The Marketing Possibilities of Snap's Context Cards

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Billions of pictures and videos are uploaded to Snap daily. The question now: is there a way to make Snap sellable to marketers? Perhaps there is, thanks to Snap’s new feature.

This past October, Snap introduced Context Cards. This new feature allows someone viewing a photo or video Snap to swipe up to find additional information about the location featured. According to Snap’s official website, “with Context Cards, Snaps have become the visual starting point for learning more about the world, empowering our community to get more information about anything that catches their eye.”

According to Snap, the Context Cards can be used to incorporate helpful contextual information, such as:

  • Reviews from critics and customers
  • Directions to the location
  • Hours of operation
  • Contact information
  • Rides from ride-sharing services
  • Reservations at restaurants 
  • Websites for more information
  • More Snaps from the surrounding area

Reviews and business information come through Snap’s partner sites: TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Michelin, and goop. The partnerships with Uber and Lyft make it possible to schedule a ride directly through Snap, as well as place a reservation through OpenTable, Resy, or Bookatable.

The following video demonstrates the use of Context:

Snap intends to add more partners over time, which will increase the amount of available information and functions. It would also expand marketing opportunities for brands to increase their own site traffic through Snap.

“Context Cards give brands new opportunities to place investments with Snapchat, making it imperative for them to ensure they own their social data and have a connected, cohesive view of their entire social portfolio,” said Jason Beckerman, CEO and co-founder of Unified.

He considers the Context Cards approach to be an indication of a general direction that makes sense for the company. “We’ve seen Snapchat continue to make smart investments in their advertising infrastructure, and develop technology designed to solve key marketing needs. This has created a strong relationship with their API partners, and has already begun to drive scale for corporate advertisers,” said Beckerman. He anticipates that the trend will continue into 2018.

Marci Dobrow, SVP of Advertising at HYFN, agrees that this is a defined direction for Snap.

“Snap continues moving in the right direction by leaning in on advertising products that give brands a clear picture of ad performance and will ultimately unlock more marketing budgets as performance continues to improve,” said Dobrow.

Dobrow also believes that these partnerships offer a benefit to brands. “This will allow advertisers to better understand the impact their ads are having on their target consumers and help bridge the gap from online ad impressions to offline sales,” said Dobrow. 

Though it doesn’t look like Context Cards are going to be a source of immediate revenue, they certainly pave the way to monetization – particularly with the integration of apps that lead to direct purchase. The ability to place a direct order as soon as something catches your eye holds immense marketing appeal for brands. 

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