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Should Brands Bet on Snapchat Influencer Marketing?

As we trundle ever onwards into 2018, brand marketers and agencies need to make concrete decisions into which channels they’ll be dedicating their Influencer Marketing budget to. The obvious channels are of course — YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. However, one thing that marketers are always curious about is the use of Snapchat. Is it worth investing time into influencers on Snapchat? Better question: does Snapchat drive real results and outcomes?

Instagram Influencer Marketing Data
Instagram Influencer Data from Q3 2017 from the Grapevine Influencer Marketing Platform

The answer: unclear! To be honest, Snapchat has never been exactly forthcoming with their data, so it’s hard to tell how much value a brand gets from courting influencers on Snapchat. What we do know, however, is that the data that’s been leaked doesn’t look very promising for marketers. First of all: it looks like DAUs (Daily Active Users) have more or less flatlined. If you think advertisers are going nuts now over YouTube’s new monetization policy, then just imagine how chaotic it would be to manage a sustained Snapchat campaign with a team that is “running sprints back and forth” to change their product based on the whims of their CEO.

The smartest marketers must be able detect and adapt to changes in their platforms of choice. The lack of strategic vision within Snapchat doesn’t create value for brands in the long run; it creates headaches. From my own millennial perspective, Snapchat is a platform primarily used by users to chat (or in contemporary parlance, to “slide into the DMs”) as opposed to meaningful discovery.

A much better bet for your brand or client would be to simply double down Instagram, which has already demonstrated consistent value for the brands that collaborate with influencers
(like the ones we have on our platform) on it. Unlike Snapchat, Instagram has a clear vision and is crushing Snapchat with its DAU numbers, with a third of users leveraging it’s “Stories” feature being advertisers. Furthermore, with Snapchat, user generated content (UGC) will only be seen by anyone explicitly following your designated Influencer. On Instagram, UGC is far more discoverable — especially with the new hashtag discovery. Metrics and analytics? Instagram wins on that too with a powerful native Insights tool (you can also track performance on Grapevine, just FYI)

If I were a betting individual, my money would be on Instagram.

While the bias here is definitely towards Instagram, it’s up to marketers to think about the kind of content you want to promote. While Snapchat favors “real” content that’s more visceral in nature, Instagram is more aspirational. At the end of the day, it’s all about creating engaging content your audience will love and share.

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