Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube Influencers - Which Are Best For Your Brand?

Alan VanToai

September 24, 2021

Working with influencers is an incredibly profitable and smart marketing strategy.  But, if you are new to influencer marketing, it can be difficult to know which platform and its creators are best for your brand.

It seems like new social media platforms are popping up all the time,

but three platforms continue to reign supreme for audio-visual content. Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

These platforms all center around engaging video content, sharp editing, and fun and entertaining content.

Many brands are left scratching their head and asking the question, "Which platform is best for my brand?"

If you have asked yourself this question recently, then this is the article for you. Today, we are going to discuss the difference between TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

We will also discuss how to find the best influencers for your next campaign!

Let's hop into it.

Key Instagram Characteristics and Statistics

Meg Sircar Instagram content featuring Love Wellness Products

Let's dive in first with Instagram. Home of photo dumps, reel challenges, and beautifully curated feeds.

Instagram is brimming with influencers. Many brands turn to Instagram to find influencers of all sizes and niches.

Many brands enjoy working with Instagram influencers for the variety of content types they can make.

Key Instagram Statistics

Content Types on Instagram

By now, I am sure you are familiar with the types of content that creators can make on the app.

Just in case you need it, here's a refresher:

  • Single image posts
  • Carousels
  • Reels
  • IGTV
  • Lives
  • Stories

Best Type of Content to Make on Instagram

There are several excellent types of content influencers can make on Instagram for your brand, including:

  • Product reviews
  • Sponsored posts
  • Engaging reels
  • Trendy songs with sharp edits

Benefits and Drawbacks to Instagram

Benefits

  • More reach, engagement, and discovery
  • Increase in brand awareness
  • Easier to reach your ideal customers
  • Increased website traffic and conversions
  • The opportunity to create a partnership built on trust and content that is genuine and authentic

Drawbacks

  • Ad fatigue from users of the app
  • Some influencers are high risk of not following up on their commitments
  • Potential for bad partnerships or collab
  • Potential negative ROI

Key TikTok Characteristics and Statistics

Now we have come to TikTok, the 2020 dark horse that collectively saved our sanity and drove us crazy during lockdown.

This app makes it EASY for time to fly by as your scroll. Once the algorithm knows your interests, it recommends the absolute best content, exactly tailors to fit your palette.

The TikTok creator fund is rapidly growing, which means there is a large pool of creators on the app, monetizing their content and ready to look for more brand deals and passive income.

Key TikTok Statistics

  • Users spend 850+ minutes on the app per month
  • TikTok was the 2nd most popular iPhone app download in 2020
  • Micro-influencers see a 17.96% engagement rate, and mega-influencers see a 4.96%, the highest of all three platforms
  • An estimated 1.1 billion active users

Content Types on TikTok

TikTok is purely short-form video content, but that's what people love about the app! Here's what you can find on TikTok:

  • Short-form video content between 60 seconds to 3 minutes
  • Livestreams
  • Dynamic and fast cuts and transitions
  • Duets - people that respond to another creator's content

Best Type of Content to Make on TikTok

  • Branded humor content
  • Educational and entertaining content
  • Sponsored content
  • Dance challenges to trending music

Benefits and Drawbacks to TikTok

Benefits

  • Virality is easy to achieve on the app - great for impressions
  • Content is more authentic, silly, and approachable
  • Lots of influencers on the app to partner with
  • Easy to engage with content

Drawbacks

  • Limitation for content types
  • Production time can be longer
  • Advertising can be expensive

Key YouTube Characteristics and Statistics

YouTube is one of the OG social networks and has only gained popularity over the years.

The best part of YouTube is that you can find a video about anything you want to know. YouTube made digital guides and tutorials famous.

And, we can't forget the influencer apology videos where they cry into the camera for 20 minutes.

Who doesn't love a good apology video?

Home to influences that create long-form video analysis, entertainment and comedy videos, and educational content, YouTube is a great platform to work with creators.

Key YouTube Statistics

(from Statistica)

Content Types on YouTube

  • Long-form video content, with the average length being 11.5 minutes
  • Live streams
  • Gaming streams

Best Type of Content to Make on YouTube

  • Sponsored videos and ads
  • Product reviews
  • haul, unboxing, and tray-on haul
  • Guides and tutorials

Benefits and Drawbacks to YouTube

Benefits

  • Generate buzz and build trust in your brand
  • the long-form video gives more chance to discuss your product and its benefits
  • Help you increase your impressions, reach, and website traffic
  • Create content for your product that is unique, unconventional, and entertaining
  • Help you gain new customers and attract your ideal audience
  • Boost revenue

Drawbacks

  • Limitation for content types
  • Less mega influencers, who are often more expensive to work with

Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube -Which Are Best For Your Brand?

The Case for Working with TikTok Influencers

On TikTok, you will be able to find relevant and engaging influencers that are skilled in shooting, editing, and creating high-quality, unique content.

TikTokers aren't afraid to be in front of the camera, and influencers on this app will offer video editions savviness and a keen eye for what will perform best.

Additionally, TikTok influencers understand their audience and know the algorithm well, so they will have a better chance of going viral with your brand along for the ride.

Additional benefits of working with TikTok influencers include:

  • Since the app is still growing and positioning itself in the market, you will have the chance to strike long-term partnerships with creators before they explode.
  • Content is more authentic and less polished, but that's what users love about the platform.
  • TikTok makes the trends that trickle over into other apps, like on Instagram.

The Case for Working with YouTube Influencers

If you're interested in running sponsored ads, then YouTube will be a platform that sets you up for success. Pre and mid-roll ads are prominent on almost every influencers channel.  The whole process of incorporating sponsored ads is easy and streamlined for brands.

Many influencers on this platform will have a full filming setup, and the videos they create are often polished, professional, and high-quality.

If you want to work with YouTubers, you will need to understand their channel. Often, YouTubers can be more expensive to work with, but the payoff can be a lot greater

Additional benefits of working with YouTube influencers include:

  • Easy for SEO
  • Excellent for affiliate marketing - hyperlinks in the post
  • Stories last on YouTube for seven days - more than the 24 hours expiration date set by other platforms

The Case for Working with Instagram Influencers

Working with Instagram influencers is one of the most popular options for DTC brands.

Since Instagram offers the most variety of content types that an influencer can choose to utilize, it give both the brand and influencer more creativity when making a sponsored post.

Instagram influencers can also be less expensive to work with, which is great for smaller brands looking to grow recognition.

Instagram is also improving social commerce, making it easier for patrons to buy directly in-app.

Additional benefits of working with Instagram influencers include:

How to Find the Best Influencers on Each Platform?

While each platform will offer a bit of a different strategy when it comes to influencer discovery, at the end of the day, there are always a few key things to look for when looking for influencers.

Check Their Key Metrics, KPIs, and Demographics

Before going into any agreement, be sure to ask the influencer for important analytics that will help you assess if they will be a good fit to work with your brand.

As for engagement rate, the number of followers, the average number of impressions, and analytics from past campaigns.

Additionally, ask for a demographic breakdown to ensure that their audience fits the mold of your ideal customer.

Don't be discouraged if the influencer has a small following. More often than not, micro-influencers yield a higher engagement rate than their mega contemporaries.

Evaluate the Quality of Their Content

Your brand is quality, and you want your ideal customer to see that in the content they consume.

That is why before you with an influencer, it's smart to scroll through their feed or channel a bit to ensure the content they produce is high-quality.

Strive to work with professional influencers that take pride in their work. Look at the effort they put into their content; the higher quality their content, the higher likelihood of producing amazing content for your brand

Observe Their Audience and the Discourse Around Their Content

Is the influencer's audience engaged? Or are those followers mostly bots and uninterested people?

Sometimes, a large number of followers can be deceiving. That's why it's essential to get into the influencer's content a bit; read their comments; see what people are saying; see if they have genuine fans or fake followers.

The most genuine followers will have comments that are full of depth, love, and support.

Additionally, look and see if the comment section is full of trolls or bots. This will indicate that their followers aren't genuine and, therefore, not a good match for your brand.

Check Their Consistency

Consistency is key, especially when going into a long-term partnership with an influencer.

Showing up with fresh content shows commitment and a desire to grow on the app.

You don't want to go into a partnership with an influencer only to have them take a long hiatus from posting. Inconsistency will negatively affect your ROI.

Be sure to see that the influencer has a posting schedule that they are committed to, especially when entering into a long-term partnership.

See if Their Niche Aligns with Your Brand

The best part of social media is that you can find EVERY niche represented. From cooking to travel, all the way to mindset and growth, someone is making content about the questions you have.

When looking for influencers, you want to ensure that the niche they cater to aligns with your brand.

Knowing their niche will help you evaluate who their audience is and if they would respond well to your product.

It's okay if their niche or content type isn't an exact match for your product. Surprising and fresh collabs keep the influencer's audience interest!

Ensure Their Content Is Genuine, Authentic, Original, and Trustworthy

One of the most important things to look for is influencers that make genuine and original content.

Aim to work with influencers that are trustworthy and authentic. You want to find influencers to create content that isn't sugarcoated.

Consumers are looking for trustworthy brands and often turn to their favorite influencers for product recommendations and genuine reviews.

Don't ask the influencer to lie. Ask the influencer to create genuine reviews, give their honest feedback, and be upfront about their thoughts on your products.

If the product is good, it will speak for itself in the review!

Conclusion

Leveraging influencer marketing is a powerful tool to unlock new growth and reach your target audience.

Which influencers are best for your brand? Be sure to evaluate the content they make and the niche they represent to find a partnership that will best serve your brand.

Who knows, you might have luck working on all three platforms!

Ready to turn your customers into your thriving crew of brand ambassadors? If so, watch the epic CrewFire demo video or get in touch with us to learn how you can drive more referrals, word-of-mouth, and user-generated content for your Shopify store.

Get in touch w/ Alan (Founder/CEO - CrewFire):

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WRITTEN BY

Alan VanToai

Co-Founder of CrewFire