Instagram vs. Snapchat
If you’re faced with limited time or a small advertising budget, you may be forced to choose just one of these services. We are certainly not discrediting Snapchat; the millennial-focused social network recently announced reaching 100 million daily users. However, that is still 200 million users shy of Instagram’s numbers. Where Snapchat also falls short is that brands on Instagram have a pre-existing follower base. Smart businesses will tap into this following when they wish to share their daily clips with a relevant audience. It will be much easier to expose and convert users to the brand’s Instagram Stories page than it will be to grow a following on an entirely different platform. You don’t have to take our word for it, however. According to an interview conducted by Ad Age, Nick Sheingold, the Associate Director of Social Strategy at Laundry Service, let it be known that Nike received over 800,000 views on their first-ever video shared on Instagram Stories, while their most popular Snapchat video to date only received 66,000 views. All other factors aside, Instagram’s user base is powerful and should definitely be considered when comparing the two platforms.
How to Capitalize
Due to its short lifespan, the jury is still out when it comes to hard data on Instagram Stories success, yet big brands are already jumping aboard. J.Crew is an excellent example. The fashion powerhouse recently ran a 24-hour pre-sale campaign for its new Jane in Pink sunglasses, during which they featured staff at J.Crew headquarters wearing the new glasses line. Not only did the company endear consumers by humanizing their brand and showing that even employees love their products, but they also created exclusive “insider” access for their existing Instagram followers. The world now knows that by following J.Crew, you’re gaining early access to sales. Not many people will pass that up.
Starbucks, on the other hand, took a more traditional approach to their first Instagram Stories post, using an ad campaign directed at mobile users. The company combined photos and video overlaid with Instagram’s drawing tool to create a lighthearted summer-focused story promoting their iced coffee.
Companies wishing to go a step further can feature specific parts of their stories on their profile news feeds. A small business could utilize this feature to drive traffic from their Instagram page to their story. An existing algorithm lets users search stories based on genre, but combining your user page and the stories feature is a great way to stand out.
Instagram Stories will undoubtedly continue to grow, but the best time to start experimenting with the platform is now. Companies of all sizes have already taken to the social network as a way to promote brand engagement, and if your business is not yet utilizing Instagram, it should begin to do so as soon as possible. In one fell swoop, it provides easy access to an extremely large user base and gives your mobile marketing efforts a boost. Short form media on mobile devices has become the consumption method of choice, and it would be foolish to ignore the trend.
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