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The New Age Of Social Media Marketing

How TikTok is transforming the way Digital Marketers Approach the Industry

Published in the September 2022 Issue Published online: Sep 14, 2022 Social
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AS SOCIAL HUSTLE’S HEAD OF PAID MEDIA AND MARKETING, I have been able to help businesses succeed on Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and now TikTok Advertising. Over the past 8 years, digital marketing has been my passion. Through obtaining my marketing degree from Idaho State University and working with over a dozen companies, I have seen my share of social media advertising. Still, nothing has impressed me more than TikToks’ capabilities for brands big and small.

Throughout my professional career, I never expected I would end up a member of TikTok’s D2C council, an invitation-only organization for premiere TikTok marketers. But I have to tell you, the things they have coming will shake the marketing world to the core.

How Did We Get Here?

Social Media has been around for the last 2 decades, and since late 2007 marketing on these platforms has been crucial for businesses. The front-running social platforms—Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest—have served as great tools for brands to sell products, gather leads, build brand awareness and supplement website traffic over the last 16 years.

However, in April of 2021, Apple rolled out the IOS 14.5 update, which impacted digital marketing across the board, especially marketing on Facebook. This update allowed users the option to opt out of apps being able to track their activity across the web, resulting in considerable changes to reporting capabilities, immediate and sustained decreases in ad performance and what Facebook has claimed will be a result of an annual $10 billion reduction in sales for the app. After the update and the initial drop in ad performance, brands in every vertical were in a scramble as they searched for an alternative marketing platform, which brings us to TikTok.

TikTok Growth and Evolution

TikTok exploded out of nowhere in late 2019, and now it is the world’s most downloaded app, taking hold of the social media and entertainment scene. As of May 2022, TikTok has officially knocked Google from the top spot as the world’s MOST VISITED WEB DOMAIN. For an app that started as teenagers dancing around, this stat is unbelievable to most. That is until you start using TikTok for personal use and discover the extensive amount of information to be found.

What sets TikTok apart from all other platforms is its ability to encapsulate its audience. TikTok is a place where people can express themselves, be creative, and most importantly, engage with an audience of like-minded people. While there are still teenagers dancing and lip-synching, the app boasts that 58% of users are over the age of 26—showing that every generation has caught the TikTok fever.

As of May 2022, TikTok has over 1.1 billion active monthly users, 580 billion monthly video view, and an average time spent of 116 minutes spent per user per day. TikTok provides an unprecedented reach opportunity for businesses. It has become a necessary tool for brands, and many have jumped right into the unknown yet booming world of TikTok advertising.

What Is Needed To Advertise On TikTok?

Content, Content, Content. Content for advertising on TikTok is the most vital yet challenging part for businesses when trying to find advertising success in the app.

The rate that content is consumed on TikTok is unlike any social app before. The average run time for an ad on the platform is 7-14 days.

Additionally, the content needed for TikTok is far from what is used anywhere else. On Facebook and Instagram, ad material has always been relatively pushy and salesy. As users, we have become accustomed to this interruption of our scroll, and seeing a square image with some promo text pasted over it with a “Shop Now” button screaming at you is just part of the experience.

On TikTok, advertisers have to find a way to not make ads, but make TikToks. Ads have to be relevant to the trends, get to the point quickly, be entertaining, educational or engaging. Most importantly, they have to feel like an organic video.

This push for businesses to step outside their comfort zones and create content that users enjoy viewing has been the most significant hurdle for digital marketers over the last two years.

If a brand can figure out its content, though, TikTok is an absolute gold mine.

Social, Entertainment, and Business Tool - Local and More

Tiktok provides the perfect opportunity for large national brands and local startups to find success. Given TikTok’s incredible ability to connect you with your customer, there is no brand that shouldn’t be experimenting.

Our recommendation to all of our marketing partners is to get started with organic content. Start making and sharing TikToks that your customers can enjoy. Follow the trends, use the popular sounds, tell stories and above all else, just be authentic.

TikTok is, at its core, an entertainment engine. If you can find a way to entertain and engross your audience, you will find unparalleled success.

From there, your ability to market through TikTok becomes undeniable. You can generate leads, sell products or promote launches. We have been blown away at the ability for brands to transfer to TikTok and walk away with performance challenging that of Facebook and Google. TikTok is the future of marketing!

Ashlie Green is the head of paid media and marketing for Social Hustle.


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