Instead, videos should be employed for multiple purposes at every stage of the customer journey.
The two hottest video marketing platforms right now are Instagram Reels and TikTok. Now let me clarify something; YouTube still reigns supreme when it comes to video marketing, in terms of numbers of users and searches, but when it comes to short-form video marketing, the dominant players are IG Reels and TikTok.
TikTok has exploded in the past year and a half to one billion users making it the most popular social media platform of the moment. An Instagram created Instagram Reels last August to try to slow them down. IG Reels allows you to benefit from your existing Instagram followers. Meanwhile, TikTok requires you to reach 1000 followers before using a link in your profile, which is a drag.
Now, I must admit I was late to TikTok. I thought people were just dancing, sharing recipes, and cleaning tricks, but then I learned about “TikTok University,” and it’s changed my life. In other words, business people are on TikTok teaching folks stuff and making real money, and building their email lists, so the platform has to be taken seriously. But shooting short-form videos is not easy; it’s time-consuming and entails a lot of behind-the-scenes preparation. It’s not just about shooting a video; it’s about telling a story through a visual medium.
Instagram is also one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. They offer four video features, including Instagram Reels, IGTV, IG Live, and Instagram Stories. As a result, you can enhance your reach on IG and gain a whole new and audience for your business. That said, I thought it was worth making a head-to-head comparison, so you could start figuring out a new video marketing strategy.
So, what are the main differences between TikTok and IG Reels?
1. Video Length
One of the main differences between Instagram Reels and TikTok is the length of the videos you can post. TikTok users can record 15-second, 60-second, and up to 3-minute videos, whereas Instagram Reels only allows for 15-second, 30-second, or 60-seconds videos, and they only recently added 1-minute videos.
Depending on how you want to build your brand, you can go super short versus longer, or you might want to try a mixture of videos to see what your target audience responds best to.
With a pro account, you don’t have access to as many features, such as the music library available to users with personal accounts. TikTok is a platform designed to encourage people to engage. You can incorporate original sounds into videos, and it offers more filters and effects, whereas Instagram is more limited to the already existing filter library for IG stories. Although Instagram can expand its filters, the options currently available on each platform fit their unique types of content. TikTok offers duet, reaction, and stitch features that allow you and users to interact with others in creative ways than just a like or comment. IG Reels can’t be scheduled.
3. The Shopping Integration
Since December 2020, users have been able to shop through Instagram Reels. Reels with product tags have the opportunity to be shown in the Reels tab, where they have the potential to be discovered by millions of people using the Instagram app. Brands can tag products in their Reels and provide details about the items seen in each video clip, providing customers with a fast and hassle-free way to browse and buy. As of August 2021, TikTok users can now shop directly in the app. The new TikTok Shopping feature lets Shopify merchants with a TikTok For Business account add a shopping tab to their TikTok profiles, sync their product catalogs to the app, and create a direct link to their online store.
The algorithm behind Instagram Reels is relatively unknown; we know both platforms reward people who use new features, IG loves users who go Live and respond to comments. TikTok, on the other hand, specifically caters content to users based on what they like to watch. Your goal should be for your content to land on the “For You” page, or FYP. Each user’s FYP is unique to them and is crafted by a variety of factors, including:
- User interactions: what types of videos you are liking, sharing, or commenting on.
- Video information: the captions, hashtags, and sounds of videos you interact with or use when creating your content.
- Device and account settings: language preference, what country you are from, and more.
TikTok’s algorithm then processes these factors and weighs them based on their importance to the user. Despite the varying algorithms, going viral on either TikTok or Instagram Reels can be beneficial for a small business brand.
The demographics of the two platforms are also slightly different, with Instagram users tending to skew slightly older than TikTok users, and over half of the audience on Instagram is female.
According to Statista, the largest percentage (33.1%) of Instagram users were between 25 and 34 years of age, with the second-largest (22.8%) being between 18 and 24 years of age.
With TikTok, the audience is also a majority female. 60% of users are between 16 and 24 years old, and 26% are between 25 and 44 years old. You should always decide on your social media platforms based on where the majority of your target customers spend time online. TikTok also boasts a diverse audience for an equally diverse topic range. With the breadth of topics covered on TikTok, it’s almost impossible for you not to find an audience, no matter what your niche is.
TikTok has built-in content and audience analytics for Pro accounts. Your analytics are divided into overview, content, and followers sections. Businesses can see data like total time watched, average time watched, the percentage of views by country, and the percentage of views based on how users came upon your video (i.e., for you page vs. followers). You can even view the sounds and videos your followers watched in the past week to understand what types of content they are watching outside of your videos!
As of July 2021, IG Reels users can now monitor metrics such as the number of plays, accounts reached, likes, comments, saves, and shares. This update enables creators and brands to track and analyze how their videos are performing, who is watching them, and how to improve them.
5 Tips for Getting Started With Short-Form Video
Have a repurposing strategy
Debut your video on your main social platform, but typically, your followers only overlap about 10%, so you should publish your videos on every platform. And don’t forget that you can post them on your website too.
Publish your video at peak times
Learn the best times to post on each platform. Do some research on your TikTok/Instagram audiences to determine when they’re most engaged with your posts. (Morning or Evening is typically best.) Most people’s attention spans are fairly short — especially on mobile. If your broadcasts aren’t captivating from the get-go, users will likely stop viewing, so be interesting.
Spend time coming up with a compelling title
It’s vital that your title describes what your video is and why people should tune in. Here are a few styles that make effective titles:
Reply to comments to boost engagement
You should reply to everyone who is kind enough to comment on your videos. Now, once you have a video that goes viral, this could get tough, but while you are building your following, try to respond to everyone.
Don’t post branded watermarks on other platforms
It’s best to record the videos on your phone and then spread them around, try not to share videos with another platform’s watermark; you could be penalized by the algorithm.
Why every business needs to market with video
Check out these video marketing stats that prove that video is the future of marketing.
- Hubspot found that 78% of people watch online videos every week, while 54% watch videos every day.
- Google’s research shows that 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television.
- YouTube states that its users view more than 1 billion hours of video each day on the platform.
To meet this growing demand, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn have all become ‘video first’ and created new video-friendly content options like ‘live’ broadcasting and ‘stories’. At the same time, the popularity of short-form video-based platforms like TikTok and IG Reels has exploded and become staples of online video consumption.
Video is now easier to make than ever and is more popular to watch than ever. If you haven’t started video marketing yet, now is the time. With the effectiveness of traditional marketing dwindling and the popularity of video skyrocketing, video marketing has become a must-have for every business. You can do a 15-second, 30-second, or 60-second – no sweat, just get started. Of course, if things don’t resonate, you can always delete your post.