TikTok and Instagram have some significant benefits for businesses as they build their brand. Whether you’re creating organic content or you’re using the platforms for paid advertising, these can be a powerful and engaging way to connect with your audience.
Both platforms support the use of creative video ads, and both have a relatively young audience.
The following are some of the things to know about both, whether for organic brand marketing or paid advertising.
What Businesses Should Know About TikTok
TikTok is one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. Launched in 2016, TikTok now has more than a billion users, and the same number is estimated to be active every month.
The concept of TikTok is that it’s a social media app that lets users create short videos up to three minutes long.
It’s all about sharing video-based content, making it different from even Instagram and Facebook.
Some of the benefits of using TikTok as a brand include the fact that you can get extremely creative. There are a lot of unique features, like the green screen feature. TikTok has a unique algorithm that also raises the chances your videos are going to show up on your ideal customer’s For You Pages.
You may gain access to an audience that you wouldn’t have access to on other platforms.
The user experience is different from other social media apps because you can create short videos with custom audio, filters, and effects.
There are also always new trends popping up on the platform, so you can leverage those as a business.
Something to be mindful of with TikTok is the fact that 60% of users are between the ages of 16 and 24.
What Businesses Should Know About Instagram
Instagram is one of the most utilized and preferred social media platforms. In fact, HubSpot surveyed more than 1,000 marketers this year, and they indicated Instagram is their most effective social media platform.
Some of the pros of creating an Instagram Business profile include the ability to access metrics on the performance of your posts and stories and tracking how your followers are engaging with your content.
You’ll have access to the features you need to run paid ad campaigns, and you can add URLs to your Stories now so you can direct traffic to your site.
The downsides of Instagram include the fact that you need a Facebook account to get access to the ad features, and you are labeled as a business. You might also have less organic visibility and reach on Instagram, but for most businesses, the pros far outweigh the cons.
Audience interaction is a key priority of brands using Instagram right now. One effective way to interact with an audience on the platform is through IG Live. The HubSpot-surveyed marketers said it offers them the highest return on investment compared to any other Instagram tool or feature.
Instagram is a popular platform because it’s so versatile. You can do everything from sharing professional-style photos to sharing both long- and short-form videos.
The primary audience on Instagram is between the ages of 25 and 34 years old.
PROs and CONs of Instagram
We’ve already talked about some pros and cons of Instagram, but in comparison, it’s good to have a more in-depth view.
PROs of Instagram
- You can add influencer marketing into your strategy pretty easily.
- Instagram Stories help get your brand right in front of your audience.
- The audience on Instagram is larger than on TikTok.
- You can use Instagram Shopping to tag products and have people click on product links.
- Instagram advertising is more robust in terms of options.
- You can schedule your content in advance.
CONs of Instagram
- The downsides include the fact that there are 25 million estimated businesses on Instagram, making it hard to be competitive.
- There’s also not a simple way to link your site to your Instagram posts.
PROs and CONs of TikTok
So what about the pros and cons of TikTok, by contrast?
PROs of TikTok
- In 2020 it was the number one most downloaded app.
- The users continue to grow more rapidly on TikTok than on Instagram.
- TikTok has a feature similar to the Checkout feature on Instagram, where you can buy in-app through a retail partner.
- Costs of advertising are usually lower on TikTok than on Instagram.
CONs of TikTok
- The younger age of users might not fit with your brand,
- Since you can’t add links to posts, it’s tough to drive traffic to your website.
- You can’t schedule your content in advance
- TikTok only stores analytics for a short window of time.
While generally, the majority of the TikTok audience is younger, and the platform is associated primarily with Gen Z, one thing businesses should be aware of is that the users are going up in age. If you’re worried that TikTok isn’t right for your brand because of a young audience, you should explore the platform before ultimately making that decision.
Also, even if your target audience isn’t currently on TikTok, with the rapid adoption of the platform, it’s likely they will be in the near future.
Another unique feature that could make TikTok more appealing for brands than Instagram is the ability to generate visibility and awareness.
On TikTok, the algorithm rewards content above anything else. On Instagram, there isn’t one specific algorithm rule explaining how users explore content, but there are usually a lot of algorithms that are based on patterns of interaction.
TikTok has the For You Feed based on three specific factors, which are user interactions, device account settings, and video information.
On TikTok, you don’t necessarily have to build a huge following to get noticed, which for smaller startups, is appealing. You have the potential to go viral with minimal resources, whereas on Instagram, you have to slowly build up a follower base.
If you still don’t know which platform is going to be best for you, explore and experiment with both.