Instagram vs Snapchat: Which is Best for Your Brand Strategy?

Snapchat vs Instagram has always been under debate as both collectively attract 687 million active users daily. The large audience of these platforms makes them great marketing platforms as they help your business grow.

But if you are a small firm and do not have resources for spending on both platforms simultaneously, then which one should you choose to market your brand?

It is a tricky question to answer. It isn’t easy to distinguish and decide which platform will suit you the best because both contain overlapping features, functions, and components for advertising.

So when we talk about “Instagram vs Snapchat”, all we think is which platform is more popular in use? 

According to statistics, Instagram has almost 1.074 billion active users monthly. On the other hand, Snapchat has nearly 530 million active monthly users. So, we can say that Instagram has more active monthly users than Snapchat.

Although we can find many similarities between Instagram and Snapchat, they are incredibly different from each other in many ways. However, each platform has its qualities and can suit your brand, depending on its type.

What is a Brand Strategy?

A brand strategy is.

“long term inter-departmental plan for a brand to achieve specific, pre-defined goals.”

For a brand strategy to be successful, it must comprise of the following factors.

  • It should be well-designed.
  • When designing a brand strategy, you should keep in mind all aspects and functions of a business.
  • A brand strategy must improve the business in three ways; its customer experience, performance compared to its competitors, and financial stability.

In other words, a brand strategy drives your business towards the road of success or its doom. So, it is crucial to devise a flexible brand strategy keeping in mind the dense competitive marketplace.

 

Why is a Brand Strategy Important?

A successful brand strategy is a key to a better marketing strategy. You can call it the supportive pillar of a business. If you have a good brand strategy, you can.

  • Provide a direct and better set of instructions to your employees. They will have a clear target to achieve. So, their efforts will focus on providing a better output and thus increasing work efficiency.
  • Communicate with your consumers more appropriately. It will help you understand your customers better, note their preferences, and modify your goals accordingly. All this will result in an audience of happier and loyal customers.

A positive working environment and a happy consumer base are what make a business successful and talent-rich. And, this is the reason why a good brand strategy is essential.

Snapchat

Snapchat allows its users to send messages that disappear after some time. To interact with your friends using Snapchat, you need to know their exact username. It will enable you to interact only with the people you already know.

Is Snapchat Better than Instagram?

Instagram has tried to make features and filters like those of Snapchat. But undoubtedly, the filters of Snapchat are unbeatable. Snapchat is unique when it comes to animated filters. For example, the filters enable you to change your hair colour without actually dying them. Similarly, you can use the filters that make you look like a modern-day prince(ss) and transform your face into a Disney character. These cool features of Snapchat are unbeatable by Instagram. So, in terms of the animated filters, Snapchat is better than Instagram.

Also, improved reality effects offered by Snapchat are unbeatable by Instagram. For instance, you can add dancing hot dogs in your video and other real-world things. You can also use the dancing filters that make neon lights appear around your body when you start dancing. 

Snapchat Features for Brands

Snapchat offers many features for advertising your brands. However, Instagram has more active users than Snapchat. Still, using Snapchat can be very helpful to reach out to a new audience. Millions of snaps are created and seen on Snapchat daily.

Snapchat may not be the most suitable platform for all businesses. But if your business marketing strategy targets the younger age group, then it’s the best option.

That’s because 75% of Snapchat’s audience is millennials and Gen Z. You may find trouble finding users of this age group on other social media platforms. For example, one-third of Snapchat users are not using Instagram. Statistics show that Snapchat is very popular among people of a young age, such as high school or college students. They use Snapchat more than any other social media platform.

Also, Snapchat is more likely to create 60% impulse purchases. It is possible in a way that when users are interacting with friends via the chat button located on the left-hand side of your screen. It may also keep them in touch with brands and discover new brands by using the Discover button on the right-hand side of your screen.

Users use Snapchat for interacting with friends, and they spend 35% more time in the discovery section of Snapchat.

Pros and Cons of Snapchat for Business Marketing

Pros of Snapchat for Business

1. One-To-One Engagement

Snapchat offers one-to-one engagement and allows users to interact with each other on a personal level. For example, celebrities are using Snapchat to share daily life experiences and behind the scenes. So, brands can use Snapchat to do the same.

2. Reaching a Younger Audience

If you want to reach a younger audience for your brand, then Snapchat is the best option. It is because Snapchat has the majority of the audience of the age group less than 34 years. And it is primarily being used by high school or college students.

3. Discover Feature

The Discover feature of Snapchat makes marketing much more accessible. It allows users to explore premium content and articles from publishers. Increasing brand awareness and reaching the discovery section in Snapchat can be beneficial because users spend an average of 30 minutes on Snapchat daily.

Cons of Snapchat for Business

1. Limited Engagement

You cannot tell whether people have watched your content on Snapchat or not. Even their view cannot justify it because they might have skipped your content right after opening it.

2. Time Limitations

A Snapchat video cannot be more than 10 seconds. So, if your content is a bit longer, you’ll have to post several videos that may annoy the viewers. To avoid all this, you need to be precise and put your idea in front of the users within the given 10 seconds.

Moreover, clips on Snapchat disappear after 24 hours, and there’s no way to get them back unless you share them on other social media platforms.

3. No Re-Share Options

Snapchat does not offer a re-share option as compared to other social media platforms. Therefore, the only way to re-share is to take a screenshot and share it on other social media platforms.

In this age of technology and advancement, Snapchat is a great platform to interact with your audience. However, to give them an insight into your business but still, in some ways, Snapchat limits your interaction.

Instagram

Instagram is an image and video-sharing social media platform. It has gained enormous popularity with more than 1 billion monthly active users driven by the Instagram story feature.

We are debating on Instagram vs Snapchat, which platform is more in use. According to statistics, 500+ million users use Instagram daily while 280 million use Snapchat daily.

Is Instagram Better than Snapchat?

We are now clear that Instagram has more active users than Snapchat. We know that Instagram stories are quite similar to Snapchat stories. But we can say that Instagram stories are more addictive. It works so that when you are in the stories section of Instagram, it displays the next story even without clicking. This action makes you spend more time on it unless you click out of it.

On the other hand, if you are viewing Snapchat stories, it usually asks whether you want to view the story of the next person or not. This way, people can ignore your story, and it is not an ideal situation for your business marketing.

Moreover, there are better chances that your Instagram followers view your stories almost every time. It just makes the marketing process much more manageable. 

Why Is Instagram Better than Snapchat?

Advertising on Instagram may be beneficial for boosting your business growth because Instagram claims that you can target 850 million people using Instagram ads.

Another factor is that Instagram offers cheaper advertising than Snapchat does. It also provides free analytical tools to help you analyze your success on Instagram. While on Snapchat, you have to pay for these tools, and the advertising ads are expensive here.

Instagram Features for Business

Instagram offers different features for a business. Like Instagram reels, Instagram stories, and direct messages. You can use these features to introduce your brand and new products directly to your audience. This action can create a sense of liability between you and your followers. However, when you interact directly with them via stories and update them from time to time, your audience will develop a direct relationship with you. It will make them more interested and responsive towards your brand.

Advertising on Instagram can be very beneficial for your business activity. You can access the analytical features of Instagram by switching to an Instagram business account. People can easily search your business pages on Instagram, and it also allows users to search your contact information.

Instagram has introduced more features such as IGTV for longer video content. In addition, you can use IGTV to explain the use of your products to your audience. For example, if you are a cosmetic brand, you can use IGTV for makeup tutorials. The possibilities are endless and are only bound to your creativity.

Pros and Cons of Instagram for Business

Pros of Instagram for Business

1. Easily Searchable Content

If your content has the right hashtags, then it would be effortless to track or explore it from anywhere in the world.

2. Easy to Grow

You can grow your business quickly using Instagram if you know what you’re doing. Great content and conversation can easily make you gain followers, but gaining a huge number can be time-consuming.

3. Makes Editing Easier

Instagram can make your photographs look even better with their editing feature. In addition, it can create brilliant effects for your pictures.

4. Show Your Products

You can use Instagram business accounts in countless ways to demonstrate your business and products to your audience. As discussed above, Instagram features can show your business insights and update your audience about your latest products.

You can adopt different strategies like using Instagram stories to interact directly with your audience. Create polls and Q/A sessions to engage with your audience. Use Instagram photos to display your products. Use IGTV to demonstrate the use of your products and much more.

The key to gain more engagement is how interestingly and honestly you present your business to your audience.

Cons of Instagram for Business

1. You Cannot Add Clickable Links.

When you upload your product image as an Instagram post, you usually add the product link in the description. The fall here is that the link is not clickable. Instead, the audience must copy the whole link and paste it into the browser manually to access that product. It is a significant turn-off for the ones who might want to check the product details.

2. Your Target Audience on Instagram Might Be Useless for You

It is a common claim that the majority of Instagram’s audience is young people. And it is true also. But an Instagram business cannot ignore that this audience includes people of old age as well. And they might be more beneficial for your brand strategy too.

You can explain it in a way that younger audiences may or may not have the budget to purchase the product even if you are targeting them. In this case, the older audience might be your potential lead out of expectations.

3. Not Everyone Uses Instagram to Shop

No doubt, Instagram has been emerging as a fruitful platform for e-commerce. Still, it does not apply to everyone. Not everyone uses Instagram to search for the latest products and trends related to them. Instead, many open the app to keep tabs on their favourite celebrity, or others want to connect with their family members and share pictures. 

Instagram vs Snapchat: Which is Best for Your Brand Strategy?

As we now have a clear idea about what brand strategy is and its importance to run a successful business, we will now focus on the primary purpose of this blog. Instagram vs Snapchat, which platform would be a better fit for your brand strategy?

Both Instagram and Snapchat are proving themselves to be the best photo and video sharing platforms. And these two platforms are indeed doing a great job on their parts. With Instagram having 500 million daily active story users and Snapchat having 265 million daily active users, there is a reason why these similar platforms have such a huge difference in their daily usage.

Both platforms share similar features, filters, and content types. Still, they have a considerable difference in their user statistics. Unfortunately, these attributes have got many businesses confused about which platform would suit their business the best.

The only answer to this confusion is a thorough comparison of both platforms based on the verticals critical to the business world. This way, you can decide which platform can be the best for your business marketing strategy.

1. Audience

Instagram

According to Instagram revenue and usage statistics, the platform has;

  • Five hundred million active users per day.
  • 59% of the total internet users falling in the age bracket of 18-24 use Instagram.
  • 70% of Instagram users are under the age of 35.
  • 51% of Instagram users are female.
  • 32% of all internet users around the world use Instagram.

Snapchat

According to Oberlo 2020 report, the Snapchat user’s data show that;

  • Snapchat has 265 million daily active users.
  • More than 210 million snaps are created every day by users.
  • 70% of Snapchat users are female.
  • 45% of US millennials use Snapchat regularly.
  • 59% of Snapchat users fall in the age category of 13-24.
  • Only 2.15% of Snapchat users come in the age group of 35-34.
  • 50% and 77% of male and female college students use Snapchat for selfies, respectively.

These numbers indeed support Instagram with its hefty daily user count. However, the businesses targeting the younger portion of the population may find Snapchat an active and interactive mode of brand strategy development. It is because Snapchat has the majority of users that are 18-24 years old. Snapchat has most of its users across America, and they are mainly high school or college students. 

On the other hand, Instagram can be used for global branding and targeting older audiences. We can say that Instagram is more effective for a worldwide campaign because 70% of Instagram users are outside America.

Winner: Instagram

2. Content Types

Now, we will compare Instagram vs Snapchat based on the type of content these platforms allow us to share.

Stories vs Snaps

Regarding the type of content on both platforms, we see similar features but with different names, which are snaps and stories. Snaps are for Snapchat, and stories are for Instagram as we are focusing on Instagram vs Snapchat. Both platforms have this very similar feature, but again there are some differences.

Originally the stories feature was introduced by Snapchat. When the creators of Snapchat refused to sell their app to Facebook, it tried to add features like Snapchat to its apps, such as Instagram. Instagram has taken the stories features which were good and made it even better.

Instagram stories provide an uninterrupted transition from one story to another person’s story making a flow for viewing it. This flow increases the chances of the business story being viewed by potential customers because they are already viewing them. And they do not face any interruptions while gliding from one story to another unless they close the stories themselves.

On the other hand, while viewing snaps, users are asked if they want to view the next snap or not. Snapchat provides the skip option for other snaps when one ends. But, this option breaks the flow of the user, and they can get sceptical about viewing the next snap if not in the mood. So, the chances of people skipping your business story on Snapchat are more than on Instagram. And, this can be bad for your business.

Schedule Stories with SocialBu and Save Time

Managing your business is a hectic task in itself. To save your time and efforts, you can schedule your Instagram stories with SocialBu. You can schedule as many stories as you want and from as many accounts.

Schedule Instagram stories with SocialBu

To check more about scheduling Instagram stories with SocialBu, look at our guide blog, “How to Schedule Instagram Posts & Stories for Free: A Step-by-Step Guide“.

Images and IGTV Videos

We know Instagram mainly because of its photo-sharing feature in the form of posts. It means that to post anything on Instagram, posting a photo is compulsory. Moreover, because of its photo-sharing condition, users focus on the image quality they will share.

Instagram also allows its users to post short videos of 60 seconds on their feed. If the video is more than 60 seconds long, the user can post an IGTV video that can be 60 minutes long.

Both these features can be very productive for a business to elevate its Instagram game. For example, businesses can use high-quality images and videos on their feed to show Instagram users what their business is all about. In addition, they can post regular updates and make “description” or “how-to” videos about their products or services. In other words, when a user follows a business on Instagram, they know what they are following.

IGTV Vidoes_Instagram vs. Snapchat

Because we are comparing Instagram vs Snapchat, we will also focus on Snapchat here. These features are not available for Snapchat users. For example, you cannot see the user or business profile on Snapchat until you add them to your network. It evokes uncertainty in users’ minds whether adding a particular profile to their network would be worth it or not.

Other than this, the snaps shared as photos or videos on Snapchat are visible for a specific time only or until the user sees them, and they disappear after. A public story will be visible for 90 days, and then it will disappear. All these factors make Snapchat an uncertain platform when it comes to the public presence of a business.

Reels vs Spotlight

This method of content creation on both platforms is relatively new. Both reels and spotlight are small videos reenacting on music or some trending challenges. These can be a good source for businesses to show their products in a trendy manner.

Our focus is Instagram vs Snapchat comparison, so; the concepts behind Instagram reels and Snapchat’s spotlight are the same. However, anyone can post Instagram reels, and anyone can see them. If the posting account is public, then the reel can be placed at any specific place of exploration. It allows the content to reach a broader range of the Instagram community. Users can like and engage on reels to share their reviews and objections.

For the spotlight, you have to submit it to Snapchat first. If the video matches the Snapchat guidelines and they consider it worthy enough, only then it will be made live. Also, the spotlight does not have any comment section, and the appearance of username on the spotlight video is also conditional. It limits the engagement on the posted video, and the one posting it cannot have any guess if the audience liked it or not.

And we all know that in the business world, the reviews of the audience/followers/customers matter the most.

Winner: Instagram

3. Instagram vs Snapchat Filters

Instagram may seem to be working better than Snapchat in many aspects, but Snapchat wears the crown for having the best ones when it comes to filters.

Although Instagram has strived hard to develop similar filters to Snapchat, it still lags behind a little. Snapchat rose to popularity quite early due to its creatively unique filter animations. It offers hundreds and thousands of filters, and they are updated daily also. These filters and even some games on Snapchat have won many hearts and made people addicted to using the platform.

Instagram also lags behind Snapchat when it comes to augmented reality effects. For example, using Snapchat, you can create your own Bitmoji, which is like a cartoon avatar of yourself. Then Snapchat offers Bitmoji animations and many other animations too. While on the other hand, to this date, Instagram still has no alternative for this super creative aspect of Snapchat’s augmented reality effects. So, comparing Instagram vs Snapchat, we can see which platform succeeds in this part. 

Winner: Snapchat

4. Instagram vs Snapchat Advertisements

When it comes to advertisements, Instagram is an unrivalled winner. Globally businesses opt for Instagram ads as a mode of reaching new audiences digitally. Figures show that about 30% of Instagram users have ended up buying a product that they have seen on Instagram ads initially.

Instagram aims at showing the best version of any business to the users. Therefore, this platform can easily prompt users to buy various products through its ads. Besides its efficiency in ads, Instagram also provides multiple free analytical tools that allow businesses to analyze and monitor their performance on Instagram. While Snapchat does not offer any free analytics, it costs about $19 per month for an account to access the analytical tools.

Moreover, when it comes to the pricing of advertisements, Instagram is very cost-effective, ranging from $0.20 to $6.70. For the CPC, the cost is from $0.20 to $2. For CPM, the cost is $6.70/1000 impressions. This amount is relatively less than the price of ads on Snapchat. That is to start an ad campaign on Snapchat, and the minimum daily amount is $100.

Hence for advertisement, Snapchat loses the battle to Instagram, for now.

Winner: Instagram

5. Sponsorship Campaign Reach

Although, Snapchat ads are expensive as compared to Instagram. They get 1.5 times more visual exposure and win a great deal in approaching greater audiences, thus helping businesses to grow. About 63% of the Snapchat users use the app daily, and 49% of them open the app several times a day.

As we already mentioned earlier, the Snapchat audience, mainly the younger ones, spend more time on the app than on Instagram. So, the Snapchat ads campaign gets more reach as compared to Instagram.

If your target audience is the young generation, then Snapchat would be best for you to focus on.

Winner: Snapchat

6. Instagram vs Snapchat Discoverability

When it comes to discoverability, Instagram profiles with posts make it win the battle against Snapchat, where no such option is available.

People usually want to know about the offerings of businesses before following them on social media. Instagram profile with public posts enables users to have an idea about the company, their products, and services, thus making it easy for them to decide whether to follow the business account or not. Therefore, it helps in the development of online brand image immensely. Look at the example of a business profile on Instagram.

Instagram Discoverability_Instagram vs. Snapchat

On the other hand, Snapchat does not allow permanent posts and profiles, and it provides very little information about the business. Moreover, the profile is only visible to the people who have added the business to their Snapchat. This lack of information available about business offerings often refrains people from following a business on Snapchat.

The business profile of the same account mentioned above on Snapchat is like this:

Snapchat Discoverability

So, in this aspect, the point goes to Instagram.

Winner: Instagram 

Conclusion

In the Instagram vs Snapchat comparison, we concluded that both apps offer real-time content. However, some features make one of the better for brand strategy.

Instagram wins when it comes to the audience because it has a much wider audience than Snapchat. In addition, Instagram wins when it comes to the type of content it enables us to share. Finally, it is because you can view Instagram stories without interruption, but not Snapchat’s snaps.

You cannot share detailed videos on Snapchat, but you can share them on Instagram’s IGTV. Other than that, anyone can post reels on Instagram, but for Snapchat’s spotlight feature, you’ll need permission first. Also, the spotlight does not have any comment section.

When it comes to filters, Snapchat wins by far. The filters are way more advanced than Instagram filters. Also, you can create your Bitmoji, which is a feature that Instagram does not offer.

As far as advertisement is concerned, Instagram is cost-effective and has a diverse audience. But, if your target audience is the young generation, you should choose Snapchat for your sponsored campaigns. You cannot make a profile or public posts on Snapchat, so Instagram wins by far regarding discoverability.

Although Instagram has won four out of six comparison verticals critical in developing brand strategy, it does not mean that promoting your brand only on Instagram will be enough.

Many propositions may vary from business to business. For example, maybe there can be a possibility that the targeted niche trusts Snapchat ads more than Instagram. It is also possible the products or services offered need a type of interaction that can be carried from lesser content displayed for a shorter time. In such cases, 24-hour snaps might be your way to go.

Also, content saturation can get the profile shadow-banned on Instagram, which will do no good to the business. Putting all eggs in one basket is never suggested. So, using Snapchat as a secondary option for spending a marketing budget can diversify the marketing strategy, making it more efficient.

Eisha Mirza
Eisha Mirza
Pursuing my love for content creation and spreading magic with words is what I enjoy. I am a strong believer of "It isn't what you write, it's the way you write it." ~Jack Kerouac

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