“😫 Should I be on TikTok? Do I really have to be?”
Dearest Marketing Guru,I’ve been in the digital marketing world for what has felt like an eternity. There is so much to take on board and keep up with – my brand is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
A new intern recently joined us and keeps insisting we explore TikTok, as suggested by my agency too. I feel overwhelmed and intimidated at the thought of taking charge of yet another platform. Am I falling behind?
A ThirtySomethingMarketingGirlA marketer in need of the Guru’s help
Dear A ThirtySomethingMarketingGirl,
You know you’re getting old when your intern’s got more followers on social than you do. One day, on of my new hires told me about a social network I’d never even heard of and *bam*, there I was, feeling my age. But with age comes wisdom, my dear.
It makes sense that your intern recommended you jump on the TikTok bandwagon. That kind of bright-eyed optimism is usually only found in the young and daring…or middle-aged marketers pretending to be cool.
I say you deserve a pat on the back for taking the time to write this message and having the courage to question things. I know what it’s like to juggle multiple platforms and feel like you’ve lost control over each and every one of them.
Never hop onto a new platform until you’ve mastered the ones you’re already on. The odds are good that you should kick an old network to the curb before you invite a fresh one into your mix. Let’s call it marketing minimalism.
Ask your intern and agency this: why should we get on the TikTok train? What’s the plan here? How will it fit in with the rest of our channels? Can you explain the role of the other platforms, and how TikTok will add new value?
You know, this reminds me of a conversation I had with the head honcho of a well-known consumer brand. This was before I started my own agency. One day, I was slurping my green smoothie as the CEO strutted into my office.
He was a strange one; always trying to be cool, even though he was straight out of the last century. Most times, he would condescendingly refer to me and my team as ‘the girls’. I was still young and put up with it for far too long. But I digress.
So this guy had just come back from a retreat for leaders and, as usual, he was full of terrible advice someone had told him. “Hey, you need to be on YouTube!” some other CEO had said there. “It’s where all the cool kids are these days.”
So there I was, my boss suddenly looming in my office, preaching to me about YouTube. “Why are we not collaborating with influencers on YouTube?” he asked.
His sunglasses seemed to be permanently etched into his bronzed face, by the way. It may not seem odd now, after years of President Trump, but at the time it always looked quite comical to me.
“We’ve got campaigns running on YouTube,” I told him. “It’s our main tool for increasing awareness through reach and frequency.”
He just blinked at me.
“After the last budget slashing, we can barely reach 60% of our target market,” I added.
A few more blinks later he spoke: “What about influencers?”
I slowly put down my smoothie and cleared my throat. “We use influencers on Instagram whenever we wanna reach folks who are already interested in our products.”
I omitted mentioning that those results had been less than stellar lately – that was a battle for another day.
“Not YouTube though?” he asked, rolling the collar of his shirt between his fingers.
I shook my head. “Nope – not YouTube. You signed off on this when I presented our marketing strategy.”
He left my office after that, looking like a deflated balloon. See how a marketing strategy (with the roles of channels clearly defined) can protect you against unbridled enthusiasm from all ages?
So, A ThirtySomethingMarketingGirl, do you have a strategy? If not, that seems like a great place to start! I’ve got a template you can use to get started on that strategy. Make some time in your busy schedule, turn off your notifications, grab a pen and get to work!
Allow me to share one concluding tip, and it may come off a bit odd since I’m the gal who spends her days lounging on a yacht writing stories and this blog: when feeling overwhelmed, go back to the essence.
Don’t let the latest hype distract you from what really matters.
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Hi, I’m Angie. I was a brilliant marketing director before cashing out my stocks and retiring (very) early. Now, I answer your questions about marketing so I can feel better about myself while I relax on my yacht and pretend to write my first novel. Hey, at least I’m honest about it! Want to know more about me?