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Instagram Stories Means New Opportunities for Brands

Last week, Instagram launched Stories, a Snapchat lookalike.

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Instagram vs Snapchat
INstagram story

A new opportunity for brands!

With stories now on Instagram, brands and influencers don't have to migrate to Snapchat in order to jump on the temporary, fun & spontaneous content bandwagon. This new feature allows them to engage with all of their community in the comfort of their Instagram account! Brands connecting with their fans on Instagram with Snapchat-like content... A Win-Win!

Demographics social media snapchat instagram facebook

Instagram has double the amount of Daily Active Users (DAU) while Snapchat boasts the most active 18-24 y/o demographic.

3 ways to communicate on Instagram.

Organic content
By publishing content directly on their feed, brands can reach users who follow them (according to Instagram's algorithm). This content permanently stays on their profile - unless they later delete it. You can measure the engagement (likes & comments) an organic piece of content generates, while Instagram has announced it will soon allow its users to measure total reach.

Sponsored content
This is Instagram's advertising feature through which a brand can post unpublished content, visible only to a selected demographic for a selected period of time, based on the allocated budget. The content will not be visible on the brand's feed and one of its main features is the possibility to add a conversion button to shop now, buy now, read more or other. You can measure reach, engagement & conversions while using different ad formats such as carousels and video.

Stories content.
This content appears right at the top of a @user's Instagram feed and is visible only for 24h. Editing features similar to Snapchat's allow a @user to add text, emojis or filters. While Instagram has built a reputation on the quality of its content, stories focus on fast, fun & authentic content.

Just like Snapchat did with its Memories feature it introduced a couple of weeks ago, Instagram allows a @user to upload content straight from his phone to his stories (for as long as its been there for less than 24h). With this feature, brands can approve in advance the content that will be published on their stories.

Another feature of Instagram's stories is the possibility to automatically share a story to a @user's feed. Let's just say this feature is not on point yet as you have to crop half of your story before sharing it...

With stories, you can measure the total number of views as well as the identity of every viewer. A @follower can also send a direct message straight from viewing the story. (But a brand can limit this function if it wants.)

Instagram stories cat

Stories allows editing features such as drawing & emojis.

What you need to remember

Aside from the fact that Instagram openly declared war on Snapchat, what you need to remember is that this is probably the end of Instagram's influencers' exile to Snapchat and that stories allows brands to engage with their community on a more frequent basis and with much more transparent content, while still maintaining control over their brand image.

Brands such a Nike have noted that for a similar video posted at a similar time on both Snapchat & Instagram stories, the later received 10 times the total number of views.

Snapchat is still relevant, in due time and place

Of course, this is not the end for Snapchat as they still reach most of the very prized 18-24 y/o demographic. A brand can still create its own Snapchat profile or buy custom branded geofilters whose prices vary based on the size & length of its activation. This media buy has a very high reach potential, as we've seen some of our previous brand geofilter activations reach 10 000 people per 1$ invested.

Many other advertising opportunities are currently being developped by Snapchat, who promises them to be as fluid, fun & interactive as ever.

Be agile to survive!

A competitive social media ecosystem means more opportunities for brands who wish to grow their digital influence. The trick is to stay agile, reactive & proactive in your digital content strategy. If you wish to explore ways in which your brand can turn these opportunities to its advantage, let's talk!


As the Head of strategy, Jean-Philippe has been interested in the systemic changes required for a transition to a more conscious capitalism system for over 10 years.