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It’s crazy how the video platforms TikTok and reels have taken over the digital space in recent years. Reels was introduced in 2020 to compete with the giant’s success, TikTok.

One question you might be asking yourself as a digital marketer is which one should I focus on?

The two platforms seem identical. So how exactly do they differ from each other? Let’s look at the differences between the two and which one would be preferable to use for your marketing campaigns or to include in your strategies.

The difference between TikTok and Reels

TikTok and reels may have been built to achieve the same goals and have the same functionalities, but they are not identical. Here are the differences to look at when making a choice for your marketing campaigns:

  1. Access to music or sounds

Audio plays a huge role in the experience of your video content. The good thing about these two platforms is that they offer so many different varieties of music to choose from when creating your content. But what exactly is the difference?

For reels, many businesses accounts have limited access to what music they can choose from. Furthermore, when you download the video content you have created with sound or music… the music is left out. To add on, you can only save your own reels and not other reel videos, unlike TikTok where you can save the other creators videos.

From a platform that relies heavily on audios for the full experience, reels are really lacking and losing out to their competitors. We may see these features getting rectified in the future, but as of now, TikTok wins in that category.

  1. Video length

When creating your videos, reels usually limits you to only 90 seconds of recording time, so if you have a video that may need to exceed that amount of time, TikTok would be the best option as it allows up to 10 minutes of recording time. This also means that you cannot push the same content on the different platforms if it exceeds 90 seconds.

  1. Paid Ads

Reels introduced paid Ads in 2021 giving marketers a chance to reach a wider range of targeted audiences. Many brands try to hire professional content creators to film their branded content which also serves the same function as an Ad, except this time you are relying on that content creator’s network to reach the wide range of audiences according to your campaign goals.

With TikTok, there are sponsored content options, which takes the benefits of working with creators in your niche up a notch.

  1. Insights

Next thing to look into is the demographics of the two platforms are slightly different, so you need to choose the one that’ll fit your marketing campaign goals.

Instagram is mostly dominated by the age group of 25-34, followed by 18-24 worldwide users, while TikTok is skewed towards the younger side of 18-24 then followed by 25-34. TikTok’s user base is mostly made up of Gen Zs and millennials, although there are still some older audiences who use it, but only a few.

The takeaway here? If your audience is primarily made up of consumers in Gen X or above, you may want to focus more on Reels than TikTok. If your audience is primarily made up of Gen Z or Millennials, either platform is likely to work well.

  1. Voice effects and face filters

TikTok is mostly known as a lip-syncing platform, which makes it have a wider range of effects and filters for users to use in their videos. TikTok also picked up on certain video editing trends and challenges, adding these effects to its massive library for a more convenient video editing and publishing experience.

Instagram Reels also offers a selection of video filters, but Instagram only added voice filters in 2021.

So from the above information, which one should you choose between the two? Well, it’s too early to tell which one is better right now, but what you can do is make content and asses on both platforms to see which one fits better.

Considering you may already have a good amount of following on your page, running reels content may be successful for you. With TikTok, which is separate from your other content, you can try something new and experience the other look and feel of the platform’s content.

We just have to wait and see who will emerge at the top with time, but as of now both platforms, TikTok and reels, have shown promise.

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