Snapchat starts selling Sponsored Geofilter ads thru its API as travel, event seasons kick off

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Snapchat is making it easier for brands to buy Sponsored Geofilter ads that people can add atop the photos and videos they share on the mobile app to help describe what’s going on in the frame.

Snapchat has begun selling its Sponsored Geofilter ads through its advertising API in the US, UK, Australia and Canada, the company announced on Monday.

Now, instead of buying Sponsored Geofilter campaigns through Snapchat’s self-serve tool or its direct sales team, brands can buy them using the same third-party software they may use to buy Snapchat’s Snap Ads that appear within Live Stories and Discover channels and between people’s Stories. That makes Snapchat’s Sponsored Lens format the only ad type not yet available through its ad API, though nationally targeted Sponsored Geofilter campaigns can also still only be bought through Snapchat’s direct sales team.

The timing of Snapchat’s move makes a lot of sense when you consider that travel season, wedding season, graduation season, summer movie season and concert season are about to kick off — all place-based events that people are likely to document on the photo-and-video-sharing app. Snapchat’s Sponsored Geofilter sales document pitches the format as being used by people “to explain where, when, and why they took the Snap.”

The automation of Sponsored Geofilter ad sales makes a few things easier for advertisers.

First, it’s now easier for a brand to pair a Sponsored Geofilter with a Snap Ad in a campaign. For example, using a company that plugs into Snapchat’s ad API like Adaptly, MomentFeed, SocialCode or Unified, advertisers could buy a Sponsored Geofilter campaign, then use Snapchat’s newish Snap Engagement Audiences targeting to run follow-up Snap Ads aimed at the people who used the Sponsored Geofilter.

Second, it’s now easier for a brand to manage the look of its Sponsored Geofilters. Marketers or the automated ad-buying firms they use can create Geofilter templates and customize them to individual locations, i.e., swapping out the names of cities, airports or sports arenas being targeted, without having to open an app like Adobe Photoshop to redraw them from scratch.

Third, it’s now easier for brands to track the performance of their Sponsored Geofilter campaigns over time. And since they can monitor a Geofilter campaign’s results using the same dashboards for eyeing Snap Ad results, they can get a better look at how the two ad types can compare, contrast and correspond.

About The Author

Tim Peterson, Third Door Media’s Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat’s ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar’s attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon’s ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube’s programming strategy, Facebook’s ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking’s rise; and documented digital video’s biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed’s branded video production process and Snapchat Discover’s ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands’ early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo’s and Google’s search designs and examine the NFL’s YouTube and Facebook video strategies.


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