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Deep Dive: Will TikTok Reign Supreme in 2022?

With over a billion users and 656 million downloads in 2021, TikTok is not a platform that should be avoided. But will the platform continue to reign in 2022 – or will this be the year that the hype dies down? This was a question recently posed by Talking Influence – and one that Stephanie Stabulis, Vice President, Influencer Marketing, ITB Worldwide had plenty to say on:

“It’s interesting to think about TikTok as reigning supreme. For Gen Z, yes. But it’s a demographic play that really depends on who a brand is trying to reach. It will certainly be a key platform for brands trying to figure out a way to reach Gen Z, but that’s not every brand.  

If brands want to reach millennials, they go to Instagram. If they want to reach Baby Boomers, they’re on Facebook. If they want to reach Gen Z, it’s TikTok. And when a new platform emerges, there’s always going to be a generation that gets a stronghold and stays there. They become very separate for certain distinct reasons and, even with competitors out in full force, they differentiate from each other so never really overthrow each other.    

If a brand wants to reach Gen Z, having a TikTok presence is part of the first step in the funnel. It’s entertaining and that grabs attention, but TikTok still has its downfalls. It takes more content on TikTok to engage the consumer in the same way one piece of content can on Instagram, because you don’t get the same ability to build context and get intimate the way you can with longer-form content on platforms like Instagram or even YouTube.  

Currently TikTok requires a lot more complementary retargeting campaigns through Instagram to really work down the funnel. Of course there are instances where TikTok has excelled at getting conversion, for example, ‘TikTok sold us out’ – because they gain so much awareness. But it’s just something that happens that’s more of an anomaly – like going viral. It can’t always be forced. While some factors can be forced, others are outside marketers’ control. 

Just as Instagram has invested a lot of money, attention and focus into trying to crack that mid- to bottom-funnel, I do think it’s something we will see change and develop on TikTok as more brands figure out what that looks like and the tools or platform changes TikTok needs to better facilitate that and gain more market share by offering mid to lower funnel ability. 

The pricing on TikTok has always been its appeal. Because so many brands and talent are new to the platform and it hasn’t been through the evolution that Instagram has with influencers, the CPMs and cost to play on TikTok is still somewhat inexpensive. As it continues to evolve, maybe you’ll pay more for less but right now, you’re paying less and getting more on TikTok. If your goal is awareness and you want the best CPMs with Gen Z, TikTok is definitely the place to be.  

It’s been almost a decade of Instagram being ‘the thing’ and ultimately dethroning Facebook and then TikTok came along and has fought hard to dethrone Instagram. There’s always the chance that someone will come in and try to dethrone TikTok if they hit the nail on the head with consumer habits. But because TikTok is still fairly new, it could be closer to another decade before that happens. It’s still in its infancy, it’s still gaining its foothold, we are still at the front-mid part of the technology adaptation curve with it!” 

Some of Stephanie’s comments were included in the full Deep Dive article on Talking Influence, with additional input from Aaron King. Read more here:

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