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Brand marketing wouldn’t be the same without two of the world’s most popular social networks: TikTok and Instagram. Each platform has its own features and benefits that propel companies to new heights.

TikTok might be great for achieving overnight recognition, while Instagram is better for growing a loyal following. Both platforms are incredibly useful, and which one you choose (or how you decide to utilize both) depends on your brand's needs and your marketing goals. 

So in the battle of TikTok vs. Instagram, which is right for your brand? Compare the two to see which best suits your brand and marketing strategy. Plus, find out how the latest Instagram updates will change the platform for brands. 

TikTok vs. Instagram

Both Instagram and TikTok are major players in the world of social media. While they have several things in common, the platforms have unique opportunities for brands. 


From viral dance challenges to comedic lip-syncs, TikTok is home to some of the most viewed videos in the world of social media. The undeniably powerful platform skyrocketed in 2020 as scrollers around the world turned to short-form videos as a source of entertainment. Today, the app is ruled by globally known influencers whose careers span far past online content.

TikTok has over 1 billion monthly active users, with 1.8 billion predicted by the end of 2022. It may be the most talked-about social media app, that does not necessarily mean it’s the right fit for your brand. TikTok’s largest audience is composed of users between the ages of 19 and 29. This is important information to keep in mind when deciding which platform to utilize. If these ages do not align with your brand’s target audience and demographics, you may want to lean into a different platform that better suits your business goals.  

However, TikTok does offer the power of instant virality, which goes a long way in influencer marketing. A single piece of content can generate millions of views in a matter of hours and spread awareness across the globe. For example, showing off a how-to hack with your brand’s latest product, paired with a few sharp transitions, can land new followers and quite a bit of exposure.

TikTok contains analytics tools such as the traditional account follower number plus profile and video views. For a deeper dive, additional metrics include weekly and monthly growth, total video play time, and information about who is watching. In particular, information about who is watching might offer support if your brand is in the market for a new collaboration or influencer marketing support.


Instagram continues to remain the most popular social media platform after 12 years. The app’s explosive rise began within a few months of its launch and has yet to cool down. This visual-based platform excels in versatility. It now offers several content formats including Posts, Stories, Reels, and Carousels.

With 1.44 billion monthly active users, there is no denying the app’s growth. Once used to showcase holiday and special occasion pictures, it now appeals to influencers, brands, and advertisers of every genre. Instagram is Gen Z’s favorite social platform and the majority of its audience is between the ages of 18 and 34

Content is seen as more personalized and authentic on Instagram, in part because of  Instagram Stories and IGTV (Instagram TV). Instagram Stories allow users to post pictures or videos that appear at the top of the Instagram app, and automatically disappear after 24 hours. By posting multiple Stories a day with polls, location tags, and questions, you will stay at the top of your followers’ news feeds and can send traffic back to your account. IGTV can also be a helpful marketing tool. IGTV allows creators and brands to upload long-form, vertical videos which can be used as a space to conduct interviews with influencers and host experts that are relevant to your target audience.

Instagram Insights assist in learning more about your business account’s followers and performance. Insights on audience engagement with specific Posts, Stories, Videos, Reels, and Live Videos are available through the app. Paid activity metrics are also found here. All of this information is easily accessible data that allows you to better understand how your content is performing, the success of campaigns, and what to plan for the future.

Instagram's Latest Update

While Instagram’s strength lies in its ability to showcase content in several different ways, the platform has battled recent controversy after launching its newest update in June. What was once intended to be a photo-focused platform has slowly transformed into a video-concentrated app that, for many users, mimics TikTok a little too closely.

Reels are displayed in a full-screen feed and are likely from accounts you don't follow. Posts from friends and family are now few and far between. This is creating an unrecognizable scrolling experience that is directly challenging the well-known format of TikTok videos.

High-profile celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian have expressed frustrations with the app. This type of influence could encourage users to get content elsewhere and may eventually lead to a drop in platform popularity. A petition created on entitled “Make Instagram Instagram Again” has gained over 311,000 signatures. The petition urges Instagram to re-orient the algorithm to return to photo prioritization and revert back to a chronological timeline.

What Does the Instagram Update Mean for Brands?

The new Instagram algorithm update could, and should, affect marketing strategies. Instagram influencers are now in jeopardy of losing their following and engagement as the new algorithm favorites content from foreign accounts and emphasizes exploring new recommendations. Brands and marketers may have been leaning on influencers to help promote their brand and products, but can now lean into the world of self-promotion and focus on growing their following organically. Because of the platform’s various content formats, humanizing your brand and spreading awareness can be done in several different ways.

Which Is Right For Your Brand?

While both TikTok and Instagram are powerful platforms in their own right, deciding which one best suits your brand is the key to marketing success. While many brands will have some form of presence on both apps, having a heavier investment in just one can lead to greater success. This should be based on your audience, demographics, and goals.

It’s important to consider your target audience and how they can be exposed to your advertisements. The type of content that would pair well with your brand is also an important factor. If TikTok is your social of choice, infuse your brand’s personality into a rapid video format. This platform captivates its users with quick entertainment. It’s the best way to take a shot at going viral and reaching a larger amount of people. Instagram, on the other hand, can keep followers in the loop with day-to-day brand updates and form steady relationships that build a foundation of trust.

While TikTok and Instagram’s layouts may be similar, the information can be presented in very different ways. If you could use a strategic partner to help navigate your brand’s digital marketing, contact us today to see how we can help. 


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