Though it’s nothing like Instagram, TikTok is starting to gain a certain appeal, culture, and virality that comes together to create an environment that may harbor opportunities for brands to promote themselves through influencers.
Instagram, on the other hand, has already established itself as a platform that offers a very stable space for brands and influencers to interact. Investments aren’t as risky, there’s no “yo-yo effect” in user engagement, and there’s a clear distinction between what brands can do with large influencers and those with less than 10k followers.
Meanwhile, TikTok is as wild as it gets in terms of new frontiers for influencers. Small creators with a few thousand followers can instantly go viral in a blaze of glory while larger ones have a tendency to plateau in terms of engagement.
Attention spans are short, content is video-based, and people have less than a minute to “get to the point.” On a platform like this, people like Bernath—a young TikTok star—have acquired a talent of making consistently well-watched videos.
“This is new for both of us. Brands are taking more risks with Tiktok,” he told Business Insider when explaining his career on the platform.
To monetize videos, Bernarth has a unique idea: He wants to establish a virality clause, which allows him to earn a base sum for each sponsored piece of content he publishes and “X number of dollars per million views” on top of that.
Others have thought of charging a set sum for a milestone in the number of potential followers viewing a video.
Because TikTok has no clear guidelines on how content should be monetized, it’s about as “frontier-y” as frontiers get. In contrast with other social networks, how content is monetized is simply up to what the creator and the brand can agree to.
This isn’t to say that TikTok may eclipse Instagram in the future. The latter continues to have a certain appeal that works well with brands that cater to millennials.
However, when it comes to attracting Gen Z and making fast-paced promotions on the fly, TikTok brings something new to the table that may help attract the attention of that demographic.