Resources Hub » Blog » 3 Ways Snapchat Can Help Grow Your Business

Article first published in September 2017, updated June 2019

Since its recent IPO, Snapchat has become the latest marketing channel worth checking out. Its reach is promising, with 190 million daily active users.

Snapchat gives marketers the opportunity to connect with their audience in real time, when the audience is out and about. It’s particularly good for localized campaigns and telling compelling, interactive stories.

Why would a business use Snapchat?

Many marketers believe Snapchat hosts a younger crowd. There’s some truth to that, as 75% of Snapchat users are under the age of 34 and, globally, 90% of Snapchat’s monthly users are between 13-24 years old.

Because Snapchat reaches so many, it’s a novel marketing channel worth trying, especially for marketer’s intent on reaching a millennial audience. In this article, we’ll show you three specific ways you can use Snapchat as part of your digital marketing strategy.

How do you promote on Snapchat?

1. Promote a local store or event with Geofilters.

If you want to promote a local store or an event, such as a conference, concert, or store opening, Snapchat Geofilters offer a way to interact with a hyper-local audience. Geofilters allow marketers to create a Snapchat filter that’s offered to all users within a certain area for a specific period of time.

For example, if your brand is hosting a conference, you can create a Geofilter for the duration of the event to encourage attendants to interact with your brand on Snapchat. If people use the Geofilter, they inadvertently spread the word about your brand to friends and colleagues.

There are two main types of Geofilters: community and on-demand.

Community Geofilters are free and are used to promote and celebrate a public location, like a city or a park. These filters can take up to six days to get approved. There’s no branding allowed on community Geofilters..

Government Social Media Org community geofilter

Source: Government Social Media Organization

On-demand Geofilters are for businesses who want to create a specific filter for an event, business, or specific location. Brands pay outright for these Geofilters, and Snapchat approves or denies them in a matter of hours.

6 S marketing Ondemand Geo filters

Source: Snapchat Geofilters

Snapchat also offers “Branded Geofilters” aimed at large businesses, which cost anywhere from $250K to $750K, depending on the date shown, the targeting, and the audience size.

Creating an on-demand Geofilter

Creating a Geofilter is relatively easy, as long as you follow Snapchat’s Geofilters guidelines.

These guidelines include:

  • The Geofilter must be 100% original.
  • There must be no logos or trademarks, photographs, or hashtags.
  • It must be creative and visually compelling.
  • It doesn’t have to cover up much of the screen.
  • It must be relevant to the location and something that people will want to use.

Although you may need the help of a designer to create an on-demand Geofilter, you can use some available online tools to create one, like FilterPopHere are some extra tips from Snapchat to help you create and submit your Geofilter.

The cost of Geofilters relies on the square footage you select and the length of the event. That means, the larger the area you cover and the more time you want, the more it’ll cost.

Currently, Snapchat charges $5 per 20,000 square feet, per hour. If you run the numbers, you’ll see it can be quite affordable: A small store can promote their Geofilter for a couple of hours without breaking the bank.

Promoting your Geofilter

Once you’ve created your Geofilter, you need to promote it. You can share info about the Geofilter in your latest email marketing campaign, on your other social media channels, and on your website. You can also offer a discount code to those who use your Geofilter.

Vans, the American shoe company, used location-tailored on-demand Geofilters to highlight spaces representing Vans‘ history and to promote their 50th Anniversary event. The results were positive: Nearly one in five Snapchatters who unlocked the Geofilters chose to send them to their friends. What’s more, the campaign helped Vans increase the ad recall, brand favorability, and purchase intent above the average mobile retail campaigns.

Vans Snapchat Location Tailored Geofilter

Source: Snapchat

Wendy’s, the famous fast food retail company, was able to increase foot traffic to their stores. After the launch of their time-limited Jalapeño Fresco Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Wendy’s was able to drive 42,000 people to visit their stores, thanks to an on-demand Geofilter.

Wendy's Snapchat On Demand Geofilter

Source: Wendy’s

2. Build awareness for a nonprofit.

Snapchat can help nonprofits connect with their donors and build awareness. This is especially true if the nonprofit is trying to attract young people, the main audience of Snapchat.

Nonprofits can use Snapchat to engage with the people who support their cause. The purpose of a nonprofit is more than a problem; it’s a reason to fight for something. Showing the people who fight for that cause can motivate others to join it.

Leverage Snapchat Stories.

Start with the nonprofit’s mission and story. People want to have a reason to care for a cause, so showcasing it in a way that touches their emotions is the best way to achieve that.

Snapchat Stories—photos or videos that can anyone can view for 24 hours until they disappear—can help do that. Although Stories can’t help you for a long period of time, they offer the opportunity to share excitement in real time around an event.

Whenever a nonprofit runs an event that they host or sponsor, they can create a story and send it to their followers. At the same time, they can incentivize people to do the same on their own Snapchat accounts to share the cause with their friends. This can help create user-generated content, which, as we’ve mentioned before, is a powerful way to persuade people.

Promoting a Snapchat account

To promote a Snapchat account, a nonprofit should first create a Snapcode. A user can simply scan this code and immediately follow the nonprofit. Once this code is generated, the account can be promoted on other social channels. For example, you can share a snapcode on a Facebook page or Twitter account. You can also mention it in your newsletter.

Whenever someone snaps something related to the nonprofit—which could be a selfie of them participating in an event or a video volunteering—the organization should thank the person involved. Keeping people happy and involved is paramount for any nonprofit that wants to sustain their efforts.

To promote the World AIDS Day, the nonprofit (RED) partnered with Snapchat to create three Geofilters specific to the occasion. These Geofilters would help build awareness about the day. To make things interesting, every time a user sent a snap with one of these Geofilters, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would donate $3 to RED’s cause (up to $3 million).

After the campaign was over, 14 million users used the Geofilter, 97% aged between 13 and 34. What’s more, two-thirds of the users who saw the Geofilter remembered the campaign’s message and were 90% more likely to donate to the organization.

RED Nonprofit Awareness Snapchat Geofilter

Source: (RED) partnered with Snapchat

3. Increase your audience using Snapchat Ads.

You can be an extremely popular brand with engaged followers but still struggle to generate organic attention on social media. Enter Snapchat Ads. If you want to reach your whole audience as well as increase it, Snapchat Ads offer the opportunity.

Try out Snap Ads.

Snap Ads are full-screen 10-second vertical video ads that appear between Stories. If you have a message you want to deliver to a broader audience, Snap Ads are a great way to do it. You can use Snap Ads to promote a piece of content, a product or mobile app, a visit to your mobile website, and much more.

Since Snap Ads have a swipe-up rate 5x higher than the average click-through rate on other social media platforms, it’s a great way to promote your brand.

If you want to create a Snap Ad, Snapchat will help, but you’ll need to start the process at least 14 days before your target launch date. To be accepted, you must spend at least $3,000 per month. According to Adweek, the CPM of Snap Ads is around $50, which is similar to a TV commercial.

If budget is a concern, then you can still try to build an audience without using any ads. Once you’ve created a large following and know what they like, you can try Snap Ads.

bareMinerals, a cosmetics company, used Snap Ads to promote the launch of their latest product, Blemish Remedy. bareMinerals used long-form videos to showcase their product, as well as provide an informative step-by-step guide on how to best cover up blemishes.

Since the product is geared towards young people with acne problems, the messaging was a great fit for Snapchat. bareMinerals’ ads got over 5 million views and reached 1.9 million users, with a 30% engagement rate and a 200% increase in website traffic.

bareMinerals Snapchat Ad

Source: bareMinerals

Other lesser-known outlets for digital marketers to explore

As big as Snapchat is with users, it’s not a common social platform used for digital marketers. The critical thing to remember here is that not all social media channels work for all brands, so finding the right channel for you is vital.

Like Snapchat, there are several other social media options are less utilized in the marketing world but still have to potential of drawing in new leads.


Probably one of the most totally underutilized social media platforms for social media marketing today is Reddit. Currently, Reddit ranks at the 13th most visited site worldwide and, in the US, it ranks at an astonishing #5.

So why don’t more marketers use this channel in their digital marketing strategy? Simply because they don’t understand how to.

Reddit users are very forward with marketers and make it clear that they aren’t on the platform looking to buy something. So how do you market on the social media giant? You become one with the community.

Much like with Snapchat, you must become a part of the community to gain user’s trust. From there, you want to become an authoritative voice, not a salesperson. Let the people come to you for advice and knowledge on your given niche, and, from there, you can gain valuable new leads.


WhatsApp is a free mobile app that makes use of a user’s phone’s internet connection to allow them to chat with other users. Its reputation speaks for itself, as it’s the most popular alternative to SMS in overall half of the world. With over 60 billion messages sent through the app every single day, it’s worth investigating, as it opens up a new line of communication between brands and their consumers.


Kik, much like WhatsApp, is another alternative to SMS and has earned a fanbase of over 300 million registered users. What made it so popular amongst the masses was the fact that it didn’t require a phone number, making users feel like they had a higher sense of privacy.

Not only can brands use this platform for one-on-one communication with consumers, but they can also create brand bots to engage with clients. Brands such as the Weather Channel and Sephora set up bots to help communicate with their clients using defined keywords to help guide a user’s experience.

Not only can brands use this platform for one-on-one communication with consumers, but they can also create brand bots to engage with clients.

Source: Small Business Trends

Wrap up

Snapchat has a lot of room for growth, and marketers are finding creative ways to drive engagement on the platform. When it comes to reaching a younger audience, Snapchat may be one of the best ways to make a splash.

Whether you run an online business, a retail shop, or a nonprofit, you can leverage Snapchat’s unique potential to drive brand awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, more sales.

Need a little guidance on the marketing trends for 2019? Give our state of small business guide a peek and see what other small businesses are struggling with and planning for, as far as their digital marketing activities for this year.

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