Instagram vs. YouTube: Which Platform is Best for Marketing

If you log in to any social media account, you’ll see thousands of Influencers dominating the digital world with creative content and branding. Instagram and YouTube are the two most popular and widely used social media platforms that immensely support influencer marketing. 

With 800 million active monthly users on Instagram and 1.5 billion YouTube viewers, it is natural for digital marketers to want to gain Instagram followers and get more YouTube views. 

Both social media networks are video-centric and offer a wide range of social features. Therefore, it is often difficult to choose which platform is best for marketing. Moreover, it can be very confusing especially if you are a beginner to choose whether you want to gain more Instagram followers first or more YouTube views. 

Let me make things more clear for you by comparing the features of Instagram and YouTube. 

Social Features 

Social Features of Instagram

Instagram offers two main types of content features – The first is a photos and videos content feed. The second type is videos as stories or reels. 

Usually, the video content lasts for 60 seconds. However, Instagram TV (IGTV) is a unique feature that allows content creators to make longer and educative videos. Additionally, creators can post multiple photos and videos as a carousel. 

Instagram story is a feature borrowed from Snapchat that is incredibly popular. Each story frame is limited to 15 seconds and can be put together in sequence. There is also a feature to attach clickable links to the stories for brand promotion or to direct traffic to a different platform. 

Moreover, the Instagram camera offers a wide range of filters, boomerangs, live stories, and superzoom to keep the content engaging and fun. Keeping your users entertained is the key to gain Instagram followers. 

Social Features of YouTube

YouTube mainly offers short and long-form video content creation. Verified YouTubers have an option to make videos up to 12 hours long. However, most YouTubers make videos that are between 5-15 minutes long. 

Live video is another social feature of YouTube that allows audiences to chat with their favorite YouTuber. Many YouTubers use this feature to host ‘Talk Shows’ or to provide educational content. It is a great feature to get more YouTube views and increase YouTube subscribers

Viewer engagement tools in YouTube allow the creators to embed clickable links to their videos. These tools act as a suggestion to view similar content on the channel. 

Moreover, YouTube search is the second most popular search engine after Google search. Therefore, it is easier for content creators to use easily searchable keywords in their descriptions and video tags for better visibility. 

The comments section on YouTube is more extensive and can be used as multiple discussion threads. 

Statistics and Reach

Both Instagram and YouTube are the top most social media platforms for influencer marketing. However, the statistics and reach of both the social networks might give you an idea to choose the best platform for marketing: 

  • Influencer marketing on Instagram is typically a $1 billion industry in the world. Instagram is dominating the marketing world with an estimate of 14.5 million sponsored posts and tens of millions of users making money off of Instagram. 

The top Instagram Influencers make approximately $500,000 every year. That comes down to thousands of dollars per post. That could be a huge motivation to create amazing content and gain Instagram followers. 

  • On the other hand, the YouTube algorithm is based on the number of views and subscribers. YouTube provides a platform to form a personal connection you’re your subscribers. Statistics show that around 7 out of 10 YouTube subscribers relate better with the content creator. 

The top YouTubers with one to three million subscribers make approximately $125,000 per post. Moreover, their videos are viewed three times more often than a television show. That results in more engagement, more interaction in the comment section, and more YouTube views. 

Sponsorships and Collaborations

Instagram 

Brand promotions and sponsorships are very direct on Instagram. You get paid for posting a photo, video, story, or carousel for the brand. Often, the sponsored posts are used for brand awareness and promoting products. 

Most Influencers take leverage of affiliate marketing with the sponsoring brand. They use Call-To-Actions in the caption of the sponsored post or video and encourage participants to buy the product. Another way to use sponsorship is to attach clickable links in the stories to drive traffic to the brand website. 

Every sponsored post is always disclosed with a specific hashtag such as #sponsored or #ad. This helps to maintain transparency with the viewers

While sponsorships are great for brand promotion, collaborations with other influencers are great for gaining Instagram followers. Collaborations increase your online visibility and promote your Instagram profile.  Thereby, bringing in the opportunity to get recognized by the popular brands as well. 

YouTube

YouTube provides extensive opportunities for brands to promote their products. To avail of brand sponsorship, you must have a good number of subscribers and more YouTube views. Usually, a sponsored YouTube video follows a pre-format to integrate the brand’s message and product into the creator’s regular content. 

Additionally, brand sponsorships and businesses can be promoted on YouTube through verbal shootouts in the video, text overlays, links in the description box, or a combination of all these features. 

The paid promotion tag used in YouTube videos is a way to inform the viewers that the video is sponsored by the brand. Moreover, the creators can use Call-To-Actions to direct the traffic to the brand website. 

Which Platform is Best for Marketing?

There is no right or wrong social platform for marketing. It depends on the type of audience you want to target. Moreover, the type of content you want to put out for the viewers. YouTube is one of the most desirable marketing platforms in today’s world. YouTube’s marketing contributes to about half of the total internet traffic. 

Moreover, YouTube provides an extended life span of high-quality promotional videos. Therefore, it might be the best platform for marketing to promote your business online. 

On the other hand, Instagram provides better performance. The short videos and photos are easy to watch and consume. It is the best platform to target audiences who don’t have the patience to watch long videos. For them, Instagram stories and live feed are more than enough to connect with a brand. 

At the end of the day, what matters the most is to target the right audience and create visually enticing content that will help you buy Instagram Followers and more YouTube views. 

Conclusion

Instagram and YouTube are the two most powerful social media marketing platforms. Every creator or brand in the digital space is looking for opportunities to use these platforms and boost their presence online. 

With so much overwhelming information, people often get confused about which one to choose. Ideally, both platforms are great for marketing depending on the type of audience you want to target. Moreover, it depends on the type of content you want to create. Whether it is a long-form video format on YouTube or short videos, photos, and reels on Instagram. 

For a better perspective take a look at all the features and statistics offered by Instagram and YouTube mentioned in the article.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan