- By Colleen McNamara
The news of Snapchat’s Context Cards just broke, proving that the world’s most influential powerhouses are continuing to invest in the power of local marketing. Snapchat has trail blazed the Local Marketing space with its invention of Geofilters (and subsequent Geofences), and the new Context Cards take the location-based experience on the platform one step further.
Context Cards in Action
The way it works is simple: a user stumbles upon a Snapchat that contains something that sparks their interest (be it a pancake or a ferris wheel). If the Snapchat user sees “more” at the bottom of the Snap, they can swipe up to find a host of information about the business:
- Authentic reviews
- Driving directions to the business
- Hours of operation
- Phone number to contact
- Rides from ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft
- Reservations (restaurants)
- The website
- More Snaps from around the area
Context Cards are positioned as a “spontaneous discovery” tool for Snap users, but for advertisers, there’s nothing spontaneous about it: Context Cards are a prime opportunity to deliver authentic, relevant content to local consumers. Whether your business is a retail store, restaurant, salon, or movie theatre — the importance of reviews just increased significantly, especially if you have your sights set on the Generation-Z consumer.
Why Context Cards — And Snapchat — Matter For Your Business (Even If You Don’t Want to Believe it)
If you’re inclined to think: ‘meh, Gen-Z doesn’t really matter to me, so I don’t need to consider this too much,’ — you should reroute your thinking immediately, if not, sooner. As Snapchat evolves, so do its main users. Today, Gen-Z already owns $44 Billion in purchasing power, and they spend a whopping 5 hours (!) per day on their smartphones. A recent study completed by NRF and IBM found that this powerful demographic could be what “saves” the brick-and-mortar space, due to the fact that 67% of them prefer shopping-in store.
While they’re willing to make the trek to your stores, a few expectations that must be met:
- Seamless brand experiences: your website isn’t loading fast enough? Bye! Bad service? Nope!
- Authentic consumer-to-brand relationships: authenticity is the key here, which is why Gen-Z, when you reel them in, will gladly share your pancakes on their social channels.
- They prefer to be engaged by real people: Spokespeople aren’t really their thing: they can see right through that. This is why you need to put a measured effort into your reputation management: monitor and syndicate reviews, interact with your community, and show that you care.
And what happens if you wait?
The fate of once-powerful retailers like Toys R’ Us and Macy’s proves that those who fail to ignore the changing behaviours of consumers will lose. Baby Boomers went in-store, Millennials went digital; Gen-Z is a unique mixture of the two: digital is the pathway to your front door, and Snapchat is paving the way for that content to connect.
If you wait too long to beef up your review strategy, provide unique sharing opportunities and encourage customer loyalty, you’ll regret not taking this whole “Snapchat thing” seriously.