The TikTok Ban: Amazing Social Media Marketing Opportunity? | Balmer Agency

The TikTok Ban: Amazing Social Media Marketing Opportunity?

Social Media marketing TikTok ban infront of the Capitol building USA

TikTok (owned by Bytedance) currently stands as a colossal platform in a social media marketing strategy, with a staggering 1.5 billion monthly active users globally [1] craving short videos and brand building in its raw form.

However in TikTok news, by the passage of the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act by the U.S. House of Representatives, the US will legally have in less than 9 months, a TikTok ban go through. The law requires ByteDance to sell the platform to avoid data security and data privacy laws, which they have stated explicitly they will not do due to it’s small revenue effect and US numbers. But why is TikTok being banned, and what does the US ban mean for social media marketers and social media user?

Marketers particularly value TikTok for its ability to inspire trends and influence consumer behaviour. Recent public opinion data reveals that 92% of TikTok users report feeling positive emotions that lead to off-platform actions after viewing content, indicating the platform’s powerful impact on user engagement [4]. Furthermore, TikTok has become a hub for trusted creator reviews, with 72% of users seeking advice from their favourite influencers, surpassing other platforms in this regard [4].

The TikTok ban through Bytedance (and the Chinese government’s involvement) will shift everything in social media use for Western users. India banning the app in 2020 should be used as a precedent for how creators and brands will shift instantly.

So as video feeds change from the TikTok ban, paid social moves to other platforms and niche communities look for a new home, we break down what the next steps will look like in your day-to-day use and your social media marketing future.

Social Media Marketing Challenges Post TikTok Ban

Reassessing Influencer Strategies

  1. Changes in Influencer Marketing Dynamics: The potential TikTok ban requires a strategic realignment in influencer marketing. Businesses will need to identify and collaborate with influencers across various platforms to maintain the benefits of social media marketing. This transition might affect the effectiveness of campaigns, as each platform has a distinct audience and engagement metrics [10] that are not one-for-one across all platforms.
  2. Exploring Other Platforms for Partnership: To mitigate the impact of losing TikTok, marketers should broaden their influencer partnerships across platforms like Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Snapchat. This diversification helps in tapping into different demographic segments and compensating for the lost Gen-Z focused TikTok audience [1][2].

Adapting to Changes in Consumer Engagement

  1. Understanding New Content Consumption Trends: Marketers must study how the ban will alter the digital consumption habits of younger audiences as they shift to other platforms. This understanding will guide the creation of content that resonates with these new trends and preferences [1] that may pop up on Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms previously not seen.
  2. Investment in Alternative Digital Channels: With 70% of companies considering an expansion in other digital channels like email, mobile, or video, there’s a significant push towards diversifying their presence beyond social media [3]. This should serve as a lesson in always ensuring your social commerce funnels are through multiple means.

Make Your Presence Known Everywhere Early

  1. Broadening Content Distribution: Brands are advised to enhance their presence across multiple social media platforms to avoid over-reliance on any single channel. This strategy includes investing in owned assets such as websites and blogs, which provide more control over content and audience interaction [2][11]. If the TikTok ban serves any purpose, it should be cover more ground whilst possible.
  2. Utilizing Data to Drive Decisions: Marketers should use analytics and user engagement data from existing platforms to predict and strategize for shifts in traffic and user behaviour. This data-driven approach will be crucial in reallocating resources effectively across platforms [12].

Leveraging Content Across Platforms

  1. Repurposing Content for Broader Reach: Brands and creators should consider adapting their TikTok-specific content for other platforms like YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels. This not only preserves the content’s value but also extends its reach to new audiences [13][14].
  2. Innovative Content Creation: Encouraging content creators to develop unique visual and audio styles, and to explore authoritative content formats such as podcasts and newsletters, can help in building a resilient brand presence across platforms [13].

Which Platforms Will Boom After The TikTok Ban?

Preparing for the TikTok ban, a brand and social media marketing agency alike must begin shifting their online brand awareness early. This proactive approach minimizes disruption in audience engagement and capitalizes on emerging opportunities [15].

Key Platforms to Watch

  1. Meta’s Reels and Instagram Reels: With Instagram Reels boasting over 1 billion monthly active users, its growth potential with the US ban will be huge. Marketers should consider leveraging Instagram’s established user base and extensive reach to maintain engagement levels [16], and the sibling like similarities in the structure of Instagram to TikTok.
  2. YouTube Shorts: Already a significant player, YouTube Shorts records over 3.5 billion daily views. The platform’s integration within the broader YouTube ecosystem offers a seamless user experience, making it an attractive alternative for both creators and marketers [17].
  3. Snapchat and BeReal: These hidden players offer unique features that cater to younger demographics. Snapchat continues to innovate with augmented reality, while BeReal offers a fresh take on authenticity, which could appeal to former TikTok users [19].

Social Media Marketing Traffic Consideration

  • Facebook and YouTube as Primary Alternatives: A significant majority of marketers, 80% for Facebook and 79% for YouTube, view these platforms as their top alternatives if the TikTok ban takes place. This indicates a readiness to shift substantial marketing efforts to these platforms to capture displaced users [3] ahead of the TikTok ban.
  • Utilizing Cultural Insights: Social media marketers should be aware of the creator marketing and content pillars that cement the platform for users who show up daily. This insight will guide content strategy and ensure that engagement remains high and feels native during the transition [2].

By diversifying their social media presence and preparing for potential shifts in user traffic, marketers can effectively navigate the uncertainties of a TikTok ban and continue to engage their audiences effectively amidst this legal challenge.

Rethinking Influencer Marketing

Diversifying Influencer and Brand Portfolios

  1. Widen Your Database: In response to the potential TikTok ban, brands are advised to broaden their influencer networks. This involves not only reassessing but also diversifying influencer collaborations to include personalities who are active across multiple platforms [20].
  2. Building Multi-Platform Relationships: Establishing and maintaining relationships with influencers who have a strong presence on various social media platforms is crucial moving forward. This strategy ensures continuity in engagement and brand visibility, irrespective of changes in the social media landscape which many TikTok only influencers now will fall victim to [20].
  3. Adapting to Multi-Platform Content Creation: Brands and influencers alike must be prepared to experiment with new types of content and platforms. This shift may become a new norm, where flexibility and adaptability in content strategy are key [20].

Selecting the Right Influencers and Brands

  1. Criteria for Influencer Selection: Brands should prioritize influencers who not only align with their values and vision but also share a similar audience. This alignment enhances the authenticity and impact of marketing campaigns [19].
  2. Trust and Style Compatibility: Building genuine relationships with influencers and trusting their unique styles are essential. These elements contribute significantly to creating authentic and relatable content that resonates with the target audience [19].
  3. Expanding the Influencer Base: To mitigate the risks associated with platform dependency from the TikTok ban, brands should consider expanding their ‘influencer squad’ to include a wider range of content creators from various niches and platforms [19].

Rebuilding a Brands Approach

  1. Reassessing Audience Touch Points: Social media marketers, small businesses, and content creators need to map out their available touchpoints, and focus on secondary points more than ever [1]. This TikTok ban should serve as a stark reminder to have a primary platform but never neglect repurposing social media to other available platforms including influencer engagement.
  2. Deconstruct TikTok Success: Analyse the ecommerce approach you took with TikTok against TikTok’s native features and users, and find what worked. Discovering these connections can find patterns in your content, funnel, or audience interests that you can reshape against a different platform’s system successfully [15]. Did a full-access brand building with pros and cons to users explode on TikTok? Then how can this be tailored for the style of content on Instagram after the TikTok ban?

Diversification of Your Marketing Channels

As we approach the TikTok ban, brands with a wide social media marketing strategy will flourish. Here’s a strategic breakdown to guide this transition to other apps you might not be utilising:

  1. Broaden Social Media Presence: Expand your brand’s footprint across multiple platforms such as Meta’s Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Snapchat to capture a diverse audience and mitigate risks associated with platform dependency [2].
  2. Invest in Digital Channels: With 70% of companies planning to enhance their digital presence, consider increasing investments in email marketing, mobile optimization, and video content to build a robust online ecosystem that transcends social media [3].
  3. Strengthen Owned Assets: Develop and enrich owned media like websites, blogs, and white papers. This approach not only secures your content against social media volatility but also strengthens your brand’s digital sovereignty [11].
  4. Utilize Comprehensive Analytics: Employ analytics tools to gain insights into audience behavior across different platforms. This data-driven strategy allows for tailored content that resonates with your diverse audience groups [21].
  5. Create Compelling Content: Design and schedule high-quality, visually appealing posts that are optimized for both mobile and desktop viewing. Consistency in posting schedule and content style helps maintain engagement and brand recall [21].
  6. Leverage Strategic Hashtags: Use well-researched hashtags to enhance the visibility of your posts. Focus on hashtags that are relevant and have a proven track record of increasing reach [21].
  7. Engage with Your Community: Actively interact with your audience by responding to comments and messages. This engagement not only boosts relationship building but also encourages further interaction from your followers [21].
  8. Adapt and Evolve: Stay updated with the latest social media trends and algorithm changes. Regularly tweak and optimize your strategy to align with new features and user preferences [21].
  9. Monitor and Adjust: Continuously track your performance across all platforms. Use insights from these analyses to refine your strategies and ensure they are effectively meeting your marketing objectives [19].
  10. Explore Additional Marketing Avenues: Consider integrating affiliate marketing, PPC, and SEO into your strategy. These channels can help reach new audiences and generate leads, complementing your social media efforts [22].
  11. Explore Non-native Platforms: Tiktok is not the only Chinese app with a giant audience brands can harness, with Little Red Book, WeChat and many other Chinese company giants ready for Western companies to utilise their audience and platform [23].

By adopting these strategies, brands can build a resilient marketing strategy that is well-prepared to handle shifts in the social media landscape, ensuring sustained growth and engagement regardless of which major players come or go.

For a hand-tailored strategy across Western or Eastern media, get in contact with us today to grow your brand across multiple platforms and prepare for the TikTok ban.

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