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We experimented with TikTok ads vs. Instagram Reels ads in October 2021 to see which of the two brought better results, and the outcome came as a surprise.

For this first experiment, we used a 15-second product video on both platforms, and some people pointed out that a product video may not be the best choice for TikTok. We’re also aware that it’s important to have content suited for each platform to reach the best results.

In addition to that, at the time, we had just created our TikTok account. Since then, we’ve been experimenting with it and now have a clear idea about which type of content performs best on this platform.

So we decided to redo the experiment, using a more native video that doesn’t focus on the product specifically, making it more suitable for both advertising platforms. The main purpose of the experiment was to see if anything changes and find out exactly which factors influence performance.

Experiment Overview

The two ads ran on TikTok and Instagram Reels from Jan 18, 2022, to Feb 7, 2022.

This time around, we chose TikTok Spark Ads because it allows you to promote one of your account’s ads, as opposed to uploading a separate video ad that won’t be associated with your TikTok account.

We saw this as a great opportunity for users to get acquainted with our TikTok profile and even become followers.

The same 19-second video ad with a more native feel was launched on both platforms, with identical ad descriptions.

As far as audience targeting is concerned, we wanted to reach people interested in marketing and technology.


If you’ve read our first case study, you know our initial predictions were inaccurate, and the exact opposite of what we thought would happen came true.

Surprising or not, for this study, we placed our bets on TikTok once again, as we were sure that once we adjusted the content type, the results would be in favor of this platform. 

Enter your information below to download our TikTok Ads vs. Instagram Reels Ads follow-up case study and see how the results compare to those of our previous case study. Read our observations and get professional tips for creating video content on TikTok and Instagram Reels.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • The ad content type is very important, and it must be tailored for each platform to get the best results.
  • Costs are also impacted by the type of content. The costs decreased on both platforms when using a native video.
  • Different content can deliver different results. This is highly visible when looking at the metrics for this experiment compared to the previous one.

This experiment taught us that we need to think about each platform separately because what works on one platform might not work on another and vice versa.

Still, we wouldn’t have gotten here without our first experiment last October, when we sought to see which platform could bring us better exposure.

We are curious: do you tailor your ad content for the publishing platform? Let us know in the comments below.

Csilla Borsos
PPC Specialist, nature lover, bicycle rider, overthinker. But first of all, human.


    1. The ad content type is very important, and it must be tailored for each platform to get the best results.

    2. It’s so important when Tiktok is so popular

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