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TikTok vs Instagram for Influencer Marketing

TikTok has quite literally burst on the scene and has become one of the most popular sites for businesses to market their brand and products.


One of the biggest advantages that TikTok has over Instagram is that TikTok was created in China and was first released to the whole country before anyone else. Whereas, Instagram is banned in China meaning that Instagram is missing out on a potential 1.3 billion users that TikTok has access to. So, does this alone make TikTok the better choice for marketing? Well, it completely depends on your product and the age of audience you want to reach.  

You see, despite Instagram not being used in China, they still have roughly the same number of users (one billion) as TikTok does. The average user age for TikTok is between 16 and 24, while the average age for Instagram is between 18 and 29, with 90% being under 35. These stats are pretty similar but there is enough of a difference if you know exactly who you want to target. 

Advertising Costs 

It is far easier for the regular Joe to attract attention on TikTok than it is on Instagram. Instagram is already pretty flooded with well-known influencers and Instagram constantly focuses on drawing attention to the same people over and over again. If you’re a nobody on Instagram, it takes a nearly impossible amount of work to become somebody. On the other hand, TikTok promotes everyone and anyone.  

They don’t care if the user has 10 followers or ten thousand follows, if the content is worthy, then to the front page you will go. This is a huge advantage for businesses looking to spend some of their marketing budgets on TikTok, as you can find fairly unknown accounts and pay the bare minimum to advertise your brand or products. As long as you have a top-quality idea for the video, there’s a good chance your small investment could pay off big time. Whereas, you could have to pay out thousands of dollars to get noticed by an Instagram audience. 

Types of Content 

To put it simply, the content on TikTok is more silly and easy-going than on Instagram. In fact, this is one of the things that the users like the most; TikTok content is more fun, more authentic, more about having fun. On the contrary, Instagram content is about aesthetics, filters, and perfection, everything is planned and contrived and so sometimes adverts are less convincing. However, when you can have an advert that is fun and playful, as part of a viral dance challenge like on TikTok, for example, people feel like your brand is more authentic. 

Call to Action 

One of the biggest differences between the platform is that it is far easier for users to buy the products they want through Instagram. Previously, businesses have been able to put their store links in their bio or even in posts. This has meant that users can click through to a store and be at the checkout ready to buy in under a minute. Additionally, as of last year, Instagram has also added a page specifically for shops to advertise their top products, kind of like a catalog for thousands of brands, enabling users to find products and browse stores even easier. Instagram has become very focused on pushing sales in the last couple of years, and while not every user is a fan of this new style, businesses are making more sales than ever.  

However, TikTok doesn’t have any features like this as any brands that are advertised, the user has to seek them out for themselves manually. This does mean that users finding your products is a little trickier, and some people will be put off by the inconvenience of having to do a little work themselves. But the fact that TikTok isn’t so focused on connecting brands to users directly is part of the appeal for the audience that uses it. Perhaps if TikTok followed in the footsteps of Instagram, they would lose a large number of users. 

Overall Verdict 

There’s no doubt that both platforms bring their own positives for your business and your budget. So what is the overall verdict? 


Even though TikTok will be unknown to many, especially older ones and marketing companies, it shouldn’t be ignored. The user size is huge and the potential for literally thousands of people to see your ‘paid for’ content is relatively high and can often be low cost. The low-cost aspect means you can hire more people on TikTok to promote your company and products, and in turn, have the chance at even more people paying you attention. It is definitely worth remembering that TikTok has a far younger user base, so if you’re wanting to target Gen Z or below, TikTok could be exactly where you should spend your money. Tiktok is a fun and exciting platform, and the more you explore and understand its content and style, the more effectively you’ll be able to use it for your marketing. 


One of the biggest things that Instagram has going for it is that it is a well-known and established platform. Instagram has been around for more than a decade and in that time, has had the chance to gain a trusted user base and implement some great marketing features for businesses and influencers. Additionally, the average age of users is a little higher and if you have a very niche product, you’ll certainly have more success advertising through an established influencer on Instagram. 


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