Despite security concerns, marketers still bullish about TikTok

By our News Team | 2023

While some legislators want a complete ban on TikTok due to spying concerns, US marketers want to spend more on the platform.

As a potential TikTok ban looms in the United States, brands are anxious to see how any limitations will impact their marketing strategy. Despite this, many marketers remain steadfast in their investment on the app. 

The latest survey by Capterra, a software services provider, of over 300 marketers at businesses in the US that use TikTok for marketing or advertising initiatives, reveals that three in four expect to increase spending on TikTok in the next 12 months.

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This is despite the growing security and brand-safety concerns around the social media platform.

According to the research team, marketers acknowledge there are drawbacks and ambiguity surrounding TikTok, as evidenced from the following figures:

  • 60% agree that concerns over TikTok’s data privacy and national security are justified.
  • 47% agree that TikTok’s algorithm is not transparent.
  • 45% believe that TikTok spies on US users.
  • 31% rate brand safety concerns as a top challenge of using TikTok.

A national ban in the US seems unlikely

Despite these concerns and heightened scrutiny from legislative bodies, most marketers believe a national ban is unlikely:

  • 56% say it is highly or somewhat unlikely that the federal government will ban or prevent TikTok from operating in the US.
  • 52% believe it is highly or somewhat unlikely that their state or local government will ban or prevent TikTok from operating.
  • 87% believe that TikTok is a viable platform for long-term marketing strategies.

Marketers would diversify into other platforms

However, marketers do believe a national TikTok ban would undoubtedly impact business, and most say they’d diversify their digital marketing strategy if a ban was enforced:

  • 82% believe that a TikTok ban would have a moderate to significant impact on achieving their company’s social media marketing or advertising objectives.
  • 70% think their company should expand their presence in other digital media channels excluding social media (e.g., email, video, etc.) if TikTok were to be banned.
  • Facebook (80%) and YouTube (79%) are rated as the most popular social media platforms marketers say they’d use as alternate platforms.

According to Marketing Dive, a marketing news website, the Capterra survey “paints a picture of a marketing industry that is committed to TikTok, despite threats of a ban by federal and state governments, with many planning to increase spending on the platform in the next year”.

In the event of a TikTok ban, the industry consensus seems to be that Meta, YouTube and Snapchat could see spikes in revenue, Marketing Dive noted.