July 8, 2021

TikTok vs YouTube

TikTok vs YouTube

Written by Rachel AntonyIf content is king, it’s video that’s wearing the biggest crown. Instagram and Facebook have been pushing video content creation for the last few years but they aren’t inherently video platforms. So the real choice for businesses is between YouTube and newcomer TikTok, which are true video platforms.To decide which one to invest in as a business, it’s important to step back and do a comparative analysis.YouTube is the real OG. Founded in 2005 by Jawed Karim before most people even realized that the internet had so much potential, it’s the oldest social-media platform still in use and the second biggest search engine. The user demographic is everyone and anyone with access to the internet looking to learn, be inspired or be entertained. How would we know how to do anything without YouTube?On the other hand, TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform ever. Despite what you’re thinking, you do not have to be 15 or dance to be popular on TikTok. There are a ton of accounts that are entertaining in different ways from teaching, showing behind the scenes, tutorials, tips & tricks or daily vlogs. The key is finding your niche and growing your community with consistency and authenticity.TikTok’s audience is expanding as the platform quickly grows, and not surprisingly, the largest demographic is between 18 and 24. That could be seen as a challenge if that age group isn’t your target audience, however, they aren’t the only users and you also have the chance to reach an audience that can grow with you.

Pros & Cons

The pros of TikTok include a higher engagement rate and a different type of content creation; the best content is based on popular trends rather than unique and different content. For brands, the negative of TikTok is the lack of click-to-buy feature as well as a younger demographic with less purchasing power. It is also much more individual-creator focused so businesses need to have a strong strategy to make an impact on this platform. If you’re looking for inspiration these brands are thriving on TikTok:

From a content-creation perspective, TikTok is easier to use. It has streamlined the process for putting together clips, adding effects and filters and laying down a voice-over. You can film, edit and upload a TikTok video in less than five minutes if you want to. You can create a less curated version of your brand, show more of your personality and test out video for your brand.YouTube is very strict on copyright claims whereas TikTok doesn’t have the same restrictions. The goal of TikTok is for people to use the same songs or repurpose other people’s original audio. Many of the top 40 songs are the top-used clips on TikTok with no fear of videos being taken down for copyright.

The two biggest differences between YouTube and TikTok are:

  1. Search capabilities
  2. Content length

The ability to search for anything on YouTube and find exactly what you’re looking for is why YouTube is so highly used. It also is ideal when creating long form content for your brand. If you’re putting the time and effort into creating branded content or valuable videos, it is easily searchable. When someone lands on your YouTube home page, you can organize your videos into playlists to make them easy to find for watchers. The ability to personally brand your channel can keep your brand looking professional and recognizable to users.YouTube videos also rank high on Google search results adding to your potential reach. Additionally, YouTube’s embedding capabilities allow users to easily embed videos into other mediums, increasing the content’s lifespan.TikTok’s search function works for hashtags and user handles but not in the same way that YouTube’s search engine works. TikTok’s ‘For You’ page is designed to shuffle personalized content for endless scrolling. TikTok exists to entertain you.Content length is also a differentiator between the platforms. TikTok just rolled out three-minute long videos, but its bread and butter is 15-second clips whereas YouTube is the platform for long form-content from just minutes long to hours long and everywhere in between.

Can you even compare them?

Comparing TikTok and YouTube is like comparing apples to oranges, they both are social-video platforms but exist for different purposes. With a quick survey of my Instagram audience, I asked which platform they spend more time on and the stats were 54% YouTube, 46% TikTok, however, many people messaged me and said they use the platforms for entirely different reasons so the poll wasn’t an accurate depiction of how much time they spend. TikTok you can spend 20 minutes and consume a hundred videos whereas YouTube you’re most likely spending that same amount of time on just a handful of videos.People also said they go to YouTube for a specific reason – to search something, learn how to do something or catch up with their favourite YouTuber. TikTok, by comparison, people are going there to be entertained with short clips and no specific purpose. The control over content consumption on YouTube was a benefit for some people compared to the endless scrolling TikTok provides. Although YouTube has an automatic start to the next video, it gives you a few seconds to contemplate your life and decide if you want to watch another one.

Audience Reach

Each social platform reaches different people – we already know that. Why TikTok is valuable is because it captures the attention of a specific audience in unique ways. If your brand’s customers or potential customers are within that audience then it is worthwhile for your brand to learn how to use TikTok and invest in creating content.YouTube on the other hand has a more even spread across the age demographics – it’s been around much longer, has a wider variety of content and is accessible from a desktop. Again, doing research on your audience is important when choosing a platform to invest in as well as the type of content you are creating for that audience.

Source: StatistaWhen you are deciding which platform would benefit your business more there are a few questions to consider: Who is my target market? What value are we providing people? What type of video do we want to create? What is our budget? Does our video strategy align with our overall marketing and business strategy? Both platforms offer value and different opportunities, it’s up to you to decide which is worth investing in.