The big dilemma: on which platform to perform? Maybe Instagram with its perfect photos or TikTok with its dynamic videos or maybe even both. We tell you how to make your choice.
Instagram was created in 2010 and quickly became popular, even so that the Meta group acquired it in 2012. With the rise of Instagram, influencer marketing indeed grew and shaped it as we know it today. But in 2016, a new social media platform was created and completely changed the world of social media. Although these two platforms are popular, especially among younger people, they both have specificities. With this article, we aimed to point out the differences between TikTok and Instagram, so you can best adapt your content and strategy for these platforms.
The way these apps work is quite different, although they share similarities.
First of all, if we take it from the beginning, Instagram was originally created to share pictures only and then quickly introduced videos. You mostly see content from people you follow in "your feed" as a user. However, these last few years, Instagram has been trying to push more content from people we aren't following into our feed. Instagram also has an explorer page to find content from creators that you are likely to appreciate. The type of content shown in this category is based on the publications you usually like. Instagram also allows users to share stories, content only available for 24 hours. This type of content is extremely popular, since it only lasts a day, and people are more likely to view them.
As for TikTok, initially, the platform only allowed users to post really short videos. The app then extended the recording time to 3 minutes and is expected to launch in a longer format of 10 minutes. Unlike Instagram, users tend to watch more content from people they don't follow. The "For You" page shows videos that the users will supposedly like based on the content they usually watch and enjoy. There is also a "following" page where users can find content from the accounts they follow. But typically, TikTok users mainly use the "For You". This is primarily because TikTok created an algorithm that is quite good at analyzing what users like or not.
It would be wrong to think that the same type of people uses these two apps. Yes, overall, both of their audiences are young, but it's a bit more complicated than that. From the beginning, TikTok was marketed as an app for young users, people under 18 years old, and mid twenties.
But in 2020, precisely during the first lockdown, TikTok became popular and more users from different age groups started using the app. However, the most significant number of users is still aged between 10 and 19 years, followed by 20 to 29 years.
As for Instagram, most users are aged between 25 to 34 years, followed by 18 to 24 years. Since this social network revolves around clean and aesthetically pleasing content, followers are more demanding when it comes to following an influencer. However, since TikTok is all about authenticity and entertainment, anyone can create a short video of 7 seconds, and let’s be honest Gen Z are pretty good at it (even if millenials are not far behind!)
As we have just seen, both platforms have different approaches and audiences. Therefore the types of content are also quite different.
Instagram is known for its beautiful pictures that often portray an idealized life. The goal for creators is usually to look perfect, even if it means using filters and editing their pictures. Their final goal is to get a lot of likes.
On TikTok, things are a bit different. Since it is videos, the goal is to get a lot of views rather than getting likes. The content on TikTok is often more spontaneous and less professional than on Instagram.
However, we can moderate our comments by adding that more and more people are looking for more authentic content on Instagram. This trend can be observed with the rise of the "photo dump" trend. With this trend, the aim isn't to get the perfect picture but to share various more authentic pictures, less filtered and taken on the spur of the moment.
As a brand, you might be interested in using these platforms. There are many ways to advertise your brand from paid partnerships to paid ads.
One of the first ways to increase your visibility is to work with influencers. Instagram makes it easy to contact influencers, as you can send them a direct message, unlike on TikTok, where you can only message people who follow you back. Forget about mass messaging! Sending random and vague messages that can be applied to any kind of influencer is a no go. If you are ready to work on an authentic collab with these influencers, and build a strong relationship then you must work on a clear and personalized message. Asking an influencer to partner with you is nice, but why should they work with your brand? To write this complete and personalized message you can answer various questions to:
But a more professional approach is to contact them through their professional email address, as most influencers usually put one in their bio. It shows you have experience
Regarding prices, TikTok partnerships tend to be less expensive as it is a relatively new app, and brands have been slowly joining it. Because of the algorithm, predicting the result of a partnership is more complicated.
In terms of format, there are a few on Instagram, such as stories, posts, reels, or even lives. Whereas on TikTok, there are videos or lives. TikTok recently introduced the story feature, but we have yet to see if brands will use it for influencer partnerships.
Partnerships aren't the only thing you can use as a brand, there are also paid ads. Just like influencer collaborations, there are many formats.
Let's start with Instagram! First of all, you should know that you need to have a creator or business account. There are five different types of ads: photo, video, carousel, stories, and ads on the Explore page. Your choice of ads depends on what you are trying to promote. For instance, if you are trying to boost the visibility of a giveaway you are launching, photo or carousel ads will be more suitable.
Overall, once you know what type of formats you want and your budget, creating Instagram ads is relatively easy and intuitive.
Now, TikTok! There are also 5 types of ads:
So that's it, you now know every difference between Instagram and TikTok. Both platforms have their pros and cons, so the most important when you choose one of them is to understand the codes and rules of the platform. Knowing the audience of these platforms is also essential to adapting your content. Even though TikTok is really popular, influencer collabs aren't as developed as on Instagram, more and more brands are interested in these platforms. It will be interesting to see the evolution of the app in a few months, especially since they have launched the new story feature.
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