For the past few years, TikTok has become a popular social media platform that has attracted billions of users. Turning the heads of a variety of age groups, TikTok has successfully taken on social media giants, such as Instagram, and has captured users’ attention by introducing them to short and entertaining videos. However, with the release of reels, Instagram now has a tool in place in a bid to take back its audience and retain active users.

Now that the dynamic of the social media world has changed, this blog will focus on the key similarities of TikTok and Instagram Reels, as well as on which of the platforms is better for your brand and influencer marketing.

But first, let’s look into what both of these platforms are used for...

What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels are an attempt to win back users who got sucked into the hype of TikTok when it first became popular. With some saying that it is almost a complete replica of TikTok, the Instagram Reels function allows its users to create and discover short, entertaining videos for not only their followers, but the whole community.

Since their release, Instagram Reels have quickly become a significant strategy in the digital marketing efforts of businesses and Instagram influencers. Due to the new era of social media creating a habit of short bite-sized videos, the average attention span of scrollers is only 8 seconds. With the release of Instagram Reels, it is a great way for businesses to capture the attention of their target audience quickly and successfully.

Ranging from 15 to 90 seconds, reels allow for a range of content to be published, from small attention-grabbing clips to more in-depth and entertaining videos. You can also add featured music clips and text over videos, furthering the engagement and entertainment value for the viewer - the variety of video styles available for brands to promote their products or services is huge!

One of the most appreciated features of Instagram Reels is how instantly accessible they are. With being able to upload reels onto your main feed, as stories and on the reels tab, it becomes easier for your reels to reach more people. With enough interaction, including likes, comments and shares, your reels will be pushed onto the Explore tab, showcasing it to new users on a global scale.

Due to Instagram Reels being new, Instagram, like all businesses, wants to promote its new service. Adapting their algorithm, Instagram favours reels by pushing them out to the Explore tab, meaning that users’ reels get more exposure from other users. This process is perfect for businesses looking to promote their brand, as it means that if their reels are captivating and crafted correctly, they will go viral more easily than a standard feed post. This will in turn lead to more awareness and potentially a desired call to action from other users.

Using an influencer to promote your brand through Instagram Reels will only benefit you more. With the use of reels mixed with the low attention span of users, using an influencer will put a well-known face to your brand, humanising it and making it more likely that you capture users’ attention faster. So, simply choosing the best suited influencer to reflect your brand could result in increased traffic!

Instagram Reels are also very good for repurposing your content. Due to the versatility of reels, you can share them to your stories across a range of different social media platforms as well as repost them onto TikTok, increasing your chances of reaching an even bigger audience.

Recently we helped Fusion Allergy launch their summer relief campaign through the use of influencer marketing. During the heat of summer hay fever is at an all-time, so Fusion Allergy came to us to ask to promote their range of relief including sprays, lozenges, and masks. We partnered them with parenting and lifestyle influencer Dad Download, to promote their brand using Instagram Reels and the response was great.

Lee Chisholm, better known as Dad Download, created a comedic 30-second Reel, where he compared Mums and Dads suffering with allergies, doing simple day-to-day jobs around the house. The Reel raked in an impressive 208K views and over 2000 likes, with viewers commenting on how hilarious they found it and how accurate it was. Not only did Fusion Allergy benefit from the Reel but so did Lee as he gained followers from the video.


What is TikTok?

Formerly, TikTok first rose to fame in the October of 2018. Quickly becoming popular, it didn’t take long before the app was the most downloaded photo and video app in the Apple Store, globally. Fast forward to today and it is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world with over one billion monthly active users.

With this huge presence, it is no shock that businesses are keen to use the app to promote their brand, pushing it to an insanely wide audience and providing the opportunity for enhanced brand visibility as well as subsequent growth.

Compared to other platforms, TikTok is unique in the sense that its content consists primarily of a light-hearted and casual approach to content creation. With most of the content being personal to the user, the creativity and angled approached to production will definitely contribute to your brand’s identity.

The use of hashtags is huge on TikTok as trends are more prevalent on the site. Users will often take part in these trends, whether it is a dance or a meme, and the potential exposure can be huge! Businesses tend to tailor their content to take part in these trends and be able to use the required hashtags to enhance their number of views and get their brand exposed to a global audience.

TikTok also offers great analytic tools to not only allow creators to manage how well their own videos are doing, but also the videos of TikTok influencers due to the ‘TikTok Creator Marketplace’. This tool allows businesses to reach out to the perfect TikTok influencer who can promote their brand, with having a greater understanding of their insights.

One of the best features of TikTok that can be hugely beneficial for businesses is the simple way that the app allows the creator to engage with their audience. Through challenges and hashtags, duets, and the ability to reply to comments using a separate video response, TikTok is a great platform for connecting content creators to their audiences.

We helped health and treatment business Compeed to deliver one of their marketing campaigns through the use of influencer marketing on TikTok. Looking to break the taboo surrounding cold sores and increase the understanding of what they are and how they affect people, we teamed them up with singer, songwriter, and influencer Tallia Storm.

Leading such a busy lifestyle and often placed in front of a large audience, we thought Tallia would be a great fit for Compeed and their Discreet Cold Sore Patches. Tallia created and posted three TikTok videos as part of the campaign and the results were excellent. With over 310K total views, the campaign was not only a success for Compeed but also saw Tallia grow in followers.


The similarities between Instagram Reels and TikTok

So now we know what both platforms have to offer, how are they similar? It is clear that the two are very similar as they both follow the structure of relying on users to post short bite-sized videos that can create engagement, whether that is liking, commenting or sharing the post.

Both platforms offer an incredibly immersive experience, opening users up to a wide variety of content to discover and follow. The ability to endlessly scroll lends itself nicely to satisfy the user’s needs. By catering content that fits the user’s own personal algorithm, they create their own entertainment by engaging with posts that they enjoy. For example, if a user enjoys a certain trend, the more they engage with it through liking, commenting, and sharing videos with the same hashtag, the more likely they will see the same-styled video later on due to their algorithm bringing them content that they prefer.

The two also give users a great range of interactive tools when it comes to content creation. With extensive music libraries, overlaying text and captions as well as engaging filters, the possibility for creating attention-grabbing content is endless. The performance analytic tools are also great from a business point-of-view, when it comes to promoting brands, products and services as well as choosing the right influencer for their campaigns.

One of the most notable similarities between TikTok and Instagram Reels is the length of the videos. Both are built on the premise of having short but engaging videos where creators can work with the short attention span of users and tailor their content to have the best chance to gain exposure and go viral.


Limitations of Instagram Reels

As it is fairly new and growing every day, Instagram Reels does come with some limitations. Due to tighter copyright restrictions, Instagram’s audio library is significantly smaller than TikTok’s. This is a result of TikTok being built on the premises of using copyrighted music as it is primarily a music app. Therefore, Instagram users can find themselves relying on TikTok users to create a viral sound before it finds its way over to Instagram, already putting them one step behind.

Also, the video editing tools on Instagram don’t have as many effects and filters. This means that users may struggle to keep up with trending content. However, this issue could be resolved by the user creating their content on other editing apps and software and then uploading it onto the Instagram Reels tab once it is complete and ready to go.


Limitations of TikTok

Even with being one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, TikTok still has some limitations. Mainly being linked to creativity, businesses will have to think very hard and take more time to develop content that will stand out to their target audience. This is because of the sheer amount of content that is on the platform. Users must develop their content to make other users stop and watch the video for the whole duration. In addition to this, the carefully tailored content must also explain a business’ offering in an engaging way in the short amount of time that they have.


So, which platform is best for influencer marketing?

We have looked at both TikTok and Instagram Reels, the similarities between the pair as well as the limitations of them, and now it’s time to say which is best for promoting your brand through influencer marketing.

The short answer is both. Neither are better than the other and it comes down to your campaign. The target market and audience, as well as how quickly you want the exposure and how long you can maintain it in the eyes of the users, are key factors in deciding which platform to use.

If you’re looking to capitalise on current trends and achieve quick growth, then TikTok is the one for your campaign. The ability to be exposed quickly to a global audience from just one post comes down to TikTok’s personalised algorithm and vast community.

However, if you want to take your time and perfect your content before uploading it, then Instagram Reels are for you. Carefully tailored content can allow for your brand to be exposed to the Explore tab as well as Instagram Reel’s Marketplace, expanding your presence across the Instagram community.

With a pushy algorithm, it is the perfect time to get your brand, product, or service out there through Instagram Reels – and Instagram is known to have the highest average engagement rate of all social media platforms!

Overall, it really comes down to your target market. Determining which platform is best for your brand might lie with which app attracts your desired audience. For example, Millennials are more comfortable using Instagram, posting frequently and engaging in posts, whereas Gen Z spend most of their time endlessly scrolling on TikTok.

However, the simple solution to this is to do what a lot of businesses already do, which is to utilise both Instagram Reels and TikTok. With the similar and easily transferrable content, you have the opportunity to double the amount of engagement and improve discoverability. Furthermore, influencers tend to be users of both platforms due to the sheer amount of exposure you can gain from both. This being said, it only makes sense to promote your brand through influencers on both TikTok and through Instagram Reels.

To enquire about enhancing your brand awareness through TikTok and Instagram Reels, or to discover our range of influencers to promote your brand campaign, get in touch today!