Who Does It Better for Brands? Instagram Stories vs Snapchat

August 09, 2016

Who Does It Better for Brands? Instagram Stories vs Snapchat

Share this post

By now you’ve probably heard of Instagram Stories–the Snapchat copycat. It’s no secret that Instagram Stories is mimicking the very successful app. In fact, according to CEO Kevin Systrom, “They [Snapchat] deserve all the credit.”

Copycat or not, this new feature may have huge effects on how people interact on social media. And that means it’s also changing how you will have to market your brand.

Whether you plan to capitalize on Instagram’s new Stories feature or improve your content on the already well-established Snapchat, it’s important to understand both platforms and the effects they can have on your brand.

Instagram vs. Snapchat

Let’s take a look at the numbers!

Social Media Showdown

Also important to note: Instagram is much more brand friendly. “Instagram is a follower platform,” said Dan Grossman, VP of platform partnerships at VaynerMedia, “where Snapchat is more of a best friend platform. Snapchat hasn’t encouraged brands to build up huge followings.”

Here is a side by side comparison of Instagram Stories (on the left) and Snapchat (on the right).


As you can see, they’re nearly identical. The difference between these two lies mainly in the audiences of each platform. And, honestly, Instagram Stories will be a whole new beast. It may steal away Snapchat’s users. It might just convert some of the non-Snapchatting Instagram users to Instagram Stories. Or it could result in something else entirely.

Only time will tell.

Which Platform Is Right for Your Brand?

In the meantime, which platform is best for your brand right now? That question depends entirely on who your audience is.

While Snapchat is more successful with the younger generations, Instagram has a higher overall presence. According to Evan Spiegel, CEO, Snapchat was created as a way of “sharing personal moments [more] than it is about this public display.” In contrast, Instagram was built to be that public display.

For example, Taco Bell does very well on Snapchat because its voice is wacky, fun and appealing to the younger demographic. National Geographic and its stunning photos, on the other hand, are more suited to Instagram’s more polished platform.

Companies Dominating Snapchat

Snapchat has become a powerful tool for brands to connect with their audiences in a very real, down-to-earth way.

DJ Khaled’s snaps get 3-4 million viewers each, a following he’s gained in less than a year. His videos show the simple, everyday things: eating breakfast, getting ready for the day and watering the flowers, all with his commentary. Emmanuel Seuge, senior VP for content at Coca-Cola said, “DJ Khaled has completely cracked the platform. He’s the king of Snapchat.”


Dominos’ team in the UK turned their Snapchat Story into a short film called “Dough to Door,” featuring a Dominos delivery driver battling his way to deliver a pizza. Throughout the video, they showed an exclusive discount code–one letter at a time. Nick Dutch, Dominos’ head of digital strategy said, “the film drove a lot more orders than we would have expected.”


Snapchat can become a moneymaker for your brand if you can learn how to connect with your audience and keep them entertained and coming back.

Companies Embracing Instagram Stories

On the other hand, we have Instagram. Its large market on Instagram makes it very tempting for companies to utilize this platform to promote their brands. With the new tool, Instagram Stories, we are already seeing success in great numbers.

Urban Decay launched a sneak peek at its holiday collection called Vice Lipstick through Instagram Stories. Not only did this reach its 6 million followers, but a group of fashion magazines picked up the story and promoted it to an even larger audience.altNike reportedly generated 800,000 views in just 24 hours after posting an Instagram Story the first day the service was available. Comparatively, their rollout on Snapchat only got 66,000 views.


Instagram Stories, with its huge audience and established brand followers, can drive engagement with fans in a fresh way.

Can’t Choose? Use Both!

If you can’t choose between the platforms, the good news is, you can use both. Let’s be clear, Snapchat Memories and Instagram Stories are virtually the same. Neither of these models does anything “better” than the other. The only real difference is the audiences on each platform, so feel free to use one or both of these tools based your company’s brand or message.

Even though Instagram Stories hasn’t been around for very long, a lot of businesses have already begun to work with both services symbiotically. A good example of this is General Electric. In a recent study, General Electric was recently nominated as one of the top ten brands on Snapchat. However, their success on Snapchat didn’t stop them from venturing out to try and incorporate Instagram Stories into their marketing strategies.

In fact, General Electric used Instagram Stories to promote and push people toward their Snapchat. They didn’t separate the two tools. Instead, they recognized the benefits that could be gained from utilizing both together. Their Instagram post followed the behind-the-scenes action of the making of their video series on Snapchat. This content was met with success on both platforms.


Many companies are also using the new Instagram Stories feature as a simple test for their content. Companies will post on both Snapchat and Instagram Stories and track how well the target audience engages with it. If the content is met with success, the companies will roll it out to a more permanent platform.

It’s What’s On The Inside That Counts

Regardless of which tool you choose to use, your content needs to be memorable and purposeful. Otherwise, you might as well be just another teenager posting selfies that, let’s be honest, no one really cares about.

The way to make your content meaningful is to know your audience. Study them like you studied for your Calculus final, or, considering how some of us didn’t do so well in Calculus, maybe study them a little harder than that.

If you can find out who they are, their likes and dislikes, self-interests and motivators, and then apply that to your content, your engagement will soar. And, as we all know, engagement usually leads to more customers, which leads to more sales and happier bosses. Who wouldn’t want that?

The way to understand your audience is to watch what they’re posting and sharing on social media. Here at NUVI, we track the conversations that are occurring in the social media world. We know it’s important to bond with your target market, and we created a social media monitoring software that helps you do just that.

Whether you use Snapchat, Instagram Stories, or both, just remember: our mamas weren’t lying when they said “it’s what’s on the inside that counts.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
5 Ways to Crush It With Facebook Live
The 3 Steps That Will Make Your Twitter Ads More Effective
Share this post