How Brands Can Use Snapchat Lenses to Growth Hack

Snapchat’s newest software, Lens Studio is a creative tool that will allow brands to push the boundaries of what is currently available to engage with customers and spread awareness about any company or brand.

Danny Sapio
5 min readJan 27, 2018

What Are Snapchat Lenses?

In short, Snapchat lenses use your camera and augmented reality to allow rainbows to flow out of your mouth or make it appear that your head is a taco.

3D world lenses are available when you switch to the outward facing camera. These will make it appear that 3D characters like the famous dancing hot dog are right there in front of you. Whether the dancing hot dog is actually there and just disappears as soon as you look up from your phone, the world may never know.

How Brands Can Use Lenses

For a while, only brands with enormous marketing budgets were able to utilize sponsored Snapchat lenses — but now anyone can bring their ideas to life!

Snapchat has developed Lens Studio, a software that makes it possible to create your own lenses. There’s still a learning curve involved but lenses are much the same as Snapchat geofilters, which we saw make waves in the marketing world. I believe that Snapchat lenses will do the same.

Brands can develop their own 3D world lenses and submit them to Snapchat. Snapchat will then provide a unique Snap code that anyone can scan which will unlock that lens for 24 hours. Once the filter is unlocked they can snap and share!

Snapchat Lenses Have Virality

Snap’s dancing hot dog was viewed over 2 billion times on Snapchat. That’s one viral hot dog!

Open Snapchat and hold down on any of these to unlock!

If you just unlocked one of the lenses above then you’ll see how quick and easy it is to snap and share a lens. Once you send the lens or post it to your story, anyone that views the lens will have the ability to swipe up and unlock it for themselves.

Geofilters, the static graphics that overlayed on snaps could only be sent and received but not used by the person receiving it. Lenses, however, can create a chain reaction.

For example, let’s say I pick up a Pepsi bottle at the store and scan the snap code on it to unlock their filter. I can then post that snap to my story and everyone that views it can unlock the filter and start sharing it with their friends.

This makes lenses insanely viral!

Geofilters vs. Lenses

So far, Lenses have followed a similar trajectory to the other popular feature by Snapchat, geofilters.

Snapchat created the first geofilters that were available on the platform which let users become understand how they worked. Once everyone became familiar with the idea of using location tags on their snaps, On-demand geofilters were introduced which allowed anyone to create and submit filters.

The same sequence is now happening with lenses.

I believe right now is an early adopters dream. When on-demand geofilters were first introduced there was a rush of excitement and uncertainty. Everyone wanted to know how this new tool could benefit their brand.

Geofilters were a new way of placing a users attention on a brand in a native, unassuming manner. They allowed brands to put a geofilter at any location that they’d like and anyone there had the option of whether or not they wanted to use it. If the filter was used and shared then it was a new word of mouth style advertising for the brand that created it.

For example, let’s say you’re at a marathon and you pull out your phone, take a quick snap then start swiping through the filters. If you came across a filter that displayed the name of the event and some cool graphics then you would probably use and share it without being bothered that there’s an Adidas logo in it.

Lenses will allow brands to the exact same thing, only in a higher quality way.

A brand’s potential customers will associate the brand with the positive emotions that they were experiencing during the event.

Every interaction with the public represents an opportunity to strengthen your brand. The possibilities are truly endless for what can be done with this new tool.

Lenses will allow you to dance with your favorite characters from a new Pixar movie while you’re waiting in line to see it. Or, enjoy a bowl of frosted flakes with Tony the tiger. Or maybe even, watch the Super Bowl with your favorite player.

So, what will your brand use lenses for?

If you’re interested in utilizing lenses for your marketing strategy or would like to learn more about them — shoot me an email and we can discuss how your business can benefit from having one. Here’s my email.

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