TikTok: The New Frontier of Digital Marketing?

TikTok Time

As a platform that values boldness, spontaneity, and authenticity, TikTok might appear to be a tricky social media to integrate into your current digital marketing strategy. The app’s short-form video structure requires content that often conveys an intricate level of narrative within 5 to 30 second video snippets—all while maintaining its signature “home video” appeal. TikTok rejects the increasing professionalization of other social media and instead embraces eccentricity and informality, emboldening its users to contribute content as much and as quickly as they consume it.

The impulsiveness and make-shift, do-it-yourself aesthetic that distinguishes a TikTok video from a perfectly-curated Instagram story or a meticulously shot and edited YouTube vlog may not fit every brand at first glance. In fact, only 4% of U.S. marketers even engage with the platform, suggesting that if you’re not sure what to do with TikTok, well, you’re not the only one. However, TikTok’s impressive growth over the last two years means that marketers can no longer afford to be ambivalent towards this powerhouse platform.

TikTok Take-Over

As of April 2020, the TikTok app was downloaded two billion times worldwide—doubling its one billion downloads the previous year. A 2020 study by Hootsuite and We Are Social found that TikTok is the sixth most used social media platform in the world. Don’t worry, the digital marketing trifecta of Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram still reigns supreme; but, surprisingly, other major platforms many US brands routinely employ, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, have significantly lagged behind TikTok in international rankings.

Ignoring TikTok also means ignoring a direct pipeline to the ever-elusive ‘young consumer.’ Wallaroo estimates that 60% of TikTok’s 80 million active users within the United States are between the ages of 16 and 24, leaping to a whopping 80% when that number includes all users under 34. If you can find a way to break into the TikTok scene, you are sure to reach Gen Z and millennials in ways proven to yield high engagement.

At the end of the day, TikTok may not be for everyone. But everyone, or, at least, every marketer should take note of its tremendous development and enduring vivacity over the last two years and seriously consider whether it could be a viable social media platform for their brand. Though many big-name companies and organizations like Guess, Chipotle, The Washington Post, the NFL, and the NBA have already successfully dialed into TikTok, the app is still very much uncharted territory—open to any marketer from any sector willing to take a risk and experiment. Our own Engine Builder team has been testing the waters, with an encouraging early response: their first Engine of the Week TikTok garnered almost 15k views. Let us help you forge a new path for your brand on TikTok by giving us a call today.


Maddy Leddy is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Babcox Media, focusing on direct marketing, content creation, and social media. A Shaker Heights native, she received her B.A. in English from Boston College and her M.A. in English from the University of Oxford.

Babcox Media