Snapchat vs Instagram Face-off: What’s the Best Marketing Platform?

Instagram and Snapchat are some of the top video and photo-sharing apps these days. Both platforms are helpful in marketing your brand because, collectively, they amass about 690 million active users in one day.

However, not all businesses have the capacity to promote their products using various platforms. For this reason, most business owners wonder which of the two social channels is worth the time and effort. 

Snapchat and Instagram have similarities in terms of advertising features and other functions. It isn’t easy to pinpoint which will be more in line with your strategy and help build your business. 

I hear you. If it’s hard to identify the best one for your brand, don’t sweat it. I’ve decided to lend you a hand by giving you a side by side comparison of these two platforms. Hopefully, with my research and analysis, you’ll be able to pick out which is more effective for your business.

Stories 

Instagram and Snapchat stories don’t have a lot of differences. Their elements are very much alike. However, Instagram tends to be more addictive. It’s the seamless transition from one story to another that really hooks users in. The more stories you see, the more into it you get. As a result, users spend more time on Instagram. There’s also a chance of better exposure and better access once a viewer clicks on any story.

Snapchat, on the other hand, requires users’ permission when moving onto the next story. In many instances, users are likely to skip a story and proceed to something else.

My Pick: Clearly, the winner here is Instagram. According to TheAmplify, the Instagram story feature has a 28% higher view rate compared to Snapchat stories because it ensures you see as many stories in your roster.

Audience

Instagram has been around longer than Snapchat, so it’s not surprising to find out that the platform has three times more users than Snapchat. However, when talking about audiences, I don’t gauge the numbers alone. I go for quality, and so should you when choosing the best option for your business. 

Almost 50% of Snapchat users are Gen Z, ranging from 18 to 24 years of age. They stay on the app far longer than they would on Instagram. As a matter of fact, most Snapchat users don’t even have an Instagram account. When targeting this age group, you’ll do better using Snapchat.

Instagram offers more variety when it comes to audiences. Millennials take up the platform. Young adults (18 to 29 years old) make up 59% of the users, while 30 to 49 years old make up 33%. If your business is intended for older folks or you need to spread brand awareness, then Instagram is a better pick in the long run. 

 My Pick: Instagram has over 500 million users, which allows for better targeting and raising awareness for your brand.

Filters

Instagram tries their hardest to imitate Snapchat’s filters, but sadly the platform is still falling short. Nothing beats the original, I guess. Snapchat’s filters are incomparable, especially when it comes to animated filters. You’ll see the difference in the infamous canine filter. On Instagram, you get the ears and the cute tongue and all. However, Snapchat’s version will have the tongue sticking out and wagging as an actual dog does.

Moreover, Snapchat has more filter options. Instagram’s versions are nice, but they still can be disappointing to Snapchat users. Augmented reality effects are Snapchat’s strongest suit, after all.

My Pick: Snapchat’s the original and the king of augmented reality effects. If your campaign thrives more with the right filters, you should definitely use Snapchat.

Presence

These days, potential customers and clients catch a glimpse of your social media content before doing business with you. It’s a way to check legitimacy. Moreover, if you don’t put in too much effort in your content, you can’t capture their attention and reel them in. 

Since Instagram has a public profile option, it’s likely to show up on Google, where users conduct their search. 

I can’t say the same for Snapchat. Unless prospective followers add your profile, they won’t be able to see your content. For non-Snapchat users and others who are reluctant to do intensive research, this is a no-go. If you prevent them from seeing and understanding what your business is all about, they are likely to walk away.

There’s also the fact that snaps and stories disappear right away. Timing is essential here. If targeted users check your account, there’s not a lot of material to review. It’s a different story on Instagram. All your followers can view your content whenever they please. It’s also easier to input significant business information, such as a website link, an address, a phone number, and store hours.  

My Pick: Definitely, Instagram. The platform has more features that can transform leads to customers.

Advertisements

Instagram influencers are known to lead a picture-picture perfect life. Therefore, most products sold on the platform sell like hotcakes. It’s all about the fear of missing out (FOMO) the ads evoke. Whenever a user sees an item on Instagramin all its shining glory, it strikes a feeling of envy and urgency. 

Instagram also has more economical ad options than Snapchat. The platform only charges $0.70 to $1.00 and provides analytics tools to measure Instagram campaign engagement. It’s also easier to manage campaigns since you can access them via Facebook’s Advertisement Manager.

Snapchat doesn’t have solid analytics just yet. Some of the most reliable ones aren’t free. Snaplytics, for one, at its cheapest, still costs $19/month. It’s quite a lot since Snapchat isn’t really a priority for most online marketers. 

To be candid, marketers are not pleased with Snapchat’s advertising features, but there’s no denying the platform’s potential.

My Pick: Instagram. The platform already has a bagful of tricks when it comes to advertising. It’s slowly becoming more and more powerful over time.

Sponsorship Campaign

Overall, campaigning on Snapchat can cost you more than campaigning on Instagram. However, many argue that spending your budget on Snapchat reaps more results. Allow me illustrate — Gatorade once created a lens filter for Super Bowl 50. It received 165 million views, and the company experienced an 8% boost in purchases. Producing a lens filter is not cheap. It can cost more than $300,000 a day, but it’s most definitely worth it. 

My Pick: This round goes to Snapchat. The platform garners 1.5 more attention than IG. However, you must make sure your business can afford the hefty price tag that goes with sponsorship campaigns.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Between the Two Platforms

Instagram has a prominent edge over Snapchat, but the choice will still depend on your business needs. Moreover, there are other factors to consider, too.

  • More than 70% of Instagram posts aren’t discoverable. 

Since there are over 95 million photos being uploaded on the platform, you can’t expect all your followers to see your post. Yes, content overload is a thing on Instagram. So if you’re worried that your posts won’t pop up on your fanbase’s feed, you might want to give Snapchat a shot.

  • Snapchat’s ephemeral can create a buzz around your campaign.

You can’t really craft an excellent profile on Snapchat, but the urgency 24-hour posts conjure up can be profitable to your business. Most companies take advantage of Snapchat’s short-term nature by doing deals, free giveaways, and contests. For instance, Grubhub developed Snaphunt, a scavenger hunt spanning one week on Snapchat. On each day of that week, the company created a challenge for their followers to accomplish. On the 7th day, they offered a $50 prize. By doing this little ploy, GrubHub increased the number of their followers by 20%

Making the Decision

Think about what type of content you want to produce. Images are more suitable on Instagram. You can bet most of the posts on the platform are edited and nicely done. High-quality photos are definitely not characteristic of Snapchat. On the platform, images tend to be fresher and raw.

Talk to your team what’s the best material for the campaign you’re running. If your fanbase is having a hard time relating to your brand, you might want to jump on Snapchat and produce more genuine posts. 

On the other hand, if you want to strengthen your brand identity and increase its popularity, you need to tap into Instagram’s wide and varying population.

You also need to honor your audience’s preferences. As a matter of fact, it should be a priority. If you’re still not sure how to make the best choice, you can try both platforms for a while and get a feel of how things are. Use Instagram to establish your expertise and brand recognition, and use Snapchat to draw in more followers that want to see your brand’s fun and goofy side.

Ask yourself what’s the reason behind your action. At the end of the day, you should select the app that is in line with the direction your company is heading. It’s good to work on expanding your circle, but don’t forget that it’s more important that your audience forms a relationship with your brand. Their loyalty can get you far. 

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