IS THE CLOCK TIKTOKING FOR INSTAGRAM?

Written by Kathryn Loosley, Junior Social and Influencer Strategist, ENGINE Creative.

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If 2020 hadn’t been eventful enough already, the first half of the year saw Instagram release some brand new tools, whilst TikTok launched their first B2B offering.

Whilst these are primarily aimed at brands and garnering their advertising spend, it is important to note how the different platforms are innovating with content creators at the forefront. This begs the question, which platform has the edge in the influencer marketing space?

Let’s take a look at these updates from a content creator perspective.

IGTV ADS: HIT OR MISS?

Earlier this year, we saw the international roll-out of IGTV ads. This provided a boost for creators who receive 55% share of all advertising in IGTV, the same rate as YouTube.

However, in order for users to be served these ads, they must watch the 15 second preview of the IGTV on their feed. This means creators will need to focus more on driving their audience to watch long form content on IGTV, rather than engaging them infeed.

Whilst, at face value, this seems like a lot more work for influencers, garnering interest in their IGTVs will increase their engagement rate and therefore, make their content more successful. In turn, this will make them more appealing to brands scouting for talent to partner with for paid collaborations and ambassador programmes. So, one could argue, a little extra effort will go a long way.

INTRODUCING TIKTOK FOR BUSINESS

Last month saw the launch of TikTok for business promoting the platforms advertising options including in-feed video ads, hashtag challenges and customer influencer packages which have all flown, very much, under the radar up until now.

Also in the works are ‘Brand Scan’, TikTok’s new AR effect, to rival Snapchat’s Sponsored Lens and the ‘Shop Now’ button, enabling consumers to make purchases through direct links embedded in influencer videos.

Levi’s were one of the first to trial ‘Shop Now’, creating shoppable ads filmed with TikTok influencers such as Gabi Morrison and Everett Williams at their pop-up shop in Miami ahead of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This offers one of the first opportunities for TikTok stars to monetize their content. Whilst this opens a clear door for brands creating infeed ads, it is likely content creators will reap most of the benefits as the Gen Z community turn to them for product recommendations.

Importantly for talent, TikTok’s ‘Shop Now’ will act as the equivalent of Instagram’s ‘Swipe Up’ function. This will allow creators to track their engagement more effectively and pitch with greater confidence to brands using the new metric.

Although they are at a strong advantage, the share of ad revenue is yet to be determined; some reports suggest TikTok could take a whopping 80 per cent of the revenue in comparison to the influencers’ 20 per cent. This will likely be the determining factor for influencer success using this feature.

SO, WHAT’S NEXT?

Despite the fact Instagram continues to dominate the influencer marketing space, TikTok’s offering shows a desire to rival the social media giant.

It can’t be argued that influencer branded partnerships looking to reach the Gen Z demographic are best placed on TikTok moving forward. The generation which admires the platform driven by creative expression will undoubtedly find themselves shopping through TikTok in the near future.

However, more broadly it must be noted that content creators with an older or more varied audience will reap greater rewards on Instagram.

Only time will tell which platform comes out on top. Watch this space.

ENGINE

ENGINE is a Future company. We see the world as divided into those who are disrupting and those who are being disrupted. In the connected age technology is changing the relationship between brands and consumers; the ubiquity of mobile devices, always on connectivity, and direct access to brands and their products, services, and support has redefined what we expect and how we want to engage with them. So we’ve built a company to help both sides of the divide. We are a full stack consultancy, technology, insight, data, brand and experience, and advertising and communications company.

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