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If you are responsible for keeping your brand focused on the right social platforms and leveraging the right influencer partnerships, you have probably wondered for some time whether to focus on TikTok or Instagram.
TikTok and Instagram both offer different attractions for their users. While both are visual, TikTok is more audio and music driven and has a more creative and spontaneous feel to it with a lot of content. Instagram, on the other hand, is a more established platform with a more sophisticated aesthetic. Due to its longevity, a sophisticated advertising and influencer network has developed in its ecosystem that can make it easier to enter into well-known raw material partnerships with influencers.
Where will your time and resources be best spent, and what are the differences between the two? The correct answer is often different for each brand, and the difference depends on their audience and goals.
What is your target demographic?
The platform you prefer may vary depending on the type of users you want to connect to. TikTok's overall audience is younger, with half of all Generation Z American adults accessing the platform, compared to just 22 percent of millennials and 14 percent of the 50-64 year old cohort.
Instagram has a broader user base among all demographics, with 48 percent of 30 to 49 year olds on the platform and a third of 50 to 64 year olds. Its growth has stabilized and it is not seeing the same rapid expansion in the user base as TikTok.
Similarly: Social media is the gold rush of our time. But when will it end?
How do you hope to be seen?
Instagram has an advantage in influencer selection because the network is more established and more influencers work there. Since Instagram has been an influencer option for a while, influencers may have a formula and are sure of proven ways to get their specific audience's attention.
Sponsored content and advertising appear frequently and expected in the news feeds of Instagram users, while on TikTok only 5.7% of content creators post about brands, products or services on a daily basis. That number grows to just 17.3% weekly, with 60.8% of content creators saying they have never shared sponsored content on the app. This is by far one of TikTok's greatest perks, and it presents a great opportunity for marketers looking to grab people's attention in a less saturated space.
What metrics do you use to measure success?
The structure of TikTok and the main content interests of its users (#Comedy and #Dance) require that the marketing efforts have to be more subtle, humorous and creative in order to generate interest. It's neither the hard sell platform nor for brands that want tight and rigid control over influencer content.
However, it is the ideal place to improve organic engagement and build relationships that can increase loyalty and migrate followers to your other social platforms. In fact, 87.1 percent of TikTok influencers and content creators say their engagement rate is higher than other platforms.
The potential reach of TikTok also far exceeds any other social platform as the algorithm does not restrict the views. So if you're planning campaigns that increase reach and awareness, TikTok may be the best place for your influencer marketing efforts.
If your focus is on a faster sales cycle or moving your audience from the middle to the end of the sales funnel, you may be better off with a consistent storytelling strategy in Instagram Stories that links directly to your landing page or ecommerce site.
How accomplished are you in influencer marketing?
Do you already have an established influencer program or are you just getting started? Your own level of knowledge can influence the direction you take with your choice of platform.
If you are used to working with influencers and have a good grip on your goals and metrics, you may feel ready to venture straight to TikTok. They know where to go and what to do, and you can lead the partnership based on your previous experience, especially if you are using an influencer database to find the right people for your niche.
If you are new to the world of influencer marketing, you may want to capitalize on the knowledge of Instagram influencer partners.
Instagram influencers we surveyed said they typically spend at least three hours a day using the platform, which means their audience's likes, dislikes, and likes are likely due to some science. If you can find the right influencers for your campaigns, you can count on them to act as co-strategists when planning your new influencer marketing campaigns.
In our latest study on TikTok influencer marketing, surveyed marketers said analytics and tracking are one of their biggest TikTok areas of challenge. If you are convinced of your knowledge of influencer marketing and are willing to experiment a little, these challenges can be easily and creatively mastered and grabbed attention in a less saturated market.
Related: 3 Simple Things Businesses Need To Grow On Instagram
Is there a clear winner for brands building an influencer marketing strategy?
In the battle for brand positioning, there is no clear winner between these two powerful platforms. Instead, if you think strategically and evaluate what media sources your ideal buyer is consuming, you'll find the right place to showcase your business.
Not a lot of things in the business world have to do with feeling alone, but you can use the criteria mentioned to gauge which brand feels natural and then adjust further while you monitor performance metrics.
You may find that a platform is clearly right for your brand, or you may see opportunities to connect with your target audience across both. As each platform refines its offerings, algorithms, and business-oriented features, you can continue to experiment with your strategy accordingly.
And when you're ready to dive into something new, TikTok can provide a welcome platform to experiment with. By bringing your brand into the room, you can see where content is reaching your audience, define your goals, then coordinate with the right YouTubers and create a sensation.