TikTok Attracts More Brands as its Audience Expands Beyond Gen Z

What’s in this article:

  • TikTok’s reach expanded even more throughout 2020 when most people increased their consumption of content on screens
  • While it still retains a Gen Z focus, TikTok’s explosive growth during the pandemic “put it on the radar” of brands beyond other target markets

When we think of TikTok marketing, we picture content designed to appeal to Gen Z. That still holds true for the most part, but as more and more people from other generations start tuning in, new opportunities are opening up for brands.

The cosmetics industry is one case in point. As we saw in Don’t Make Ads: Make Engaging Entertainment, the budget-priced makeup brand that enjoyed a significant boost in the popularity of its sponsored content among Gen Z on TikTok marketing was e.l.f.

Aiming higher in price point

TikTok is moving up in the world enough to attract premium brands in that category. The proof is that Estée Lauder just launched its own TikTok account (@esteelauder).

As Glossy noted in its report, that’s significant in terms of what it shows about “the platform’s emerging importance for the premium skin-care category.” It also says that it is meant to contribute to be part of “a larger strategy to reach new Gen-Z and millennial customers and build new communities,” as per Jon Roman, Estée Lauder SVP of consumer marketing and online.

The appeal of a young market

Usually, only the most well-heeled among Gen Z will spring for premium cosmetics. However, it still makes sense to raise brand awareness when they’re young so that when they do consider $75 an ounce worth the price for a better appearance, they will think of Estée Lauder rather than its competition. The investment in the platform is one of laying the foundation for a brand connection for the long term.

TikTok has already established itself as the platform to achieve that kind of connection. In an interview with Elma Beganovich, Cofounder and COO of Amra & Elma, influencer marketing agency, she said that “brands that want to go after Gen Z go there,” creating “a kind of gold rush” to go where the customers are.

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The pandemic boost 

TikTok’s reach expanded even more throughout 2020 when most people increased their consumption of content on screens. While it still retains a Gen Z focus, Beganovich notes that TikTok’s explosive growth during the pandemic “put it on the radar” of brands beyond other target markets.

During lockdowns, teens were home alongside their parents and so came to share the TikTok experience. After a while, “even parents started participating in the choreographed dances,” she noted, and so started tuning in to the platform.

That meant that brands could reach wider audiences than before, and even extremely conservative industries like finance and pharmaceutical were drawn to TikTok. The pandemic was a large impetus for that because many of those were designed to address misinformation on the internet.

But it’s not just the people from within the healthcare industry and “doctor influencers” that have lent their voices and experiences to TikTok. Beganovich noted that “patient influencers” have become a major force on social media, and “so the health space has grown.”

Mom’s the word

Once you’re talking health, you have one demographic that is particularly interested, and that is mothers. Thirty-somethings are making up a significant segment of TikTok viewers who are not just seeking out entertainment but also information, particularly about health.

As Morning Brew recently reported, the health messaging particularly resonates with moms in this age group, and a huge chunk of them are on TikTok. In fact, in the US, women in their thirties make up 13.8% of Tiktok’s user base as measured on Android devices, making them “the second largest group of monthly active TikTok users.”

Emily Callahan, the CMO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization associated with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, told Morning Brew that she specifically targets that demographic through the content uploaded to TikTok.

“When we look at our social platforms for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, this demographic makes up a large percentage of our followers across all platforms, so it’s not surprising that they are also taking to TikTok and showing up for brands there,” Callahan told Morning Brew.

In December 2020, ALSAC ran a paid ad campaign on the platform that featured an influencer for that age group along with “patient-centered ones” that garnered over 62 million impressions and more than a couple of million engagements, Morning Brew reported.

Other brands are also finding TikTok to be a good way to reach women in their thirties and exploring their own assumptions about generational breakdowns for targeted content. As Morning Brew reported, Aubrie Richey, VP, customer acquisition and media for TechStyle Fashion Group found out that certain forms of content may work for both someone in her upper thirties and someone in her lower twenties.

She told Morning Brew: “Creating content that is segmented and purposeful with creative tactics [can create] false assumptions about an audience, which is why we believe TikTok has been so powerful in breaking through these presumed audience barriers.”

The future of TikTok

“I think a lot more will happen,” Beganovich said in the interview. She believes it will follow the model set by other social media platforms that start with one generation and then bring in another.

In the case of Facebook, the first users were millennials who then “dragged in baby boomers.” We’ve already seen that kind of generational link play a role in parents of teens getting involved in TikTok, and she believes Gen X might join those thirty-somethings on the platform down the road.

The post TikTok Attracts More Brands as its Audience Expands Beyond Gen Z appeared first on Post Funnel.


Online enterprenuer. Lean leadership consultant.

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