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Marketers often face a common dilemma – which YouTube vs. Instagram influencers are the best for them and their brands.

Have a look at Statista’s latest report indicating that YouTube and Instagram rank as the 2nd and 4th most popular social media platforms respectively.


Image via Statista

Both offer exceptional engagement and entertainment to the millions of users who log into these social networks every day.

And both these platforms have become extremely popular for influencer marketing.

But which platform should you choose for your campaigns? Should it be YouTube or Instagram influencers?

To start, we’ll provide you an overview of both YouTube and Instagram, what makes them unique and what sets them apart.

Read on to understand which platform will serve your influencer marketing goals better.

YouTube vs. Instagram: The Key Statistics

Before we go on to compare YouTube vs. Instagram influencers, let us look at a few key statistics related to the platforms.


  • The 2nd most popular social media channel in the world with more than 2.2 million active users
  • Estimated daily time spend per user – 19:27 minutes


Image via Alexa

YouTube certainly is the best option for brands who want to introduce themselves elaborately.

You can share highly engaging long-form and short-form videos to offer your potential customers a comprehensive overview of who you are, what you have to offer, and how you stand out.

It’s easier to lead your customers to make a purchase by providing a link in the description too.

This makes YouTube perfect for product videos like explainer videos or detailed reviews.


  • It is the 4th most popular social media channel with nearly 1.4 billion active users
  • Estimated daily time spend per user – 8:58 minutes

Alexa 2

Image via Alexa

Instagram, as an influencer marketing platform, is a great hit with both users and marketers because of the enormous amount of fresh content that is available on the platform. Brands can collaborate with influencers and repost the content easily.

Content on Instagram is effortlessly consumed by the users too. It’s easier to edit campaigns on the go and insights are readily available as well.

Key Differences Between YouTube and Instagram Influencer Marketing

Here are some of the major differences between YouTube and Instagram influencer marketing that you should know.

1. Long-Form Videos vs. Images

The predominant difference between YouTube and Instagram influencers is the kind of content each platform offers.

When it comes to influencer marketing on YouTube, it’s exclusively about videos. The audience here is treated to long-form, horizontal videos which are created and edited professionally.

Take a look at Dude Perfect’s profile, one of the leading YouTube influencers, who constantly churns out long-form videos that garner views in the millions.

Long-Form Videos

Image via YouTube 

Instagram, on the other hand, is focused on images but also includes long-form and short-form videos. Creators here go to great lengths to produce fresh and engaging content every day. The best part about Instagram is that it’s got something for everyone.

So, if you’re looking for influencers who are experts at short-form videos or image creation, you should opt for Instagram influencers. Otherwise, it’s a good bet to partner with YouTube influencers.

2. Post Searchability

When comparing YouTube vs. Instagram influencers, YouTubers have a greater responsibility to produce videos that stay relevant not only for days but for years. They need to be search-friendly too. This requires a mix of video-making and SEO skills.

It’s not the same case with Instagram, though. The feed is constantly updated with fresh content and users hardly search for older posts.

The advantage with YouTube videos is that the video links and descriptions are indexed on Google. When users search for information on Google, relevant YouTube videos will appear in the search results like below.

Post Searchability

Image via Google

Instagram content can only be searched within the app and it’s not very easily found on Google. One of the easier ways to search for relevant content on Instagram is by using hashtags. So, it’s important to check if your influencers are getting their hashtags right.

3. Cost-Effective vs. Valuable

One of the key factors to consider while choosing between YouTube vs. Instagram influencers is the cost. Generally, Instagram brand ambassadors are more cost-effective.

The reason?

Creating image-based posts is easier than producing long-form videos. This makes Instagram influencers a lot more affordable when you compared an image or short video post on Instagram to a long-form, dedicated video on YouTube.

But that doesn’t mean YouTube influencers are no good.

Yes, YouTube influencers may comparatively charge you higher than Instagram influencers, but when you want the influencer to dive deep into your product, there’s no better place than YouTube.

YouTubers tend to invest more effort and time in creating long-form video content that can remain relevant for a long time to come. They also have to make the content SEO friendly. It’s thus no surprise how much sponsors pay YouTubers.

Also, a tactic that influencer marketers use to make YouTube campaigns more affordable is to ask creators for short 30-90 second video integrations instead of long-form dedicated videos.

Video integrations can be purchased for a fraction of the price of a dedicated video on YouTube. Integrations are a way to reach a large audience on YouTube without breaking the bank.

4. Creative Bandwidth

Let’s admit it, Instagram’s filters and adjustments to enhance images visually are simply superb. These built-in features allow you to beautify your images and videos on the go. Amature photographers can add a professional touch to their captures using these quickly accessible filters.

On the contrary, you need some pro skills to edit YouTube videos. YouTube influencers not only need to use high-end equipment to record their videos but also have to use sophisticated editing tools to give their videos a professional touch.

This means that YouTubers need more time, skills, and money to execute influencer marketing campaigns effectively. And that matters a lot when you are selecting between YouTube vs. Instagram influencers.

5. Social Commerce Features

When it comes to YouTube vs. Instagram influencers, who can lead your potential customers to in-app purchases? The answer is Instagram.

Instagram supports product carousel display and the users can make a purchase by clicking the link. Additionally, Instagram also offers the shoppable posts feature through which you can buy a product displayed in a post directly from the platform.

Instagram’s social commerce features are more effective because you can offer discounts, special offers, and deals directly through the app.

YouTube has a long way to catch up in these terms. However, YouTube influencers can provide purchase links in the video description which still is an effective way of boosting traffic to client websites.

YouTube vs. Instagram Influencers: What to Consider When Choosing?

One social media platform may be more promising for your influencer campaigns than the other. But before you select between YouTube and Instagram influencers, keep these audience-related key considerations in your mind.

Audience Presence

Where does your target audience exist in greater numbers and which one is their favorite social platform? This understanding makes it easy for you to not only choose between YouTube vs. Instagram influencers but also craft the right kind of campaign.

Choice of Media

When you identify your target audience, it is imperative to understand their preferences too. Do they resonate more with long-form videos or short videos and images?

The success of your influencer marketing campaign depends heavily on this understanding. Choose the wrong platform and you might miss the mark by a mile.


Lastly, you should consider the influencer marketing cost on both platforms. While choosing between YouTube vs. Instagram influencers research the market to determine which platform fits better into your budget while helping you reach your goals effectively.


1. Is YouTube or Instagram more popular? 

Both social media platforms rank among the most popular ones. While YouTube boasts of having more total users, Instagram has well over a billion active users too.

As a marketer or a brand, you can consider either of these popular platforms based on your target audience and the kind of campaign you want to run.

2. Can YouTubers be influencers?

Absolutely. YouTubers are great at creating engaging videos, writing targeted content, editing, engaging with followers, and managing their community. Not only are they experts in their niche but equally good at connecting with their followers.

3. Is it worth becoming an Instagram influencer? 

It is totally worth becoming an Instagram influencer, but the road to success is not an easy one. You have the responsibility of constantly offering fresh and engaging content to your followers, maintaining a brand reputation, and keeping up with the competition to stand out.

4. How much should I pay a YouTube influencer?

There are several factors that determine how much a YouTube influencer should be paid. The size of their following, the kind of influencer campaign you are running, and campaign goals should be considered while deciding on the payment.

You could refer to this sheet to understand how much you should pay a YouTube influencer.

5. How do you choose between YouTube vs. Instagram influencers?

Choosing between YouTube vs. Instagram influencers can be a big dilemma considering the fact that both social platforms have their own advantages. When you have to make this crucial decision, keep these 4 factors in mind:

  1. Audience presence – On which platform are your potential customers more active?
  2. Resonance – Do your audiences resonate with a pure video platform or an image/short-video one?
  3. Relevance – Which platform is more relevant to your brand and products?
  4. Budget – Which platform is more cost-friendly for your social media influencer campaign?

Make the Right Choice Between YouTube vs. Instagram Influencers

YouTube and Instagram both are promising platforms and have a wealth of prominent influencers.

Both platforms are exceptional in their own way and it’s hard to choose one over the other. That said, you can select either one of them based on the kind of campaign you are planning.

However, make sure that the influencer you select is relevant to your brand and has an audience that’s similar to that of your brand. They must also suit your marketing budget.

And if you’re looking for professional support to design and execute your influencer campaign, click here to get in touch with our team and see what we can achieve together.

Dan Coughlin

Dan Coughlin

Dan is a seasoned digital marketing strategist, Cofounder, and Managing Director of Get Hyped. Dan’s expertise lies in developing creative storytelling strategies and compelling content that drives conversions and enhances ROI. Alongside his wife Kristina, an established Instagram foodie influencer, Dan has developed innovative marketing strategies that deliver measurable results for consumer brands. With his dynamic blend of technical knowledge and creative flair, Dan continues to revolutionize the way brands leverage social media and influencers to connect with their audiences and drive growth. When he's not devising marketing strategies, you can find Dan exploring the vibrant food scene with his family or unwinding with a cigar and a good book.