As more marketers jump on the TikTok bandwagon, Melissa Eshaghbeigi, strategist at design agency Jam3, observed:
“It’s possible for you to create that brand moment you’re looking for, but it’s also possible that you’ll cause a cringe reaction from everyone watching.”
TikTok is catnip for marketing plans right now: record app downloads, access to Generation Z, high engagement, and people looking for entertainment while sheltering in place.
It’s no surprise that many brand teams are urgently questioning, “What’s our TikTok strategy?”
Yet I think that question frequently confuses strategy with tactics. TikTok is not a good fit for every brand. Considering whether to use any new marketing tactic should be driven more by a brand’s marketing strategy than by a fear of missing out.
I like how Eos CMO, Soyoung Kang, describes how TikTok helps their beauty brand as part of their marketing toolkit. It’s one of several tactics that allows them to have direct connection with their audience; it’s not a one-and-done campaign. As Soyoung put it:
“If we think of TikTok the way that we think of any other social media platforms, it’s not just about one big, branded tentpole moment. It’s about continuing to nurture community and nurture direct connection…
“If we want to continue to use TikTok as part of our marketing toolkit for the future, we want to make sure that we have our own direct connections with consumers…
“I could argue it’s more important on TikTok than on any of the other platforms to be more authentic, less polished and have fewer assets and content that look like ads.”
Here are a few related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years: