Threatening brands’ social strategies
For Kinetic Marketing & Creative, an agency based in Billings, Montana, the TikTok ban is already presenting a significant disruption to many of the agency’s clients. As the agency works to map out its clients’ social strategies in advance for 2024, the statewide ban on TikTok has introduced uncertainty into that process for several of Kinetic’s Montana-based clients who rely on the platform to connect with younger consumers, said Dana Pulis, the agency’s owner and principal.
“We’re already seeing impacts from the ban, because we set our clients’ strategies and plans [for 2023] back in October or November,” she said. “We’ve been thinking about how this will affect our clients’ businesses and their business models—which in some cases are very heavily reliant on TikTok, because it’s the main marketing channel for them. They have influencers on TikTok that they’re working with, and sometimes TikTok is the only place that those influencers do work with brands.”
Ultimately, the ban has left Kinetic and its clients in a state of limbo as they await the outcome of the legal challenges both TikTok and the group of five creators have mounted against the Montana government, Pulis said. But if the ban does in fact survive the legal battle and take effect in January, several of the agency’s clients won’t simply be able to replace TikTok’s role in their social strategies with alternate platforms such as Instagram, she said.
For a handful of Kinetic’s clients—particularly those seeking to reach members of Gen Z, younger millennials, or Gen Alpha—TikTok is a crucial platform in these brands’ efforts to reach that consumer demographic, Pulis added. Over 1.4 billion people used TikTok in each month of 2022, and over 77% of those people were younger than 35 according to Business of Apps. “Thanks to its highly effective algorithm, TikTok is such a strong discovery tool—far beyond what its competitors offer,” said Permele Doyle, president and founder of influencer marketing agency Billion Dollar Boy, in an email. “And that helps consumers find inspirational, aspirational and educational content more easily, while also allowing brands and creators to reach larger audiences and grow their following faster.”