The evolution of Snapchat filters.
Should businesses be utilising this platform more?
Social media can be an invaluable tool for any business, it’s a platform which allows businesses to grow their brand awareness and develop better, more meaningful, connections with their customer base. Especially in today’s climate, businesses are spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding which social media platform to focus their efforts on. Whether it is the visually focused Instagram or the more corporate focused LinkedIn a business has access to a wide range of different platforms and can choose which platforms best suits their needs.
This blog however is focused on a relative newcomer to an already crowded space, a social media platform which often gets overlooked or underestimated by businesses and that platform is Snapchat.
Created and released in 2011 for Android and IOS, Snapchat was primarily designed as an instant messaging service, where all messages were sent as captions alongside images. These images were only visible for a pre-determined time, once opened the message couldn’t be seen again.
Flash forward to July 2019 and Snapchat is a far cry from its initial conception. Due to continuous support from its developers, the app has constantly evolved and adapted to the needs of the everchanging environment and its users. Snapchat now features calls, text messaging, AR games as well as a host of other features. For businesses however, it was the addition of branded stories and filters which has created the best opportunity for marketing.
Filters are colourful overlays which can be applied to “snaps”. Filters add various effects to the pictures you either send your friends or place on your story. These filters are incredibly popular with users, with even a selected few transcending the platform itself, think the “dog filter” or “flower crown”. However, many don’t realise that filters can be created and implemented by anyone. Through the use of their app users can upload designs, set geographical conditions and even set date ranges for how long your filter is available for. It’s this feature which, when utilised properly, can help to strengthen and grow your business’s brand identity.
Own a restaurant? Create a geographical filter so then when customers visit your business and inevitably take pictures of your amazing food, they can add your custom filter to their images. When others see the filter, they will be exposed to your logo and brand colours, and in doing so will increase their familiarity with your brand and will become more attentive and receptive to it in the future.
It’s not just restaurants, almost all sectors can make use of this form of marketing, from venues to beauty salons. By designing and implementing a filter, you will soon be able to convert customers into brand advocates through an app that they will undoubtedly already be using.
The cost of filters varies depending on the size of the location in which you filter is view-able, and the length of time which it is accessible. This method can be an extremely cost-effective way of improving your businesses brand awareness and connecting with your audience. With its ease and various options, you can even specifically target peak times and locations to really maximise filter performance.
Snapchat has grown to be one of the largest social media platforms currently available. Its constant updates and support have also allowed this platform to evolve into an incredibly diverse and fresh marketing tool which businesses should utilise.
Designing your filter
Here is an example of the Snapchat filter which we created to run alongside our team Christmas celebration. When it was time to design our filter, there were a few key design points needed to be considered:
The first and most important design feature you must consider is where your users faces will go. Filters are used to enhance a photo or selfie, not to completely overshadow it. To that end be careful when placing your design elements, as seen in our example, We were sure to leave a large blank space in the middle of the screen to ensure the target of the photo could be seen and that the on screen graphics weren’t too large that they distracted from the photo. If a filter is too busy or blocks too much of the underlying photo, users simply wont use it. Be sure to keep to the edges of the screen when designing, use the perimeter of the screen to maximise the space which is available for the photo.
The second thing you must consider is the occasion, or the reasoning behind the filter. If you were to look at our example with no prior knowledge you could still tell that any photo taken with this filter enabled would of been taken around Christmas time. And that’s what your aiming for, filters should be specifically tailored to every instance in which they are used. You don’t want ambiguous filters that need explaining to you’re users, your striving for filters in which users can see and can either recognise the event, the business or the product.
Finally, have fun with your design. Snapchat inherently is a fun platform to use so bland, uninspired corporate looking filters will simply be ignored in favour of the brighter, funner ones. You have to design a filter that people are going to want to use, whether that is because of the colours or design elements. Be sure to pack as much fun and ingenuity into your filter as possible as this is the best way to ensure users see and interact with your filter.