Facebook vs Instagram: where should you spend your marketing monnies in 2021
In Q1 2020, audience sizes on Instagram were 28% larger than Facebook: SocialbakersCanva
This report will reference Socialbakers’ Instagram and Facebook data from 2020 to uncover the latest trends and insight...
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Facebook vs Instagram: where should you spend your marketing monnies in 2021

This report will reference Socialbakers’ Instagram and Facebook data from 2020 to uncover the latest trends and insight...
  • Blind investment on Instagram and Facebook can really take a toll on your marketing resources and budget. And watching money go down the drain, it’s no fun.
  • Socialbakers’ latest Instagram vs. Facebook report uncovers the trends and insights that are critical for any campaigns you work on this year.
Facebook and Instagram are the two biggest platforms used by brands and agencies for social media marketing across the world. Before diving into recent trends and insights regarding the two platforms, Socialbakers’ latest report gives a quick snapshot of both platforms and examines how their use for businesses and brands have evolved over time.
Facebook vs Instagram: where should you spend your marketing monnies in 2021

One of the biggest trends covered by almost every marketing publication over the past two years has been the rapid growth of ad spend on Instagram, a trend that continued at a far more blistering pace in 2020 compared to previous years. This trend can be seen when we look at Instagram’s contribution to Facebook’s total revenue over the years.
Facebook vs Instagram: where should you spend your marketing monnies in 2021

Key audience and demographic figures

Over the years, the active user bases on Facebook and Instagram have become more distinct. Understanding the general differences between audiences on Facebook and Instagram is crucial for marketers so they can make the right decisions when choosing what platform to utilize for specific marketing goals. Although both platforms offer robust targeting for promoted content, it’s still always important to understand the broader context and “big picture” breakdown of each social network.

Facebook vs Instagram: where should you spend your marketing monnies in 2021

Shift in paid spends towards Instagram

Despite Instagram’s dominance in engagement and reach, the Facebook News Feed has historically captured the majority of relative ad spend and still does as of Q4 2020. However, in the past two quarters, there has been a slight decline in Facebook’s share of ad spend, with more budget being allocated towards Instagram’s offerings. The chart to below illustrates the relative spend for different ad placements on both Facebook and Instagram in Q4 2020.

Facebook vs Instagram: where should you spend your marketing monnies in 2021

The Facebook News Feed still saw the largest share of ad spend by a sizable margin at 58%. However, this figure has declined over the past two years, as it was at 62.3% of ad spend in Q3 2019. Both the Instagram Feed and Instagram Story ad placements are beginning to take a larger share of the pie, combining to make up 27.1% of ad spend.

Rapid growth of Instagram Stories

Although Facebook remains dominant in terms of relative ad spend, these figures don’t put into context the rapid growth of Instagram Stories. Overall, the spend on Instagram Stories in 2020 increased by 40% compared to the previous year, and 91% compared to 2018.

A key longer term takeaway from Instagram’s success with Stories: although a functionality directly copied from Snapchat, Instagram has shown that they can implement features from other platforms and launch them with high rates of adoption amongst their users (many of whom utilized the original platforms).

Conclusion

Socialbakers’ report concluded that in general, Facebook is great for driving sales and conversions while Instagram is better for brand marketing and awareness. Strictly in terms of Ecommerce or direct-to-consumer sales, Instagram is catching up with its focus on Instagram Shops. However, Facebook remains the go-to channel to drive conversions and clicks; it’s still less costly and offers additional targeting. While they share many similarities and are managed from one platform, Facebook and Instagram must be viewed as distinct channels requiring their own unique strategies. The space of digital marketing is in constant flux as technology, consumer behavior, and marketing strategy intersect and evolve alongside and in response to one another. As two of the world’s largest social networks that also reside at the forefront of technology and innovation, Facebook and Instagram will continue to evolve in response to changing consumer desires and sentiments. It’s key for marketers to maintain a comprehensive and current understanding of these platforms in order to stay effective.