Instagram storiesThey say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and if that’s the case then Snapchat can count Instagram as their number one fan. In a controversial move this week, Instagram released their newest feature, Instagram Stories, which allows users to snap pics or record short movies that will remain visible to friends for just 24 hours before they expire. Oh, and you can customise them too with annotations and doodles.

Any of this sound familiar? If you’re experiencing a little deja vu right now that’s because Snapchat Live Stories (with all the same features) have earned the platform a following which watches more than 10 billion videos every day. According to a report from Bloomberg, the innovative messaging app surpasses Twitter by nearly 15 million daily users, and much of this is credited to the Live Stores feature.

Instagram’s announcement that its new feature will begin to roll out gradually over the next few weeks could spark off a battle between the two successful platforms – but who will win the battle for brands and advertisers in the long run?

Instagram and Snapchat – video trailblazers

As we are constantly being reminded in the marketing world, the future is video. But the astounding success of Snapchat might just go to demonstrate that actually the present is video too. An article published by The Huffington Post reports that by 2018, 69% of all Internet traffic will be for video content and that, although the future is certainly going to be shaped by exciting developments hovering on the horizon (such as virtual reality), the current landscape of video is being shaped by two platforms in particular. You guessed it – Snapchat and Instagram.

The article points out that these two social channels boast a few advantages over powerful video platforms such as YouTube. Firstly, they have huge followings amongst the younger generations, those who have their fingers on the pulse of the latest trends and are therefore keen to embrace new features and changes to the platform. Secondly, they are predominantly mobile platforms and when you consider that figures from last year revealed only 40% of Internet searches came from desktop and laptop devices with the rest through mobile, we can safely say that mobile is just as much the future as video is. Thus combining the two is a match made in content marketing heaven.

How Instagram and Snapchat are shaping video marketing

The Huffington Post piece expands on the way that Instagram and Snapchat are shaping the landscape of video by giving a nod to Insta for conquering the challenge that came along with offering longer video clips to its users – the need for more bandwidth and support. By utilising video streaming cache technology the file sizes were reduced whilst retaining their quality. Quality is key here – users want immediate uploads and they want the quality to be spot on. Thereby making your marketing video all the more appealing. There’s also the ease of cross-promotion that comes with Insta’s connection to Facebook, encouraging users to share their videos across multiple platforms with ease.

In comparison, Snapchat has been busy nurturing a new breed of users that are more engaged than the average social media user. Why? Because the posts they view have a limited lifespan – snaps that aren’t a part of a story can only be viewed twice which means that, from a content marketing perspective and particularly if a special offer or discount code was revealed in one of these snaps, consumers will be paying attention. Which means higher engagement. Which means content marketers rubbing their hands with glee.

If you are considering adding some video action to your content marketing campaign, why not find out what we can offer? Contact M2 Bespoke today on 01225 720099

Photo credit: tanuha2001 / Shutterstock.com

Ben Hollom

August 4, 2016