TikTok vs YouTube for marketing

Business 11/03/2022 7 min read

The first thing to understand about YouTube and TikTok is that they can’t really be compared. YouTube is a video-sharing platform that launched in 2005 and is currently owned by Google. TikTok is a social media platform created in 2017 by ByteDance.

While YouTube’s video-sharing platform may have similarities to social media platforms, the functions and uses of each are very different. And as you’ll see, they don’t need to compete with each other.

YouTube is a content-streaming system that focuses solely on video, similar to how blogs focus on the written word. YouTube also functions as a search engine that allows you be found through a range of search methods, such as Google Video results.

TikTok is one of the latest social media platforms to use video content to connect users and start conversations. The short video duration and simplistic editing solution create fast, easy-to-consume content.

For businesses, YouTube is used to create a collection of promotional and resource-based content that is highly searchable across the internet. On the other hand, TikTok offers a fast, quick way to connect with your followers.

YouTube vs TikTok for Business

FeaturesTons of features for creators and businesses, including a TikTok competitor: ShortsMore robust marketing features, including advertisements and TikTok Shop
Range of ContentEverything from how-to videos to docuseries.Diverse content experiences with a focus on interactions and storytelling
Quality of ContentEverything from basic video styles to full productionsQuicker, user-generated content
Ease of UseMany features can be confusing for beginnersVery easy to consume and publish content
Managing ContentIn-depth content management systemThe creator center includes robust management tools
AdsNumerous ad choices; can be complicated and expensiveSimple but powerful ad options
Max Video Length12 hours10 minutes
Preferred Video Length5 to 15 minutes, depending on the content20 to 30 seconds

YouTube and TikTok: similarities

The most obvious similarity between YouTube and TikTok is that they both host user-generated video content. Viewers have very similar engagement options, including sharing, commenting, liking, and following/subscribing to channels.

The platforms have many differences regarding how content is created, but both allow for subtitles and text overlays to make content as accessible as possible. 

Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, which generate your feed based on a mix of content from your network and trending and sponsored posts, YouTube and TikTok use algorithms to recommend content based on a viewer’s preferences, interactions, and previous activity. 

Analytics is an essential part of any platform, as it is a vital tool to see how your content and channel are growing. Both TikTok and YouTube offer analytics solutions suited to the platform’s primary use. 

TikTok and YouTube: differences

YouTube Studio offers a variety of editing tools, including trimming, adding music, and some effects, but this is one area where TikTok wins hands down. Not only can you add music, titles, and stickers, but the social media platform offers a range of filters and interactive elements such as polls and VFX.

TikTok also has a fantastic react feature, which allows you to record a video alongside one from another user. React videos appear side-by-side as a split-screen in your feed, tagging the original video. This unique feature has given rise to many trends, such as users composing music and dancing together.

While both platforms offer music, TikTok has a far greater catalog from which to choose. Many artists have found TikTok to be a fantastic platform for promoting their music.

As we already mentioned, YouTube focuses on long-form content, with the average length of a YouTube video coming in at 11 minutes. YouTube has released a #Shorts section for users to compete with TikTok, but the function is still in beta testing, and there is a long, long way to go before it reaches the popularity and usage of TikTok.

YouTube viewers can reach out to creators through video comments, but only TikTok allows for direct messaging.

What’s more, you can save your TikTok videos directly to your local device But with YouTube, you’ll need to sign up for a Pro account to download  videos.

TikTok has several revenue streams available to its content creators, and the platform as a whole is geared toward making earning easy. Once you’ve unlocked the monetization options, you’ll find many opportunities (find out more here). YouTube allows creators to share a portion of the ad revenue from advertisements displayed before, during, and over their videos. 

In comparison, YouTube gives its creators very little control over the ads that are shown along with their videos. 

YouTube for Business

Let’s take a look at some of the features and tools available for businesses and marketers in 2024.

  • Enhanced research tab: One of the standout updates on YouTube is the Enhanced Research tab, now available on mobile and desktop. This feature provides marketers with valuable insights into viewer behavior, showcasing top queries, rising searches, and content gaps. By harnessing this data, marketers can pinpoint niche opportunities and tailor their content to better serve their audience.
  • Community clips: Community Clipss enable creators to highlight top clips made by viewers. This feature drives more viewership and engagement while offering additional revenue avenues by directing traffic to the full video. 
  • Insights on playlists: YouTube’s new analytics for playlists provides marketers with comprehensive insights into content performance. With metrics like total views, watch time, and traffic sources, marketers can better comprehend how playlists contribute to their channel’s success. By leveraging such insights, marketers can curate playlists that resonate with their audience, thus driving engagement and retention.
  • Scheduled publishing for members-only content: In a bid to streamline workflows and enhance member perks, YouTube provides scheduled publishing for members-only content. Creators can now upload exclusive content designated for members and schedule its public release at a later date. This improvement not only enriches the membership experience, but also enables marketers to plan content more effectively, ultimately fostering engagement and loyalty among their audience.

TikTok for Business

Just like YouTube, TikTok is continuously enhancing its platform to cater to the needs of businesses and creators, introducing a range of innovative features designed to boost engagement and monetization opportunities. 

  • Identify Similar Products Feature: TikTok has introduced a new feature called “Identify similar products,” which guides viewers to the TikTok Shop tab to explore and purchase related products featured in videos. This feature greatly benefits product-based businesses by driving traffic to their products within the TikTok Shop.
  • Sub Space: TikTok is testing a new live-engagement feature called “Sub Space,” which provides paying subscribers with a dedicated, private chat room within live video streams. 
  • Creator Tools: TikTok launched the Creator Academy to support creators with resources, courses, and insights to guide them at every stage of their TikTok journey. These initiatives aim to strengthen creator-subscriber relationships and empower creators to create compelling content that resonates with their audience.

Here are some tips for marketers looking to stand out on TikTok in 2024:

  • Find Your Niche: Explore various subcultures within TikTok and create content that resonates with those communities. You can build a loyal follower base by tapping into specific niches aligned with your interests, and by establishing connections with like-minded individuals.
  • Captivate Your Audience: Grab viewers’ attention within the first few seconds of your video by using intriguing openings or attention-grabbing visuals. Experiment with bold text overlays, surprising visuals, and storytelling techniques to keep your audience engaged throughout the video.
  • Optimize for Search: Use relevant keywords in your captions, descriptions, and hashtags to improve your content’s discoverability. Incorporate trending keywords and focus on creating high-quality videos that appeal to your target audience.

Strategic considerations

It’s important to recognize that you need not choose only TikTok or YouTube. While they serve different purposes and have distinct user demographics, these platforms can complement each other effectively in a marketing strategy.

You can create short-form, engaging content on TikTok that resonates with the platform’s younger, trend-focused audience. This content can include behind-the-scenes glimpses, user-generated challenges, and trend-based content that showcases your brand’s personality and creativity. 

Meanwhile, YouTube offers a platform for longer-form content, such as in-depth product demonstrations, tutorials, or storytelling videos. These videos can provide valuable information to viewers and establish your brand as an authority in your industry. And don’t forget that you can repost your TikTok videos to YouTube shorts.

Ultimately, both platforms can contribute to a comprehensive marketing strategy that drives brand awareness, engagement, and conversions. You can reach diverse audiences and maximize your marketing efforts by posting content on each. 

Is TikTok good for YouTubers?

In short, yes: TikTok is fantastic for YouTubers. The short-form content and easy use of hashtags make finding new and exciting creators a piece of cake. All YouTubers use social media to promote long-form content through clips and trailers, and TikTok is a fantastic option.

To use TikTok to promote your YouTube content, you’ll need to make sure your bio is set up to direct your followers to your videos. Use hashtags and calls to action to find your audience and encourage them to visit your channel.

Is YouTube easier than TikTok?

TikTok is a lot easier for creators to use when producing short content, but it can be a little fiddly for longer videos. YouTube is a video management platform, so the editing will likely be completed before uploading. You can also upload pre-edited videos to TikTok, but you lose some fun by not creating in-app content.

TikTok also offers fantastic engagement opportunities; with a bit of practice, you can get thousands of views. YouTube is more of a challenge when it comes to growing your account.

Can I put TikTok videos on YouTube?

You can download your TikTok videos from within the app and save them to your camera roll. Once you have your short video, you can share it across other social media platforms and upload it as YouTube Shorts. The downloaded version has a TikTok watermark, but this can be a good thing, encouraging your YouTube subscribers to check you out there as well.

Which platform offers better engagement for businesses in 2024: YouTube or TikTok 2024?

YouTube is suited for long-form content and deeper engagement, while TikTok excels in quick, viral content with higher immediate engagement rates.

How does content virality differ between YouTube and TikTok?

TikTok’s algorithm promotes virality through quick, widespread distribution, favoring engaging content. YouTube values watch time, rewarding content that keeps viewers on the platform for longer.

What are the demographic differences between YouTube and TikTok users?

YouTube has a broader age range, appealing to a wide variety of interests. TikTok’s user base is younger, with content that trends towards quick entertainment and trends.

Wrapping Up

TikTok and YouTube are both fantastic tools that can help promote your business and engage your audience. While the companies behind the platforms are in fierce competition, users and creators have found ways to use video management and social media offerings together to funnel audiences between different types of content and messages. Only time will tell who will be number one in the TikTok versus YouTube battle, but in the meantime, you can try out both, making your business the real winner.

To help you save time and create high-quality videos for YouTube and TikTok, check out Motion Array’s extensive library of templates, graphics, sound effects, and other creative assets.