How Has TikTok Changed Marketing? 


How has TikTok changed marketing 

TikTok has revolutionised the world of marketing with its unique platform centred around short, captivating video content. As you scroll through your feed, you’re not just entertained by dance challenges and lip-sync videos; you’re also subtly being introduced to a variety of brands and products. Traditional advertising methods have taken a backseat as TikTok’s algorithm pushes brand awareness to new heights. With its massive reach and engagement rates, it’s clear that this social media powerhouse is a game-changer for video marketing and marketers looking to connect with their audience in a more authentic and creative way.

The rapid rise of TikTok has seen a shift in how companies approach their marketing strategies. Your experience with brands on the platform is vastly different from that on other social media channels. Video content on TikTok is often raw, less polished, and feels more personal, which resonates with users craving genuine connections. This approach has opened doors for smaller businesses and influencers to create viral moments, breaking the barriers of entry that bigger budgets used to set.

Understanding TikTok’s impact on marketing also means recognising the importance of adaptation and trend-savviness. As you navigate this new terrain, you’ll notice that trends on TikTok move incredibly fast, and so must marketers who wish to capitalise on them. The platform has made it essential for brands to be agile, reactive, and ready to create content that strikes a chord with users at the right moment. This dynamic environment keeps you on your toes but also offers numerous opportunities for creativity and innovation in marketing.

Evolution of Marketing in the TikTok Era

The TikTok platform has catalysed a shift in marketing tactics, prioritising engagement and algorithm-friendly content to capture the attention of a vast audience.

From Conventional to Viral: A New Approach

Traditional marketing often relied on a controlled, well-planned approach. TikTok, however, has made spontaneity and authenticity the keystones of successful marketing. Your brand’s content can harness the power of the TikTok algorithm, which favours user engagement metrics such as watch time and interaction. To leverage this, you need to understand the makeup of ‘viral’ on TikTok:

  • Quirky and relatable videos – This content resonates more with audiences, compared to polished ads.
  • Hashtag challenges – Encouraging user participation, boosting visibility.
  • In-app features – Utilising TikTok’s unique editing tools and effects can significantly increase your content’s chances of gaining traction.

Employing these elements skillfully can catapult your brand to viral status, far beyond the reach of conventional advertising methods.

TikTok Vs. Traditional Social Media Platforms

On TikTok, the algorithm plays a defining role in content distribution, unlike other platforms where followers and pre-established audiences are the main focus. Here’s a quick comparison:

FeatureTikTokTraditional Platforms
Content DiscoveryDriven by algorithm favouring viral potentialDriven by followers and network reach
Engagement RequirementsHigh; encourages active participationModerate; likes and shares suffice
AudienceYounger demographic, favouring fresh and dynamic contentBroader demographic, traditional content consumption

Advertising on TikTok means casting a net in a sea where the fish are already jumping. You’re not just presenting a brand; you’re launching a potential cultural phenomenon. Engagement here isn’t a one-way street but a bustling roundabout with your content at the centre, propelling brand influence at a speed that traditional platforms may not match.

TikTok’s Unique Algorithm and User Engagement

Two cellphones with the TikTok app

TikTok’s algorithm is a game-changer in how content reaches you, the user. Its unique design and your engagement levels work hand in hand to personalise your experience on the platform.

Understanding the ‘For You Page’

The ‘For You Page’ (FYP) is the heart of TikTok, deciding what videos you’re served. TikTok’s algorithm analyses your interaction patterns—like the videos you watch in full, the ones you skip, and your likes or comments—to tailor the FYP to your preferences. The FYP is dynamic; it continually evolves based on your ongoing interactions, ensuring the content remains fresh and relevant to your interests.

The Impact of Personalisation on Reach

Personalisation plays a pivotal role in how far a video can reach on TikTok. When you post content, the algorithm initially shows it to a small group of users. If these users interact positively with your video—through likes, shares, comments, or by watching it multiple times—TikTok deems your content engaging. In response, the algorithm boosts the video’s visibility, potentially presenting it to a broader audience on their FYPs. This approach rewards engaging content and can quickly amplify a video’s reach, regardless of your follower count.

Influencer Marketing and Brand Collaborations on TikTok

A woman using TikTok to film another woman

You’ve probably noticed how TikTok isn’t just for catchy dances and viral challenges. It’s become a hub for influencer marketing and brand collaborations that are reshaping advertising strategies.

Harnessing the Power of Influencers

On TikTok, influencers are the trendsetters your brand can’t ignore. With the ability to generate immense engagement, they provide a human touch that resonates with viewers. Collaborating with influencers lends credibility to your brand and allows for creative and personalised marketing campaigns. Here’s a snapshot of what influencers can offer:

  • High Engagement – Influencers boast impressive engagement rates, often exceeding those of traditional advertising.
  • Targeted Reach – They can connect your brand with niche communities and specific demographics to increase brand awareness.
  • Authentic Content – Their content feels genuine, making your product placements or endorsements seamlessly integrate into their usual content.

Success Stories of TikTok Collaborations

When your brand teams up with a TikTok influencer, the results can be astounding. Take, for example, a partnership where a beauty influencer showcases your new line of products. The campaign goes viral, sales skyrocket, and your brand awareness climbs. Here are key points from successful TikTok collaborations:

  • Viral Campaigns – Brands like Chipotle and Guess Jeans have seen their TikTok campaigns go viral, leading to a surge in brand visibility and patronage.
  • Brand-Influencer Alignment – Successful collaborations align the brand’s image with the influencer’s style, resulting in authentic and effective promotions.
  • Measurable Impact – Brands track the success of collaborations through increased website traffic, higher sales, and growing follower counts.

Integrating TikTok into a Holistic Marketing Strategy

As you craft your marketing strategy, incorporating TikTok can transform your approach to digital and social media marketing. TikTok’s dynamic platform demands creativity and adaptability, both of which are crucial for connecting with its vast, engaged audience.

Blending Creativity with Marketing Goals

When you inject TikTok into your marketing mix, you merge the potential of raw creativity with your concrete marketing goals. Video content is the heart of TikTok, offering a canvas for creative expression. Your marketing campaign should harness this to tell your brand’s story in a way that resonates with viewers (don’t forget to figure out what’s the best time to post on TikTok in your particular case!) to maximise visibility. For instance:

  • Audience Engagement – Use interactive features like challenges and polls to engage followers.
  • Brand Voice – Craft videos that reflect your brand’s personality, aiming for content that feels genuine and relatable.
  • Call-to-Action – Include clear calls-to-action to drive traffic to your website or product pages.

Remember, each piece of content should tie back to your overarching marketing goals, whether that’s increasing brand awareness or driving sales.

The Cross-Platform Paradigm

TikTok doesn’t exist in a vacuum — it thrives alongside other platforms. Your TikTok content can feed into a wider digital marketing strategy, forming a cohesive cross-platform narrative. Consider these points:

  • Content Sharing – Repurpose TikTok videos across other social media platforms to maximise reach.
  • Platform Synergy – Ensure your messaging is consistent across channels, while adjusting your approach to suit each platform’s audience and format.

Aligning your TikTok efforts with other social media marketing can create a seamless user experience, bolstering your brand’s presence across the digital landscape.

Challenges and Future Potentials of TikTok Marketing

Person holding a smartphone with TikTok app

In this section, we’ll explore the difficulties you may face when using TikTok for marketing and the promising opportunities that lie ahead.

Navigating the Competitive Landscape

TikTok, being one of the fastest-growing social platforms globally, presents a highly competitive environment. Your brand must stand out amidst a sea of viral content. The key challenge is creating content that resonates with TikTok’s diverse demographics while staying authentic. You’re competing not just with other brands but with every piece of content on a user’s feed.

  • User Attention – Capturing and retaining user attention within the brief span of a TikTok video.
  • Algorithm Understanding – Keeping up with algorithm changes to ensure your content reaches the intended audience.

Predictions for TikTok’s Marketing Evolution

Looking forward, TikTok is poised to redefine influencer marketing with more sophisticated tools for brands and creators. Here are some anticipated developments:

  • Content Personalisation – Advanced algorithms offering hyper-targeted content, increasing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
  • E-commerce Integration – Seamless in-app shopping experiences will likely become more prominent, leveraging TikTok’s global reach.
  • Advertising Innovation – The evolution of dynamic digital advertising on TikTok, with innovative ad formats and precise targeting capabilities.


About the author

Sarah Gladney, our Chief Creative Officer, leads with a blend of artistry and strategy, shaping unforgettable brand narratives and driving CB Marketing Ireland's creative vision to new heights.