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Everything We Know About the TikTok Ban (so far)

By: Viral Nation | 7 mins read |
everything we know about the tiktok ban so far

In 2023, TikTok hit 1.92 billion users. It’s no surprise as to why: the platform offers a low barrier to entry for new content creators, with features like in-app camera and editing tools that make it fast and easy to share your first TikTok. And it’s not just creators that tend towards TikTok naturally. Adobe recently found that the majority of Americans use TikTok as a search engine, with 1 in 10 Gen Zers relying on it even more than Google — making the social media juggernaut a powerful platform for brands to build awareness and drive their marketing goals.

So what will happen to those content creators and marketing strategies if the impending TikTok ban bill in the US is carried through? Faced with the very real likelihood of a TikTok-less future, platform diversification and content syndication are more important than ever.

 

Everything We Know About the TikTok Ban (So Far)

We’re sure you’ve heard by now that the US might ban TikTok. Here’s the context of what’s actually happening and what it all means.

On March 13th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill dubbed the “Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act”. As reported by NBC news, the bill would create a process for the President to designate social media apps that are owned or controlled by foreign adversaries as national security threats.

Connecting the dots here, TikTok was created by ByteDance, a Beijing-based technology company that currently retains ownership of the short form video app along with a number of other social media platforms, some international, some unique to China.

The nature of this bill means that if it passes into law, ByteDance would have 6 months to sell TikTok or else lose access to app stores and web-hosting services in the US. But before we get to that point, the bill has to be passed by the Senate, then make its way to the President’s desk to be signed. Biden recently said that if the Senate passed it, he would sign it. So that leaves us with the uncertain timing of the Senate. Senators are about to leave Washington for a two-week break, and have been quoted as considering the matter “urgent, but not an emergency.”

Now you’re caught up! Creators and brands should expect a ban on TikTok in the US, but not out of nowhere. It will take months to come into effect, which means now is the time to prepare. So, where do you start?

 

Enter, Platform Diversification

Platform diversification is a crucial, future-proofing measure to work into your content creation. In essence, the idea behind platform diversification is that branching out across multiple platforms will expand your reach to wider demographics and grow your audience on an awareness level. For creators and brands alike, more platforms means more online visibility. But it’s about more than that.

 

For Creators

As a creator, platform diversification builds your reach and your influence. Whether you’re creating to educate, motivate, entertain, or inspire, you want your message to reach the people who will delight in it, engage, and follow along on your journey. A multi-platform content strategy allows you to expand on that opportunity by introducing your content to new audiences who may not engage on one platform but actively use another.

You’re making it easier for people to join your community and you’re meeting them where they’re at, building the momentum of your following as you go. And where there is impactful reach and a high level of influence, partnership opportunities follow.

You’re also keeping yourself agile and adaptable. With the different analytics tools, content formats, and community ecosystems, diversifying doesn’t look like copy-pasting what you’re doing on TikTok to YouTube or Instagram reels. It looks like learning a new tool, which might sound like a pitfall rather than a benefit, until you think of all the expertise, efficiency, and platform savvy you gain from the experience.

In the long run, building that skill is going to help you pivot faster and more effectively for new features, trends, and platforms that will inevitably be introduced. So whenever the landscape shifts, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running and hold on to your momentum.

Plus, by diversifying your content to multiple platforms, you keep yourself from being overly reliant on one source not only for your engagement, influence, and reach, but for your potential for new revenue streams. Without platform diversity, you might be missing out on monetization and networking opportunities available on one platform but not another. The benefit of multiple platforms is multiple chances at ad revenue sharing, sponsored content, collaborations, partnerships, and subscriptions.

 

For Brands

If your target audience’s consumer journey happens mostly on Instagram, for example, why would you dedicate the time and resources to creating content for YouTube and TikTok? Here’s a quick round up of 5 ways platform diversification can help drive your brand’s bottom line:

  • Brand salience: Consistent visibility across platforms reinforces your brand’s message, making it more memorable and identifiable.
  • Nuanced analytics: by drawing on the data gathered from multiple platforms, you gain a more well-rounded view of who your customers are, what patterns show up in their behavior, and what they respond to. Now, you can iterate accordingly.
  • SEO and Discoverability: Diversifying across platforms can improve your SEO and raise the bar for overall discoverability. Having content across platforms increases the chances of appearing in search results and recommendations, as well as the potential to drive traffic to your site.
  • Audience touchpoints: The rule of 7 says that your audience needs to interact with you seven times before making a decision. By diversifying your content across the multiple platforms your audience engages with a given day, you’re increasing the number of touchpoints for any campaign you’re running and thereby increasing its potential for impact.
  • Resilience: Is your content strategy going to take a major hit if the TikTok bill passes into law? Rather than letting your conversion rate be dependent on the algorithm of one source, diversifying your platforms mitigates risk and future-proofs your impact.

We get it — platform diversification demands an upfront effort in terms of volume of your content creation, as well as a learning curve to mastering the analytics and algorithm of multiple platforms. But the era of social-first is fast paced and ever evolving. Brands that are not creating consistent impact and growing their reach across multiple platforms run the risk of falling behind. An omnichannel influencer marketing strategy places you in a sustainably agile position, prepared to adapt seamlessly to not only possible restrictions, but emerging features, tools, and trends.

 

Content Syndication Is Your “Work Smarter, Not Harder” Solution

You’d be surprised at how many pieces of YouTube content rack up more views in a Facebook feed than they did on their original posting platform.  Content syndication involves repurposing and redistributing your content across multiple platforms to amplify your visibility.

It also allows you to tap into the diverse advantages of multiple distribution platforms. For example, Instagram and TikTok are community hubs where creators are able to build influence and reach. But, those apps don’t offer much in the way of platform monetization. Especially when you compare them to the power of Google Adsense for YouTube, or Facebook’s automated ads. So, content syndication is the idea that what you create on TikTok can and should be redistributed to YouTube, and from there reformatted and reposted on Facebook.

If it’s that simple, why isn’t everyone doing it?

 

The Problem with Content Syndication

The idea behind content syndication is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. To do it effectively, you can’t skip the step where you recut, edit, and optimize for each platform. You have to take into account the differences in audience behavior, algorithm, and delivery.

To keep up with our example of YouTube content redistributed to Facebook, the long form video on your YouTube channel is going to need to be reformatted into a vertical frame for the audience scrolling on Facebook. On YouTube, you might invite your audience to Like, Subscribe, and Follow, but Facebook restricts this with policies around what it calls “engagement bait”. And if you want to take advantage of the automated ads of each platform, it’s important to take into account that whereas YouTube has an autoplay feature that allows ads to run from 00:00, on Facebook your ad won’t be displayed until after one minute of content has played.

The runtime, edits, music, motion graphics, and caption might all need to be tweaked. That’s a tall order for creators, and a heavy load to put on your editor’s back. One of the biggest boons Viral Nation Creator Studio is able to offer creators is taking that administrative and editorial work off your plate, so you can focus on creating while we help you optimize.

 

The Syndication Nitty Gritty

At its core, the best practices for content syndication have everything to do with an expert-level understanding of the data and analytics driving the redistribution platform. When Viral Nation works on syndicating our clients’ content, we’re not only tuned into the policies and optimization opportunities unique to each platform, we also have access to large scale first party data.

Data and analytics is so much more useful at large scale rather than at an individual level: with access to only their metrics, a single creator will have to use a lot of intuition to understand the insights from their account. Even if you’re checking out third party analytics tools to inform your content strategy, you’ll be deducing metrics. They can’t offer the same depth and scope as first party data.

On the other hand, Viral Nation’s larger data set communicates trends and patterns to the teams managing each individual account. And that in turn directs how we show up for our creator and brand clients. It’s an insight engine — with us powering your analytics and tackling the nitty gritty of meticulous optimization from a place of expertise, you’re able to diversify your content across platforms, broaden your reach, and deepen your influence.

Ultimately? We set you up to scale your growth.

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_About the author
Viral Nation

Viral Nation is a new media innovation group that powers the social ecosystem through integrated solutions that align strategy, talent, media, and technology. As pioneers in the influencer space, Viral Nation is comprised of a full-service creative agency, a creator and athlete-influencer representation agency, and a technology division creating modern marketing solutions for the social media age.