8 Reasons Brands Should Use Instagram Stories Over Snapchat

When Instagram launched their own “Stories” feature in August of 2016, they were met with a barrage of critiques and questions from users…

8 Reasons Brands Should Use Instagram Stories Over SnapchatWhen Instagram launched their own “Stories” feature in August of 2016, they were met with a barrage of critiques and questions from users…

When Instagram launched their own “Stories” feature in August of 2016, they were met with a barrage of critiques and questions from users, press, and marketers alike.

Will Instagram Stories be better than Snapchat? Are they just copying? What is different?

Fast forward to today and, in hindsight, we can clearly see that Instagram’s investment in stories was not only the right move, but also one that will haunt Snapchat for years to come. Since the big launch, Instagram stories have garnered hundreds of millions of active users, stealing a significant share of the social media market back from Snapchat.

And with the influx of new active users, come the thousands of brands and influencers looking to promote and advertise on the platform.

Here are 8 reasons why brands should use Instagram Stories over Snapchat:

1. More Time!

At the core of both Instagram and Snapchat lies the ability to create and distribute a “Story,” in other words a photo or video recording that lasts for 24 hours. Snapchat’s individual clips max out at roughly 10 seconds.

But for Instagram, “you can record up to 60 seconds of content for your audience. To take an Instagram Stories picture, just tap the center white button. To take a video, press and hold the center white button.”

The added time is super useful for promoting longer and more complicated messages.

2. Instagram is Growing Faster

According to a report from Business Insider, “Instagram has successfully managed to stop Snapchat in its tracks, at least as far as numbers go. Half of the businesses on Instagram produced a story in the last month, according to the platform.

Meanwhile, Snapchat’s monthly active user growth rate has plummeted from 17.2% per quarter to 5%. It has 166 million daily users compared to Instagram Stories, which now has 250 million.”

With the momentum on their side, Instagram will continue to attract users and release new innovative features, making them a better investment for brand marketers.

3. A More Stable Investment

When weighing out the two options, it is also important to remember that Snapchat’s presence as a major player in the social media world is, relatively, brand new. Instagram, on the other hand, is wholly owned by Facebook, the largest social media giant in the world.

While it is unlikely that Snapchat disappears anytime soon, it makes sense to invest your time and resources in a platform that promises stability for years to come. Developing your brand on Instagram (and Facebook) will deliver you that opportunity.

4. Added Discovery

Instagram’s “Explore Tab” can be a great engine for driving growth to your brand’s account. The Tab is designed to help users discover new sources of great content. If you can get your Stories to display on this tab, you will be able to attract new traffic to your profile.

So how do you ensure that your content is promoted on the explore tab?

While there are no guarantees, you want to be sure you are doing everything in your power to time the post correctly. To increase the likelihood of posting something that is featured on the Explore tab, you should pay close attention to what type of post you are sending and what time you are posting it. You can use one of the many Instagram analytics tools to figure out the optimal timing for your post.

5. You Got Hashtags

Unique to Instagram Stories are hashtags, which makes your content discoverable by users searching for relevant content. And it makes a huge difference! According to Simply Measured, posts with at least one hashtag received over 12% more engagement.

A simple growth hack you can use to boost engagement is to add relevant and trending hashtags to your story. For example, tag a sports event and your content will begin to appear in that hashtag’s feed — that way interested users will be able to find you quickly and easily.

6. Easy To Share

A big part of social media is the ability to create viral loops, where users are sharing your content over and over. One big problem with Snapchat is that the stories cannot really go viral. Compared to more open platforms like Instagram and Facebook, Snapchat stories are only exposed to a tiny audience.

If your goal is to get your content in front of as many eyeballs as possible, it is likely that you would prefer to use Instagram, as there is a far higher chance of virality!

7. Livestream Everything

One big advantage to publishing your Stories via Instagram is that you have the option to “Go Live.” Once you hit the broadcast button, your followers will get a notification, alerting them that you have started a live stream.

Livestreams are great for lots of reasons. First of all, they are a unique and immersive content medium that gives your followers a truly transparent and behind the scenes look into your day. Secondly, they are a great way to establish an authentic relationship with your viewers, as you can open up the floor to a live question and answer session. Finally, live streams are a great way to generate lots of content, efficiently, and reuse it across many platforms.

8. Use Both

Depending on the size and scale of your resources, you may want to actually invest in using both Instagram and Snapchat stories.

“The key is you have to find what works for you and your brand. While there are definitely unique advantages to each platform, the only way to optimize your team’s best system is to try and learn for yourself.”

Thanks for reading!

Tagged in Snapchat, Instagram, Stories, Instagram Stories, Snapchat Stories

By jordangonen on September 25, 2017.

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Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.