Instagram dominates video-based user acquisition over TikTok, survey reveals

In the battle for user acquisition supremacy, Instagram emerges as the preferred platform for marketers, outshining TikTok, according to findings from Zoomd. When asked to allocate their user acquisition spend between the two platforms, a staggering 79% of respondents devoted at least 75% of their budget to Instagram, while only 25% at most allocated the same to TikTok. Despite this, a significant portion of marketers, 53%, reported working with both TikTok and Instagram as media sources in 2023.

The survey, conducted by Zoomd in February and March 2024 and shared by Marketing Dive, sheds light on marketers’ preferences amidst ongoing uncertainty surrounding TikTok’s future, particularly its potential separation from Chinese ownership in the face of U.S. regulatory pressure. However, the survey suggests a deeper-rooted preference for Instagram, driven not only by TikTok’s uncertain fate but also by the perceived advertiser-friendly environment offered by Instagram and its parent company, Meta.

Omri Argaman, Zoomd’s CMO, attributes the preference for Instagram to the platform’s proven track record in achieving user acquisition key performance indicators (KPIs) and the comprehensive ad solutions offered by Meta. The findings also highlight the widespread use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology among mobile marketers, with a median of 50% utilizing AI to optimize their user acquisition campaigns. Additionally, the survey reveals a growing reliance on influencers and creators for user acquisition, with 56% of respondents utilizing them in 2023.

Navigating the challenges posed by privacy-driven app tracking changes, mobile marketers are increasingly turning to first-party data for their campaigns. However, only 13% of respondents reported using first-party data in most of their campaigns, indicating ongoing difficulties in retargeting and retention. Despite these challenges, 69% of respondents are increasing their budgets for such campaigns by up to 20% in 2024.

Looking ahead, the survey indicates optimism among mobile marketers, with 53% planning to increase their user acquisition budgets in the coming year. Moreover, there is a trend towards diversification, with more than half of respondents using over 10 mobile media sources in 2023, a trend expected to continue into 2024.

In terms of monetization, in-app purchases remain the most popular option, cited by 81% of respondents, followed by in-app advertising and payment for downloads or subscriptions. As mobile marketing landscapes evolve, these insights provide valuable guidance for marketers navigating the ever-changing terrain of user acquisition and app monetization strategies.

According to a recent study, Instagram is also the preferred channel by marketers for brand engagement. Per the analysis, Instagram Reels outperforms TikTok Clips in increasing the number of brand views. 

Written by Jordan Bevan


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