Why incumbent brands prefer Reels over TikTok

Five months in, and strategic differences between TikTok and Reels are emerging for brands. In particular, Reels has become the platform of choice for big, established brand accounts. In contrast, challenger brands -- and their influencer partners -- are gravitating more toward TikTok. That is thanks to a mix of algorithmic differences between the two platforms and an existing comfort with Instagram from incumbent companies.

Latest Stories

  • FEB 12, 2021

    Agencies are trying to capitalize on the online gaming boom

    Driven by the forthcoming direct listing of Roblox, plus the juggernaut success of Animal Crossing and Fortnite, agencies are springing up to help brands find their way in the gaming ecosystem -- a new and arguably belated recognition of the power that gaming communities can hold for brands of all stripes. Companies with direct ties to gaming, like headphone makers, are no strangers to the space, but most other brands have avoided marketing to gaming communities. Yet the rise of these agencies suggests that brands are finally eager to break into platforms like Twitch and into virtual, in-game universes in games like Fortnite.

  • FEB 10, 2021

    How food brands like BomBombs are going viral on TikTok

    TikTok has become known as a "food porn" destination, filled with trends like whipped coffee and mini pancake cereal bowls. Now that the platform has established itself among large retailers and emerging brands, food brands are seeking to capitalize on TikTok's engaged young audience. The latest of these manufacturers is hot chocolate bombs maker Modern Gourmet Foods.

  • FEB 10, 2021
    podcast money

    ‘A shift toward direct influencer and brand collaborations’: How the DTC podcast advertising strategy changed in 2020

    At the very beginning of the pandemic, podcast listenership dipped dramatically due to the lack of commutes. While downloads recovered throughout 2020, brands that advertise on the medium have tweaked their marketing strategies to cater to the new listening habits.

  • JAN 21, 2021

    With YouTube’s new shoppable tools, the video platform wars are heating up

    YouTube's build-out of its e-commerce capabilities has been slow, especially in comparison to other platforms like Facebook and TikTok. But starting this spring, the video sharing site will begin testing a more robust shoppable video tool, which could allows for more effective brand advertising.

  • JAN 15, 2021

    How Anheuser-Busch and Drizly teamed up on a targeted ad partnership

    The ongoing alcohol delivery boom has prompted brands like Anheuser-Busch to move ad spend to platforms like Drizly and Minibar. In turn, Facebook is courting both platforms and brands to advertise their beverages to local 21-plus customers.

  • JAN 13, 2021

    How mocktail brands are capitalizing on Dry January

    For the past several years, more and more people have started abstaining from or cutting back on alcohol during the month of January, as part of a campaign known as Dry January. For startups that sell alcohol-free versions of beer, wine and cocktails, that means this is their month to shine. Modern Retail spoke with founders of startups like Curious Elixirs, Ghia and Ritual Proof Zero about how they are trying to attract new customers this month.

  • JAN 05, 2021

    Why White Claw used Twitch for its latest campaign

    While still a niche social marketing channel, Twitch is gradually being considered by more brands for digital activations. Following in the footsteps of gamer-friendly brands like Mtn Dew, Papa John's and Red Bull, hard seltzer brand White Claw recently began experimenting with virtual events for the platform's engaged users.

  • JAN 04, 2021

    How brands finally figured out TikTok

    With the right video, any user -- and any brand -- can find themselves catapulted to viral fame overnight. But bigger companies figured out those same lessons -- and by crafting their own branded songs, leaning into self-parody and, in some cases, encouraging their employees to post on their behalf, retailers in 2020 finally learned how to use TikTok effectively.

  • DEC 22, 2020

    Why Uber is courting retailers with branded vouchers

    Starting Dec. 15, Uber for Business' Vouchers program has new features aimed at retailers' marketing and customer service. The delivery service has expanded the program, which was originally focused on corporate ride compensation. The company hopes businesses will apply the Uber credit incentives to their customer service and marketing strategy.

  • DEC 14, 2020

    ‘A true influencer program’: Inside Walmart’s growing army of employee TikTokers

    Conversations with Walmart employees, interviews with executives familiar with Spotlight and publicly available episodes from Walmart’s Sparkcast podcast give a glimpse into how the growing program is trying to turn employees into a social media force to be reckoned with -- and might presage a future in which retail workers are tapped to promote products, broadcast store promotions and combat bad press.

  • DEC 09, 2020

    Why smart toothbrushes are ripe for brand partnerships

    But the Colgate and Headspace collaboration is the latest example of brands testing out niche smart technology. Companies are looking at collaborating with a whole host of smart products, from toothbrushes to smart fridges. Their reason for experimenting beyond the Alexas and Google Assistants of the world is largely about centralizing customer data. Turning to alternate smart products presents a way for brands to reassert control.

  • DEC 07, 2020

    Pitch deck: How Walgreens is showcasing its new ad network to brands

    In a pitch deck obtained by Modern Retail, the national pharmacy showcased it vast retail footprint and first-party data. Walgreens is the latest retailer to trying to update its digital program. Over the last few months, it has been launching new digitally-focused services, including an updated app and loyalty program. But it faces headwinds a number of headwinds. Namely, convincing large brands to invest in a niche and nascent media network that's yet to be proven out. 

  • APR 14, 2021

    How brands are putting personalization at the center of e-commerce

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