Which social network – Instagram or TikTok – is more suitable for promoting a company, brand, for selling goods and services? Let’s compare platforms and help you make a choice. Let’s talk about the benefits of Instagram and TikTok and show you which strategies work in each social network.
Business decisions must be based on facts, and this is no exception. Let’s dwell on the main numerical indicators that will help make a decision. What does it mean? First of all, Instagram is an established, reputable social network, effective for promotion. There are statistics according to which people use the Shopping function about 130 million times a month, and 86% of subscribers watch business account histories. At the same time, TikTok is developing at a frantic pace. Its growth in the first quarter of 2021 was three times faster than Instagram, and the number of users increased by 115 million at the beginning of the pandemic.
So, you – the marketer, business owner, or webmaster – need to make a decision. Think about which of these social networks is more suited to the needs of your business, which one is more often used by your target audience. Both platforms are powerful traffic sources, but you need to focus on one of them.
If your audience is very young, TikTok is your option. This is a new platform and an untapped advertising field (as you remember, only 4% of marketers advertise there), and there are chances to take successful positions.
It’s also true that conversions and overall engagement rates are higher on Instagram. However, TikTok recently launched a partnership with retail giant Shopify and introduced a wide range of marketing tools. The social network is committed to attracting advertisers and businesses.
To decide on which platform to promote a business or product, consider the strategies for each of the social networks.
Strategy for TikTok
From the statistics, we see that the TikTok audience is younger than Instagram. These users come for interesting content and do not want to watch ads instead of their favorite videos. They are attracted by hashtag challenges, self-development and learning, viral content, and funny videos.
It’s interesting how TikTok users interact with the content. Agency MediaUpdate conducted research and found out:
TikTok users consume content at any time of the day and on any day of the week;
Users turn off other devices (TVs, computers) to focus on the content on TikTok;
Users often use hashtags to keep up with new content on topics of interest.
This gives us an important insight: TikTok can completely grab attention. It is a social network that engages people.
How to promote your TikTok account
Can you imagine turning off your TV or computer to devote yourself entirely to watching your feed or Instagram stories? Hardly. This is how TikTok works.
This means that if you decide to promote a product on TikTok, you need to create content that will be in trend, while being practical and interesting in itself, without mentioning the brand.
Mark McDonald, author of Australia2Write and Write My X, says:
“Look at the brands Gymshark and Chipotle. These big companies use TikTok with might and main. Their content not only engages the audience but also promotes the brand. “
In the 2019 campaign that Mark is talking about, fast food restaurant Chipotle invited users to participate in the #GuacDance challenge: to record a dance to the song “Guacamole Song” by Dr. Jean. As a result, the number of orders increased by 800,000 units (it even required 75,000 additional places in the warehouse), and the challenge became the most popular in the American TikTok: it collected 250,000 user videos and 430 million views in just six days.
The campaign was timed to coincide with National Avocado Day. Chipotle’s marketers decided to take this holiday as a basis, create a challenge related to it, ask users to post their content. And they got incredible sales growth.
Let’s turn to the sportswear brand Gymshark. The company produces training videos and uploads them along with hashtag challenges. The videos are free for users, and the videos themselves showcase products that people can order. Benefit for people, benefit for the company. Gymshark launched the #gymsharkchallenge challenge, inviting users to wear something from the company’s products and record a video. As a result, the brand has received a huge amount of user-generated content, engagement, increased sales, and interaction with customers.
What is the secret to the success of this campaign? Gymshark created content that is perfect for TikTok: short, catchy videos that you wanted to watch over and over again.
This is exactly the effect you need to achieve. Traditional commercials like “here are our company, buy from us” will not work, and you will only waste your budget.
TikTok promotion checklist.
Create unique, original content.
First of all, strive to entertain users. Serious content on TikTok doesn’t work.
Users should be willing to share your content, tell about it.
Follow trends, hashtags, challenges, participate in them to become part of the TikTok community. Create your hashtag challenges.
Use interesting dances, moves, or music that will make your videos stand out, playful, and memorable. And which are easy to repeat or hum.
In short: when promoting on TikTok, first of all, you need to focus on content, and only secondly – on marketing.
Strategy for Instagram
While TikTok is all about content, Instagram is more suited to traditional forms of marketing. You can post a story like “we have a new lineup, come in and rate”, and people are likely to react. We call this direct marketing.
First of all, on Instagram, you need a loyal audience. On TikTok, any video can go viral, and you don’t need to have a ton of followers to do so. There, users cling to hashtags and search for content from their favorite authors, so the number of subscribers is secondary.
It’s different on Instagram. The starting point of any campaign is a base of current subscribers who will potentially be interested in your ad. Therefore, you first need to focus on building your audience. By the way, you shouldn’t buy subscribers – it won’t work. You need real people. Engage users who will actively engage with your profile and content.
Submit posts and stories regularly. For a start, it’s ideal to post every two days. Collaborate with other content makers and brands in your industry. Arrange contests. Promote posts with in-app settings (but first make sure your brand profile is a business account ). So, traffic to your page is coming, and you have a subscriber base. Now what?
Now you need to create visually compelling content related to your products and in addition to the posts, you are already publishing.
“Make it a rule: 80% of the content is unique and informative materials, 20% is advertising posts. If you flood people with ads, they’ll likely unsubscribe. You have to find a balance, ”explains Tina Harper, marketer at Britstudent and PhDKingdom.
Besides, the ad content should be similar in style to your regular posts.
Take a look at the profile of singer Gwen Stefani. She advertises her music. At the same time, in addition to advertising content, her account is regularly filled with interesting behind-the-scenes materials, unique photographs, and exclusives.
But what about brands? If you look at the accounts of National Geographic, Starbucks, Nike, Twitch, you will notice that these companies tell stories of real people. They focus on the personal experience of the users. What do these two posts have in common? Both are a story about personal experiences, where attention is paid to a specific person. Such videos are understandable and close to the audience.
A good way is to post a post with a CTA (call to action) that will encourage users to follow the link in your bio. You can also use stories ( Stories format ). If you are selling something, add a special product sticker. By clicking on it, the user will go directly to the page of your site.
If you have more than 10,000 followers, you can add a swipe option to your story. With its help, the user will also be taken to the page of the site with a product or service.
Checklist for Instagram promotion.
The content should be understandable and close to your target audience. Don’t be a faceless brand, reach out to specific people.
Remember the 80/20 rule when calculating the number of ad posts.
Shorten the customer journey to purchase by making it easier for them to go straight to the product page and buy it.
Use all the capabilities of Instagram for publishing (stories, swipes, live broadcasts ).
Concentrate on building your audience, attracting new loyal subscribers.
Content should be of high quality and visually appealing.
Both Titok and Instagram should be inspired by other bloggers and brands, but not copy them. Find your style to stand out from the competition.
Posted by Michael Dehoyos, Content Marketer and Editor at Coursework Help and Write My Thesis.