Digital Agency | March 29, 2022

TikTok Marketing: The Pros and Cons

What once seemed like another fleeting social media phase is quickly becoming a titan in the industry. Is your organization missing a piece of the advertising puzzle by staying out of TikTok marketing? 

With 656 million downloads globally, TikTok was, unquestionably, the most downloaded app in 2021. That’s over 100 million more than the first runner-up, Instagram. And as of January of 2022, it is officially the 6th most used app in the world, butting heads with the likes of WhatsApp, YouTube, and Facebook.  

But while TikTok’s popularity may be undeniable, the efficacy of marketing on the platform is still up for debate among business owners of all shapes and sizes.  

Let us help settle things for you. From the EMPIST digital team, these are the pros and cons of TikTok marketing. 

About TikTok 

For the uninitiated, TikTok is a video-based mobile application that functions primarily by letting users create, share, and interact with in-app edited content. While the edits have gotten more advanced over the years (now including filters, voice alterations, animations, and more) the original premise centered on sharing and adapting sounds.  

These sounds can be songs, clips from movies, or even original sounds from creators. Users take these sounds and add their own spin – kind of like an aural meme.  

Most TikToks are under a minute long, but the app has announced plans to allow users to record content up to 10 minutes in length. The scroll-ability of these short clips makes the app incredibly engaging, perfecting upon the functionality of video-sharing forerunners like Vine (RIP).  

Launched in 2017, TikTok acquired the popular sound-sharing app in August of 2018 and, subsequently, many of’s young users. After blowing up globally around the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the average age of TikTok’s user base now hovers around 16-24, but its audience continues to grow in all demographics each and every day.  

TikTok’s Marketing Capabilities, Explained 

Like any social platform, marketing your business on TikTok can be complicated. From organic reach to paid advertising, TikTok marketing has opened up a whole market for organizations to explore. A market with new rules, forward-thinking capabilities, and some serious expectations for your content.  

The first place to start is, as you might expect, by creating a branded account. This account can – and should – link to your other social profiles. From there, participating in trends, getting creative with content, partnering with like-minded TikTokers, and interacting within the app itself is the best way to start growing your reach.  

Additionally, TikTok marketing can also come in the form of paid ads. There are a lot of options when it comes to running ads on the app, but the long and short of it all is this; To start running TikTok ads, your brand first must transfer your account to a business account. Then, much like with other paid social, your team can use the ads manager to create and run in-feed video ads that appear on the users’ for your page (kind of like a home page, if you will). TikTok allows runs what they call spark ads, which allow you to boost top-performing organic content from your page, and static ads that appear on TikTok affiliated sites.  

To Tok or Not to Tok 

So, what should business owners do? Is TikTok marketing worth it? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons: 


  • Audience Reach: TikTok is growing incredibly fast. So fast, in fact, that it’s the first app not owned by Meta (née Facebook) to hit 3 billion downloads. For marketers, this means one thing and one thing only: audience. In terms of size alone, that’s an incredible opportunity to get your business’s name out there. Now whether or not that audience is right for you may be up for debate, but there’s no denying that TikTok has serious reach for your team to capitalize on.  
  • Creative Content: In addition to size, TikTok also brings some serious content chops to the table. The combined audio sharing and video editing capabilities – as well as an influx of incredibly talented creators – have transformed TikTok from ‘just some dancing app’ into the multifaceted and entertaining app it is today. TikTok marketing, therefore, provides your brand the space it needs to experiment with form, function, and feel in a less concrete way than, say, hiring a videographer or production team.  
  • Virality: TikTok marketing isn’t an exact science – but when it works, it really works. TikTok’s algorithm lends itself well to a certain virality that could benefit the rest of your team’s promotional capabilities.  
  • Partnership Opportunities: Inherently collaborative, TikTok marketing also provides a unique opportunity for your brand to interact with clients, users, supporters, and reviewers. We know from experience that real, honest engagement is the best way to build relationships and partnerships on social media, and TikTok offers an incredible opportunity to do just that. 
  • Diversification: TikTok is a fresh market. Whether you’re looking to diversify your audience, your content, or your reach, TikTok is a great place to experiment with your brand. See, for example, Duolingo, which has reinvigorated interest through a brand reinvention via TikTok.  


Of course, TikTok marketing isn’t all fun and games. There are some downsides to consider when signing your brand up for TikTok. They include: 

  • Time Commitment: Don’t be fooled by the briefness of their format; Making headways with TikTok content takes time and effort. While it may seem simple enough to have your current social media manager just “start making TikToks” a successful strategy will take just as much forethought, planning, and creative juice as any other.  
  • Demographics: TikTok has an impressive reach, it’s true – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has the right reach for your brand. If your team primarily markets to older folks or other specific demos, TikTok marketing might just not be the place for you.  
  • Additional Spend & Budgeting: Like any new marketing channel, TikTok marketing will likely lead to a change in your budget. Whether that comes in the form of ad spend, hiring new talent, or launching new campaigns, you should absolutely consider your bottom line before you get started. As always, tracking revenue on organic social can be a bit tricky; Know what, exactly, you’re looking for before you dive in.  
  • Data Privacy: TikTok requires that you, your employees, or your partners put their faces out there for the world to see. Is that something you’re comfortable with? What’s more, like a lot of social platforms, TikTok also participates in data mining and sharing. You need to be aware of the data privacy concerns prior to setting up your brand page.  
  • Security Concerns: Cybercriminals are on TikTok too! From phishing to data breaches, TikTok poses as much risk to your business security as any other social channel. Completing social-specific security awareness training will be crucial to creating a safe and effective TikTok page.  

EMPIST HQ is On TikTok – Are You? 

TikTok marketing is taking over and team EMPIST is all about it. Will you join us? 

Whether you’re seriously considering joining us or just looking into your options, EMPIST can help you develop a social marketing strategy that works for your day-to-day and your long-term goals. For more information about EMPIST digital solutions, visit us online here.