Why Snapchat’s New On Demand Geo-Filters are a Game Changer for Media Buying



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When approaching media today the first question becomes: How can we get users to trust our brand? If they don’t trust the brand they will not trust the media. The efficacy will be shot.

Nielsen reports that 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. Social and Influencer marketing prove to be effective largely because they are the closest outlets to that trustworthy marketing.

Less than 10 years ago Social Paid arose. Facebook created a channel where media could earn social endorsement through engagement. This engagement is a testament to the content and the brand – particularly when it’s coming from a friend.. It’s a large reason why Social Paid has been a channel with incredible Return On Ad Spend and why brand budgets will only continue to increase YoY on these channels.

But the powerful engagement that comes as a result of media dollars is on a side effect. Typically earned media lift will range between 5-15%. It’s this slice that moves the needle most. There was once a time within Facebook media where you could use media to amplify a social story – A friend taking an action with a brand through a like, comment or share. The product was deprecated as it was difficult to scale with budgets.


This is called Consumer-to-Consumer marketing, or Word-of-Mouth (WOM). We purchase media on social in the hope of driving it. But what if you could purchase media directly in that slice of C2C.

It really hasn’t been possible at scale, and now there’s a media product that available that opened up rather silently which makes it all possible for the first time ever. This product is Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters, their new platform for self-serve media buying.

This guide will run through what is is, how it works, a buyer’s guide on how Snapchat’s pricing algorithms and the impact it could have for your brand.

About Snapchat Geo-Filters

Snapchat Geo-Filters are an opportunity for Snapchat users to get creative with their Snaps by adding an image overlay on top of their photos and videos.

See below for an example of a user applying a filter for the City of Newburgh. They only see this because they are located within the geofence applied for this city.


How On Demand Geo Filters Work

On Demand (OD) Geo-Filters are Snapchat’s introduction to the self-service media buying. OD allows users to get creative and create their own filters for a location such as a school, mall, or park. Similarly, brands can market their campaigns through this tool.

Pricing Mechanics & Snapchat Algorithms

Branded Geo Filters were previously only available on large-scale IOs of $40K or more, but they have recently been released to the public via a self-serve tool, On Demand. We’ll now run through the different components behind the algorithm.

Geo-Filter Size

Geo Filters can be purchased for as little as $5 a day with a location minimum square footage 20,000. The maximum square footage is five million square feet — the equivalent to about seven football fields in both width and length. Snapchat does not change pricing or efficiencies based on the size of the geo-fence.


Pricing increases for a longer time frame or larger distance. Buyers earn pricing efficiencies as the duration of a media buy increases. For example, the Cost Per Square foot for a 30 day buy is half the cost for a buy that only lasts one day.


Prices also vary by location. For example, an On Demand Geo Filter in North Dakota costs $0.20 per thousand square feet, whereas an On Demand Geo Filter in New York City can be as expensive as $3.00.

Implications On Optimization

  • Maximize timespan to decrease costs by up to 50%
  • Be hyper-specific on the location of the geo-fence and where you exactly expect users to use your filters
  • A-B test and optimize against different areas. It does not cost additional funds to create 4 different locations for the same filter. This will give you an increased level of insight to optimize against location
  • Optimize creative by running multiple filters and finding the top performing

The Impact of On Demand Geo Filters for Brands

Scalable Consumer to Consumer marketing. This is an opportunity to drive advocacy on behalf of your brand. It’s a must-have for all brands with on-ground premises. It’s an opportunity for all other brands to get creative.

Snapchat Geo Filters are the first scalable C2C product for a social media network, and it has big implications for the largest brands of the world. This a product that cuts through and resonates with millennials who look for authenticity in brands.

Snapchat Geo Filters are a must-have for consumer facing brands. If you don’t act quickly, you could lose out to your competitors in a snap.

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