Instagram vs Youtube: Which One is Worth Your Time?

Not sure if Instagram or YouTube is the best platform for your content? You’re not alone.

Researching which social media network is the right fit for your content is the first step in becoming a successful influencer.

With no strategy, you risk:

  • Not making money
  • Struggling to grow your audience
  • Wasting time on the wrong platform
  • Never earning a stable and predictable income

In this post, we’re going to make it easier for you to make a decision.

You’ll get a breakdown of the pros and cons of building an audience on YouTube or Instagram, which niches perform best and if you should tackle both platforms at the same time.

Instagram vs YouTube: How to Choose the Right Platform for Your Content

Ready to find out which platform is the best for you to focus on as a content creator? 

Then whip out your notebooks and get ready to do some brainstorming.

Before you start learning how to use Final Cut Pro and creating presets in Lightroom, you need to consider the “Rs” of influence:

  • Resonance: What is the potential engagement you can expect to generate from each platform?
  • Relevance: Is your tribe on YouTube or Instagram?
  • Reach:  How many people you can potentially reach in your niche?

Spend some time getting to know your niche, stalking other influencers who already have a following and answering each question in as much detail as possible.

It will help you analyze the market and make the best business decision for your content.

The Benefits of Building an Audience on Instagram

High Engagement Rate

Instagram is the most engaged social media platform. You can expect between 2-7% of your followers to interact with each post.

Twitter and Facebook can only muster 0.18% – 1.54%!

It’s Cheaper and a Time-Saver

Unlike YouTube, it’s much cheaper to create content for Instagram (and a huge time-saver). You don’t need to learn how to edit on Premiere Pro or shell out money for a video editor.

If you choose to create video content for IG, the videos are shorter, and you’ll spend less time editing.

Plus, IGTV videos and Instagram Stories are consumed quickly. It helps you get your message out faster and is great for users who don’t have the time to watch long videos.

The Potential Brand Exposure

With 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms.

The potential to get your content seen by your ideal audience, create an engaged following and eventually start making sales is huge.

The Cons of Using Instagram

Short Lifespan of Content

The biggest drawback of building an audience on Instagram is the short lifespan of content.

With 95 million photos uploaded onto the platform every single day and Instagram Stories expiring after 24-hours, your ability to reach people is limited.

Content is sorted by timeliness, and the “most popular” section is changed daily and according to the user’s preferences.

If you want to keep growing on the platform, you need to commit to a regular posting schedule (once a day is the rule of thumb) or users will never find your content.

The Best Niches for Instagram

  • Lifestyle
  • Fitness
  • Fashion
  • Beauty
  • Travel
  • Food
  • Business

The Benefits of Building an Audience on YouTube

Videos Have a Long Lifespan

Since Google purchased YouTube in 2006, the search engine has started incorporating videos into its results more and more.

It’s another medium for people to digest information and learn how to do a wide range of things.

If you’re creating videos (and you spend time studying basic SEO), your content is evergreen. As long as people are searching for that topic and your video comes up on the first page of results, you can continue reaping the benefits of that video months or even years after it’s posted.

Unlike Instagram, search results are filtered by most relevant and not most recent. It gives you a chance to cut through the noise and get your content seen by a larger audience.

It’s Good for Catching Potential Customers in the Research Stage

When you want a review on the latest iPhone – where do you go?

I’ll bet you land up on YouTube watching tech creators giving their opinion on the device.

These reviews boost sales and are a valuable marketing tactic.

The same thing goes for tutorials.

It’s a massive niche on YouTube, and you can quickly build a channel around teaching people how to do something.

Whether its fitness videos, make-up, or how to put together a chair you bought from IKEA.

If your long-term goal is to eventually launch a product or service that would need in-depth tutorials or reviews – YouTube is the place to grow your audience.

The Cons of Using YouTube

It Takes More Time and Money

Ever wondered why most YouTubers only post once a week? Creating content for the platform is time-consuming.

You need to:

  • Think of a video idea your audience will love
  • Create a storyboard to make sure you get all the shots you need
  • Learn how to edit on Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro
  • Spend hours editing all the content into an engaging video
  • Find royalty-free music
  • Make sure the video complies to YouTubes guidelines to avoid getting demonetized
  • Create an engaging thumbnail
  • Upload the video

In comparison to Instagram, you can shoot for a few hours on Saturday to get enough content for the entire week. If you have presets, editing your photos will take only a few minutes. Once you’re done with that, you need 30 minutes to an hour with grid design and writing your captions.

When it comes to costs, Lightroom Mobile, VSCO and other editing apps for IG are all free to download. For YouTube, you’ll need to buy a license for Premiere Pro and spend time learning how to use the software.

If you want to avoid devoting all your free-time to editing, you’d need to hire an editor. On average, professional video editors charge between $10.80 – $31.28 per hour.

The Best Niches for YouTube

  • Tech Videos
  • Gaming
  • Vlogs
  • Food
  • Fashion
  • Beauty
  • Fitness
  • Travel
  • Animals
  • How To’s
  • Humor

Can You Focus on Instagram and YouTube?


A lot of successful Instagrammers and YouTubers parlay their success on one platform to the other.

But if you’re starting out, invest your time into mastering one platform. It will help you grow faster, find your tribe and create content your audience wants to see. 

Once you’re comfortable, you can hop over to the other platform if:

  • It’s in line with your goals
  • Your core audience is active there
  • You have a solid understanding of how the algorithm works
  • You have the time to create content consistently on both platforms