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5 Reasons Why Marketers Prefer Instagram Over Snapchat

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Instagram or Snapchat — which one should you choose?

 

Both platforms are similar. They each have a huge audience base and are suited for visual marketing. So, it’s not an easy choice. But most marketers are picking Instagram over Snapchat.

 

Instagram has over a billion monthly active users while Snapchat has about 218 million daily active users, worldwide. But that’s not the only reason why marketers prefer Instagram for promotional campaigns. 

 

After all, 39.9% of social media users in the USA used Snapchat in 2018, making it a powerful marketing platform. However, the same study revealed that this share is projected to fall and reach to 35.3% in 2023.

 

It’s a tell-all sign that Snapchat is losing its sheen. 

 

So, where is Snapchat falling short?

 

Let’s get into the crux of the matter. Here are five reasons why marketers prefer Instagram over Snapchat to increase their overall online sales:

1. Instagram Does Stories Better

Snapchat was the first social media platform to come up with the concept of Stories. This feature allowed its users to share photos and videos of daily activities. Stories were exciting as you could add text, graphics, and more to them.

 

The Stories feature opened up a world of opportunities for marketers. Using it, they could tell more vivid stories, run contests, and make announcements. 

Soon enough, Instagram pounced on the opportunity to roll out their version of Stories. With another platform bringing in the same feature, the uniqueness of the idea was gone. 

 

Interestingly, Instagram kept most of the things the same, including the name and the basic features. Today over 500 million people use the Stories feature on the platform daily. 

 

So, what’s the difference between Stories on Instagram and Snapchat? 

Let’s take a look.

Instagram

Instagram is a marketer’s delight because the Stories are prominently placed. As soon as the users open the app, Stories are the first thing they see at the top of the screen. This makes it easy for them to capture their audience’s attention.

 

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Additionally, the Stories keep playing one after the other in a sequence. Even if a user clicks on just one Story, the chances are that they will end up seeing a few more. 

 

What’s more, the platform offers plenty of tools such as stickers, augmented reality (AR) filters, and drawing tools to help you build a super interactive experience for viewers. 

 

Through Stories, you can also drive traffic to your landing pages. This can help you with lead generation and sales. However, for this, you must ensure that your landing pages are top-notch. To build such landing pages, you can use landing page builders. 

Snapchat

When it comes to Stories, Snapchat is more user-centric in its approach. For example, Stories did autoplay in the past on Snapchat, but they have removed this feature. 

 

This gives the power in the hands of the users. They get to decide which Stories they want to view. That’s a great feature for the users. But for marketers and influencers, it’s a dealbreaker. This cuts down the overall reach of their Stories and reduces the chances of users engaging with them. 

2. Organized User Interface

Consistent look and feel is a key aspect of brand building. This is why the ability to brand the Story with a visual layout that is consistent with the overall branding effort is a plus point for marketers. 

 

Let’s look at how both the social media apps stack up against each other in terms of ease of organizing the visual layout. 

Instagram

The organized layout seems like a priority for Instagram. From the visual layout of Stories at the top and everything in relation to navigation at the bottom, the interface is user-friendly and organized. Instagram focuses on maintaining aesthetics and order on the platform. 

 

But it also gives enough liberty to marketers and influencers to manipulate photos and order their placement. This allows marketers and brands to showcase the best versions of themselves. 

Snapchat

The focus is on the users, so when the user opens the app, they are instantly plunged into the camera app. They are nudged into creating something right away, regardless of whether they wanted that or not. This is good for people who have always something to say. 

3. Features to Put Your Best Foot Forward

The more features there are on the social media platform, the better it is for marketers and brands. A social media platform that brings more tools and features to the table that make content creation easy, will score. 

Instagram

Instagram offers a range of tools and features to help you create impactful content. For example, you can share your Stories with filters that can make your photographs look even better. 

 

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You can seamlessly add flair to your images and videos by editing them in the app.

 

Additionally, you can use various tools to schedule and share them on multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. This way, your posts can get greater reach as well. 

Snapchat

Snapchat also offers an array of tools and features to create great content. However, it had a rough time identifying its real purpose since its origin as a private messaging platform with disappearing messages. 

 

Some of its new features have led to a backlash as well. Over 1 million users signed a petition in 2018 to restore the previous version as well.

 

4. Ease of Use for Influencers and Brands

We live in a busy world and everyone is hustling to tick off items from their checklists. If a platform is overcomplicated, it is going to be a definite turn off for influencer marketing. It has to be easy and rewarding for influencers and brands to take it seriously. 

Instagram

Instagram makes it extremely easy for marketers to create posts or Stories and publish them on the platform. When you are building a brand, it’s more about building an experience for your target audience. Since so much goes into building a brand, the easier a platform is, the better.

 

Instagram seems to understand this very well. Therefore, it has simplified things at various levels. For example, you can easily find people to follow, remain updated with the latest topics, and also engage with others easily.  Additionally, Instagram allows you to save some of your Stories as Highlights to make them available permanently.

 

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It’s also easy to partner with influencers on the platform. However, it can be challenging for brands to find reliable influencers, manage the campaign, and track the results. In such a situation, you can always partner with agencies that handle social media campaigns for brands.

Snapchat

It seems Snapchat has missed out in this area. If you want to follow someone with the help of their username, you will need to go through multiple screens to make that happen. 

 

The posts at Snapchat also have a limited lifespan and it lacks a Highlights section like Instagram. Thus, you can not find any old posts on Snapchat, which isn’t ideal.

5. Numbers Speak Volumes

In the end, everything boils down to numbers. The ideal platform for marketers is the one that enables them to reach and engage more people with the least amount of effort. 

Instagram

Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users, but with features that allow you to share your posts on other platforms, you have an even bigger market. Additionally, it gives you the option to create a public profile.

 

This increases your discoverability among potential followers. As a result, brands have a greater chance of reaching potential followers on the platform. These stats show that Instagram is a powerful platform for marketers and influencers.

Snapchat

Snapchat has about 314 million monthly active users. But since the platform is more focused on the users, you might find the majority of them busy sending photos back and forth among themselves.

 

This can make it difficult for marketers to reach users on the platform. Additionally, the profiles on Snapchat can only be viewed by the people who have added the influencer’s or the brand’s profile. This can drastically reduce your reach. 

Conclusion

Instagram is the clear winner when it comes to the preferred platform for marketers and influencers. Snapchat has fewer active users on the platform than Instagram, but the numbers are still significant. So it cannot be ignored if you are looking to build a brand presence on all the platforms where you have your target audience. 

 

Which platform do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.

 

Dawn Bowman is the Managing Editor for Shane Barker Consulting. She was previously the Managing Editor at KillerStartups, and Startups.com. In her spare time, she writes short stories and song lyrics.

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Social Media

Secret Sauce for Creating the Perfect Facebook Ads Funnel

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Is your Facebook ads funnel producing the conversions you’re looking for? Are you targeting your end-user audience at the right stages of their buying cycle? 

If you can answer these questions in the affirmative, you’ll have a sales funnel that not only creates awareness at the top of the funnel and converts to a sale at the bottom; you’ll have repeat customers as you nurture existing relationships and build interest and engagement for the long haul. 

That all sounds pretty tasty doesn’t it? Whether you’re trying to build a Facebook ad funnel for eCommerce or just trying to drive traffic to your storefront, this article will share the secret sauce that will make your social content on this platform much more appetizing, filling, and tasty.

Understanding the Facebook Funnel

If you’re using Facebook to help your sales team capitalize on today’s consumer buying journey, the first thing is to understand how your marketing and sales funnels work in light of today’s consumer buying trends. Facebook typically has four primary stages for the customer buying funnel:

  1. Awareness of your product
  2. Consideration of your product
  3. Purchase, when the conversion happens
  4. Upselling and maintaining awareness of your brand

If you’re using Facebook in the right way and you have the right mix of products or services, you’ll have a sales funnel that perpetually fills itself as you both grab new customers and nurture existing clients into purchasing more of your products. You can use free and paid content to reach these goals. However, if you’re only selling one product, then your funnel will really end after step three.

Organize Your Account by Funnel Stages

To keep your campaign channels organized, consider structuring your Facebook Ads account by funnel stages. Targeting, optimization, settings, bidding, and your budget should all be different for each campaign, of course. But if you’re following the Facebook funnel stages, your ad campaigns could be segmented like this:

  1. Campaign 1 – Awareness – Top of funnel
  2. Campaign 2 – Consideration – Middle of Funnel
  3. Campaign 3 – Purchase– Bottom of Funnel
  4. Campaign 4 – Upselling – Sends existing clients back to the top for a repeat or new purchase. This could start a new campaign cycle called Campaign 1a. 

Then you can set your Facebook objectives to fit each stage of the funnel.

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Each of these campaigns represents a different type of audience and messaging. It will be important to select the right naming conventions to keep your account and KPIs organized. This next section will tell you what advertising techniques are important at all four steps.

Creating a Facebook Sales Funnel

Now we can get to the fun part; creating the copy that drives engagement at each of the funnel stages. Remember that Facebook ads are designed to create awareness and not just passively wait for the customer to find you. Here are some strategies to engage at each funnel stage.

Campaign 1 – Awareness – Top of funnel

This target audience has not made a purchase but has a potential interest in your brand. They are the Look-Alike Audiences that simply aren’t warm enough to buy from you yet. 

You can use the Facebook Custom Audiences tool to help you reach people who have previously interacted with your brand but not converted. 

You can use several strategies to target these end-users, but the goal of each should introduce your product and why it’s needed:

  • One thing to keep in mind: You’re not trying to sell your products just yet. Your top-of-the-funnel audience will turn away from something that tries to get them to buy right out of the gate. At this stage, you should focus on providing content that they’ll find interesting or valuable, even if they never convert.
  • You could also do the same thing with a video. 
  • You can use social proof to validate your expertise. For example, your copy could mention awards you’ve won or a client testimonial. 

Remember your goal is awareness, not the conversion, so your CTA should be to “find out more” on your website or with a downloadable.

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For example: Consider a problem your audience might have. During the COVID-19 crisis, people who were no longer commuting to work weren’t using their cars for extended periods of time, and they may not know how to care for long-term parked cars. An eCommerce company specializing in car covers put out an infographic / blog post explaining how to care for long-term parked cars. 

There’s no hard sell there. Even people who never buy their car covers find value in this post, and might share it, or be primed for a later purchase down the line.

Campaign 2 – Consideration – Middle of Funnel

This target audience has engaged with your brand before. They may have liked a previous Facebook post. This ad should appeal to some sort of pain points and reinforce why the prospect needs your product to solve their problem. In the example we used above, the pain point is related to people who have to store their cars long-term without the benefit of a garage.

At this stage in the funnel, you should list the specific benefits and features of your product or service to tell people why they need to buy it.

Campaign 3 – Purchase – Bottom of Funnel

This is where the rubber meets the road, so go for the close. These customers know your product and its value. This is a good place to leverage Facebook’s dynamic ads to create content tied to the exact product the prospect viewed. To close the deal, offer an immediate incentive to purchase. That nudge toward the close could include:

  • Running a discount or special offers such as 15% off or free shipping off your order. 

  • Create urgency with a countdown to the end of a sale, “Only 24hours left!”

  • Target specific use cases for the products they’ve been viewing. Going back to the car cover company, a hypothetical ad could ask if the prospect is worried about street damage from long term quarantine parking and offer a first-timer discount—boom! Done.

Campaign 4 – Upselling 

This sends existing clients back to the top for a repeat or new purchase. This could start a new campaign cycle called Campaign 1a. Or, call it what it is—remarketing.

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The point here is that the journey shouldn’t be over once the first purchase is made. Everyone knows the acquisition cost of a new customer is greater than keeping old customers—so maintain the relationship at this point by kicking the current just-purchased customer back up into the funnel. 

Your goals should be not just for the repeat purchase, but also to capture new customer referrals, and even to drive up the average spending amount per customer. 

Even though technically, the customer goes back to the top of the funnel, it’s more like a slide straight to the middle; they already know your company, so from an ad perspective you can skip the awareness stage. (Unless you’re trying to make them aware of a different product in your service line.) Some Facebook ad strategies could include:

  • Retargeting with a loyalty perk; thanks for your business, here’s $10 off your next purchase. 
  • Mention your referral program: “Invite a friend and get free shipping on your next order.”
  • Ask them to review your product and offer a thank you bonus incentive. 
  • This is also a good place to run an ad campaign based on their unique purchase history. You can set up carousel ads to vary the versions of the products they may be interested in, interspersing the ads with products that are a slightly higher price point to drive up their purchasing averages.

If you take the time to create the perfect Facebook ads funnel you will be able to sit back and watch the conversions come in. If you build it, they really will come, but the trick is to match the prospect’s specific buying stage with the exact strategy to increase your conversion rates. When you’re done, the Facebook sales funnel will work like a machine, benefiting your bottom line with new and repeat business.

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How Big Brands Use Digital Marketing for Building Customer Relationships

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Consumers in the modern digital world have a perception of a brand based on the experiences they have with the brand. These moments are created across multiple channels enabled by the rise of the digital world.

Social media made it possible for brands to connect with their customers on an intimate level which was not possible before.  According to Gartner, a decrease in engagement by up to 15% is observed for businesses that fail to respond to messages on social media.

That’s how powerful social media is for companies, especially for big brands.

Crafting meaningful relationships on social media

With the emergence of Facebook and Twitter, social media has boosted like never before. It has impacted the lives of people in more ways than one:

  • 91% of people believe in social media’s power to connect communities
  • 78% of consumers want brands to help people connect through social media.
  • 76% of respondents were more likely to buy from a brand they felt connected to on social media than a competitor.

(Source: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/data/social-media-connection/)

These numbers speak for themselves.

The times are changing and big brands aren’t ignorant. They understand the importance of engaging with their audience and thus are reaping the sweet results. The better the relationship is between a brand and a consumer, the higher the chances of him/her returning to the same brand.

Not just that, if the consumer feels there’s a connection between the brand and themselves, they’ll gloat about it endlessly – in front of friends, family, coworkers, neighbours and every person who might ask them about the brand.

Do you know what that means? Absolutely free advertising which happens to be genuine as well.

So, how do Big Brands do it?

There 7 ways Big Brands use Social Media for building customer relationships

  1. Being Responsive

Responding to customer queries or comments is the reason brands are on social media. It’s extremely important for brands to respond to their customers and big brands know that. 

This is especially true about Twitter where things can get real messy real soon. It takes minutes for something to go viral on Twitter and big brands make sure that they respond to any tweet that might tarnish their image.

And not only critical comments, praises from consumers should be responded to in a way that the consumer feels valued. Brands like the fast-food outlet Wendy’s have understood Twitter far better and come up with creative tweets for their customers (or haters).

  1. Offering Promotions
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If there’s one thing customers love more than a brand is that brand’s promotions and sales. They look forward to any kind of promotion that might save them some bucks which is why it’s important to share promotions on social media.

Giving the customers what they expect is a sure way to have a healthy following on social media and which sticks around. Big Brands promote their sales, promotions, contests, and other offers extensively on social media, even urging the customers to share them which further accentuates the engagement.

  1. Providing Educational Content

Educating customers about a brand is one of the most effective ways of building a strong customer relationship. The more a customer knows about a brand, the bigger the chances of them returning now and then. 

Some brands take it a notch higher by educating their customers about a cause they stand for or support. It could be something they do as part of their CSR activities or educating customers about something important (the way Brands are regularly posting precautionary recommendations about COVID-19 is a good example.)

  1. Being Humorous

Make them smile and they like you, make them laugh and they’ll fall in love with you. Being funny or humorous in social situations acts as an ice-breaker and helps people connect which is why big brands use it to tell their customers that there are people behind those names too.

This makes the brand seem more humane and the perception in the customer’s mind softens a little, opening up ample opportunities for building relationships. 

However, this takes wit and a great sense of humour which is why only some of the brands are able to pull this off. Frankly, if you aren’t funny, you aren’t – there’s no point in faking, it’ll make things worse.

  1. Exclusive Content

Sharing exclusive content with your followers on social media is another way a brand tells them how much they are valued. This is the reason those followers stay because the feeling of being part of an exclusive group of people who love the same brand makes them feel good about themselves.

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It also tickles the primal desire of a human being – the desire to be accepted and to belong. This sense of belonging to an exclusive group or club makes the relationship with the brand a little intimate – so intimate that it almost feels like cheating when buying from a competitor.

  1. Behind the Scenes

People have always wondered and have been curious about how things happen. Whether it’s a movie or the construction of the world’s tallest building, people want to know how it’s made. 

Big brands stimulate this curiosity by sharing behind the scenes images and videos on how they make the products that their customers love so much. This also helps build trust and connection between the brand and the customers as they realise the people behind the brand.

  1. Challenging Competitors

Like being funny, this is something not everyone can pull-off. The rivalry between big brands is not a new thing but social media has made it more visible with brands having one-off on Twitter about who’s better.

This is risky because when a brand tries to challenge a competitor on social media and the competitor responds in a much better way, the whole idea falls flat on its face. The brand itself becomes a victim of its mockery. 

However, friendly banter between brands can benefit them both.

Why is it important for brands to be on social media

A brand-customer relationship is like any other relationship in the world and the key to all successful relationships is communication. The days of broadcasting advertisements might not be over yet but in the near future, it might.

People aren’t looking for one-way communication from brands anymore. They want a conversation, they want to know they are heard when they post a tweet, write a comment, or give a review. They want to be a part of the ideas that transform the brand from what it is to what it will become.

And this drive to hear has become public with social media where one tweet or post can become easily viral and not responding to it might become rude. It’s not like the victorian era where the sender of a letter was still worried if the letter reached the person it was intended for. 

It’s the digital world and anyone anywhere would instantly find something on the internet that’s meant for them. You cannot just ignore what your customer has posted, you have to reply to them.

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Moreover, it helps increase your business. As more and more people fall in love with your brand, they’ll not only keep returning but also talk about you to everyone they know and word-of-mouth is hands down the best form of advertisement and absolutely the most genuine which is why it is the most effective.

That’s why big businesses are so keen on making a mark in the social media circles and they are succeeding. But then, is social media only for the big brands? Should a small business use social media to garner attention, especially when they are starting from scratch?

Should small businesses be on social media too?

Big brands have been doing it pretty well but there’s no reason a small business shouldn’t. Even a regional store with a very local audience can have an amazing social media presence where the sense of belonging is even more intimate because of geographical proximity.

Even a startup can become an overnight sensation on social media if they could plan a campaign that resonates well with intended audiences. The story of @worldrecordegg stands as proof that you can instantly become a social media rockstar within days with an interesting idea.

More importantly, there’s not one but enough social media platforms to make space for all kinds of businesses. There’s Facebook for “friendly-stuff”, Instagram for pictorial or visual stuff, YouTube for videos, Twitter for sass and wit, and then LinkedIn for professionalism. 

Based on the kind of business you have and the audience that you are targeting, you can choose the platform you want to be on. You could also have different posts on different platforms for showing a more 360-degree view of the brand.

The more engaging your content on social media is, the more likes, shares, and comments you’ll receive after which it’s a snowball rolling. It all boils down to how well you know your audience and how you make them tick with your words. If you manage to do it well, you’ll have an amazing following on social media.

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