Should Influencer Marketers Still Invest in TikTok During Uncertain Times?
Since 2020, there has been talk of a potential ban on TikTok in the United States due to concerns over data privacy and security. Although the conversation is ongoing, today, TikTok is still available and operational in the US.
However, if a ban were to occur, it would have significant implications for influencer marketing as it’s one of the most important channels for social media marketers. We’ll explore why TikTok has become so popular for marketers, what the potential implications are of a full ban, and what your influencer marketing strategy should look like in the meantime.
Why is TikTok so important?
While Instagram remains the most popular social media app for marketers — with 87% of marketers indicating Instagram as the most important social media platform for influencer marketing — TikTok and Youtube Shorts are both on the rise. TikTok has particularly been favored for its unique algorithm that allows any piece of content to go viral, even without a brand having a large following.
Here are 4 reasons TikTok is popular for influencer marketing:
- Massive user base: TikTok has amassed over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, which means that it provides wide reach for businesses looking to promote their products or services.
- High engagement rates: TikTok's algorithm prioritizes content that is engaging, which means that videos that receive high engagement (likes, shares, comments) are more likely to be seen by a larger audience. This makes TikTok an ideal platform for influencer marketing campaigns as influencers can create engaging content that resonates with their followers and can easily go viral. A recent study revealed that TikTok has the highest engagement rate out of all platforms at 4.25%, compared to 0.6% on Instagram.
- Authenticity: TikTok has a reputation for being an authentic and unfiltered platform. Users value content that is genuine and relatable, which is why influencers on TikTok often have a more personal approach to their content compared to other platforms.
- Cost-effective channel: According to a report by Influencer Marketing Hub, the average cost per sponsored post on TikTok is $0.02 per view, which is significantly lower than other social media platforms like Instagram.
Potential implications of a full TikTok ban
If TikTok were to be banned, experts predict 4 outcomes:
- With the loss of a key scalable social platform for brands and creators, content reach will be affected across industries.
- Production styles may begin to converge between TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Youtube Shorts as people scramble to diversify content and shift to other short form mediums.
- There could be a major impact on influencer payouts, creating financial setbacks for creators — especially for those who have built their social media careers mainly on TikTok.
- As many have come to love the platform in the last few years, a TikTok ban will more than likely have a big cultural impact and an extreme consumer response.
Should brands still invest in TikTok given the uncertainty?
The short answer: Yes.
TikTok continues to be the most cost-effective platform available to marketers, and until it’s no longer available, brands should continue to take advantage.
With that said, brands should begin to diversify across platforms if they haven’t already. Surveys show that short-form video is the future, with a third of marketers saying they plan to invest in video more than any other platform.
Here at Aspire, our in-house team of experts recommends a TikTok-first approach, but never a TikTok-only approach. TikTok, Youtube Shorts, and Instagram Reels all are vertical format videos and you can be creative about repurposing content across these platforms.
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