Instagram and YouTube are home to millions of influencers and both are heavily used by brands for the best influencer marketing strategies. The social networks come with different features, formats, and perks. So which platform suits your influencer marketing and brand strategy best? This blog post will give a brief overview of the pros and cons of each platform.

Platform Statistics For Your Influencer Strategy

First, let’s have a quick look at some of the most important stats to get a quick understanding of the impact Instagram and YouTube have. 

Instagram

  • The platform has more than 1 billion monthly active users 
  • The most active age group is between 25-34 years 
  • The gender distribution is quite balanced with 50.9% female and 49.1% male users 

YouTube 

  • Lists 2 billion logged-in YouTube users each month 
  • 45% female and 50% male users 
  • 1 billion hours of YouTube videos are watched in total each day 
  • The platform is home to 50 million content creators 
  • Baby boomers are YouTube’s fastest-growing demographic

Consider 4 Factors for Instagram & YouTube

Both platforms can add incredible value to your brand. When choosing a social network for your influencer strategy, you should consider the four factors listed below. Note: you need to have a clear understanding of your objectives and goals to compare which platform helps you best to succeed. So, before choosing your media outlet, define your problem statement: Do you aim for quick sales? Do you aspire a great following on your own accounts? Do you aim to improve your brand’s reputation?

With your clear idea of desired outcomes, these 4 factors will help you to choose between Instagram and YouTube:

 1 Budget

If you have a low-budget for your influencer marketing strategy, Instagram might be the better option to go for. Of course, the budget for your strategy depends on several factors and Instagram Influencer collaborations can be just as expensive as partnerships with YouTube influencers. However, in general, Instagram posts tend to be less involved than YouTube videos which makes them a bit more budget-friendly.

2 Type of Content 

Both platforms offer great visual content that resonates with today’s consumer habits and interests. Instagram is heavily used for lifestyle, fashion, travel and fitness content. YouTube dominates tech, gaming and beauty spheres but travel and family are also preferred topics among users. 

Originally a photo-sharing platform, Instagram now features a variety of formats. Alongside regular postings, series of postings or videos can also be uploaded. Instagram Carousel can be used by brands and influencers to share a new product in a full storyline.

With Instagram Stories short video snippets can be quickly created and shared. Its structure allows for engaging content when adding polls, quizzes, questions or trending gifs and short storylines that encourage the viewer to swipe up for more. However, Instagram content has to be catchy and easily digestible as users quickly scroll through their feed and are overloaded with new content each time they open the app.

IGTV can be used to share longer and more in-depth videos on Instagram, giving the opportunity to create short episodes of a full series. @natgeo does this quite successfully with their different series Explorer, Untamed, Wildlife or Hostile Planet

However, IGTV can’t replace the professionalism of YouTube videos. In contrast, YouTube content certainly does replace traditional TV. While hours watched of traditional TV keep dwindling, users increasingly turn to YouTube to be entertained. Verified accounts can upload up to 10 hours of content. The platform is also increasingly used to learn something new with “how-to” videos from learning and instrument, cooking a new recipe or changing a flat tire.

Some brands excel in creating full professional series on their own shared on YouTube. @adidas has already published two seasons each including 12 episodes of its Tango Squad FC, the first brand-owned micro-influencer football team. 

3 Accessibility

Content is treated quite differently on both platforms. YouTube’s UX and algorithm make it tempting and almost inevitable to binge-watch full series. I’m sure you’ve all been there: all you wanted was to watch just one single video on a specific topic and 1hour later you find yourself 10 more videos down the suggested watchlist.

YouTube’s interface structure has several benefits. Its content is evergreen and search-friendly. Among other things the algorithm considers title, description, hashtags to show the best results. Moreover, video suggestions are based on interest giving YouTube content a long live-span. This makes the content created by an influencer for your brand relevant even after a campaign has ended. 

In contrast, Instagram suggests content chronologically making postings or videos less relevant for the algorithm when only a few days old. Hence, promoting limited product lines might be better suited for Instagram than YouTube. Additionally, Instagram’s UX makes users click through a bulk of different content pieces in a short period of time, increasing the chances to discover new brands and explore digestible inspirational content quickly.

4 Collaboration  

Both platforms structures limit and expand the opportunities of your influencer marketing strategy. Influencers on Instagram with verified accounts can link to your brand’s website in their stories. This often includes a CTA to “swipe up” to learn more. Unfortunately, links can’t be used in regular posts and affiliate links are lost in stories that are only available for 24h.

The perks: Instagram lives on tags! Brand accounts, campaign hashtags, and promo codes can be added by influencers on any type of content without any limitations.

A great advantage of partnering with Instagram influencers is that brands and influencers can easily repost and reshare content. If agreed upon brands can fully reuse the influencers’ content for their campaign even beyond Instagram. 

In contrast, reposting YouTube content on the platform itself is a bit more tricky. On the other hand, YouTube has plenty of opportunities to include affiliate links at the beginning or end of a content piece or throughout the entire video. Additionally, several links can be added to the video description. 

Final Takeaway

It’s important to make an informed decision when choosing Instagram or YouTube as your preferred platform for influencer marketing. Building and maintaining important influencer relations are valuable no matter which platform you choose. On Instagram, it can ensure that influencers continuously create relevant content for your brand that keeps appearing on your audience’s feed. On YouTube, it secures the longevity of content that influencers created for your collaboration.

There are perks and disadvantages to Instagram and YouTube for influencer marketing. If possible combining both platforms for cross-platform campaigns would probably lead to the best results.

Download our brand-new YouTube Benchmarks Report to benchmark your YouTube collaborations!

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