Digiday Research: Instagram beats Snapchat and Facebook for story ads ROI
With over 500 million users, the number of people using stories features on Facebook and Instagram long ago eclipsed the 188 million people using Snapchat every month. Now, Stories ads on Facebook and Instagram are outperforming Snapchat Story ads too, advertisers say.
Digiday polled 211 media buyers this March and asked them to rate their return on investment from Stories ads on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Respondents’ answers were weighed on a scale of one to five, where five delivered the highest ROI for advertisers and one delivered the lowest. Instagram Stories came out as the top performing Stories ad with a weighted average score of 3.34. Facebook’s Stories ads, though much newer than Snapchat’s, had an average score of 2.75, just above Snapchat Story ads’ score of 2.64.
Facebook’s decision to match Snapchat’s Story product for its Instagram and Facebook apps has proved a fruitful one. Stories ads, since they launched on Instagram in 2017 and Facebook last year, are helping drive new revenue growth for Facebook. For advertisers, Stories ads provide effective ways to reach consumers at cheaper rates than in-feed placements. But what has made Stories ads so successful for buyers on Instagram, more than on Snapchat, is the data and optimization tools marketers have access too.
When advertisers target campaigns on Instagram, they have access to Facebook’s wealth of audience data. That information coupled with the optimization algorithms fueling Instagram Story performance, is what gives Instagram Stories ads “such a leg up over Snapchat Story ads’ performance,” said Charlotte Kleiman, performance lead at Social Code.
User behavior is also one factor helping make Instagram Stories successful for agencies and advertisers. “Not only does Instagram have massive scale,” said Nate Schoeffler, associate director of paid media at VaynerMedia, “but users are making Stories a key part of their experience on the platform.” Since Stories are so central to how users interact with content on Instagram, it’s becoming a focus for advertisers too.
The type of ad campaign marketers are looking to run can also impact which platform might drive better results. Some retailers and app-based companies running direct response campaigns have found Instagram Stories ads outperformed Snapchat Story ads, for example.
In terms of pricing, Stories ads were pretty comparable on all three platforms. Schoeffler observed that CPMS for Stories ads across Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, “all typically range from $2 to $4, which is far more efficient than what we’re seeing with in-feed units.”
At one point, competition for Instagram Stories ads was driving up prices, which encouraged some marketers to shift spending back to Facebook Stories ads. But that appears to have leveled off. “In the last few months, we haven’t seen a significant change in how things are priced in either Instagram Stories or Facebook Stories,” said Kleiman. Marketer adoption of Facebook Stories ads is still meager, which has contributed to its lower CPMs.
Meanwhile, advertisers have been able to find relatively cheap ad placements when buying on Snapchat thanks to the platform’s introduction of programmatic pricing. Even if Snapchat isn’t as effective as Facebook or Instagram, lower prices will still help deliver higher ROI for advertisers.
Facebook Stories ads could still have their moment. Though less popular than Instagram Stories, they still share the same pool of data that attracts marketers to Instagram. “Facebook Stories have the ability to become as strong and Instagram Stories, right now, we’re just not seeing the same scale of available inventory yet,” said Schoeffler, which is likely a result of limited consumer interaction with them. Tessa Kavanaugh, vp social director at Socialyse said, “Over the past several months we have begun to see traction with Facebook Stories,” but that younger audiences desired by marketers still prefer to consume content primarily on Instagram Stories.
In the end, Instagram Stories ads are seeing far greater adoption and are delivering higher ROI for media buyers than Snapchat. Earlier Digiday research found that 79 percent of media buyers plan to increase their spending on Instagram in 2019 while only 19 percent of said the same about Snapchat.
Employee resource groups expand in scope and size to tackle measurable change
ERGs have become a growing presence inside businesses. But how empowered are these groups to effect real change in their organizations?
‘A holistic shopping platform’: Google vp Tara Walpert Levy on new holiday livestream shopping on YouTube
YouTube is now announcing a new week-long live stream holiday shopping event, kicking off November 15th in partnership with brands like Samsung, Walmart and Verizon, today at Advertising Week.
Member ExclusiveDigiday+ Research: Most brands haven’t let supply chain concerns influence their holiday promotions
As the supply chain’s problems have grown into a clear obstacle for many brands and retailers, that shift hasn’t been enough to drastically change the holiday promotion strategies for a majority of brands, according to new Digiday+ research.
SponsoredHow YouTube is redefining the online shopping experience experience
Sponsored by Google Amy Lanzi, North America practice lead, Publicis Commerce Finding surprising products in a brick-and-mortar store is, or used to be, a common experience: that magical shopping moment when the customer stumbles across something new that fits their needs perfectly. In 2021, however, it happens in the world’s biggest video storefront — YouTube. […]
Member ExclusiveMarketing Briefing: ‘We’ve had to pivot, pause, and adjust’: How supply chain issues are causing marketers to change Q4 and holiday advertising plans
Marketers and agency execs say that the impact is already palpable. For those struggling with supply chain issues -- brought about by the bottleneck of cargo ships -- the lack of new products to promote or stock issues is making them rethink how much they are advertising now as well as retooling Black Friday Cyber Monday plans.
TikTok creators with mid-level reach may be the most effective for brand partnerships
Brands that worked with creators in with mid-tier (11 million) and lower (540,000) follower counts received the best levels of attention, as opposed to the creators with the largest followings.