TikTok’s ‘robust,’ quick-tailoring content & DIY-aesthetic offers brands broad reach on shoestring budget

“One of things I enjoy myth busting is that what TikTok is in many people’s minds is a dance app for my 14-year-old daughter, when actually it is much, much more robust. That’s like saying Amazon is a book website. It has expanded so much farther and so quickly,”​ Garland Hill, head of growth business at TikTok, told attendees at BevNet Live! in New York City last month.

He explained that while there are plenty of TikTok videos of silly dances, pets or users changing their appearance with filters, it also has DIY explainer videos that cover everything from personal tax information to minor appliance repairs to personal care. It also has a wide range of usage occasions across time, geographies and other demographics. Plus, influencers (and those who are influenced) love it.

But what keeps users (and marketing messages) from getting lost in the clutter is its ability to quickly tailor robust content to consumers based on only a few seconds of engagement.

“It tailors pretty quickly and there is a robustness to the content that is hard to find anywhere else,”said Hill, who called it out as equally emotional and educational.

Making viral content on a shoestring budget

While TikTok’s reach is far, it doesn’t require as high a level of production quality or as significant a financial investment as other social media platforms – as long a messages are clear, authentic, timely and on trend.

This makes it appealing and powerful for startups with limited budgets, such as plant-based natural recovery drink The Plug Drink, which launched two years ago and has grown steadily 20-30% month over month, primarily online and thanks in large part to TikTok .


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