TikTok took the social media world by storm when Gen Z and young millennials flocked to the platform to create short, captivating, and incredibly impactful video content. The platform has grown exponentially in popularity with over 689 million active users in January 2021, making it the seventh most-used social network in the world.
In a last-stitch attempt to mimic TikTok’s success and capitalize on the ever-growing trend of video content, Instagram released its very own video content feature called Instagram Reels. Many factors come into play when deciding between TikTok and Instagram Reels and it’s important to consider each and every factor before you invest your time, money, and resources into video content of your own.
Video content is undoubtedly something you should be exploring and integrating into your social media or content marketing strategy, especially as a small business owner. Static content is essential, it helps you connect with your audience and generate brand awareness, all while creating a loyal online community of brand advocates and supporters, however the benefits of posting video content on platforms like TikTok or Instagram Reels far outweigh static content.
Choosing your platforms wisely is essential when creating static content and video content is no exception. Understanding where and why you’re posting your video content on your platform of choice will help you make an informed decision that yields favourable results. Let's dive into the similarities and differences of TikTok and Instagram Reels so you can determine which platform will help you connect with your audience.
Demographics- where is your audience?
In former blog posts we’ve talked about the importance of identifying your audience and it's now more important than ever. Users are vastly different on TikTok and Instagram Reels and it’s important to identify which platform your audience would be more inclined to use.
In the United States, the vast majority of TikTok users are under 30 years old. Research published by the Pew Research Centre concluded that 48% of U.S. adults between 18-29-years-old use TikTok. This number drops to 20% in the 30-49-year-old age group, and goes as low 14% among 50-64-year-olds, and 4% for users 65 and up. If you’ve identified your audience, this research is extremely valuable as it will help you make a decision as to whether or not TikTok is the right platform for you. Instagram tends to skew a bit older meaning it may be the superior choice if you don’t have a young audience.
Video Length- how long do you need to spread your message?
How long do you need to spread your message? Another difference between TikTok and Instagram Reels is the video length. TikTok enables users to create and post 60 second videos which is double the length of an Instagram Reel that maxes out at 30 seconds.
While the length of the videos you’re able to post may not be the deciding factor when it comes to deciding which platform you should post your video content on, it’s important to understand your time limitations before you start to build your content. It’s also important to remember that you will be able to repost all of your Instagram content to TikTok, but you will not be able to post your TikTok content on Instagram without first shortening the video to fit within Instagram’s 30-second limit.
Tools and Features- what can I do on each platform?
TikTok is a social media platform that is dedicated strictly to video content, and they do video content really well. Unlike Instagram, TikTok doesn’t have an entire set of features or product offerings that you can use to capture your audience’s attention. Instead, video content is the only tool you have access to in your toolbox.
Instagram was created for an entirely different purpose and has only recently integrated a feature that makes it possible for users like yourself to create and post video content in a TikTok-like fashion. As a result, Instagram is lacking in areas where TikTok shines.
Upon an initial glance the interface on both platforms looks quite similar however each one varies and offers a different experience depending on what features you use. TikTok offers a much larger library of effects, templates, and filters whereas your capabilities are limited much more on Instagram. TikTok also boasts a variety of voiceover and voice effect capabilities whereas Instagram prohibits users from adding any special effects to their audio in their Reels.
The Algorithm- how do I measure success?
Consistency is key when posting your content on TikTok and Instagram and there is no one size fits all approach to ensuring your video content gets in front of your intended audience. Learning more about the algorithm on each platform will help you optimize your efforts and determine whether you’re using each platform effectively.
TikTok Vs Instagram Reels- which platform should I choose for my small business?
Instagram Reels are great if you’re already an active Instagram user. If you’ve taken the time to create a solid social media or content marketing strategy and you’re already well on your way to building an Instagram following, leveraging the Instagram Reels feature will add to your success and help you double down on your strategy.
If you’re an active Instagram user, you will be more likely to see more initial success on Instagram as opposed to TikTok. Creating content when you already have a following means your content is more likely to perform well and prompt engagement from your audience.
If you’re a small business owner, chances are you haven’t yet harnessed the power of TikTok. If you’ve identified a need and determined whether your audience is on TikTok, it may be worth investing some of your resources into the platform.
When you start out on TikTok you will be starting at zero because you may not have an existing following when you start to post your content. Starting from nothing shouldn’t deter you from using the platform but it should be noted when making the decision as to whether you should be posting your video content on Instagram or TikTok.
Are You Struggling with Video Content?
If you only have the resources to put into one platform, it’s important to consider your options before posting your video content on either TikTok or Instagram. First, identify where your audience is most active so you can make sure you’re posting your video content where your intended audience will see it. Next, take some time to learn about the features, functions, and capabilities on each platform and choose whichever one best suits your needs. Lastly, you will want to examine your current marketing efforts and choose a platform that compliments your existing social media or content marketing strategy.
If you’re struggling to kick-start your social media or content marketing strategy, our team of social media strategists and content specialists would be happy to help you get on your feet. Click here to fill out a contact form or here to browse our array of marketing services. We can’t wait to get in touch and help you crush your social media marketing goals!