Up until mid-2016, we’ve all been hook onto the concept of disappearing stories introduced by Snapchat.
Allowing us to share a photo or video about our lives that (assumably) won’t stay on the internet for more than 24 hours completely amazed us.
However, to their horror, Facebook launched Instagram stories- disappearing stories on the widely acclaimed social media platform, Instagram, and quickly became Snapchat-on-steroids for brands and marketers.
Quickly, Instagram stories took over Snapchat as the main platform for disappearing content feeding off the large audience Instagram had already established.
Its amazing features and wide reach have made it prime for Instagram marketers to use for brand awareness and influencer marketing campaigns.
However, there are still some amazing features on Snapchat that Instagram lacks thus giving Snapchat a competitive advantage.
(Source: Business Insider)
So what does this mean for your brand? Should you completely cut out Snapchat from your social media marketing strategy because you think Instagram can reach more people?
Definitely not, my friend!
A large reach doesn’t mean the right reach in marketing. ‘Right’ meaning your target audience depending on age, country, and gender demographic amongst other factors.
The same rules of influencer marketing can be applied here in that audience numbers can be deceptive and shouldn’t be your only metric.
On top of that, by choosing the wrong platform, or using the wrong method for either platform, you’ll be reaching out the wrong way; which is worse than not reaching out at all.
In fact, I’m going to give you a breakdown on what to consider when choosing the right platform to use for your next campaign.
The majority of Instagram users are aged 25- 34 while on Snapchat, a younger audience of 18-24-year-olds makes up most of the users.
Looking at the demographics of your audience is the most important thing in social media marketing. It allows you to have a better understanding of the characteristics and interests of those you’re reaching out to which will help you craft a better campaign.
So if you’re planning to sell a 17 colour eyeshadow kit you might want to consider which age group is more likely to buy it and where you should market your product.
Snapchat was born out the want to send our closest friends embarrassing photos and videos that lasted for only a while. Friends are generally added through contacts and Facebook connections which make your friend list more personal. Of course, you can add total strangers by remembering their ridiculously long and complicated usernames and searching them up.
(Source: Digital Trends)
On the other hand, Instagram stories had a base of 600 million users to leech on. It quickly rose to fame by allowing easy access to behind the scenes/ off-duty videos of their favourite influencers and celebrities.
Users needn’t even follow an account to see its Instagram stories. They may very well appear on the Explore page based on what the user has been searching up on, making brands more visible on the platform. Thus, it should be used for greater visibility.
(Source: Tech Crunch)
As compared to Instagram stories, Snapchat is more intimate and would work as a ‘reliable’ word of mouth recommendation for brands and should be used for higher engagement.
Instagram stories quickly picked up Snapchat’s renowned features such as stickers and geotags.
However, Instagram managed to include tags which directly leads users to the mentioned accounts as well as its popular Boomerang and Live features.
The Live feature is particularly useful for influencers to build stronger relationships with their audience by interacting with them in real time and primes their eventual post for a higher engagement rate.
In influencer marketing, engagement rate= likes+ comments as a proportion of the total following. The higher the number, the better for the brand featured on the post.
For Snapchat, apart from the seriously flattering selfie filters (which Instagram has also included), they have recently launched Snap Map.
Like the (once popular) location-sharing app Foursquare, Snap Map allows people to check in at different locations by snapping a photo or video and see where they are in proximity to their friends.
(Source: Snap Inc.)
This is useful if you’re promoting an event or a physical store and are using influencers to check- or rather snap- in and increase traffic.
I got to admit, letting everyone know where I am all the time is a little creepy; but I’m curious to see if Instagram Stories will take this idea and modify it like it has for almost every other SnapChat feature.
Social media marketing has been booming for some time now. A lot of money and time is invested into campaigns which can consist of just a single post.
In terms of stretching out a marketer’s dollar, Instagram stories are a great way to ‘preview’ the actual campaign’s post and create a buzz amongst fans.
In my previous article, I talked about how beauty brands used influencer marketing to turn into multimillion dollar sensations. ColourPop cosmetics takes it one step further by getting their artists and staff to test out and package new products on Instagram stories before it officially launches on their online store.
In this aspect, Snapchat is an app solely for posts that last 24 hours, unlike Instagram- which was first a (kind of) permanent photo sharing platform.
However, Snapchat ads do enable continuity in campaigns by leading to full articles, videos, or even promotional coupons when the viewer swipes up. Brands can even follow up on campaigns with other Snapchat features like sponsored geotags.
Instagram has indeed stolen Snapchat’s thunder with its brilliant modifications on Instagram stories. However, Snapchat may just get back in the game with its rapid development of new, innovative functions which you can take advantage of for your next campaign.
A clever marketer will not shut any doors on social media marketing platforms but instead embrace all of them to make the most of their campaigns.
If you haven’t gotten enough, read the next article which discusses more on how Instagram stories can improve your brand.
What do you think? Is Instagram kicking Snapchat’s butt or is Snapchat on the way to being number one again? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!