The rapid ascent of TikTok in the marketing realm has companies, including global retail giant The Athlete’s Foot, exploring specialized TikTok agencies rather than diving into the platform independently.
Although it’s an active player on platforms like Instagram and Meta’s TikTok alternative, Reels, The Athlete’s Foot hasn’t yet established a branded TikTok profile. Darius Billings, the company’s VP of marketing and community engagement, shared the brand’s hesitancy, pointing out the continuous content needs of the platform. He noted, “With TikTok, you have to constantly keep content, that user-generated content as needed.”
As part of its digital makeover, The Athlete’s Foot is bolstering its e-commerce functions, allowing direct purchases from their website. A company spokesperson revealed that, post this e-commerce transition, they’ll resume their search for a dedicated TikTok agency. However, the precise timeline for these plans remains undisclosed.
Data from the online agency marketplace, StudioSpace, sheds light on a trend: brands are seeking social media expertise to handle the relentless pace and volume of TikTok content. The report suggests that there’s a growing preference for skills in content creation and social media management over user experience or traditional creative production. This shift has led to the rise of new agencies with a niche focus on TikTok advertising.
Billings emphasized the challenge of staying current, stating that if brands can’t produce relevant content internally, third-party partnerships become essential. “When it comes to social media and creating great content, you have to be on it,” he added.
While The Athlete’s Foot has been tight-lipped about its social media budget, data from Vivvix indicates they spent $32,056 on media from the start of the year through June. In contrast, their 2022 media expenditure stood at $77,019.
Despite their hesitancy with TikTok, The Athlete’s Foot boasts 260,000 followers on Instagram and engages audiences via Meta’s Reels and Threads. Through collaborations with influencers, they’ve achieved a minor TikTok footprint, albeit without an official brand page.
The Athlete’s Foot’s approach underscores a broader industry trend: as platforms like TikTok surge in popularity and complexity, brands are seeking expert guidance. The digital landscape is ever-evolving, and timely, strategic adaptations can be the key differentiator in a brand’s success.