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TikTok vs. IG Reels: 3 Reasons Why Your Brand Must Leverage Both

Managing both platforms that offer similar content might seem redundant, but the rewards are well worth investing your time.

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Digital exposure is everything when it comes to branding. Even while social platforms may have numerous similarities, it isn't good business practice to only maintain a presence on just one. With different features, usage time, and audience demographics, the best strategy is a mixed approach with unique targets in mind. Different apps will serve different needs, which is how the best professionals meet this new digitally fueled marketplace's demands. 

Jasmin Merdan | Getty Images

Related: 3 Common Mistakes Companies Make With Their Social Ad Strategy

​Instagram Reels and TikTok videos might look the same from the outside. Still, with some minor differences between the two, it is essential to understand that each content style serves a particular purpose. TikTok, a Chinese-owned company, was launched for iOS and Android in 2017 for most markets outside mainland China competing with Instagram, established in 2010. Instagram may be one of the most popular social networking sites in 2020, but as TikTok exploded onto the scene, the apps started to compete with each other, and IG finally launched reels in August of this year. 

Similar to TikTok, IG reels are 15-second multi-clip videos where creators can add media like music that can be cross-posted to your story or feed. Made with audio in mind, they exist on the explore page where users can scroll through an endless amount of entertaining and informative reels. While there is a separate feed for IG reels, TikTok only has one feed but offers trending hashtags and the duet feature. Both platforms are great, and while it might feel natural to commit to one rather than the other, there are three critical reasons brands must leverage both. 

1​. Diversify your audience

I​G and TikTok have different audience demographics. If your brand isn't incredibly niche, it will be vital to cover all your bases, ensuring you are getting in front of the right audience segments with engaging content. On a global level, IG is incredibly popular. With 116 million users in the US alone, the app is known to target a large majority of 18-30-year-olds, with 42% of users making more than $75K annually. In comparison, roughly 50% of TikTok users are under 30, making it the fastest growing app for teens and young adults. With these numbers in mind, it is quite possible to deduce that while the decision-makers in the household are on IG, their kids or younger adults in their lives are on TikTok and equally drive purchasing decisions, so by utilizing both, you are activating that element of persuasion in both demographics. 

Related: 7 Ways to Monetize Your TikTok Account

2​. Scale your audience

As TikTok and Instagram compete with one another, it simply means they are drawing more users to their platforms. As social media apps add more features and increase their numbers, more users sign up to use the apps, meaning that brands now can reach more people. Increased features mean more availability for content. With content consumption on the rise, brands are seeing huge returns on their investments in untraditional types of media like IG and TikTok. Sure, reels and TikTok videos are similar but leveraging both ensures that you are doubling your audience, so your content is getting more bang for its buck.

3​. Protect yourself against sudden and unexpected regulations

I​n August, President Trump signed two executive orders effectively banning transactions with TikTok and its parent company ByteDance citing national security concerns. Concerned that the app was spying on US citizens, the executive orders demanded that the app be sold to Microsoft or an American-style company. India has banned TikTok due to a border clash with China, as did Pakistan for a brief period due to "indecent and immoral videos." On the other hand, Instagram has been banned in China, along with other western social media apps. This is why it is so essential brands don't put their eggs all in one basket because, unfortunately, social media marketing is sometimes victim to the quick and at times decisions of government regulatory agencies. Using multiple apps and platforms ensures that if one goes down, your entire content marketing strategy doesn't go down with it. 

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TikTok and IG reels are taking the content world by storm, and there is no shortage of users consuming short-video content. Leveraging both puts your brand in an excellent place to start the new year. 


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