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How TikTok Changed the Marketing Landscape

How TikTok Changed the Marketing Landscape

As internet speeds get faster and internet user attention spans lower, video platforms like TikTok have exploded onto the scene and taken over the throne as the new king of social media. 

TikTok gives users one to three minutes to make a video about well.. anything. Want to see someone pull hidden treasures out of a lake, magnet fishing in the Ozarks? TikTok has it. Interested in watching a baking tutorial? #Baking has over 12.9 BILLION views and counting. Are you a fan of basketball and want to watch highlights from your favorite team? Find it on TikTok.

While reading status updates from your friends and seeing pictures from last weekend’s party is all good and well, social media users are making it clear that the entertainment they’re seeking is coming in the form of short, easily consumable videos. So how and when did TikTok blow up and how did we get here?

TikTok’s Beginning

TikTok was created in 2016 in China under the name Douyin before being released to the international market and officially rebranding as TikTok in 2017. TikTok then purchased Musical.ly in November of 2017, which at the time was mostly a place for users to share dance and lip-syncing videos of popular songs. Over a year later in February 2019, TikTok reached more than 1 billion global downloads. By this point, the content started to shift and become more reminiscent of the popular video platform Vine (RIP Vine). 



Skits, short daily vlogs, news, sports, food, fashion, and well.. pretty much anything you can think of reached the platform. Celebrities and athletes started flocking to TikTok as well, and users with the most popular videos were reaching millions of followers. 

We know what you’re thinking.. ‘okay, so what?’ Well, it’s pretty amazing. Some of these videos can reach tens, if not hundreds of millions of views. For example, a 14 second video of a living room someone made for their three wiener dogs has 14.3 million views and 1.2 million likes. Yes, you read that right. 

The popularity didn’t go unnoticed. The TikTok of today has made such an impact on our culture and the way we use the internet that other popular social media platforms are mimicking their services. Facebook (and also Instagram, which Facebook owns) released their own version called “Reels.” Youtube released “Clips,” which is essentially the same thing with a different name. Ironically, most videos posted to Reels and Clips are TikToks that are recycled onto those platforms. 

The Impact on Marketing

When it became obvious that TikTok was here to stay and the “celebrities” it created were enjoying real celebrity status off of the app, it didn’t take long for brands to realize the potential and use it to their advantage. Not only were brands creating their own content, but the content was geared specifically for TikTok - the trends, memes, and celebrities were enlisted to create viral marketing campaigns. 

One of the most memorable viral TikToks is Nathan Apodaca, aka DoggFace, longboarding and lip-syncing to Dreams by Fleetwood Mac while sipping on a bottle of Ocean Spray cranberry juice.
@420doggface208

♬ Dreams (2004 Remaster) - Fleetwood Mac

The video went on to reach over 15 BILLION total media impressions across all platforms. The result? Remakes from the likes of Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, the CEO of Ocean Spray and dozens of other high-profile celebrities, hundreds of thousands of dollars in brand deals for DoggFace, and record breaking sales for Ocean Spray. Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, released in 1977, suddenly shot up to number 10 on the Billboard top streaming charts. The brand, the creator, the band, the viewers, and of course, TikTok, all benefited from this single video. 

So, what does this all mean?

A Winning Strategy

Right now if you scroll through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even LinkedIn, you’ll probably see a handful of videos and short clips along the way. While some are for pure entertainment, others serve a purpose - to educate, to promote, to sell, etc. If done correctly, you won’t be able to tell the difference. Creating content doesn’t have to be dry and strictly informational. It can (and should) be fun for those watching. This can translate to views on your social media pages, thus bringing your whole marketing strategy together. 

There’s a lot of potential out there - the brands that take advantage of it often end up on top. And, the view’s nice from the top. Not only video marketing, but all marketing requires attentiveness to what’s popular, creative ideas, timeliness, and a strategy that works. Need assistance with your next project? Our digital marketing and design teams would be happy to help.