Instagram’s launch of the new feature “stories” did not come as a surprise for most of us. After a failed attempt to acquire the Snapchat in 2013 it has worked ever since on the development of such lookalike apps. While some of those copycats failed along the way, the Instagram story is here to stay. As Instagram’s stories is already being used by +100 million people on a daily basis.
Now the question remains how these apps differentiate themselves from each other and what we as marketers should keep in mind while defining our Social strategy for 2017.
Over the years, Instagram’s feed has proven to be a very effective branding tool. This by providing businesses with the tools they needed to share content that was in line with their mission statement and core values. Through this process, like-minded people are automatically drawn to your content and they are provided with the option to ‘follow’ you in order to stay up-to date on your latest brand news. Note that the content on this feeds are usually picture perfect moments that have to delight the follower base or encourage non-familiar ones to dream away with you. This while the content of stories are typically more in the moment happenings or behind the scenes scoops. Meaning a very powerful tool to engage with your followers and strengthen that relationship.
All about Scale, Fun and Demographics
So now that we know we should use these stories in a different way than the content we’re used to post on our feed. Which platform should we choose to strengthen that relationship ? There are 3 main topics while making that decision: scale, fun factor and demographics.
Where Instagram has a big advantage over Snapchat is the fact that since its birth it has been growing it’s daily user base at a steady pace. Nowadays the social media platform has 300 million daily active users, this while Snapchat is a bit lacking behind at 150 million daily active users. So companies who want to set-up large scale actions should consider investing in Instagram stories. Next to that companies who’ve already invested considerable resources in building their loyal follower base on Instagram could leverage this investment further and intensify engagement through Instagram stories.
However this does not mean that Snapchat couldn’t play a viable role in obtaining your objectives. While Instagram stories just rolled out some basic drawing and text adding features, Snapchat is and remains the ‘King’ of the fun stuff, bypassing Instagram with advanced filters, like geolocation filters or the world-know dog filter taking the selfie to the next level. This “fun” factor caused millennials to fall in love with the application in the first place. Even Though snapchat is still in the early stages of defining a viable business model. They offer some interesting advertising options such as the sponsored geolocation filter: which allows users located in a particular area to create and share content that is branded. Typically companies would sponsor events as they want to be associated to certain attributes of the event. Now imagine if you could also reach people that are not directly present on the event (but might be as interested in your offering) through simple branded selfies to their friends. This could really take your sponsoring strategy to the next level right? Next to that its expected that Snapchat will rollout more advanced advertising options in the future as they are preparing for an IPO. We’ll keep you updated about that !
Example of geolocation filter:
Finally we should consider the demographics. Although both apps are originally products for millennials we see a slight difference in the demographics of their user base. While two-third of Snapchat users are younger than 25 years old, Instagram’s user base extends to a slightly older age, up to 34. So depending on who you would like to reach a preference to one or the other could be given.
So what ?
To conclude we may say that Snapchat has better features and allows for way more customization, which is particularly appreciated by youngsters. This while Instagram provides you with a way wider reach and allows you to leverage your past investments even further.