Instagram Reels vs. TikTok – which video platform is best for your business? 

This is a common question businesses face when putting together a social media content strategy. 

As you know, great social media content should be unique. You don’t want just to rehash the same content on your different platforms. This means creating unique, high-quality content can take a lot of time and effort. Unfortunately, a lot of time for creating social media content is not something most small business owners have. 

So, you’re probably wondering which channel to focus on for your social media video content to drive the best results for your business.

The guide below will cover everything you need to know to make it easier to choose between Instagram Reels vs. TikTok. We break down the different elements surrounding TikTok and Instagram Reels, outlining the pros and cons of each.

Focusing on the right platform can make a major difference to your social media marketing efforts. So, be sure to consider this guide before you start publishing new video content.

  1. Why Use Instagram Reels and TikTok?
  2. TikTok vs. Instagram Reels: What’s the Difference?
    2.1) Audience
    2.2) Video Length
    2.3) Editing
    2.4) Music
    2.5) Ad Capabilities
    2.6) Video Analytics
    2.7) Available Content
    2.8) Viewing
  3. Instagram Reels vs. TikTok: Which is Best for Your Brand?
  4. How to Use Reels and TikTok for Your Business

Why Use Instagram Reels and TikTok?

When it comes to social media content, short-form video is king. 

Video is the most engaging form of content on social media, and short-form videos in the form of Reels and TikToks are more engaging (and addictive) than you can even imagine. For your brand, this offers an excellent way for people to engage with your content and help you increase social media traction. 

These videos are also the best way to go viral on social media. Thanks to TikTok’s unique algorithm, anyone has the potential to reach a massive target audience and gain thousands of views from their videos. The same applies to Reels – you have a greater chance of reaching new people than you do with your regular Instagram content. 

For your business, this means more chances of reaching new customers. 

Beyond all of this, short-form video content is the direction that social media is taking. If you want to stay on top of trends or target a younger social media audience, then TikTok and Reels are the places to do it. 

In short, utilizing these types of social media videos will help you develop a stronger social media marketing strategy.

TikTok vs. Instagram Reels: What’s the Difference?

Comparing TikTok vs. Instagram Reels, you’re probably wondering what’s actually different between these two social media video formats. 

Besides the obvious fact that they’re hosted on different social media platforms, here are some of the main differences that set these types of videos apart.

When figuring out which video format is best for your brand to focus on, it’s important that you understand these differences. 

Audience

First and foremost, your social media content strategy needs to align with your target audience. While Reels and TikTok videos are very similar forms of content, both platforms do have slightly different audiences. 

Most Instagram users fall under the 25 to 34 age range (roughly 48% of users), while 80% of TikTok users are between the ages of 16 to 34. Although this is fairly similar, TikTok has a much larger majority of young users, while Instagram has a more diverse audience. 

So, if you’re targeting an older audience, then Reels might be a better place to focus your marketing efforts. If you want to attract younger audiences (Gen Z), look towards TikTok.

Not only this, but the different platforms lend themselves better to different types of content. Even though Reels and TikTok videos follow the same kind of video format, TikTok videos are generally more focused on silly, light-hearted entertainment. They’re also heavily influenced by trends, dance challenges, and trending hashtags. 

Instagram has a more diverse range of content, including content that could be more serious or educational. So, this could shed some light on where to publish your videos depending on the type of content you produce. 

Video Length

While Reels and TikTok are both short-form videos, there is a difference in the length they offer. 

Instagram Reels let you record 15-second, 30-second, or 60-second recordings. TikTok lets you record 15-second, 30-second, and up to 10-minute videos, including a 3-minute option. 

If you want to create more in-depth content with longer videos, then you might want to consider TikTok. 

However, just make sure you understand what video length works best on the platform. In both cases, shorter videos are often optimal for attracting maximum engagement and views. 

Editing

Both Instagram reels and TikTok offer some awesome video editing tools. The native video editor on each platform is super easy to use, and both include a wide range of features and unique filters. 

Basically, you can create killer videos on each platform. 

However, each platform includes its own unique editing tools, so there are some things you can do in each type of video that you can’t do in the other. 

TikTok

TikTok content includes Duet and Stitch tools, which let you create side-by-side video reactions and comparisons to their users’ content. This is a unique feature of the platform, and these types of videos often generate a lot of engagement. 

@gordonramsayofficial

#duet with @themysteriouschef It was going so well……#ramsayreacts

♬ original sound – TheMysteriousChef

Reels

Reels content includes a similar “collab” tool where you can create shared content with another collaborator. This a unique feature. 

In both cases, reels and TikTok offer plenty of fun filters to take your content to the next level. Both platforms also offer text-to-speech tools and voice effects.

Instagram Reels Collab

Image: Instagram

Music

A massive part of creating Reels and TikTok videos comes down to using the right music and sounds. 

The good news is that both platforms offer enormous sound libraries that you can choose from. If there’s a trending song, chances are you can access it on both platforms. 

However, TikTok does include a larger music library than Reels. TikTok also makes music more easily available, while copyrighted music is not made available on Instagram business accounts. This could be a major issue if your content is revolved around music. 

Ad Capabilities

When you plan your content strategy on social media, it’s important to take paid advertising into consideration. This is one of the best ways to reach a larger audience. Both TikTok and Instagram offer solid ad capabilities for targeting the right users. 

Reels

Reels are hosted on Instagram, so you can access Meta’s advertising platform here. Unlike TikTok, this gives you a wider range of ad capabilities and excellent targeting options. 

Although, if we’re just looking at ads for Reels, in particular, we should point out shoppable ads that include product tags. These ad formats are ideal for eCommerce stores, as you can sell your products directly through Instagram Reels. 

Shoppable Instagram Reels

Image: The Verge

TikTok

If you want more than the organic reach that TikTok offers, then you can access some pretty awesome ad formats on the platform. These include

  • Topview Ads: The first video that is shown tonTikTok users when they open the app
  • In-feed ads: Video ads that display in the For You feed
  • Branded effects: You can create your own branded stickers, filters, and special effects
Shoppable TikTok
Image: Hubspot

Video Analytics

If you want to gauge whether TikTok or Reels are better for your business, then you’ll need to be able to measure your success on each platform. This is achieved through access to the right analytics tools. 

The good news is that both platforms offer some solid built-in analytics functions to help you review your content. 

Business accounts on both platforms will reveal important data like how many views you got, where your audience comes from, and what kind of engagement your posts get. 

TikTok lets you see where users found your video and what percentage of your views were watched until the end of the video reels lets you see how many unique accounts your videos reach.

Check out our guide for the best time to post on TikTok and the best time to post Reels on Instagram. These are two great ways that you can use these analytics tools to make an impact.

Available Content

When comparing Reels vs. TikTok, we need to point out something important: TikTok is an entire platform, while Reels is a part of Instagram. 

So, if you decide to focus on Reels, then you’ll probably also be creating regular image posts, Instagram Stories, carousel posts, and more. Instagram has loads of possibilities and new features that businesses can use. It’s an essential social network for most businesses. 

TikTok, on the other hand, is not as robust. You have TikTok videos, Live videos, and that’s about it. Of course, this doesn’t mean the platform is lacking anything, but it doesn’t offer everything you can do on Instagram.

That being said, we’re comparing the specific short-form video features, and both fare up very closely. 

Viewing

Both platforms are designed for vertical videos. However, the viewing experience when comparing Instagram Reels vs. TikTok can be pretty different. 

Just like Instagram Stories, Instagram Reels have been designed to be viewed vertically and on full-screen. Of course, their viewing is optimized for mobile. 

TikTok offers the same features for its viewing experience. However, the platform is also testing a new horizontal full-screen mode. This could provide create totally different viewing experiences for your audience. 

Instagram Reels vs. TikTok: Which is Best for Your Brand?

Now that you understand the main differences between TikTok and Reels, you’ll want to find out which one is best for your business. 

Well, unfortunately, the best answer here is: it depends

Both platforms are amazing for creating and sharing short-form video content. Both have large audiences, both are highly engaging, and both can help you go viral.

So, what are the main differences to consider?

Well, besides the points above, the most important factors to think about are where you decide to target your social media strategy and where your audience is most active. 

If your audience is most active on TikTok, then this is the best place for you. If your audience is most active on Instagram, then this is the best place for you.

The other important thing is creating content that matches your strengths. If you can produce better quality content on either platform, then that’s probably where you should focus your efforts. 

Ultimately, the better the quality of the videos you can make, and the better this aligns with your brand and audience, the more suitable the social media platform will be.

How to Use Reels and TikTok for Your Business

Whether you use Reels or TikTok, both social media video platforms have awesome potential to help you grow your business. Here are some of the main ways that any kind of business can use these short videos. 

1. Show Your Personality

Short-form social media videos are not meant to be taken too seriously. They’re fun, often silly, and don’t need to use high levels of production value. This makes these videos a great way to display your unique personality. 

As a brand, people often forget that there are actually people behind your business. So, using video content is one of the best ways to break down that barrier and engage with your audience. 

Whatever kind of content you publish, try to use it to display your unique personality. You can do behind-the-scenes type videos, day-in-the-life videos, or anything that displays what you do and who you are, introduce yourself, introduce your team, and use these videos to add a face and personality to your brand. 

2. Keep Up With the Trends

TikTok and Reels are all about trending content. Hopping onto trending content is one of the best ways to get your videos going viral. 

Not only does this give you more room to gain brand awareness and grow your social media presence, but trends also give you excellent social media content ideas. 

All you need to do is try to identify content and themes that are trending and add your own spin to them. Looking for trending audio is one of the best ways to do this, but you could also join trending challenges, post about trending topics, or even react to trending videos (like with Stitch or Duet features). 

Make sure you use the trending hashtag to help your video gain more traction.

3. Create a Challenge

Running a giveaway on social media has always been one of the best ways to generate a lot of buzz around your brand and boost engagement. Well, Reels and TikTok let you achieve this on a major scale through social media challenges. 

You must have seen plenty of these challenges if you’ve ever been on TikTok. Instead of just joining them, your business can create its own. 

Come up with a branded hashtag challenge that is easy to enter and involves your brand or products on some level. If it generates enough attention, this can be a fantastic way to grow your audience and earn a lot of user-generated content. 

4. Introduce Your Product

If you sell a physical product, then videos are one of the best ways to share that product and display it online. Video provides a much better real-life look into how the product works and what it can do – especially realistic videos like Reels or TikToks. 

So, try to incorporate your product into your content as much as possible. Display it in use, share videos of your customers using your product, and give your audience a good idea of what your product can actually achieve. 

@scrubdaddy

YALL ALREADY KNO!!!! FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE VID FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN WOOOOOOH!!!! #scrubdaddy #smile #cleantok #cleaningtiktok #americasfavoritesponge

♬ original sound – Scrub Daddy

5. Share Quick Tips

There’s a lot you can achieve with social media content, but being educational and interesting is one of the best things.

If you want to become recognized as a thought leader in your industry, then it’s a good idea to share tips, tricks, and ideas that your target customers might be interested in. You could repurpose these tips from blog posts or other content that you publish. 

The more informative you are, the more trustworthy you become. This can be highly valuable for B2Bs, or brands that require a longer buyers journey. 

6. Be Entertaining and Have Fun

The other great thing about social media is that it’s just a fun place to create a consume content. This is especially true for Reels and TikTok. 

You don’t have to push too hard to promote your products or build trust with your audience. Instead, you can simply use these video channels to have fun and entertain. Of course, you should incorporate your brand into this somehow, but don’t focus too much on the serious stuff. 

After all, people use TikTok and reels for fun, light-hearted entertainment, If you can pull this off, you should be able to attract and engage a larger audience. 

@gymshark

all this to then avoid eye contact #gymcrush #gym #Gymshark

♬ Lol – Stepz & JTA

Conclusion

So in the Instagram Reels vs. TikTok battle – which is better?

Unfortunately, neither. They’re both great. 

The most important thing in choosing social media channels is understanding your audience and your brand and aligning this with your social media strategy. Don’t let features like editing tools or music choices affect your social media strategy too much.

Rather, focus on creating the best content you possibly can and do this on a platform your audience actively uses. Get this right, and you should see success on either Reels or TikTok.

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