Just under 70% of U.S. marketers will use Instagram for marketing purposes in 2018, and just over 28% will use Snapchat, according to a new eMarketer report.
The projected Snapchat figure is up from 25% in 2017, and is expected to help the platform reap more than $660 million in U.S. ad revenues, an 18.7% revenue increase from 2017. Meanwhile, Instagram has grown by over 6% and is expected to nearly double its U.S. ad revenues this year, to $6.12 billion.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn ranks as the top social media platform used by U.S. ad agencies for marketing purposes, as it's used by 89% of 300 marketing and advertising agency executives surveyed earlier this year for the RSW/US-Mirren New Business Tools Report 2018. Facebook and Twitter will be used by 78% and 75%, respectively.
While the results indicate that there's not much love for Snapchat among marketers, there's more to why so many fewer marketers are embracing the platform compared to Instagram. As eMarketer points out in its report, Instagram provides a lot of support for marketers to use its platform organically by sharing promotional posts and videos with their followers, without necessarily having to buy advertising.
Snapchat, though a similar platform to Instagram in many ways, is more of a paid advertising platform that doesn't provide as much organic support to businesses wanting to use the platform for marketing purposes. Despite the difference, neither platform appears to be hurting for advertising revenue.
Of course, it also helps Instagram that it's owned by Facebook, which no doubt makes the most of the affiliation to help both platforms achieve better positioning and leverage with marketers and advertisers. In fact, eMarketer said that when marketers buy ads on Facebook, they "can simply check a box to add Instagram feed ads or Stories ads as additional placements."
According to the RSW/US-Mirren survey, Instagram lagged LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter in use by marketing and advertising agencies, with 66% usage, but was well ahead of Snapchat at 36%. One of the platforms separating the two was Google+, with 43% usage. With that platform due to shutdown in early 2019, it will be interesting to see if there's a shake-up in those rankings, potentially in Snapchat's favor if marketers that already use one or more of the top platforms are looking for a secondary or tertiary outlet.
Social platforms are on the rise as a shopping channel as well, though still in their infancy, and Instagram and others have sought to take advantage of that by launching shoppable images and other features to ease the shopping journey.