Short video content has boomed in popularity, especially after Covid “took over the world”. There are a few particular apps that grew massively in terms of their number of active users. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram’s newly introduced feature – Reels have made it easier for small businesses and creators to shoot, edit and post videos straight from their mobile devices. This type of content is a powerful way to promote your business and reach potential customers. But how do you know whether Instagram Reels or TikTok would be better for your business? And what is the difference between both platforms?
We will take a closer look at how you can take advantage of each platform to promote your business better.
What is the difference between TikTok and Instagram Reels?
One of the major and most important differences is that TikTok’s main purpose is to be filled with entertaining, fun and light-hearted, short video content. This is one of the reasons why it has a much more engaged audience pool. People who use the app go to the platform specifically for fun, short-form video content and they are ready to engage with it.
Another difference is the use of hashtags – TikTok’s hashtags are mainly used for the challenges posted by users. This in its turn generates a lot of organic, user-generated content.
Instagram created its Reels functionality after seeing how successful TikTok started becoming in 2020. By contrast, it has a variety of content formats one can take advantage of feed posts, stories, IGTV, shops, and Reels. Instagram’s users have an interest in visual content and it looks as if they have not yet embraced the Reels feature fully.
There are also significant differences in terms of both platforms’ user demographics.TikTok is mainly populated by Gen Z. Furthermore, over 85% of TikTok users are below the age of 34, 42% of them fall into the 18-24 demographic.
Instagram on the other hand, attracts a very broad audience. The content it offers attracts users from as low as 13-year-olds to 65-year-olds. Although 62.4% of 18-34-year-olds use Instagram, so do 2.2% of the 65+ year-olds.
Another very noticeable difference is the number of ads shown on both platforms. If you are an Instagram user, you know that every second or third post or story is sponsored. This does get irritating, especially when you just want to scroll around and see nice sunset images or videos. With TikTok however, we see a significantly lower number of ads which gives the platform a bit of competitive advantage when it comes to users who are not keen on constantly being targeted by ads.
So, can Instagram Reels and TikTok be compared?
The obvious similarity is that both TikTok and IG Reels offer users the tools to make and share short video content. TikTok recently prolonged the time format of the videos that can be posted from 1 to 3 minutes. IG Reels are still only offering videos up to 1 minute long, but we expect to see an upgrade in this soon.
At the moment it feels like IG Reels is trying hard to reach the popularity TikTok has built for themselves but they have yet to introduce new features to achieve a better competitive advantage. It seems as though Instagram is aware that they aren’t quite measuring up to TikTok which is why they started shadowing businesses and creators who simply cross-post their TikTok content on IG Reels. Furthermore, if the content has a TikTok watermark, it will not have a great reach. This way Instagram encourages their users to create Reels on their platform directly.
Do businesses use TikTok or IG Reels more?
There are lots of businesses that use both TikTon and IG Reels. We see that TikTok tends to provide more in-depth analytics whereas Instagram can provide link clicks.
At the moment TikTok is more superior at the editing features, music and sounds it provides. The deeper analytics and extremely fast-growing audience is also a great addition to the overall mix you can indulge in.
Should you use TikTok or IG Reels for your company?
You should do your research – what’s your target audience and where are you going to find them mostly? Also, do not be afraid of testing. Although you may think that only 1 of the 2 platforms would be better suited to you, it won’t hurt if you tried them both. You will then be able to make informed decisions based on real results and data. Your business could reach thousands of new potential customers if you try creating content on both Instagram Reels and TikTok.
Take some inspiration on how you can utilise TikTok for your brand:
Gymshark has been on TikTok for quite some time, and let us tell you that they are doing great so far. They are consistent with their posting times. As well as this, the content they create is fun and engaging, including workout and nutrition videos, which brought them over 1.2 million fans.
The NBA is one of TikTok’s early adopters. Similarly to Gymshark, they are very consistent in their posting and create great, trendy content. They have a huge following, consisting of over 5.5 million people, which is by far the biggest following on TikTok. Furthermore, the NBA have a very smart way of utilising the various social media platforms they are active on. For example, they use Twitter to share NBA news, Instagram is where they post highlights from games and TikTok is their comedy channel.
Here is how other businesses use Instagram Reels:
Apple uses IG reels when they want to showcase different features on their devices, mainly the cameras on their phones. They tend to report a lot of user-generated content or use third-party vendors for their Instagram Reels.
Netflix is quite relaxed, casual and fun when it comes to social media.
They have understood the needs and wants of their viewers and they tend to be able to deliver exactly that. Netflix’s Instagram Reels are filled with engaging content about their shows mainly.
Whichever platform you choose, just be creative and engagingly portray your business. Show your Key Selling Points and be honest with your potential customers. In order words – stay true to your brand.
Bonus Tip 2 – How to edit your content:
If you would prefer to use IG Reels, keep in mind the editing options are not as many as they are on TikTok, so you need to use third-party apps to ensure your content is great. There are some apps we know are going to help with your content editing: Prequel, Videoshop and Mojo.
To conclude today’s topic it seems like TikTok is currently more advanced than Instagram Reels. This does not mean that you should limit yourself by not testing each one of them to see which works best for your brand.
Watch out for this space to get the latest news as well as practical tips to help you manage your social media presence better.