6 Ways TikTok Has Influenced Instagram Marketing

Published on 14th of December 2021

TikTok is a video-sharing platform that originated from China and has become a global sensation, especially during the pandemic. Unlike other social networks, this platform of ByteDance thrives on the creativity of its users. 

So despite the 15 seconds to 1 minute limit on videos, TikTok offers plenty of avenues and features that fuel captivating content. Users can add filters, visual and audio effects to their marketing videos, dance videos, skits, comedy acts, etc. It's the one-stop-shop for creativity packaged in short videos.

As of 2018, TikTok prompted over 10 million more app downloads than Instagram. This increasing popularity suggests the better connection and appeals that TikTok offers social media enthusiasts—especially Gen-Z.

Over two-thirds of TikTok users are below the age of 30, which is the age group responsible for most of the trends online. And it's not only on the app; activities on TikTok rub off on other platforms like Instagram.

So here we have 6 diverse ways the TikTok phenomenon has changed Instagram marketing:

1. More hashtags

Pink and White Heart Print Paper Beside Pink RoseHashtags are identifiers in the form of letters, numbers, or emojis that start with a pound sign (#). They provide structure and organization to the content on different platforms like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc.

Up until now, Instagram wasn't very big on hashtags. The long videos and reels were enough to capture users, but things have changed. 

With the increased popularity of various TikTok challenges, Instagram is trying to focus more on hashtags. And it wasn't a conscious effort from the network.

Both casual users and social media influencers just transferred the TikTok culture onto Instagram. Plus, during this pandemic, the challenges are effective ways of ensuring social interaction.

Even while users are miles and a world away, TikTok has been able to create a creative community facilitated by addictive content. This culture is now so popular amongst other social platforms that it's unclear where some hashtags originated from.

You can always use this new trend to your advantage by promoting your products with catchy TikTok hashtags and other participatory activities.

2. Increased popularity of short-form videos

Person Taking Photo of ElephantsInstagram also started with short clips, but soon grew away from it. The 'gram is now about putting out the glam life with spotless images. Then the Stories and Reels were added, which gave room to lengthier videos.

Interestingly, IG is already considering bringing back those short-form videos, i.e., clips. The new feature will include lip-syncing and other interactive elements.

Before, you would find Insta influencers settling for just a picture post concerning the brand they're promoting. But they now go for short videos as well.

For beauty product ads, you'll likely see influencers and marketers creating short videos of them applying the product on their skin—commonly in their bathrobes, showing off their glowing skin.

With these short videos, it's easier to gauge the product and its functions. Short-form videos are applicable in other sectors but they're most predominant with beauty products.

3. Use of duets for promotions

The duet feature on TikTok was a means to realize better interaction at the height of the pandemic. It has, however, grown into a major marketing strategy—not just on the app but also on Instagram. Lots of musicians also jumped on it to promote their new releases.

They would put out a clip of themselves singing and allow fans to add their videos singing along. Surprisingly, the duet feature has gone beyond music. IG brands now liaise with customers to create video content together.

For businesses, that means more user-generated content and social proof. This reciprocal approach to marketing possesses a very high tendency of clinching better sales.

Why? Well, most users like to be featured on a brand's page.

4. More ways of running ads

Street LightsFacebook and Instagram share plenty of similarities in the advertising department, but TikTok has introduced some unique ways that will soon show up on both platforms.

  • Brand takeover: This ad takes over your screen once you first log onto TikTok. Using it, every new user would get to see your product via a one-second clip or GIF. Plus, every tap on the ad takes them straight to your site. This ad format is yet to occur on Instagram, but a variant is certainly in the works … watch this space!

  • Top view: TikTok puts in great effort to avoid mixing ads with content, especially the ones that come as pop-ups. Similar to the brand takeover, the top view ad comes up when users log into the app. But this one lasts for about 15s.

Ads have existed on Instagram long before they came on TikTok, but the new strains and variants on the former are quite efficient. There are plans for Instagram to key into it.

5. Toning purchase promotions and more of audience engagement

Unlike TikTok, Instagram allows brands to add gifts to increase purchases. Sometimes hammering on making a purchase hits customers the wrong way, that's why ad campaigns on TikTok are firstly about capturing users’ interests with creativity.

TikTok isn't the platform for those commercials that are heavy on sales, and the influencers there are gradually bringing this approach to Instagram. 

Many of these influences from TikTok are present due to influencers using both platforms—tracing users’ desires and responses to diverse features. If Instagrammers want to be seeing less of “buy this” or “buy that,” that's likely the direction Instagram will take.

6. Introduction of the Small Gestures feature

This feature came to the foreground as the pandemic hit, allowing users to send a virtual gift to their friends on TikTok. Many Instagram brands have jumped on the train with gifts of product trials and free subscriptions.

This feature is a very relevant and time-appropriate form of sales promotion. Still, the app keeps it on the backburner and thrives more on creative content. TikTok also provides avenues for directing sales and purchases to product pages.