Snapchat vs. Instagram Ads: What's Right For Your Brand? - WantLeverage
Are Snapchat or Instagram Ads Right for Your Brand?
snapchat, instagram, social media, advertising, brands, geofilter
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Snapchat vs. Instagram Ads: What’s Right For Your Brand?

Snapchat vs. Instagram Ads: What’s Right For Your Brand?

Which social media platform should a company use to advertise on? This question becomes increasingly difficult as Instagram Stories are creating competition with Snapchat Stories. Here are some distinctions between the two that will make it easier for brands and advertisers to choose between the two platforms.


The popular app has 166 million daily users according to their first-quarter report. These users are usually younger with 71% under age 34 and according to the Nielsen research institution, Snapchat is used by 41% of all 18-34 year olds within the U.S.

For advertising, there are various forms brands can choose from. One is SnapAds which are videos that can last up to 10 seconds and be featured within friends’ stories on the platform’s Discover section. These ads come with a “swipe-up” functionality that allows users to jump to a company’s website, a tactic both Pepsi and Dunkin Donuts have used successfully. A number of brands are using Snapchat geofiltersspecial overlays that can only be accessed in certain locations. Halo Top recently released one earlier this month to promote their low calorie ice cream. A company can also create a geotag in a specific location that users can see and use. The last form of advertising a brand can utilize are “lenses,” which are in the camera section and let users overlay the lenses over their own faces. Lenses can now be target by age, gender, and interest category. Think Taco Bell or Gatorade.

In terms of pricing, SnapAds are now sold through a “bidded action” based on market demand. Snap Lenses’ minimum price has recently dropped since they can be targeted, but can still cost almost $300,000 for one day. Geofilers can cost as little as $5 and CPMs range from 27 cents to $48.


This app has 700 million monthly users and 400 million daily users. Their new Instagram Stories feature has surpassed Snapchat’s since there are now 200 million daily active users. Its users are generally older with only 28% of internet users aged 18-29 years old using Instagram.

For advertising, a company can choose between photo ads, carousel ads, or Stories. Photo Ads is a static photo with a “Shop Now” link that can take users to the brand’s site or videos that can last up to a minute with a linkout. Carousel ads let users swipe around to view more photos or videos as part of one that appears in the feed. Travel company Airbnb was one of the first advertisers to buy a carousel ad on Instagram, calling on users interested in family, culture and travel to “live like a local” and book a holiday via the platform. Their ads reached 125 million viewers. Stories are ads that appear between a user’s friends’ stories and can be either video or static. Louis Vuitton launched their men’s Spring/Summer 2017 campaign through stories and as a result had a 28 point increase in ad recall. Recently, brands can buy ads across objectives likem reach, video views, traffic, conversion and mobile app install.

Instagram ads cost between $5 to $7 CPMs, while stories cost less around $3 to $4 CPMs. All ads can be purchased through Instagram’s self-serve function.

Which Should Your Company Choose?

This decision depends on your target audience, demographic and product/service. Who are you trying to reach and how much are you willing to pay to achieve that?  





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