When we choose to open TikTok, we are unconsciously subjecting ourselves to marketing. Whether this is through the traditional form of a brand advertisement, self-marketing, or celebrity endorsements, we engage with a 60-second video that promotes some form of advertisement. There has been a drastic shift in the way that companies engage in marketing, advertising, and promotion. This transition is due to the development of social media and the purposeful targeted demographic audiences that these companies intend to profit off of. Through Tik Tok, we learn about the effects of consumer behavior in a short clip and how it allows us to engage with different forms of marketing. Through personal experience of endless scrolls on Tik Tok out of boredom, especially during the unpredicted times of Covid-19, they have had a profound impact on my exposure to marketing. Although the app’s initial purpose was to create fun and entertaining videos, it continues to rise as one of the most important forms of marketing today.
Businesses have always utilized social media as a form of promoting their brand/services. Although we have seen this through Instagram advertisements, there has also been a new rise in marketing on TikTok. As a frequent user of the app, I have been able to acknowledge my exposure to brand marketing through different verified videos (the light blue checkmark next to a given username).
I believe that advertising on TikTok is one of the most resourceful forms of marketing that businesses can focus and allocate funds to. TikTok’s demographics range from young teens to young adults allowing brands to expose a broad range of consumers to their advertisements. The quick 60-second interactive video allows for the consumers to feel connected to the brand through hashtag challenges or dueting a video. The strategies of marketing focus on gaining loyalty, trust relationships, and consumer engagement. TikTok’s use of the growing hashtag challenge will continue to rise as one of the most successful marketing strategies, as it allows for the development of consumer engagement with a specific brand.
The hashtag challenge continues to become one of the most utilized features of TikTok that many brands continue to promote such as Maybelline with their iconic saying “Maybe it’s Maybelline” (TikTok).
Tiktok is the perfect example of self-marketing. It allows consumers in three simple steps to market themselves by:
1. Downloading the app
2. Creating an account
3. Posting Content.
This content can be used as a means to promote their self-image, build a reputation, gain confidence, and most importantly brand themselves. One of the most influential self marketers on TikTok, that has successfully branded themselves as a Tik Tok icon is Charli D’Amelio. She is a 16-year-old girl that has promoted herself through dancing videos, challenges, and self-created content to become one of the most-followed people with over 109 million followers. Through her successful self-marketing, she has also been able to grow and gain opportunities with many different brands such as a collaboration with Dunkin Donuts.
Due to the shift of marketing, brands have had to alter the way in which they market their products/services to consumers. In order to act to fulfill these demands, more money is being used to endorse celebrities/influencers that will later bring an influx of money to their company. This money is being utilized to pay public figures, such as Charli D’Amelio with large amounts of followers to promote and advocate for a given product such as Dunkin Donuts. This marketing strategy has been utilized all over TikTok by many different collaborations with brands and celebrities. The main collaboration I have witnessed is between Dunkin Donuts and influencer Charli D’Amelio, where she now has her own drink “The Charli.”
The collaboration between influencer Charli D’Amelio and Dunkin Donuts is one of the prime examples of how TikTok can foster successful marketing opportunities. The app utilizes brand advertisement, self-marketing, and celebrity endorsements to ultimately create a platform that has the most entertaining, yet resourceful interactive video platform.
TikTok has acknowledged its importance as an app that promotes interactive videos, as they now offer opportunities for big or small businesses to help create advertisements. Through hashtag challenges, traditional advertising, or celebrity endorsements the effects of each 60-second video are substantial. The next time you aimlessly scroll through your feed on TikTok, take a minute to recognize all of the different types of marketing you have been exposed to. Recognizing the power of both social media and consumer behavior is essential to understanding the rise of marketing as a tool for businesses but also self-awareness.
Adrianna Gallina and HC Brooklyn are not affiliated with Tik Tok