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TikTok Exodus Big Brands Prepared To Shift, Solo Entrepreneurs And Small Businesses On Shaky Ground


TikTok Exodus: Big Brands Prepared To Shift, Solo Entrepreneurs And Small Businesses On Shaky Ground

Large brands that have built marketing strategies around TikTok are making contingency plans in case the video-sharing platform gets banned in the United States, but smaller businesses and solo entrepreneurs could face more disruption.

As the U.S. House moves closer to banning TikTok over national security concerns, businesses that have built marketing strategies around the video-sharing platform are preparing for a potential exodus, according to an Associated Press report.

Established brands appear ready to adapt their marketing approaches. “We can always pivot. And like any technology, there will always be something new to try,” said Jeremy Lowenstein, Chief Marketing Officer at makeup brand Milani Cosmetics. Big ventures are retooling TikTok campaigns for other platforms and testing alternatives like Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.

However, smaller companies and individual creators may suffer more if TikTok disappears. “The impact will be felt across the board, but it will be much more dramatic for small and medium businesses, as well as creator-founded businesses,” said Jasmine Enberg, Principal Analyst at research firm eMarketer.

TikTok has been a powerful marketing tool, especially for reaching younger audiences. E.l.f. Beauty’s viral 2019 campaign boosted brand awareness and toymaker Cepia’s recent Decora Girlz doll launch generating over 53 million social impressions, many from TikTok.

Solo entrepreneurs like Deborah Mayer, who live-streams sales of designer goods on TikTok Shop, could lose a significant revenue stream. “It would be devastating,” said Mayer, whose TikTok sales represent an estimated 60% of her business.

While Instagram, YouTube, and other platforms offer short-video capabilities, eMarketer’s Enberg notes “you can’t really replicate the culture” that drives TikTok’s virality and purchasing behavior.

Marketers recommend diversification to reduce overreliance on any single platform. Billion Dollar Boy influencer marketing agency has urged clients to spread influencer spending across apps.

Established brands seem equipped to follow that advice, but a TikTok ban could disrupt operations and businesses built around the app’s unique culture and commerce opportunities. As the legislative process unfolds, contingency planning is prudent for companies of all sizes.

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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