The Rise of TikTok and Its Influence on Marketing
TikTok is a rapidly growing social media platform that is changing how brands market themselves. The app allows users to create and share short videos, often set to music. TikTok has developed a reputation for viral trends, memes, and challenges that capture cultural moments. Brands are taking notice and finding creative ways to tap into these trends in their marketing campaigns.
For example, the charitable organization Movember recently ran a TikTok campaign tied to the “Roman Empire” meme trend. The campaign resonated with TikTok users and amplified Movember's message. However, some experts warn that brands can appear inauthentic or alienate audiences if they chase trends too aggressively without substance behind the messaging.
As TikTok continues to shape youth culture and drive Internet trends, marketers must walk a fine line between capitalizing on viral moments and prioritizing creative ideas over algorithms. Brands that lead cultural conversations in an authentic way can find success on the platform. But empty trend-jacking risks credibility.
Product Placement Expanding into Streaming Content
As digital streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu reshape how audiences consume content, brands are exploring creative integrations through product placements. For example, the beer brand Coors Light made several appearances throughout the hit show Yellowstone. This type of branding can work well when the product aligns naturally with the show’s themes and settings.
Subtle product placements allow brands to get in front of targeted audiences who otherwise avoid traditional advertising. However, forced or incongruous placements risk alienating viewers. As streaming becomes more dominant, marketers will continue experimenting with this embedded advertising strategy. But authenticity remains key.
Messaging Shifts Towards Promotions and Deals
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic challenges have left consumers more budget-conscious. As a result, branding message strategies have evolved from tugs-at-your-heartstrings stories towards savings-focused appeals and promotions.
Around major shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, expect to see even more discounted offers as brands compete for wallet share in discretionary spending categories. The affordability messaging that ramped up during the pandemic will likely continue well into 2024.
Diversifying Media Channels Beyond Google and Facebook
While Google and Meta (formerly Facebook) advertising still make up the bulk of digital media budgets, diversification into emerging platforms allows brands to mitigate over-reliance. Spotify, podcasts, TikTok and other channels expand reach to different audiences.
Diversification also reduces dependence on the ever-changing algorithms of the tech giants. As privacy restrictions tighten on platforms like iOS, flexible distribution becomes even more important. Expect to see brands continue spreading across both traditional and emerging media as they chase consumer attention.
Ethics and Values Increasingly Drive Purchase Decisions
Younger generations of shoppers factor ethics into buying choices more consciously. In a recent survey, 62% of consumers said they make purchase decisions based on personal values and social responsibility. Claims of sustainability without proof risk allegations of “greenwashing” that damage brand image.
Rather than promote ethics claims externally to start, brands instead focus progress internally first. Consumers detect empty messaging on paid ads but respond better to owned and earned communication channels where advocacy is genuine. As consumers prioritize ethics and demand accountability, purpose-driven branding earns trust while empty promotions backfire
Instagram Struggles to Maintain Relevance
Among Younger Users
Instagram constantly experiments with mimicking competitors rather than sticking to its strengths or listening to user feedback. The app recently removed public like counts which further decreased authentic engagement. Along with algorithm changes deprioritizing organic content, many users feel Instagram has become less relatable.
In this identity crisis, brands look to diversify spend away from Instagram into platforms like TikTok where community-building thrives. While still an essential channel for most, Instagram must recapture relevance among its core Gen Z base to remain a marketing staple. Otherwise, brands will continue shifting strategies to where creativity sparks connection not algorithms.
Category Stretching Expands Brand Potential
As modern brands explore new territory beyond current categories, they open opportunities among wider audiences. For example, the distillery Archie Rose recently expanded into adjacent categories like hand sanitizers, cocktail mixers, and immersive consumer experiences.
This “category stretching” transfers existing brand equity to establish credibility in new spaces. Rather than remain restricted to a narrow definition, smart brands identify complementary areas where their purpose and identity seamlessly translate. Expanded relevance then builds awareness and loyalty across broader demographics.
The Rise of Advertising Meets Entertainment
Sophisticated long-form video campaigns grab attention by entertaining rather than interrupting audiences. Brands like MODIBODI have found success on TikTok with serialized branded content delivering drama and suspense. These “advertainment” creative campaigns integrate brands meaningfully into the storytelling rather than tacking logos onto disjointed messages.
When done well, advertainment provides value through enjoyment and connection. But consumer detectors still differentiate paid messaging even inside entertainment. As creators diversify revenue with branded collaborations, advertainment continues growing. But resonance still depends most on authenticity not budget.
Brands Bring More Creative Control In-House
Traditional ad agencies must divide focus across an array of clients in multiple sectors. This variety prevents specialized teams dedicated to individual brands. Meanwhile, brands who handle creative and strategy functions internally centralize control and streamline processes.
Digital disruptors like Airbnb and Liquid Death accelerate campaign development through in-house teams fixated only on their narrative and aesthetics. The efficiency and flexibility of internal creative command offsets the breadth of external agencies. As content velocity increases, customized creative engines inline with brand identity gain advantage.
Innovation Expands Experiential Marketing
Cutting-edge advances in areas like artificial intelligence (AI), computer-generated imagery (CGI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) transform branding possibilities. Conversational AI like ChatGPT demonstrates how personalized dialogues at scale engage audiences. Meanwhile, expanding VR accessibility opens new avenues for digitized events.
While still early stage, experiential technology innovation empowers marketers if applied judiciously. Yet often the slickest tech lacks the nuance and substance of organic engagement. As with all media, flashy functionality alone does not meaningful relationships build. But equipped purposefully, bleeding-edge marketing tech expands what is achievable.
The Voice of Social Influencers Matures Beyond Millennials
The demographic stereotypes of influencer marketing shift as creators diversify. Travel and lifestyle influencers still thrive. However, a wider variety now emerge like motherhood experts, healthcare professionals, and outdoors enthusiasts of all ages. The same authentic advocacy converts across any niche.
Even within mature spaces like fashion and beauty, 20-something Instagram models no longer dominate. Nanfluencers, dadfluencers and granfluencers share lived wisdom that younger voices cannot replicate. Values resonate more than age. Still, only a fraction of creators earn sustainable income. So brands evaluating influencer partnerships must calibrate expectations.
Audio Branding Triggers Emotional Connections
In the visually crowded digital landscape, distinct songs permeate clutter by sticking in consumer memory through sound. For example, the Intel jingle gained cultural traction by essentially becoming the brand’s audio logo. When paired strategically to reinforce visual identity, sonic themes trigger instant recognition and familiarity.
Brands like McDonald’s and Netflix also demonstrate the awareness and sentiment value of audio identities. The next frontier of sensory marketing, audio logos build mental availability with the catchiness of pop music earworms. When unified across platforms, even 5-10 seconds sonic tags make meaningful imprint.
The Future Brandscape Demands Flexibility and Conviction
Rather than rely on the same social media stars, 2024 requires marketers to diversify and test emerging platforms. Creative stagnation also demands more authenticity-led ideas over chasing algorithms. And values-based decision making elevates brands committed to purposes over promotions.
As trends accelerate faster each year, agility matters most in riding waves while gaining first-mover advantage. Brands rooted in genuine conviction rather than momentary distraction sustain connection across channels and generations. By balancing continuity with flexibility, marketers surf Choppy waters ahead poised to harness cultural currents as they flow.
What Are Dadfluencers and Granfluencers?
Dadfluencers: Authentic Parenting Voices Resonating on Social
While mothers still take on more domestic responsibilities, fathers have gradually increased involvement in family life over recent decades. However, the isolation and stress of pandemic parenting accelerated this trend significantly. Fathers turned to social media outlets like TikTok for humor, advice and simple connection.
As funny and sincere videos of paternal experiences resonated during quarantines, everyday dads accumulated mass followings literally overnight. Brands took notice given the trust these “dadfluencers” earned around parenting-related purchases. Marketers now recognize fathers as an influential demographic rather than secondary caregivers.
Relatability fuels dadfluencers’ appeal. By rejecting bumbling stereotypes of paternal ineptitude, they honestly showcase realistic foibles encountered by any caring co-parent. This vulnerability gives other dads permission to lower unrealistic expectations of themselves. Brand deals naturally emerge from alignments around family products. But transparency remains foundational to credibility.
Dadfluencers also foster rare community support absent within traditional male circles. After isolation exacerbated by lockdowns, candid conversations create bonds strengthening mental health. The diversity expanding across social dads normalizes stay-at-home roles traditionally stigmatized. These voices lift others from silence into solidarity.
Granfluencers: Redefining Aging Stereotypes
Like dadfluencers, “granfluencers” shatter generational assumptions by amassing youthful social media audiences. These grandmother ambassadors drive home the point that personal style and substance persist regardless of age.
By leading with bold authenticity, granfluencers reveal the flaws in caricatures dismissive of senior style and relevance. Their Instagram vibrancy and TikTok dynamism model aging stereotype defiance. Like younger influencers, they earn brand sponsorships from retailers recognizing their sway. But connections grounded in realness distinguish genuine granfluencers from opportunists simply chasing algorithm fame.
Both dadfluencers and granfluencers share backstories of isolation. Social platforms first gave them creative outlets to combat loneliness. Popularity accumulated unexpectedly only after essentially live-blogging parenthood or retirement. This confirms how transparency first builds community before commercialization. Across ages and stages, people follow people not products. Identity drives advocacy deeper than any tagline.
The overarching themes across all domains suggest substance triumphs over superficiality. From social to spatial experiences, personalization and purpose beat polish and platforms. Budgets surely enable ideas but empty extravagance alone earns no investment.
The brands who will build bonds beyond transactions ground stories in truths that transcend trends. Marketing innovation continues accelerating. But only principles persist through passing fads. So as the virtual expands reality, human pillars grow ever more crucial as anchors of authenticity. For no matter what waves sweep markets, people ultimately yearn to see themselves in brands before believing their promises. Identity begets advocacy; the rest just follows.
Which type of influence appeals to you?
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