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Around a year ago, Snapchat transitioned from a young millennial sexting app to a very serious contender in digital marketing. I’m sure your company had the discussion on whether you should be using Snapchat for business. Well after a year of trial and error Snapchat is still a serious contender but after a recent decline, could we see Instagram kill the once next great app?

Snapchat Marketing

If you are still not super familiar with how Snapchat can help with your marketing, our article from a year ago explained how Snapchat was redefining marketing. Since late 2014, Snapchat has offered ways to advertise, but with a minimum of $50,000 for a Snapchat ad, advertising is still not a valuable option for small businesses. The best way to utilize Snapchat for small businesses has been the real-time interaction and the fun and goofy behind the curtains look at your company.

With only 24 hours of viewing before they are forever lost, posting to your Snapchat story is a great way to show your friends what you are doing through fun photos and videos. Add on filters and you can convert your face into a delicious strawberry, a flower princess or make you throw up a never-ending rainbow. It is pretty ridiculous but is very entertaining to do with your friends. 

Stealing Success

Seeing all this great success, Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) took all of Snapchat’s success and pretty much copied every innovative Snapchat feature. Instagram has always been about creating beautiful and authentic content, but now with Instagram’s new features, you can post 24 hour stories with wacky filters just like Snapchat. Instagram even decided to one up Snapchat by providing a way to live stream to your audience.

Abandon Ship?

So do you need to stop using your Snapchat business profile? Not necessarily. Even if you don’t have the money to cash out for an expensive advertisement, it is still a free avenue for you to really connect with your fans. One of my favorite companies in Indianapolis that uses the story feature is Vardagen. With a new store recently opened and new t-shirts being made weekly, Vardagen has a wealth of content to show off in their stories. Examples include images of the new store being built, giving a look at new illustrations being created, or showing off t-shirts being printed in bulk. All great examples of a company giving a behind the curtains glimpse that really engages and makes that human connection with their audience.

The Rise in Instagram Marketing

Now although these were all examples of a company that I follow on Instagram, they are still great ways to utilize your Snapchat, but that also gets into another reason of how Instagram is leading over its competitor. For this example, I came across this company from an ad they posted on Instagram. I really liked the t-shirt they were advertising. So I went to look at their profile and before I knew it I liked their page was actively engaging with their posts.

With Instagram, on a small budget, you can target your exact demographic and get your product in front of the people that you want. This is something you simply cannot do on Snapchat. Also, with Instagram’s 500 million active monthly users compared to Snapchat’s 100 million, there is clearly more of an audience and it is easier to obtain new fans. Even worse for Snapchat, in new studies we are seeing a 15 to 40 percent decline in Snapchat Story view counts and a rapid increase in view counts for Instagram Stories. So right now it is not looking good for Snapchat, but if there is anything they have shown us over the last few years, it is that they can innovate and stand out from the competition.

For the time being and for the future, Snapchat seems to be a great way for big time companies to connect with a younger audience; and while small businesses may not be able to advertise, they still can use the stories to connect with their audience in a unique way. I recommend analyzing your company’s demographic and deciding which platform works best for your business, if not both. 

With trends always changing, it’s not always easy to determine the best strategy to use for your business. Roundpeg is a Marketing Strategy company that can help you with your next project.

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