Instagram versus TikTok: Which Is Better For Your Brand?

instagram vs. tiktok

In the past few years, social media platforms have been shifting from having a primary function as a content platform to a content platform as well as a social network. In the past few years, numerous social media platform adaptations have taken places in order to keep up with the competition.

Choosing which social media platform(s) your brand should invest in depends largely on knowing how to navigate the changing online world. With the rise of TikTok , a popular short-form video sharing platform rivalling Instagram, it poses the question, which platform should you have a presence on and which is going to achieve better results? As social media platforms continue to evolve, so too must their marketing efforts.

It’s no longer enough to simply be present; brands need to develop an effective strategy for each channel they use.  We look at some of the key factors when deciding which platform to use for influencers, including industry updates, audience demographics, influencer marketing and sourcing user generated content.

Instagram is one of these platforms which has come up with new features in order to keep up with the times. TikTok is one of the most popular apps which has evolved to be a social media platform. With this in mind, it is easy to see how big of an impact social media platforms can have on brands. The question which has come up is whether Instagram or TikTok is better for brand users?

Instagram vs. TikTok: A Breakdown of Features

Ever since Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, acquired the app from its founders in 2012, Instagram has been a direct competitor to TikTok. TikTok has a much younger demographic- with a majority of users in the 18-24 years old category.

TikTok takes a minimalist approach to video creation, with a single tap to record a short video and a swipe to switch between different filters. On the other hand, Instagram places a lot more focus on pictures. While TikTok allows for a wider range of post presentation, Instagram is able to produce beautiful physical copies of your digital work.

In the battle of who is winning the battle for brand users, TikTok’s winning move is its ability to stream live video from anywhere. However, while TikTok offers a wide variety of creative options, Instagram gives brands the opportunity to create high quality images that are sure to impress consumers. Both platforms offer a great deal of flexibility, allowing brands to choose what works best for them.

Instagram versus Tiktok: Audience Demographics

There is a huge difference when it comes to these social media platforms when it comes to age demographics.

Many of Instagram users are between the ages of 24-35. Roughly 60% of users login on a daily basis and browse on an average of 53 minutes per day. The majority of Instagram users follow at least one business and some users utilize the platform to conduct searches for product and brands specifically.

Based on a recent Facebook survey, 78% state that they see brands on Instagram as popular, 77% as creative, 76% as entertaining and 72% as committed to building community.

Despite its popularity among teenagers and young people, TikTok has remained the leader since 2017. In terms of age group, the demographic profile mirrors the creators who primarily use Instagram for their content creation efforts.

One major difference between Instagram and TikTok (as it relates to demographics) is that Facebook owns and runs Instagram. Therefore, cross-platform promotion between these two apps is seamless, which opens up doors for reaching out to an older generation — Millennials and Baby Boomers — on Facebook.

Ability to Monetize

Each week, social media circles are rocked by the latest social media platform war. Last week, it was Facebook vs. YouTube. This week, it’s Instagram vs. TikTok. It’s no surprise that these social media wars insert tension into the relationships between social media platforms and their key demographic.

Brands in particular are trying to figure out which platform is right for their company and how best to engage with both of these platforms to reach the most users.

Most of the time, these social media wars revolve around two models: monetization of content and connections with the user. Some platforms, like Facebook, offer more of a carefully curated environment where you must pay to promote a post or a video.

Other platforms, like Instagram allows content creators to give full exposure to all those that follow them, which makes Instagram a really attractive option when it comes to the ability to monetize traffic that they’re currently receiving.

Paid Advertising

When it comes to having the ability to monetize from either platform organically is a definite benefit for marketers with a small marketing budget, having the ability to utilize paid advertising has it’s advantages as well.

As Instagram has been around much longer than Tiktok, it’s paid advertising platform is much more seasoned. Being that Facebook owns Instagram, those who are fairly comfortable with Facebook ads will have no issues in learning how to create Instagram ads using a Facebook ad account.

The downside of this is that with the increasing number of marketer’s attempting to run Facebook and Instagram ads online, this adversely causes increase competition in some marketing spaces which in turn, could increase advertising costs.

However, Tiktok does offer a paid advertising option which includes Branded Effects, Brand Takeovers, Branded Hashtag Challenges and TopView. Tiktok’s genuine video content gives it a market edge over Instagram due to its ever changing social media landscape.

User Journey and Experience

A new era in social media has exploded to take over the internet. TikTok, the video-sharing app that was released in 2017, took over the world by storm. With no specific content guidelines to follow, this app has become the new trend of connecting with the world.

cats on instagram

The users are able to upload 15-second videos of themselves, their families, or their vlogs. The app has surpassed Instagram in terms of active users, making it one of the most popular social media apps in the world. However, the popularity of the app has brought up concerns.

Instagram is a social media app where users can upload photos and videos. People are limited to uploading 60 seconds of video that cannot be edited. These short video clips are commonly known as Instagram stories. Instagram stories can offer an amazing opportunity to build your company brand when you able to accumulate over 10,000 followers on the platform.

This will allow your account to offer the “Swipe Up” feature which enables to you to redirect your followers to any offer or service that you have to offer, which makes this really appealing for those looking to build their brand on Instagram.

Understanding Your Audience

I will explore the pros and cons of both platforms from a brand perspective, and will hit on a few hitches that some brands might encounter when building a presence. Ideally, a brand will want to integrate both platforms, but the difficulties in doing so makes this a challenging choice.

The social media world is always evolving.

Platforms come and go while some stay on the map. For the die-hard social media user, it’s all about staying up-to-date on these changes and understanding the new business models. In addition, there are other factors to consider such as the type of audience you’re targeting, your budget, and whether or not you want to use organic growth versus paid promotion.

Instagram versus Tiktok: Influencer Marketing

Instagram’s influencer market is estimated to be worth over $1.7 billion dollars . So far in 2021, there have been more than 500,000 sponsored posts published on Instagram. Even though 89 percent of marketers claim Instagram is their top choice when it comes to using influencers, new social media app TikTok is growing rapidly and becoming an increasingly attractive option for brands looking to reach millennial audiences.

Due to the fact that Instagram is a much larger platform containing millions of users that typically have at minimum 1,000 followers or more, users need to work harder to grow their audience. Competition is abundant on Instagram if you’re attempting to become an influencer, but this can be a potential goldmine if you’re a marketer or content creator looking to gain more exposure to your products or services.

If you’re budget allows, you want to look for Instagram accounts with the blue check marks. This ensures that you’re dealing with the real persona behind the account, which shows that Instagram has properly vetted this account as being who they say they are by the number of followers that are following them. But with this check mark, could justify a heavy price tag if you want that person to promote your offer.

On the other hand, Tiktok is a platform that requires much less experience, but more originality from it’s users. Influencers on Tiktok practice and refine their skill’s by utilizing the app’s video shooting and editing capabilities.

While being original, Tiktop influencers could come up with cool promotional ideas that may help your brand stand out from the typical promotional techniques used by Instagram influencers.

This could be quite appealing based on the Tiktop creators ability to get their following to engage with their content.

Plus, Tiktok offers a free tier where you can upload videos up to 15 seconds long. You can also add text to your video, and share links to any website. If you want to increase engagement with your video, you can even include hashtags.

But with Tiktok, you don’t have the same degree of control over how your post looks like. While you can edit the title, description, tags, and thumbnail of your video, you cannot change the background color, font style.

So, there are some advantages and drawback to both when it comes to utilizing influencer marketing to build your brand.

When considering going the influencer marketing route, you really need to take things such as platform functionality, age demographics, influencer creativity, and price when deciding which platform to trust your brand.

But probably one of the best ways to figure out which is more cost effective and gives you a better return on your investment would be to test them both to see how different influencers’ following reacts to your product offer to build your brand.

Summary

In summary, both Instagram and Tiktok are really great choices when it comes getting more brand exposure to the masses. As mentioned earlier, there is alot to consider when deciding which platform to utilize, but all in all, it really comes down to preference and cost.

Building your brand is one of the most important aspects for company longevity and getting it right the first time is really important. There are plenty of people  on Instagram and Tiktok to market your products or services too, but by knowing the little details behind both will help you in determining which would best suite your offer(s).

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