Is TikTok Going Head to Head With Instagram on Influencer Marketing? 
Wed, April 21, 2021

Is TikTok Going Head to Head With Instagram on Influencer Marketing? 

With the changing times, a new social media platform might also get in on the influencer marketing model, and that platform is TikTok / Photo by: XanderSt via Shutterstock

 

Influencers have been reaping the benefits of influencer marketing ever since Instagram became the holy grail of social commerce. With the changing times, though, a new social media platform might also get in on the influencer marketing model, and that platform is TikTok. 

 

TikTok on Influencer Marketing

Instagram may have been enjoying catching all the attention from brands that want to get in on influencer marketing, but it’s important to note that social media keeps moving and evolving and what’s not trendy today can be trendy tomorrow, or vice versa. The same can be said about social media platforms that have different things to offer. 

This is not to say that Instagram will be completely unseated from its place as the top influencer marketing platform, but TikTok’s rapport with younger audiences—and potential consumers—is making it one of the hottest platforms today that is seen to take up the task of pushing influencer marketing. 

So why is TikTok being eyed as a new platform to potentially market products on? According to EConsultancy, a website offering articles for digital marketing and e-commerce professionals, TikTok is getting really attractive as a platform for marketers because of the 16- to-24-year-old demographic that it easily reaches. But to be able to really connect and sell them something, brands will need to get in touch with their inner authenticity. 

By and large, users on almost every platform these days are gravitating more toward authenticity—

these people do not like being lied to, especially those who are on TikTok. 

Explains Kat Lapelosa, a creative strategy supervisor at Praytell: “Exaggeration, eccentricity, and self-deprecation are qualities embraced by the TikTok community. Content, which feels forced or pandering, runs a high risk of getting negative reactions.” 

Nevertheless, this challenge for authenticity still hasn’t stopped some brands from venturing out into the unknown. In a corresponding report by Business Today, an India-based fortnightly business magazine, Honey Singh, CEO of #ARM Worldwide, says that brands are partnering with content creators on the platform just from simple hashtag challenges, a popular content on the platform. 

This much can be observed from YouTube personality David Dobrik’s ad with Chipotle on TikTok, which did not involve any brand-specific messages, only an addicting challenge. And it worked.

Disturbing and Disrupting 

Just looking at the way the TikTok audience has grown exponentially in the past few years, it’s unsurprising that Mobile Marketer would call them a disruptor. Looking at the data, TikTok audiences have been recorded to grow from 100 million to 130 million in just three months. Downloads of the app increased 20% in the US in that three-month period and it even managed to surpass YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook as the most downloaded app in the Apple App Store and Google Play during that time. 

From just starting off as Musical.ly, a largely musical app, TikTok has evolved even as most of its content is still more music-related. Its niche content seems to be growing too, thanks to the diverse audience that is attracted to it. 

According to Influencer Marketing Factory CEO Alessandro Bogliari, the environment of the platform helps with pushing these niche contents as well. “You can be weird, you can be whoever you want, and the community will accept you for who you are.” 

He also says this about the platform’s content: “Even if they make no sense for the older generation, they make sense for Gen Z.” 

But is the app a disruptor in the world of influencer marketing? That is still up for debate, although some brands have ingeniously made use of the app’s own eccentricities. According to Business Today, a collaboration of TikTok and entry-level mobile phone brand TRANSSION Holdings made use of the notorious ways in which “challenges” easily get picked up and shared by users, encouraging users to make content for a song composed for their product, “itel.” 

In no time at all, they got participants. 

TikTok still has a bunch of things to improve on, though, and since it’s almost always in the spotlight, it has been in controversies during its years of success. According to EConsultancy, a BBC investigation revealed that some users on TikTok would extort money from younger users “in exchange for phone numbers of shout-outs on the app.”

TikTok also has a poor way of handling ad content. 

“Another issue on TikTok is regulation or the apparent lack of it. Despite the fact that the same FTC regulations (which state that content should be labeled #ad if it has been paid for) apply on other social media platforms, both brands and creators are less stringent [on Tiktok] than on Instagram.” 

There are obviously so many details to iron out to get the right results, and without a revenue-sharing model, these problems will probably continue, but there is hope still. Now, whether or not more social media should be monetized is a to-each-their-own matter. Some say they will be more annoyed if TikTok gets monetized, but some are more resigned in that they understand that this is probably how it was going down in the future anyway.

However this turns out, it looks like TitTok is here to stay.

TikTok still has a bunch of things to improve on, though, and since it’s almost always in the spotlight, it has been in controversies during its years of success / Photo by: XanderSt via Shutterstock