Before TikTok’s Remi Bader there was Instagram’s Katie Sturino. Discover how TikTok’s new wave of creators compares to Instagram's established fleet of influencers. What once was a platform primarily consisting of lip syncing and dancing content quickly evolved into a serious contender against Instagram for the leading channel for creators.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into both TikTok and Instagram’s creators, explain how they differ, where they’re similar, and how brands can build a solid content strategy that incorporates the best practices from both channels. Not only will you finish our latest TikTok vs. Instagram marketing guide with a better understanding of the two platforms but also how you can leverage insight from both creators in your brand’s content.
Before we break down the two different types of creators, let’s understand how the two platforms differ.
Out of the two, Instagram is the more established platform. Instagram is a visual platform equipped with social commerce and content monetization tools. Users can share various types of content like static, Carousels, Stories, long-form videos (Instagram Video), short-form videos (Reels), Live streaming, and Guides. It wasn’t until more recently did Instagram consider itself a video-first social platform with its push for Reels as the go-to content format for Instagram along with Instagram Video. Brands and creators who solely operated on Instagram before its shift to video are learning how to adapt to ensure that not only the Instagram algorithm prioritizes their content, but also follows the way people are consuming media nowadays while also maintaining their brand messaging.
TikTok was somewhat of an overnight sensation. TikTok rose in popularity in 2020, right around the start of the pandemic. It soon outpaced Instagram in number of app downloads and is the leading channel for mobile short-form video content. In TikTok’s infancy, users compared the platform to Vine due to its high-volume of user uploaded video content. However, TikTok quickly transformed into a powerful digital marketing tool for bother brands and creators.
For the longest time, Instagram was on the only platform for creators looking to grow their online presence. It's where influencers could build partnerships with brands and create influencer marketing content for their audiences. But not anymore. In just two short years, we've seen TikTok creators blow up overnight. They've garnered massive followings and reach — not to mention influenced many TikTok users' purchasing power. The obvious difference between TikTok and Instagram creators is that TikTokers create mostly video content while Instagram creators typically only created static or Instagram Carousel content. Instagram creators usually left shared their video content to their IG Stories or Lives. It wasn't until the Reels push on Instagram did they start creating video content for their grid.
But aside from the obvious, TikTok creators don't differ all that much from Instagram creators. For example, when I referenced creators Remi Bader and Katie Sturino I was making a direct comparison. Katie Sturino is an OG Instagram creator and influencer. Formerly known for her blog and Instagram handle @the12ishstyle, Katie created content that challenged the fashion industry to be more inclusive. She started the #MakeMySize movement where she'd call out fashion brands for only carrying limited sizing or brands whose sizing runs small. The content and content strategy Katie created was similar to how a lot of notable Instagram creators built their followings. It also, was one of the first accounts to break away from sharing overly-curated picture perfect content and give a more authentic view and perception of herself. She took raw unfiltered photos that weren't always the most flattering to prove her point and it helped her stand out. Now a lot of the content we see on Instagram and TikTok today showcases more authentic portrayals of the creators themselves. Remi Bader became popular with her "Realistic Fashion Haul" videos on TikTok. She'd pick a brand to highlight in her TikTok fashion hauls and show herself trying on the clothes. Remi is a plus-size creator in the fashion industry. Much like Katie, Remi became an inspiration and leading voice for promoting inclusivity in the fashion industry. Her original TikTok content set her apart from the other fashion creators on TikTok.
Remi and Katie are considered macro-influencers with a combined following of almost 3 million. But just like Instagram, TikTok has varying levels of creators. Follow along as we get into the major differences of the two creators.
To many people, Instagram represents quintessential influencer culture. Known for their aesthetically-pleasing Instagram grids, Instagram creators and influencers who got their start on Instagram really paved the way for all creators on all platforms.
For many of the TikTok creators we follow, it seems like they became overnight successes. Very much a "here before this blows up" mentality. And there are number of reasons why. The first being that in the early days of TikTok, it was easier for creators to carve a niche for themselves because there weren’t as many well-established creators on the platforms, especially creators creating niche content. Secondly, in the beginning TikTok wasn't so much about social currency yet. Users were excited to follow accounts who were creating entertaining content. It didn't matter about followers to following count ratios yet. Here are some key characteristics of TikTok creators.
Even with TikTok and Instagram creators having different strengths, you can learn from both creator strategies and platform best practices for your brand's content strategy.