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Tik Tok or Instagram Reels: Where should you be posting your videos?

14th Apr 2022

If you’re a business owner who takes the time to make sure your social media represents your brand perfectly, you’ve probably noticed these two things over the last couple of years. These are:

  • Suddenly everyone seems to be talking about Tik Tok
  • Your Instagram is flooded with Reels

So, like any good business owner or creator with an Instagram account, you’ve probably started looking into posting videos onto your account alongside the other carefully curated content you’ve planned. But now you run into an issue. Do you post on Tik Tok or Instagram Reels? Is one better than the other? Will one of them get you more business? Well, thank god you’re here, because we’ll answer all these questions (and more!) below, keep reading 👇

Some of the key differences between Reels and Tik Tok

  • Video length
  • Demographic + Content
  • Music options (this one’s very important if you have a business account!)
  • Caption length
  • Paid advertising

Ready to dive into the detail? Scroll down to see more! 👀

Video Length

On Tik Tok, you can record videos up to 3 minutes long, whereas on Reels the maximum length is 60 seconds. Both of these give you a lot of room for experimenting (you’d be amazed at how creative you can be in less than 15 seconds!). However, if you’re hoping to be posting mini-vlogs, house tours or something else more in-depth, you might be best looking at Tik Tok to post your content.

Demographic + Content

I promise you that Tik Tok isn’t an app for teenagers, did it start that way? Yes, the app was originally created with a young audience in mind, but that’s quickly changed, with the rise of the app’s popularity.

For those of you still not quite convinced that you won’t be making content for people who haven’t even started their GCSEs, remember when people refused to join Instagram because they ‘didn’t want to look at photos of people’s coffees all day’? Before writing off the app completely, remember that over 30% of Tik Tok’s audience is between 25-34, and nearly 45% is aged between 18 and 24 years old. If that’s the demographic you’re hoping to target, Tik Tok might be the way forward for you.

Both Instagram and Tik Tok give you a lot of creative freedom with different filters and editing features, however Reels tend to be more polished, on-brand and aesthetically pleasing to fit in with a carefully curated grid. Tik Tok is more authentic, with content often created in the app itself, rather than needing cameras and special software. The app also offers a broader range of filters and effects, meaning you can be more playful with editing your videos. Tik Tok also offers the voiceover and voice effects, something Instagram Reels currently isn’t offering.

Previously, you could only duet, react or stitch other videos on Tik Tok, however Instagram rolled out their own version of duets called ‘Remix’ where you can film your reaction to other user’s videos.

Tik Tok is often where trends start, and if you spot a trend that fits with your brand or niche? Get in there and create content!

Example of the Remix feature on Instagram Reels
Image credit: Tech Crunch

Music Options

If you’re reading through this and thinking ‘Can we skip to the good part? Ahh ahh ahh ahh!’ then you’re probably already on Tik Tok. If you’re not, here’s what I’m talking about 👇

@good.boy.ollie He’s the happiest flower 🥰🌸 #fyp #dogsoftiktok #goodboy #labrador ♬ The Good Part – AJR

Think music is a quick afterthought before you post? Think again! On both Reels and Tik Tok, the ‘sounds’ are one of the biggest things to consider before you even press record. Your choice of music can make your video go viral, so make sure you choose wisely.

A big difference between the two platforms is the music availability. Currently on Instagram Reels, many business profiles are unable to access a majority of trending sounds, meaning to use them you’d need to edit outside of Instagram.

Meaning, if you’re hoping to go viral, or want trending sounds and music to inform your content decisions, you might be best posting on Tik Tok. All of Tik Tok’s users have access to the full catalogue of music and sounds – something which is a huge deal for a platform that started life as a lip-syncing app.

Both platforms offer you the ability to create your own sounds, which could then be reused by other creators, and even go viral. But it’s worth noting that this feature is significantly less used on Instagram Reels than on Tik Tok.

Caption Length

Do you love writing long captions that capture your audience’s attention? You might struggle on Tik Tok, where you’ve got to keep your caption to under 100 characters, positively miniscule compared to Instagram’s lofty 2000 characters. This also means you must be deliberate in what hashtags you choose, copying and pasting chunks of hashtags to be reused on each post won’t work on Tik Tok!

Paid Advertising

Paid ads can sometimes seem overwhelming to businesses who don’t have a huge marketing team behind them, which is probably why we’re only seeing larger brands currently using paid ads on Tik Tok. The platform offers multiple options for adverts, including In-Feed adverts, brand takeovers and branded hashtags, just to name a few.

Instagram only recently released the ability to create ads using Reels, where creating them is similar to creating other adverts for Meta apps, including Facebook. However unlike a grid post, Instagram currently does not offer the option to boost a post, so if that’s your best way to hit your target audience, you might be disappointed!

And there you have it – a Martin Hopkins breakdown of Tik Tok and Instagram Reels!

If you’re at the end of this post and you’re thinking, ‘But wait, I still don’t know which one to post to!’ Don’t worry! We’d recommend trying them both, or even better, get in touch with us about our Social Media Marketing retainer. Where our team will not only keep you up-to-date with the current trends, but we’ll also handle the management of all your social media accounts, from carefully crafting your content, to sprinkling copywriting fairy dust over our captions to make them sparkle.

Written by Alice-Rae Pringle
Digital Content Manager