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Which Is Better for Your Business in 2022?



Which Is Better for Your Business in 2022?

Short-form video is dominating the social media landscape — and many marketers want to get a piece of the action. But this leaves one important question: which video-sharing platform is worth your time, effort, and money — YouTube or TikTok?

While YouTube is the more mature platform, it’s hard to ignore the buzz around TikTok. In order to make the right decision, it’s essential to understand their unique audiences, marketing opportunities, and algorithms.

Let’s take a closer look at the key differences between YouTube and TikTok — and how to choose the right platform for your business.

YouTube vs. TikTok: A Head-to-Head Comparison

1. Demographics.


With a global user base of more than 2 billion people, it’s safe to assume that your target audience is on YouTube. Let’s take a closer look at its user base.

YouTube holds sway with both men and women, almost in equal measure. Male users account for 53% of its population, while female users account for 46%.

The platform is also popular across different age groups. Outside of China, 77% of Gen Z, 75% of millennials, and 44% of Baby Boomers visit YouTube daily. Specifically, the 18-25 year age group commands the largest visitor base.

YouTube attracts a global audience, with more than 95% of the internet population using it. That said, India accounts for the largest audience size, followed by the United States and Indonesia.


TikTok is known as the platform for Gen-Z — and the stats confirm it. Over half of Gen-Z consumers are on TikTok, and 46% of 13-19-year-olds say they use the platform daily.

However, TikTok is also picking up steam with other age groups. In 2021, 36% of TikTok users were between 35 and 54 years old, a 10% increase from the year before.

Unlike Youtube, TikTok’s user base skews primarily female (57% worldwide). That figure jumps to 61% for TikTok users in the US. While TikTok’s user base is increasingly diverse, there’s no denying its popularity among younger female audiences.

TikTok is a global platform available in 154 countries worldwide and in 75 different languages. The United States accounts for the largest user base (120 million users), followed by Indonesia, Brazil, and Russia.

2. Popularity.

There’s no real competition here (yet). YouTube commands an audience of over two billion monthly users — almost half of the entire internet-using population. It’s no surprise that one in five social media marketers plans to invest the most in YouTube this year, according to a recent HubSpot Blog’s report.

YouTubeTrendReportHowever, TikTok is a relatively new platform with stellar growth year-over-year. TikTok was the most downloaded app in 2019 and 2020, racking up over three billion downloads so far. It also boasts 1.2 billion monthly users, which experts predict will reach 1.5 billion by the end of 2022 — keeping YouTube on its toes.

Additionally, while TikTok doesn’t bring in the same monthly users, it certainly wins at engagement. In fact, TikTok is the most engaging of all social media apps, with an average user session of 10.85 minutes. As a result, 52% of marketers who use TikTok plan to increase their investment in 2022.

TikTokTrendReport3. Content Format and Length


Unlike other social media platforms, YouTube has become the unofficial home for long-form content. For instance, you’ve likely stumbled upon a 30-minute workout video or even a 2-hour podcast on YouTube.

However, it’s impossible to deny the popularity of short-form video content. In fact, 31% of marketers are currently leveraging short-form video, and 29% plan to leverage it for the first time this year.

ShortFormVideoTrendReportIn response, YouTube launched Shorts — enabling users to create 15-second videos with musical overlays. This also allows video marketers to play with different content types on the same platform.


To put it plainly, TikTok is a short-form powerhouse. In fact, the app has become synonymous with fun, “snackable” content that attracts Gen-Z and millennial audiences.

Why does this matter? Short-form video is the most popular and effective social media format in 2022. So much so that 50% of social media marketers plan to leverage short-form video for the first time this year, and 95% of those who already use it will increase or maintain their investment.

Initially, TikTok videos could only be 15-seconds long. However, the app has extended the limit to 60 seconds. For marketers, this means more wiggle room to play around with video concepts. However, this only applies to videos recorded natively on the app.

4. Ad Formats


YouTube ads are powered by Google. You have several ad formats to choose from, including:

  • Discover ads — ads that appear on the YouTube homepage or search results pages.
  • TrueView ads — also known as skippable ads, these are ads that play before a video.
  • Non-skippable ads — ads that appear before, in the middle, or after a video.
  • Bumper ads — 6-second ads that play before a video.
  • Overlay ads — banner ads that appear at the bottom of a video.

YouTube offers a lot of flexibility for marketers to experiment with different ad formats. For example, you can opt for a quick, 6-second ad at the beginning of a video or a 30-second non-skippable ad in the middle of a video.


Despite its “newness,” TikTok has become a viable option for brands willing to get creative with their digital marketing. So much so, it launched TikTok for Business in 2021, allowing marketers to create and manage ad campaigns on the platform.

Additionally, there are different ways to advertise on the platform, including:

  • TopView — ads that appear at the top of their feed immediately after opening the app.
  • In-Feed Ads — ads that appear on a user’s discovery page.
  • Branded Hashtags — a hashtag that businesses promote in hopes of inspiring TikTokers to create content around it.
  • Brand Takeovers — an ad format that can include TopView, In-Feed, and Branded Hashtags all at once. They can also be videos, gifs, or still images.

As we’ll discuss later, each ad format on TikTok has a different price tag — so even if you have a smaller budget, you can play your cards right with a solid strategy.

5. Ad Costs


YouTube follows a cost-per-view pricing model. Each view can cost between $0.10 and $0.30, depending on your industry and target keywords. You only pay when a user takes action — such as watching the entirety of your ad or clicking on a call-to-action.

You can spend as little or as much as you want. However, most businesses invest $10 or more a day to run an advertising campaign on YouTube. If you set a daily budget, Google will only charge you up until that amount, making YouTube ads a relatively safe investment.


If you decide to advertise on TikTok, you can select a daily or lifetime budget that can be adjusted at any point during your campaign. However, at the campaign level, you must have a minimum daily and total budget of $50. For an ad group level, your budget must exceed $20 daily.

It’s also important to note that TikTok doesn’t use cost-per-click as a metric. Instead, it uses cost-per-mille (CPM), which means cost per 1000 views. TikTok ads start at $10 per CPM, so it’s possible to make an impact at a relatively low cost.

Which platform is right for your business?

One final question remains — which platform is better for my business? Ultimately, the answer hinges on several factors.

First, who is your target audience? As you can see, both YouTube and TikTok boast diverse audiences, but TikTok commands a younger, predominantly female audience. YouTube, on the other hand, is popular across multiple age groups. To state the obvious, you should prioritize the platform that will reach your audience.

Second, what type of content do you want to make? Does it lend itself more to lighthearted, snappy videos or longer, more in-depth ones? Is 15 seconds long enough to convey your message, or do you need more time?

Lastly, it’s important to consider your budget. YouTube offers more flexibility in choosing a daily budget. And, since it follows a cost-per-view pricing model, you only pay when a user takes action. To run a campaign on TikTok, you must commit to a daily budget of $50, which quickly adds up.

With these questions in mind, you have a better idea of which platform is right for your business. But remember, marketing is all about experimentation. You don’t need to commit to one platform right away — in fact, it may be useful to run side experiments on both to see what results you get.

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Before Deciding Where Your Content Team Reports, Pay Attention to This



Before Deciding Where Your Content Team Reports, Pay Attention to This

When a brand creates a new content marketing or content strategy team, they often ask, “What function or department should the content team report to?”

My answer? “Yes!”

Now, I’m not trying to be a smart aleck. (Well, I am a little bit, do you even know me?) But seriously, my yes comes from years of helping implement content teams in dozens of businesses. My affirmative response indicates the most important thing isn’t to whom content reports; it’s that content teams report to the business.

When it reports into a function, such as brand, marketing, sales enablement, demand gen, PR/comms, or even (yes, really in one case) finance, the business acknowledges content marketing is a real thing with real responsibilities, power, and capabilities to affect business outcomes.

“What outcomes?” you might ask.

Well, that depends on where content marketing reports.

Now you have the real conundrum.

You can’t figure out where content marketing and content strategy should report without knowing the expected business outcomes, and you can’t know the business outcomes until you know where they’re reporting.

The most important thing isn’t to whom #content reports; it’s that content teams report to the business, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It’s tricky.

Content’s pervasiveness creates the challenge

Content as a strategic function in business affects almost everything. That pervasiveness means nearly any function in the business could “own” content as a strategy.

For example, we recently worked with a company about a year into its enterprise-wide digital transformation strategy. They have a content team, and we were to help them assemble a governance and operational approach for their website content.

When we determined the right operational processes, we got into trouble. A content team leader asked, “What if someone proposed a new AI chatbot as part of this digital transformation for the website? Is it a content project with a technology component or a technology project with a content component?”

The question isn’t semantics. Instead, the answer determines the process for development, the team owning implementation, and the measurement by which it’s deemed successful.

Knowing where a #content project is assigned determines its development process, implementation owner, and success metric, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It’s not just a technology challenge, either. The company also wanted to create new brand content guidelines for the website. Is that a content team project informed by the brand team or a brand project in consultation with the content team?

Given content’s pervasiveness, you can argue it is part of any meaningful communications initiative the business takes on. But sales’ needs are different from marketing’s, and HR’s requirements are different from the demand-gen team’s. However, to achieve consistency in content and communication, it doesn’t make sense to let each function determine its content strategy.

To achieve the balance between an enterprise-wide content strategy and the unique needs of every function in the business, the leaders and practitioners must decide to whom content reports. Again, the agreement is important, not the where or what of the agreement.

3 key attributes to identify in the decision-making process

As you and the leadership ponder how to balance the enterprise content strategy and where it should sit, consider these three key attributes that play an essential role in success.

1. Develop a content operations backbone

I don’t care if you have two people and one blog and a website or a team of 50 who operate on 35 content platforms across multiple channels. A content operations infrastructure creates consistent success across your digital content experiences. Content operations is an enterprise-recognized set of integrated and shared systems (meaning technologies), standards, guidelines, playbooks, and processes to ensure reliable, consistent, scalable, and measurable content across the business.

Content operations acts as the backbone – the foundation – to ensure the content is created, managed, activated, and measured the same way across whatever audience and whichever channel the brand presents to.

2. Connect with the audience across platforms

You can no longer expect to create one optimal experience that makes up for a bunch of sub-optimal ones.No matter your size, it’s not good enough to have your blog subscribers separate from your marketing automation database and all that separated from your CRM system. This goes for all of your audiences – from new employees to external parties such as analysts, journalists, partners, vendors, etc.

In this approach, the goal is to engage, build, and develop relationships with audiences. Thus, connecting audience behavior with insights on how to communicate better is not a siloed functional need; it is an enterprise need.

3. Build an accountability framework

This attribute in one word? Standards (and a team to keep them.) In a truly fascinating way, one of the earliest activities in building a content strategy makes the biggest impact on larger businesses: Come to terms with what words around content strategy and marketing mean. What is a campaign? What is the difference between a campaign and an initiative? What is an e-book? What is an article vs. a blog post? How long should a white paper take to write? Most businesses assume these things or create meanings based on contextual needs.

At a recent client, one group expected the content team to produce white papers within a week of the request. Another group expected them to be delivered in six weeks at double the length that the other group thought.

An accountability framework – and its ongoing evolution – presents clear ownership and coordination of content standards (roles, responsibilities, processes, types) across the enterprise. This model should not detail the definitions and standards but identify how they will enforce them.

Start your content decisions by deciding together

Where should you begin?

Well, just like in the beginning, my answer is yes. Independent of where you start, the critical point happens in the deciding of the elements. To be clear, these are institutional decisions, not simply “what you think.” In other words, it doesn’t matter what you believe the definitions, roles, or processes should be if the other parts of the organization don’t know, believe, or care.

A great first step is to create that accountability framework and make people care about its existence. At first, it might create a language of content that everybody in your business understands. When someone says, “I’d like to do a campaign,” or, “I think we should write a white paper,” everyone understands what that means and what it takes to do it. Then, the benefits of an accountability framework will start to become clear.

It makes the case for a team assigned to lead this consistency easier. And that enables the team to connect those experiences and audiences in a way that makes sense for everyone.

In the end, you have found determining the where, how, and what of a content strategy implementation isn’t the most important. The act of deciding is.

It’s a strange combination. In isolation, the reason for deciding seems straightforward. So why wouldn’t anybody want a clear definition of what a campaign is or a single source of the truth when it comes to the tone of your content?

But stacked together, those decisions feel like they are bigger than the content team and really should involve the entire enterprise. (Spoiler alert: They do.)

If you want any desired consequence, you had better decide on all the things that would help create it.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Get Robert’s take on content marketing industry news in just five minutes:

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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