Of all the types of content created and shared on social media, visual content claims the highest engagement rates. This is not surprising as TapSnap’s research reveals that 65% of people today are visual learners.
Enter the worlds of Instagram and Snapchat: these two social media platforms stand out. Especially when it comes to user-generated visuals. Users of these platforms can not only upload visuals, but can also edit the content with filters to add more fun to the content.
The Advantage of Instagram
ReachTo know the power of a social media platform, it is important to know the number of users the platform frequently engages. One billion people use Instagram every month. This number is huge. If you think your audience may not be on Instagram, wait for this:
Instagram has 110 million users in the United States. This means the remaining 89% of Instagram users are outside the United States. Don’t forget that 110 million is about one-third of the entire United States population. Thus, if your customers are within or outside the US, or both, a big percentage of them are on Instagram.
More so, Instagram advertising reach is 849.3 million users. This gives you a much bigger reach than you need. With this reach, you can successfully push your brand to your target audience, and pull them towards you with interesting content.
TargetingTo reach your target audience, Instagram uses the best social media targeting system; which is a Facebook targeting system. Facebook not only owns Instagram, but also owns the highly efficient targeting system. This Facebook owned targeting system is the most advanced in the industry.
So, when you want to run your ads, you can target people via interests, behaviors, age bracket, gender, location, and language. You’ll also get the opportunity to target:
- Saved Audience - this is interest-based
- Custom Audience - retargeting audience and customers
- Lookalike Audience - people who share similarities with your other audience
With Facebook retargeting options, you can reach users who saw your ad but failed to take action. The system works by showing them the ad again when they are surfing the web. This increases their curiosity and the chances of making a purchase.
Helpful Hint: To launch your ads on Instagram, you will need to link your Facebook and Instagram accounts together.
Instagram Users are BuyersAccording to statistics, one-third of users have used Instagram to purchase a product online. Since there are 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram, this translates into 333,333,333 million users who have purchased products on Instagram. That’s huge!
This means that if you can target your audience and be catchy with your advertisement, you should be looking forward to a windfall.
Instagram has made it easy for your audience to make purchases. With features such as shoppable posts, Instagram Checkout, business accounts, and several other calls to action, your Instagram account is an extension of your brand’s website or physical presence.
The Advantage of Snapchat
Unique AudienceSnapchat does not have an audience as large as Instagram, but it has a dedicated audience. 78% of internet users between 18 - 24 use Snapchat. And 90% of the Snapchat audience is within the age bracket of 13 - 24. These are the millennials and this group has $600 billion in annual purchasing power.
The environment Snapchat is known for is its fun-looking pictures and videos. With filters, you can generate the kind of fun look you want. The powerful augmented reality technology allows you to transform your face with dog ears, cat whiskers, monocles, and many others. The user-generated compelling content gathers an overwhelmingly large amount of views.
Statista reveals that more than 10 billion videos are viewed per day on Snapchat. This figure includes ads and brand-generated content.
High Engagement RateBecause of the disappearing nature of visual content on Snapchat, users view stories as soon as they see them. Gary Vaynerchuk noted that if you have 1000 Snapchat followers, about 900 will view your stories. Brands have discovered this engagement rate and are using it to reach the increasing audience on the platform. Taco Bell noted that 80% of its 20,000 followers open its snaps.
Snapchat ads have an engagement rate of 5 times higher than the click-through rate of other social media platforms.
Fun CultureSnapchat was created for users to have fun and live in the moment. 95% of Snapchat users say the app makes them happy. This means that if you can create fun ads and campaigns, you are sure to generate hundreds of millions in views and ultimately increase your brand reach.
Snapchat users don’t skip ads as people do with TV and some other social media platforms. Since the ads are fun, they view them. In June of 2016, Cosmetic brand Benefit was able to launch and raise awareness for a new eyebrow collection. What the brand did was to launch a sponsored lens of its ‘ka-BROW!’ line. The sponsored lens allowed users to see how they look with shapely, enhanced eyebrows. The picture was accompanied by a small creative banner announcing the new product.
Taco Bell also ran a sponsored lens that changed people’s faces into giant tacos. This resulted in 224 million views in a day. According to Snapchat data, the average viewer played the ad for 24 seconds, and this resulted in 12.5 years worth of play in a single day.
Sense of UrgencyOn Snapchat, videos last for 10 seconds after they are opened. This creates a sense of urgency to take action on your ad.
Many advertisers see this as a disadvantage because of the resources and time invested in creating the videos. However, it fulfills a purpose. It leaves no time for indecision on the part of the user.
Shoppable LensesThis feature shows a move towards e-commerce for Snapchat. With the use of lenses, users can take action from a brand’s post. Users can make a purchase, install an app, or even download a video from the action button in the lenses.
With the lenses, users can try out products such as hair, jewelry, makeup, and many others with the AR technology. After clicking on the call to action, they are taken to the Snapchat Checkout feature to complete their purchase. The Checkout feature is still quite restricted to US users alone. And not all brands use the checkout feature at the moment.
Partnership with BrandsSnapchat is trying to open up the platform to e-commerce through the use of AR. It partnered with Nike, King, Clairol, and STX to test the interactive shoppable lenses.
The platform partnered with Amazon to let users shop with pictures. It also partnered with Air Jordans to sell a brand of sneakers.
Differences and Similarities between Both PlatformsInstagram and Snapchat have different features. Both have stories that disappear, but Instagram posts don’t disappear as it happens on Snapchat. By this, when a user likes a post, it will be saved under “Posts You Liked”. This allows users to go back to posts and take action.
However, Snapchat’s shoppable lenses provide an experience Instagram doesn’t. Users can see how the product will fit them with the lenses.
Both platforms are pushing towards a seamless ecommerce experience for their users. With likes and comments, users can interact with brands on Instagram. The number of likes on a product can help the brand make market projections about it.
Snapchat’s Shoppable posts also allow users to check the price of an outfit and make purchase decisions. All the user needs to do is click on the post and the prices of the items in the picture will reveal.
Targeting options that Instagram has is the best and most advanced. Though the Snapchat audience is mostly young and any campaign that will be run on the platform should be targeted at young people.
There are also some similarities between the two platforms.
AudienceAccording to the Pew Research Center, about 67% of Instagram users are within the age bracket of 18 - 29. This is a substantial part of Snapchat’s young audience. Young people are drawn to pictures and videos. And according to facts on Instagram, 200 million users visit a brand’s profile per day. This means that the audience on both Instagram and Snapchat embrace ads and business presence.
However, if your target audience is largely elderly, you may want to focus solely on Instagram at the moment. Though Snapchat is working at breaking out of the “just teens” environment, it will take some time before your target audience gets on board.
EngagementBoth platforms have high engagement rates. These engagement rates do not reduce with brands. On Instagram, one-third of the most viewed stories are from brands. On Snapchat, brands create sponsored filters that generate millions of snaps and views.
This means that you can use both platforms for brand awareness, deals, promotions, and engagement with the audience.
To sum up…
As long as you have defined your target audience, you should advertise on either or both of the platforms. Both have young people as the major audience and the engagement rates are high. Create fun and engaging posts for your stories on either or both platforms.
Pay attention to the fun culture of Snapchat. You can work towards creating filters that users can have fun with. You can also give out coupons to increase the engagement rate with your brand.
Always ensure that interaction is your approach in these platforms as your audience wants to hear from you and interact.