Instagram vs. TikTok: Choosing The Right Platform For Your Campaign – White Paper Included

As TikTok continues to surge in popularity, you may be wondering whether it is time to pivot your attention from solely focusing on Instagram to launch your influencer marketing campaigns. While TikTok is already showing some promising potential at engaging its users in creative and effective ways, there are still some important factors that should be considered before you decide to diversify your marketing budget across the two platforms.

As the following infographic reveals, there are stark differences between how the platforms are being utilized by audiences in Germany, as well as major differences in the current potential for each to generate advertising revenue. 

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As you will read below, we have listed how each platform is best-used for influencer marketing campaigns and summarized when it is best to use either Instagram or TikTok to reach your audience.

 

The Perks of Instagram

When it comes to influencer marketing, Instagram is a tried and tested method for brands to reach audiences. It is currently the preferred social media platform of choice for brands to market on, with 79% predominantly using Instagram to share their influencer marketing campaigns. With the average Instagram user expected to spend 28 minutes per day on the platform and one-third of the most viewed stories from businesses, the likelihood of a brand’s message being seen is also far higher. 

79% of brands are using Instagram to share their influencer marketing campaigns

Instagram is the undisputed home for influencers. Through the influencer discovery tool on Collabary, we have identified more than half a million influencers in Europe using the platform to reach their audience. It could be argued that the rise of Instagram was intricately tied to the rise of influencer marketing, with the app evolving over time to best suit brands and their ambassadors to deliver more impactful, effective content to their audiences.

For these reasons, we can see why choosing Instagram to launch a marketing campaign would seem the obvious choice for brands. Marketers are given plenty of tools to refine their advertising reach, with Instagram giving control to brands in targeting specific demographics based on gender, age, location, interests, and more. Instagram also allows for advertisements to include click-throughs to shopping links, which can create a clear path to sales. Influencers sharing links to product shopping pages leads into conversions which are an important and available key performance indicator (KPI) for many campaigns. As engagement rates and audience reach can also be tracked, brands are equipped with many tools to keep track of the success of their Instagram campaigns. 

Below, we’ve shared two examples of how brands have successfully used Instagram for their influencer marketing campaigns:

 

Fossil

To help build hype for the launch of their new smartwatch lines on Zalando, Fossil recently teamed up with a number of influencers to promote its products on their Instagram feeds. To do this, the brand recruited six well-known fashion, technology, and lifestyle influencers in the DACH region to show-off the features of the smartwatches whilst explaining the advantages of the technology. Creators like Manuel Hasni and Angelo Carlucci created a total of 16 images for their feeds and also appeared in videos that were then featured on the dedicated Fossil Zalando page.

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Photo credit: Angelo Carlucci

 

The campaign was a success, with 660k unique accounts reached and 109k reactions generated with the feed posts. Click-throughs on links provided in the 54 stories created by the influencers also lead to 6.4 thousand visits to the Fossil page. By creating an overall connected customer journey across multiple touchpoints, Fossil and Zalando were able to generate maximal awareness and boost sales. The ability to share a wider story that seamlessly connects over the feed, stories, and Zalando landing page, Fossil is one of many brands that have utilized Instagram for their influencer marketing campaign to achieve positive results.

 

The Perks of TikTok

There are a number of differences between how TikTok and Instagram are used that should be considered before creating a TikTok influencer marketing campaign. Firstly, TikTok is a video-only platform. This differs from Instagram, which gives brands and users the luxury of utilizing both photo and video content to share on their stories, feeds, and IGTV channels. However, TikTok’s users are able to create videos that can reach up to 60 seconds long, which is four times longer than Instagram stories 15-second limit. While IGTV does allow creators to share longer format videos, it has still yet to be widely embraced by Instagram’s user base. 

In addition to this, TikTok and Instagram have a much different audience share. While 59% of TikTok’s German users are aged between 16 and 24, 29% of Instagram’s German users are in the same age bracket. This is an extremely important figure to consider as it reveals that TikTok’s users tend to be younger, albeit much more engaged

59% of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24

Brands have three options when marketing with TikTok. They can either use paid advertising placements, organic influencer placements, or share original content on their brand account. There are a number of paid campaign options including brand takeovers, which show users an advertisement as soon as they open the app; in-feed video advertisements; and hashtag challenges. For the time being, the available performance metrics for these kinds of campaigns center on reach and engagement. For this reason, campaign goals for paid advertisement placements should be limited to generating awareness. 

Brands can create organic influencer placements as they would on Instagram by teaming up with popular TikTokers and tasking them with crafting and sharing specific branded content. Being armed with a much larger kit of editing tools and a huge song library, creators’ original TikTok content tends to be much more dynamic than the average Instagram story, aided of course by the longer play duration. Brands can also create their own accounts from which they can share their own messages, and through this invite, fans to engage further with their message.

Below, we’ve shared an example of a successful TikTok influencer marketing campaign:

 

Hashtag Challenge – Zalando 

To help launch its new brand positioning of “Free to Be,” Zalando launched a hashtag challenge under #freetobe that asked users to show what freedom means to them and what defines them. Zalando teamed up with popular creators like Pralina Karina and Sheila Wolf to share their creative stories and encourage their followers to join in on expressing their unique style and identity. The campaign was a wild success. Within the first month of the challenge launch, over 1,600 videos with the #freetobe tag were created, and collectively they generated more than 15 million views. 

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Photo credit: Zalando

 

As the hashtag challenge was launched alongside a major digital and television advertising campaign that showcased brand ambassadors who were fearlessly individual, the challenge was a great way to engage users in celebrating the brand’s new core message. The success proves the potential for using hashtag challenges to incite engagement with a brand’s story as well as inspiring a younger demographic to spread positivity. 

 

Summary

There are a number of clear differences between Instagram and TikTok that need to be considered when deciding on which platform to launch your influencer marketing campaign. 

1. Targeting Options: Firstly, while Instagram allows for more specific targeting with paid advertising placements, TikTok currently only allows brands to target geographical regions. However, with a much larger appeal with younger users, TikTok is the perfect platform to begin creating a relationship with this demographic. 

2. User Base: Instagram is currently used by more users worldwide and has proven lasting appeal, with the potential of using Instagram for marketing campaigns being well understood. TikTok, on the other hand, is a new frontier that is yet fully to fully realize its potential. Its users are highly engaged and adept at creating impactful content, and advertising options like hashtag challenges encourage users to creatively interact with your product and whilst simultaneously giving it the potential to go viral across multiple platforms.

3. Shared Content: The major differences right now seem to be the kind of content uploaded to both. TikTok’s numerous editing tools and songs library allow for creators to craft more narrative-driven stories within the app, which is perfect for advertisers hoping to recruit users to tell a more creative message about their brand. Done well, this is hugely important for building brand awareness and has already shown major success. However, with Instagram providing a way to build sales by targeting more specific demographics, brands hoping to achieve conversions should for the time being stick to Instagram.

 

What’s Next

If you are interested in more information on how you can use TikTok for influencer marketing campaigns, we are proud to announce the release of our new White Paper, The TikTok Challenge: Get to Know the Short-Form Video Platform. Within the report, you will provide a comprehensive overview of everything from why TikTok is popular, how it is used, the available advertising options, and much more.

Download Free White Paper: The TikTok Challenge

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