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Mobile Video Influencer Marketing: Snapchat VS YouTube

So you want to create a mobile video campaign for your brand, using a social influencer in that vertical?

Move aside YouTube, your millennial, cooler competitor has just arrived.

It’s no secret that using a relevant influencer to endorse your products or services is a sure fire way to drive traffic and engagement towards your business. For instance, big makeup brands reach out to people who’s social network presence is in the beauty/make up vertical (e.g. beauty gurus or make up artists) with a large audience, to feed into their marketing strategy. This way, the brand reaches a relevant audience through the influencer.

So what mediums should you be using for your mobile video campaigns?

Answer: You should be using Snapchat.

For years, YouTube has been the traditional choice for influencer marketing, as these audiences have been cultivated organically over time. YouTubers are contacted by brands to incorporate their products or services in creative ways into their content.

However, with the rise of Snapchat, the fastest-growing social network in the world that allows users far more day-to-day insight into their favourite influencers as opposed to a YouTube video, the future of influencer marketing is evolving with it.

Here are 3 reasons why!

1. The Numbers

If we’re talking strictly numbers, sure, YouTube beats Snapchat simply by virtue of being around for longer. As of January, 2016, YouTube has 1 billion daily active users (to put into perspective, Facebook has 1.18 billion daily active users), while Snapchat comes in with over 50 million people using the service everyday.

However, what does it matter how many daily or monthly active users there are when you only want to target specific audiences or groups of people? Your brand would be speaking to people of a certain age group and/or gender, so learning which platform would be best to maximize that across would make more sense.

The statistics of age groups showcase YouTube as being a platform for an older audience. The user percentages by age are lower for 18-24 year olds (24%) as opposed to 25-44 year olds, which make up almost half of the users on YouTube (49%).

Unsurprisingly, millennials make up most of Snapchat’s users, where 60% of users are under 25 years old. 8 billion Snapchat mobile videos are viewed per day, reaching similar capacities with Facebook in terms of daily video user engagement.

This leads me onto the fact that...

2. The world is going more mobile

The explosive popularity of mobile devices (e.g. smartphones and tablets) have resulted in increased time spent consuming digital media across these mobile devices, in preference to desktop. It makes sense therefore to focus on mobile marketing as an integral component of marketing strategy. In the US, Mobile digital media time is now significantly higher at 51% compared to desktop (42%).

More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices, whilst Snapchat only operates on mobile. Millennials (ages 18-34) are the age group with the highest mobile usage, with a near-universal 97 percent reporting they use a mobile platform to consume digital content.

It makes sense therefore to invest in a platform that is fully optimized for mobile media.

Enter, Snapchat.

Whilst you can watch YouTube videos on mobile, Snapchat videos are shorter and optimized for the vertical, smartphone screen. Picture the typical busy man or woman, out and about, who does not have a lot of Internet data to spare. You want a platform that can get your brand message across in a short amount of time, with a consumer experience that seamlessly fits the vertical screen of their smartphones.

Which brings me on to my final point.

3. Format of content

The format of content that each platform produces is very different.

Of course, YouTubers produce high definition quality videos and there is not much of a time limit to the videos.

Snapchat however has a 10-second video limit.

And this is one of its biggest advantages.

The average consumer attention span is now 8 seconds. Coupled with the fact that the world is heading towards a more mobile era, why wouldn’t you pick a platform that takes this into account and gets the same message across in a shorter time frame?

It forces heightened creativity that can appeal to the consumer in 10 seconds as opposed to creativity drawn out over a 5 minute YouTube video.

Snapchat’s videos are unedited and instant, giving the feel that the content produced is natural and not forced. This is a huge plus with marketing as, the more natural the setting is, the less the audience will feel as if they are being shown an endorsement. Instead, it is more like a recommendation from a friend, or indeed someone they are already familiar with.


In conclusion, YouTube is suitable for brands that want to target older audience groups through typical video-style ads. However, this market is already so saturated and YouTubers having to create a video around a concept in which they can mention your product or even dedicate the whole video around your product, ultimately means more effort for them and higher payouts for you.

The amount of engagement at the moment that can be achieved through Snapchat is on the same, if not a higher level than the engagement that a brand can get through YouTube.

Therefore, in order to effectively engage with younger, millennial audiences, Snapchat is paving the way forward.


Hootsuite, Snapchat Demographics

Huffington Post, YouTube Statistics

Label Value, Consumer Attention Span Infographic

Statista, Facebook Statistics

YourEscape, Social Media Monthly Active Users Infographic

Lillian Chan

Creative Strategist

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