Tiktok vs Instagram: Which Platform Is Better for Influencer Marketing?

December 10, 2021

Once upon a time, Instagram was the undisputed king of the influencer marketing landscape. 

But times change.

Worth an estimated $13.8 billion as an industry, influencer marketing continues to grow in importance as consumers turn away from branded messages and towards their favourite influencers for product recommendations and reviews. But the challenge facing *your* brand is whether to embrace the traditional influencer marketing platform of Instagram or try your hand with a new platform - like TikTok.

With 67% of brands currently using Instagram to power their influencer marketing goals, you might think IG is the clear winner. But this figure is down from the 80% of brands using Instagram influencers in 2020 - and the number of brands using TikTok for influencer marketing continues to grow.

To help you reach your brand goals, we’re comparing each platform to help you find out if your brand is suited to Instagram influencers or TikTok influencers.

Why you should use Instagram influencers

Instagram and influencer marketing go together like Friday and after-work drinks 🍹

All influencer marketing campaigns require engagement, and the average IG user spends roughly 28 minutes a day on the platform. On top of this, one-third of the most viewed IG Stories come from brands, so there’s a track record on IG of connecting your products or experiences with a willing audience.

More than a photo-sharing app, Instagram allows users to create and share images, plus short and long-form videos. With multiple video options (Stories, Live, Reels, IG TV), Instagram influencers have a variety of ways to showcase their creativity and content creation skills while championing your brand. This range of content formats means influencers can express their creativity and endorse your brand in a genuine and authentic way.

Knowing your audience is crucial for successful influencer marketing no matter what platform you use and for Insta, the majority of users (62.7%) are aged between 18 and 34. Consisting of the impressionable Gen Z and Millennial crowd, Instagram influencers can help impact the purchasing decisions of this crucial demographic. 

Finally, Instagram offers a set of impressive analytics tools to help you track your influencer’s results. This helps you see where to make improvements to improve future influencer marketing campaigns. With roughly 500 million users interacting with the app each day, Instagram is undoubtedly a powerful platform where you can build a sense of community and drive engagement. 

Why you should use TikTok influencers 

TikTok may be new on the scene, but it already offers an exciting platform for influencer marketing. 

TikTok is BOOMING right now with 315 million downloads in the first quarter of 2020. This represents the best quarter by any app…ever. But you’ll still need to take into account its unique features before you decide if a TiKTok influencer marketing campaign is right for you.

Firstly, TikTok is a video-only platform. This differs from Instagram which allows you (or your influencers) to create static images to share branded stories. Instead, TikTok influencers can create videos up to 60 seconds in length. 

Where TikTok shines though is the potential for organic reach. As a relatively young app, TikTok is in a golden age of organic reach. This also occurred in the earlier years of Facebook when it was possible to reach a large audience through organic posts (you’ll need to pay to play if you want Facebook reach in 2022). As TikTok is encouraging creators and looking to continue growing in the social landscape, the opportunity for organic reach is massive.

Keep in mind, TikTok’s audience does skew younger than Instagram, with 60% of TikTok users aged between 16 and 24. This is a crucial figure to take into account as you’ll need to decide what type of audience you’re looking to reach. According to recent figures, TikTok has more Gen Z users than Instagram, so if your audience is under 25 then TikTok influencers may be perfect for you.

TikTok does have an advantage over Instagram when it comes to original content creation. Armed with a superior suite of editing tools and a massive song library, TikTok influencers are typically more dynamic than Instagram influencers who create similar video content. 

3 major differences between TikTok and Instagram

#1 - Social currency

Instagram is 6 years older than TikTok (which is an eternity in the social media world). This means Instagram has developed a proven pedigree for successful influencer marketing campaigns. Insta audiences look to their favourite influencers for brand recommendations and endorsements, providing valuable social currency that’s easier to predict. In contrast, TikTok is the new kid on the block. While a video with 2 million views is exciting, there’s less consistency on TikTok, making Instagram feel a safer route with a pattern of influencer marketing success.

#2 - Content style

The type of content being viewed and interacted with on each platform differs. TikTok’s editing tools and song library allow for more narrative-driven content which can help create stories about your brand - this is great for building brand awareness. In contrast, Instagram’s influencers have a reputation for sharing their favourite products and experiences - which is great for driving conversions. You’ll need to decide what your influencer marketing goals look like before committing to Instagram or TikTok.

#3 - Organic reach

Instagram offers a finite audience. This means an influencer’s content will go to a percentage of users who follow that account, plus a percentage who view the content through hashtags or Explore Page exposure. In contrast, TikTok’s distribution model is unconnected to followers. Without a ceiling to reach, TikTok views can far exceed the number of followers. For example, an account with 100 followers can generate 1,000,000 views.

And the winner is…

It depends (we know, you hate answers like that).

As frustrating as a split decision is - it’s necessary! Instagram and TikTok offer clear distinctions in terms of the audience they can target and the options for creators. You’ll need to take these differences into account when deciding whether to run a TikTok or IG influencer marketing campaign.

Both social media apps provide a different experience through varying content types, audience demographics, and influencer marketing options. Instagram offers a proven platform to tap into thought leaders and leverage third-party influence. But TikTok is ripe for the taking and growing fast with higher average engagement rates than IG.

For the best results, diversification is the name of the game. You can (and should) use the competitive social media landscape to your advantage. So if you’re interested in combining the reliability of Instagram with the virality of TikTok to build your brand and drive your revenue goals, we can help.

Click here to get in touch with The Influencers Agency to unlock the power of Instagram AND TikTok influencers.

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