Without question, Snapchat has gained the attention of marketing, advertising and public relations professionals as an increasingly popular social media platform. Brands began tapping into the platform years ago, but with an expanding user base and evolving features comes new opportunities for branding and promotion. If you’re using the platform, you’ve likely tried out a sponsored Lense or seen an advertisement while clicking through Stories. If you don’t quite have the social media budget for these features, you can still utilize the platform’s less expensive alternative: On-Demand Geofilters.

I’ve implemented Snapchat Geofilters for everything from employee engagement campaigns to personal birthday parties. However, I recently had the opportunity to support a Geofilter campaign for a prominent East-coast university. Snapchat was identified as the ideal platform for encouraging high school students to apply to the university. We successfully implemented Geofilters at high school homecoming football games, which resulted in a 23 percent use rate on average. Here are three recommendations for implementing an On-Demand Geofilter:

  1. Do your research

A critical part of every marketing campaign is knowing your audience. With minimal insight available about Snapchat’s user base, it’s important to do as much external research as possible. We knew high school students were active on Snapchat, but we devoted time to researching the academic calendars of our target schools to determine the specific details about the students’ schedules. These granular details helped us recognize events and timeframes where students were most likely to be active on Snapchat.

  1. Use your best judgement
Successfully implementing a Snapchat Geofilter requires a mix of research and your best judgement.Click To Tweet

Unlike other paid social platforms, you can’t specifically define the audience for your Geofilter. You can however define the geographical area and time that the filter will be available. Successfully implementing a Snapchat Geofilter requires a mix of research and your best judgement. Using insight gathered from our research, we strategically placed Geofilters at the target high schools during the high school homecoming football games. We believed that a significant number of students would be attending the games, yet we didn’t necessarily have insight into attendance.

  1. Be creative

The filter itself will also determine the success of the campaign. Creating an attractive and unique filter will grab the attention of users, and drive engagement. Snapchat provides a list of guidelines for submitting filters. Following the guidelines will ensure your filter is approved and launched on time. One thing to note is that Snapchat does not allow filters to contain calls to action or usernames. Geofilters should be useful and interesting to users, as opposed to being overly branded. For example, if the Geofilter is launched at an event, make sure it focuses on the event and subtly ties back to your brand. For this campaign, we opted for a customized approach by including each school’s mascot and recognizing homecoming.

Even without an ample budget to utilize Snapchat ads and sponsored Lenses, you can still implement On-Demand Geofilters to tap into the platform’s growing demographic. With these recommendations, you can start exploring the simple, yet dynamic, branding tactic. But if you’re looking for inspiration, check out how other colleges and universities are recruiting using Snapchat.