How Snapchat filters can help brands with shoe string budgets to climb the ranks

You might not be one of the top ten brands in the world that has $200,000 to spare for a custom Snapchat Brand Lens (source). So how do you still use Snapchat to your benefit your brand and work harder with Snapchat users? Here’s how:

Riding the freemium

There are many free Snapchat lens that enables users to share or save mini videos and images (even screenshots through your phone). These can then be shared to brands directly or collected for user generated branded content (UGBC).

By creating a campaign that harnesses one of these popular free Snapchat filters, you are effectively free to successfully use the Snapchat platform to generate branded content.

The dog lens

Okay it might have some mixed results but the dog lense on Snapchat is really very good news for pet food brands and the pet industry in general.

It both surprises and makes people laugh.

Brands could use the dog filter to encourage more UGBC, this could be a competition to find the funniest selfies or raise awareness for animal charities.

The flower filter

If you are a beauty brand or your industry relies on summer advocacy e.g. music festivals or fashion, then you might want to encourage the best flower filter photos on Snapchat.

Filters like these create a visual language for your brand that can be stitched into other communication areas such as print or out of home (OOH) advertising.

Hijacking a filter like this for your brand is the ideal way to create a more meaningful connection with your brand.

Other Ideas

Awareness around the elderly, love for a new car, the gossip surrounding a new food product, a telecoms deal, an alternative current account, soft drink or brand new electronics product; These all have the opportunity to take advantage of Snapchat filters in a way that gets people involved and sharing right across social networks (via saving stories to your phone, screenshots of filters in Snapchat or sending the Snapchat Stories to the brand directly on Snapchat).

Will it work?

Snapchat is most likely to create views and followers that aren’t just exclusive to the Snapchat platform, but anywhere else you might share the campaign online. This is great because any campaign using Snapchat filters should be very visual and intriguing elsewhere online.

UGBC however is notoriously hard to encourage unless a bit of carrot and stick is used. Prizes and competitions help to drum up applicants. The results however aren’t always pretty and this is why sticking to the pre-set filters can be wise (example campaigns)… even if it is just a caption contest.

The best campaigns appear to carry a mixture of rewards such as the chance to be the face of a campaign, be the best at something e.g. the best flower girl or the cutest dog.