Back in 2011, Stanford students Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown launched Snapchat under Snap Inc. It was designed to be an image messaging platform that allowed users to send photos and videos that would disappear soon after being received.
During its launch, Snapchat surpassed Twitter’s daily active users and it seemed like everyone busied themselves snapping back and forth.
In the background, Instagram was hard at work to mimic this success. They soon released the Stories feature, which allowed users to upload self-deleting photos and video clips on their main feed. This caused confusion among brand owners and marketers as to where they should allocate most of their marketing resources.
It’s evident that the major social networking sites are stepping up their game to keep as many users engaged for as long as possible.
Today, we will be breaking down the benefits Snapchat and Instagram have to offer to help you decide which platform you should focus on for your campaigns. Find out which of these two platforms is right for you, based on your own goals and needs.
Snapchat made its debut in 2011 and instantly became a hit among users who were tired of uploading edited image after edited image on social media.
Image credit: Feedio
It was one of the first mobile networking apps that allowed users to upload raw and unedited snippets of their day that would auto self-destruct. It also presented the snaps in a never-before-seen linear storyline that was arranged in chronological order.
Their unique algorithm, or the lack thereof, made online visual communications feel more realistic – and people gravitated towards it.
Image credit: Business Insider
Snapchat rose to fame for being anti-Facebook so it was a surprise for the tech industry when Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) launched their own disappearing photo and video messaging feature in 2016.
According to their SC-1 Filing for investors, Snapchat users logged in to the app at least 20 times a day and stayed for an average of 30 minutes.
Image credit: TechCrunch
It’s apparent that Instagram wanted in on the action and therefore they basically released their own version of Snapchat in their app.
Both platforms now offer easy uploading and editing so choosing the perfect one for your needs in this round all boils down to your preference.
There are a lot of ad opportunities for marketers both on Snapchat and Instagram. They both offer ad placement for a fee.
Image credit: Snapchat for Business
Both platforms promise to help brands raise awareness and boost engagement to the right kind of audience.
Image credit: Instagram
They also give users access to data analytics tools that can help them develop a more precise campaign.
There are similarities, but when it comes to ad opportunities Instagram is a clear winner. They offer the most comprehensive and precise data tools a marketer would ever need for a campaign.
Ads on Instagram Stories are also more interactive compared to Snapchat. Their clickable link overlays help drive customers to your website or sales page as easily as possible.
The clickable links and more sophisticated ad layouts are things that Snapchat only integrated to their platform just this year – and therefore they lack the far-reaching potential Instagram Stories Ads have.
We live in a day and age where people are highly connected and both of these platforms allow them to share snippets of their life on the go. As a result, both platforms have become a household name amongst mobile users.
According to their S-1 filing, Snapchat has over 158 million active monthly users. They pride themselves in keeping their users engaged for at least 30 minutes at a time. This gives you a lot of time to flex your marketing muscles in front of potential and existing customers.
Despite these impressive numbers, 65% of marketers still prefer to conduct their campaigns on Instagram. It seems marketers are not convinced by the results Snapchat is giving them for their investments.
There were also concerns about the lack of a comprehensive way of measuring success, as well as the significant decline in engagement after Instagram Stories came into the picture.
Despite being a copycat, Instagram wins this round.
In a study, Statista found that Snapchat is very popular among users aged 13 – 24. If you compare it to other social networking sites out there, it’s apparent that Snapchat only reaches a rather limited age group.
Image credit: Statista
If you want to attract users from a more diverse age group, you might want to focus your marketing energy on Instagram.
Pew Research Center found that Instagram is mostly comprised of female users aged 18-29. On top of that, Instagram is also home to a majority of social influencers and brand amplifiers who can help you reach out to more users.
Image credit: Pew Research Center
It might depend on what your niche is, but unless you’re selling to a younger market we’d have to say that Instagram wins yet another round of this bout.
If your current Instagram marketing efforts are not delivering the results you were hoping for, consider teaming up with an influencer to amplify your message. Track down some of the most revered Instagram influencers in your niche and reach out to them about a potential collaboration.
Better your chances of getting your chosen influencer on board by purchasing an impressive amount of high-quality Instagram Followers from a reputable provider. This will help you strengthen your social proof so you’ll have a much easier time convincing influencers to collaborate with you.
Both Snapchat and Instagram are aggressively stepping up their game in order to get users to stay on their respective platforms for as long as possible.
Since its inception, Snapchat has proven that it’s capable of exponential growth but this has since slowed down after Instagram Stories came into the picture.
If you want to grow a more local presence among teen US mobile users, investing your resources in building a presence on Snapchat can be worth your while. Only time can tell what other things Snapchat has up its sleeves to help boost engagement further.
Because Instagram has more international users compared to local US users, global brands will be more likely to benefit from any of its plans for expansions in the future.
For this round, we say Snapchat can be a great platform for local businesses while Instagram can be the ideal place for marketers working on global brands.
If you’re not using social media to engage in intimate conversations with your target audience, then you’re doing online marketing wrong. You should be using these platforms to really connect with your users in order to get a better idea of what direction your marketing strategy should take.
Instagram may have advanced features that allow you to make your Stories ads more interactive but it’s really not a place that nurtures important conversations. Instagram prioritizes quality images and videos over engagement. That means you have to dedicate a big chunk of your energy and resources in producing quality content, leaving you with little manpower to dedicate for conversations.
Snapchat is a more casual place where you can have intimate conversations with your followers and the users you want to attract without getting overwhelmed.
For that, we will give this round to Snapchat.
Each social networking site out there allows you to connect with your audience in different ways. Understanding your goal and knowing as much as you can about your target market can help you decide which platform deserves most of your attention.
After placing Snapchat and Instagram Stories head to head, it’s apparent both platforms have something different to offer brands and marketers like yourself.
Snapchat is a cutting-edge app that has proven they are always ahead of the pack. They are continuously coming up with new features and updates that are helping them sustain engagement on a local, more targeted scale.
Instagram, on the other hand, has managed to innovate what’s already on the market and make it work for global brands – with a promise of great ROI.
The right platform for you really depends on your needs and the goals you want to achieve.
If you want to utilize Instagram Stories for your current campaigns, you should consider buying a few thousand high-quality Instagram Followers from a reputable provider in order to strengthen your social proof. Buying a few thousand followers will help you attract more organic users by crafting a more credible online brand persona.
Whatever platform you choose to use for your marketing efforts, make it a point to focus on nurturing engagement among your target audience for better results.
Image credit: Shane O'Leary
Date: July 18, 2017 / Categories: Case Studies, Marketing, / Author: Mariko
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