The Latest: Snapchat vs. Instagram

Here is our take on the most notable stories in Digital and Social Media Marketing from last week.

This week, we are focusing on the ensuing competition between Snapchat and Instagram. Social Media Today put together a guide that helps marketers decide which "Stories" platform is right for them, Instagram released new retargeting options to enhance their current ad offering, and Instagram is giving some advertisers a free preview of their newest, Snapchat-inspired ad product.

Snapchat or Instagram Stories: Which is Better for Your Business?

Social Media Today | July 9, 2017

"Stories", which was made famous by Snapchat, is becoming an ever-more popular feature on Instagram. This feature, which allows users to post photos and short videos that are viewable for 24 hours, can grow into an important part of a brands' social media marketing strategy.

Social Media Today has released a guide for choosing between Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories. Some of the key findings: (1) Instagram is much more popular than Snapchat, with 250 million daily Stories users vs. Snap's 166 million, (2) both apps have a young audience, but Snapchat even more so, and (3) Instagram has more search options, which may make targeting easier.

Our Take

Social Media Today concludes that there is no definitive answer, and we somewhat agree: Instagram Stories and Snapchat are very similar. However, if we had to make a recommendation, the best platform for your brand comes down to the audience you are trying to reach, your current Facebook strategy and your marketing budget.

Snapchat skews younger than Instagram, who has been steadily building a more diverse audience in terms of age. This means if you have an older target audience, Instagram is probably a better option. In terms of getting up-and-running, since Instagram is connected to Facebook it should be simple to make the jump if you're already advertising on Facebook.

In terms of cost, Snapchat ads do have a higher CPM. However, as their ad platform matures we do see the cost dropping overall.

Facebook Adds Instagram Retargeting Options to Custom Audience

Social Media Today | July 11, 2017

Instagram has introduced new ways to retarget ads to certain audiences on their platform. The first option is Video, which allows you to retarget audiences who watched a video you posted. The second option is Lead Form, which allows you to retarget audiences who have engaged with (but not completed) a form you posted. And the last option is Business Profile, which allows you to retarget anyone who interacted with your Instagram profile.

Our Take

These robust retargeting options will allow advertisers to send more targeted messages to users who have engaged with their brand in the past. As Social Media Today noted, audiences who see retargeting ads are 70% more likely to convert, so it is definitely worth testing retargeting to enhance your existing Facebook/ Instagram strategies.

Instagram is turning the screws on Snapchat by handing advertisers free trials and credits

Business Insider | July 14, 2017

As Snapchat is going through a rough patch with their stock, Instagram is looking to hit their competitor while they’re down. Their newest ad product, which is being tested by premium advertisers, are sponsored lens and filters -- another ad product made famous by Snapchat.

Our Take

This is just another instance of Instagram threatening Snapchat’s place in the digital world. As we said in our take on the first article in this post, knowing the best platform for your business is dependent on your audience, current Facebook strategy and budget. However, with Instagram adopting Snapchat's business model at such a rapid pace, one has to question Snapchat's viability as an ad platform.

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