TikTok vs Instagram Influencers – Which is better for Luxury Brands?

Katherine Growney

TikTok vs Instagram: The Battle for Influencer Marketing Supremacy

Since 2020, social media platforms have been battling against the rise of TikTok for who reigns supreme in the social media landscape. Where we once turned to Instagram Influencers for inspiration, fashion advice and to keep up with the trends – TikTok has now become the new fan favourite and home to 30.8 million daily active users.

As brands, highstreet and luxury alike, are beginning to better understand the TikTok platform and its Gen Z centric audience, many are asking – should we be including TikTok within our influencer marketing strategy? While some brands are moving with the times, others are wondering where the value lies in utilising TikTok, when their trusty Instagram Influencers already deliver the content they recognise and love?

So that raises the question… which of the two social media giants is the best platform to host your influencer campaign content?

Instagram – The (social) proof is in the pudding

Since 2010 Instagram has made its name through its aesthetic, polished and beautiful imagery. The platform heralded the rise of influencer marketing, so it’s no surprise that it is still the go-to for brands to invest their marketing budgets into.

Image of 5 Instagram Logo on tiles

Unlike TikTok, Instagram offers multiple features to amplify and elevate your influencer campaigns. Easy click-through links, shoppable tags and automatic ‘Paid Partnership’ features have resulted in Instagram making her name as the ‘home’ of influencer marketing. Whether you’re planning an event and want to capture live content through Instagram Stories, or want to heighten your influencer partnership through a Collab Post, the possibilities on this platform are (seemingly) endless.

Since the recent rise of engagement for short-form video content, Instagram has been hot on the heels of TikTok, launching their Reels feature in 2019. The popular new feature has resulted in the average engagement rate for static feed posts decreasing by 44% since 2019, pushing many influencers on the platform to prioritise their video content over static. 

Although Reels often perform above and beyond single-image feed posts, Instagram is home to millions who still favour their beloved static content. This means whether you’re looking for a Reel-maestro or Carousel-connoisseur, there are plenty of creative influencers to identify for your Instagram campaign.

TikTok – The new kids on the block

Unlike its older sister Instagram, TikTok is all about short-form video content that can range from creative storytelling videos to dance challenges, meaning brands have plenty of creative opportunities to make their campaigns stand out from the crowd.

Due to its one-of-a-kind algorithm, TikTok provides opportunities for further reach and greater engagement than Instagram. With the TikTok ‘For You Page’ (FYP) being widely considered the ‘homepage’ of the app, hosting over three-quarters of a billion active users worldwide, there are endless opportunities for content to go viral and reach new audiences with your campaign. This is impressive considering only 50% of Instagram users visit the Explore Page on a regular basis, meaning the majority of the content they view are from accounts they are already following – which isn’t very useful when you are looking to increase brand awareness!

Image of TikTok logo on Black iPhone.

While TikTok traditionally hosts a younger demographic, don’t let this put you off including these talented influencers in your marketing strategy! Utilising these audiences can create longevity and future-proof your brand and your product. A recent report found that Gen Z is set to be one of the top spenders in the luxury industry by 2025, accounting for 20% of net luxury spending, meaning it has never been more important for your brand to have a presence on the platform.

The big question… Is a TikTok or Instagram better for your brands influencer campaign? 

When it comes to deciding between TikTok or Instagram for your next influencer campaign, there are some key questions you should be asking yourself:

  • Where is your brand most visible on social media? If you don’t have a TikTok presence yourself, you would be wasting time activating influencers on the platform. Establish your brand’s TikTok identity first before reaching out to your talent.
  • What is the creative style of the campaign – Authentic? People-driven? Informal? Or is the brief calling for more polished and editorial content? I’m sure you know where I’m going with this one…
  • What are your goals? Instagram’s shoppable features and link stickers make it the ideal platform for conversion centred campaigns. While TikTok offers incredible opportunities for brand awareness, longevity and brand loyalty. 

Instagram is of course here to stay, but TikTok is still growing stronger by the day. Luxury brands should be looking to embrace the new and welcome TikTok audiences to their ever-growing communities. If you are struggling to build your TikTok presence, or maybe don’t even know where to start, our dedicated Social Media team can help you launch your brand to the next generation.

Influencer Marketing with Diffusion

Marketing for luxury brands relies on maintaining qualities of prestige, heritage, and exclusivity; qualities which at first glance may seem incompatible with a mass medium like social. When collaborating with influencers we pride ourselves on the client-specific criteria that we use to elect our talent.

Picture of woman recording an unboxing in front of camera.

A large following doesn’t always equal a quality result. Building authentic relationships with influencers and nurturing loyal online communities proves most valuable for any brand.

Identifying the core ethos of a brand and curating the influencer strategy from there means that we are able to reach new, quality audiences that may not have been considered with less premium, ‘mass-market’ profiles.

Nowadays, the luxury market is saturated with influencers, content creators and celebrities. This is making it increasingly more difficult for brands to identify the talent that will bring the best results for them. Throughout the process, we will always ensure that relationships are kept at the heart of each touchpoint in order to build authenticity for the brand and audience.

Top Tips: Instagram Influencer Campaigns with Diffusion Digital

When our Social Media team at Diffusion Digital receive an Instagram influencer marketing brief, we identify our influencers based on:

  • Authenticity
  • Audience quality
  • Content quality
  • Brand affinity
  • Engagement rate
  • Relevant audience demographics
  • Storytelling capabilities (because a campaign is so much more than a pretty picture)

We keep business goals front of mind, and identify a range of relevant, top-level talent for our partners  to consider. We are all about building lasting relationships between brand and influencer, therefore ensuring they are true fans and advocates for the products they endorse.

Top Tips: How to build an effective TikTok campaign

  • Leave the filters at the door. TikTok audiences love authentic, honest and realistic reviews, meaning it is imperative that you partner with the right influencer for your product. Think quality, not (follower) quantity.
  • A campaign creative that is too polished, corporate or scripted could be detrimental for your brand on TikTok. When working on your content brief, work closely with your talent to ensure the content matches their niche and works to their strengths. They know their audience better than anyone, so let them take the lead on how best to introduce your brand and product to their followers!
  • Engage your influencers audience. One effective way to do this is through including a Hashtag Challenge into your campaign brief. This can maximise your reach and engagement through organic shares, not to mention the endless opportunities for User Generated Content (UGC)!


Still wondering why you should include TikTok within your Social Strategy? Learn more from our Senior Account Executive, Leila Charteris.
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