of our own. On the day of last year’s Iron Bowl, we ran a Snapchat Geofilter campaign to raise awareness for our brand and to promote our new Love Local logo, which we’ve recently trademarked. Here’s the rundown:

  • Location: The Quad at The University of Alabama. This is the location with the highest foot traffic on Alabama game days and an area with high smartphone usage.
  • Time: 5 hours before the game until kickoff.
  • Design: Illustrations of an elephant and tiger, which give a nod to both fanbases. The Love Local logo is also included to show that we are a local business and pro-community (see above).
  • Message: “The Greatest Rivalry in Sports” is a statement that both Auburn and Alabama fans can agree on.

Campaign Results

  • 1,718 people viewed the design in their geofilter gallery.
  • 331 people used the design in their snap (19% conversion rate).
  • 19,597 unique people saw our geofilter.
  • A $2.39 CPM was achieved.

As you can see, hitting the right place at the right time with a strong design that’s relevant to both fan bases produced awesome results.


Executing a successful Snapchat Geofilter campaign takes careful planning, research and execution. Providing the right audience with a visually engaging geofilter that contains relevant messaging will set you on your way to booming brand exposure!

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