Social Media

TikTok vs. Instagram: Which Is Better for Your Business?

The debate regarding TikTok vs. Instagram rumbles on. Both prove that the younger generations love video content. Both have grown to over a billion monthly users with Instagram boasting over 1.3 billion of them. That means a lot of eyeballs that could potentially see your content and therefore plenty of potential customers.

Is one platform better than the other? How do you tell whether to focus on TikTok or Instagram ecommerce and marketing?

We underline some of the vital differences below to help you figure out which one among TikTok vs. Instagram is better for your brand.

Comparing the Platforms

To make an informed choice regarding your marketing strategy, you should understand the two platforms fully.

For those who aren’t using the two visual platforms regularly, we’ve distilled some of the features below.

Instagram Features

Instagram is owned by Facebook. The platform has a very varied audience age distribution, with under 45s making up most of its audience.

Image via Statista

Like most Facebook products, it has an array of smart marketing tools.

Instagram’s marketing features include:

  • The feed. This is where we see content from friends, accounts we follow, and sponsored ads.
  • Live video. The option for users to share live content.
  • IGTV. A “TV network” style feature for uploading long-form video content.
  • Shoppable. This is the key to selling products on Instagram.
  • Sponsored posts. This is the chance to pay to increase the visibility of a post through a paid promotion.
  • Hashtags. They help collect similar posts under a single roof to aid content discovery. Using the right hashtags helps boost reach and engagement. You can use hashtag generator tools to discover and create relevant hashtags.
  • Filters. Insta has filters to edit and improve the look of a photo or video.

Several businesses are leveraging these powerful marketing features to grow their presence on the platform. For example, L’Oréal worked with 15 beauty content creators in Indonesia to boost sales using personalized beauty content. The campaign helped grow their sales by 10%.

Image via Instagram

TikTok Features

Although TikTok is a newer platform, it has now surpassed Instagram in popularity among younger generations.

Image via Marketing Charts

The basic premise here is that users share short videos on the platform. TikTok has musical roots, and a lot of videos, even today, involve dancing, lip-syncing, singing, or comedy sketches.

Videos were originally 15 seconds long but you can now connect four of them together. Also, TikTok has expanded the length limit to three minutes for many users. TikTok also lets you upload videos you made outside the app.

There are some video editing functions in the app too, including songs and filters. Additionally, the audio focus is much more intense than it is within Instagram. You can even “duet” with other users, by replying to a video.

TikTok has grown incredibly quickly among the younger generations. Nearly 50% of all users are under the age of 30. That’s why using TikTok for business marketing is usually most effective if you are >targeting younger demographics.

Image via Statista

The likes of Charli and Addison Rae show us how to become an influencer on TikTok. Their millions of followers are attractive prospects for brands wanting to market their products.

Image via TikTok

Using TikTok and Instagram to Your Advantage

For a business, it’s important to take strategic decisions. Video marketing and social marketing are a dream when it comes to engagement, with 87% of video marketers reporting that video gives them a positive ROI.

So, should your efforts be going towards Instagram or TikTok?

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Image via Wyzowl

A Presence on Both?

One of the great things about social media marketing is the option to “be everywhere”. Maybe it doesn’t have to be TikTok vs. Instagram. You don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket, proverbially speaking. Instead, there is a chance to create content for both.

TikTok and Instagram are both open to brands uploading content made outside of the apps. It’s much easier to create a video and then upload it on both these platforms.

There is no harm in having a presence on both platforms. However, one will almost always yield better results than the other for your business.

So, you must carefully strategize and create content for these platforms and then take every step possible to grow its reach. You can then analyze what content works better for which platform.

Think About Where Your Target Market Is

Where are your users and potential customers? We’re talking geographically, as well as the social media apps they use.

According to a survey of internet users in Canada in 2020, “only nine percent of respondents aged 18 or above used TikTok monthly.”

So, if you were to promote a product in Canada using one of these platforms, it might not make a lot of sense to target TikTok. Instead, Instagram could be a better option as nearly 46% of the Canadian population uses it.

Reaching the Right Age Groups

Both TikTok and Instagram demographics are relatively young. Though the advertising platforms let you target older users if you want to, you may not get the best results.

Think of it this way — if you are a company that is promoting a skincare product for over 50s, TikTok’s very young user base might not be ideal. You may find more users on Instagram. It’s about being smart with your targeting.

On the flip side, if you are primarily promoting a product to females under 30, both Instagram and TikTok can be powerful tools.

Consider Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing campaigns like the one launched by L’Oreal earlier are popular on both platforms.

If you plan to try and penetrate your target market through partnerships with influencers, both TikTok and Instagram are popular. The State of Influencer Marketing 2021 report found 93% of respondents already use Instagram for influencer marketing while 68% plan to use TikTok for it too.

TikTok enjoys high engagement rates and this can be a great reason to launch influencer campaigns there. Micro-influencers get an average engagement rate of Up to an incredible 17.96% on TikTok and 3.86% on Instagram. Both are so much higher than the 1.63% on YouTube.

Image via Marketing Charts

The younger generations are used to influencer marketing, and the accounts they follow may hold huge sway over decisions. So, this is a great opportunity through which you can reach your audience on TikTok and Instagram.

Testing

Whether you’re selling products on Instagram or trying to promote your business on TikTok, testing is vital.

Like all forms of online marketing, the way to fine-tune campaigns is to continue to test what works for your brand.

You can use Instagram analytics tools to see the social strategy of your competition. And you can then change your strategy based on the results observed. Additionally, you can derive valuable insights from your marketing campaigns too.

Based on these insights, you can fine-tune your campaigns and improve your results.

Fortunately, both Instagram and TikTok offer analytics. You can use these to understand the behavior of your audience, and what is working in your ad campaigns.

However, do note that organic campaigns don’t provide as much detail as paid advertising campaigns.

If you find your conversion rates are better on one platform, try to understand the reasoning. Double down on what is working, and make use of trial and error to build effective marketing strategies.

Engaging Content

Engaging content is a must for trying to build an effective marketing campaign on either TikTok or Instagram.

People spend so much time on these platforms as they provide quick, easily digestible content. So, it’s essential that you create content that’s engaging, relevant, and easy to understand.

You need to capture the audience's attention with interesting, funny, or entertaining pieces of content to stand a chance, and short videos can work well here.

And why is that?

Wistia research shows that the longer a video, the less engaged the audience tends to be.

Image via Wistia

And how can you create such engaging videos?

All you need to do is leverage video making apps to develop powerful videos. This allows you even more visual possibilities and editing features to catch the attention of your audience.

FAQs

Q1. How do I advertise a product on TikTok?

A. You can easily create videos related to your product and share them on TikTok to promote it to your audience. Alternatively, you can tap into the advertising power of the platform and launch paid campaigns.

Q2. Is TikTok beating Instagram?

A. TikTok is growing at a quicker rate than Instagram, but Instagram still has more users worldwide as of 2021.

Q3. How can I post a link on Instagram?

A. You can’t put a link inside the caption of an image or video on Instagram. However, you can share it via your Instagram bio, or through the Stories function of Instagram if you have 10,000+ followers or a verified account.

Q4. How many hashtags should I use on TikTok and Instagram?

A. Choose four or five active and related hashtags to include in your post rather than introducing lots of tags. This can appear spammy.

Q5. How to get more views on TikTok?

A. There are a number of ways to increase the view count on TikTok. Use hashtags effectively, tap into trending topics, and create valuable content. These are all ways to ensure your content has a good chance of being seen. It can take time to build up a following on the platform. Be consistent.

Q6. Is TikTok good for business?

A. TikTok is a great tool for certain businesses. However, not every business will experience a good return on investment on the platform. It’s a great platform if you are marketing to young demographics.

Summary – Instagram vs. TikTok

In the debate of TikTok vs. Instagram, there’s no straight answer.

It may be immediately obvious where you’ll have the best results, or it may take some time to gain insight and tailor your strategy.

Used correctly, Instagram and TikTok can both form a vital part of your marketing strategy. The key is to think carefully about the image you want to project, and the people you want to reach.

It isn’t a case of only being able to use one or the other. Both are useful platforms and can help charge up your marketing strategy.

Do you have any questions about TikTok and Instagram? Ask them in the comments.

Ben

Ben is a technology, marketing, and e-commerce writer from the east of England, with a passion for music and media.

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