Youth marketing
min read

TikTok Shop, creative content, and engaging Gen Z: Q&A with Vic Banham, Antler Social

Written by
Izzy Hall
Published on
March 27, 2024
Last updated
March 27, 2024

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With not long to go until Pion's thirteenth YMS LDN event, we can’t wait to return to London with fresh insights, the latest Gen Z trends, and a whole host of exciting new speakers. And, on that note, we thought it was high time we caught up with one of them.

In this blog post, we catch up with YMS speaker Vic Banham, CEO and Director at TikTok agency, Antler Social.  Vic has been in the TikTok world for 10 years (including 5 years as an influencer on, which then became the platform as we now know it!).  Vic continued to work in the TikTok world before founding Antler in 2021. 

Q&A with Vic Banham

Tell us a little bit about yourself and Antler Social?

Antler Social is an award-winning TikTok agency that champions the world of short-form content. We’ve generated hundreds of millions of views across tens of thousands of videos for clients that span across various verticals, focussing on all types of goals; from brand awareness to conversion. 

The goal of Antler has always been and will always be to generate real, impactful results for our clients. 

What’s the biggest talking point around marketing on TikTok right now?

The rise of TikTok Shop. TikTok Shop has made it possible for E-Com brands to excel, not only benefitting from discoverability on the platform but also from the impulse purchase nature of the users. When products go viral, people now can purchase without even leaving the app, so the UX is immaculate. 

It’ll be interesting to see how the shoppable nature of the platform evolves into more premium products, if at all, to make it a more effective revenue stream for brands with products that live outside of the $20 zone. 

Why do you think short-form content has proved so powerful to engage younger audiences?

The youth of today want things fast and easy. If they can learn a new skill, find a new product, or be entertained in less than 30 seconds, they’re engaged. The world of long-form content no longer does the trick to capture their attention. Users watch between 10-15 videos a minute on TikTok, which is 90-135 TikToks per hour or 2,160-3,240 TikToks a day. 

The amount of content an individual can consume in a short space of time - and therefore the amount of information, happiness, or inspiration - is enormous. 

Comparatively; the average minutes spent on YouTube a day per user is 45 minutes. If the average YouTube video is 11 minutes, that’s 4 videos consumed per day per user.  

How much influence do you think TikTok has when it comes to fuelling trends?

An unprecedented amount. People hate FOMO, so being involved in or simply knowing about trending moments on the platform is the difference between being ‘in the know’ and feeling like an outcast. 

There was a time when the music charts, for example, were filled with global superstars that were backed by the biggest record labels in the world. Now, the charts are filled with music that’s trending on TikTok, such as music from artists like Maneskin, Olivia Rodrigo, and Bella Poarch. 

Some people see getting involved in trends as ‘copying’, however, this is far from the case. The community is built off of trends, so by not getting involved is a ginormous missed opportunity for reach, connecting with your audience, and cultural relevance. 

How does the news about music rights on TikTok change things for marketers?

Truthfully, it doesn’t. TikTok has strict rules about marketers using copyrighted music for content, so the music rights issue should barely make an impact. Sounds come and go all the time and, unlike YouTube, you don’t get penalised for using ‘incorrect’ sounds. The most that happens is your video is muted and you have the option to upload a new sound that’s safe. 

When selecting music in the app, you can select ‘commercially friendly sounds’, which totally eliminates any worry of having the sound taken down. 

As TikTok is gaining momentum as a search engine competing with Google, how do you think this will develop?

When TikTok first launched, it was exclusively used as an entertainment app. Now,1 in 10 Gen Z users say they rely on it more than Google. This change in usage has happened over 6 years, so I can only imagine how the space will continue to evolve in the coming years. 

Google has now implemented a TikTok video plugin for relevant searches (if you can’t beat them, join them!) and I feel that it’s only a matter of time before more platforms follow suit, such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. 

Now that ads are turning up for relevant search terms, it makes the ad space on TikTok significantly higher value for marketers, so this will be the next area for TikTok to evolve to continue to make their platform the most attractive for marketers. 

What brand do you think is doing a great job of creating content on TikTok right now?

Glow With It. It’s a small brand that sells lash growth serum and their growth has been exponential given the size of their budget and business. They create simple review-style content, using the reply to comment as a video feature which has helped them sell a month's worth of product in 24 hours. They grew their team to 9 people off the back of their TikTok Shop sales and are releasing 15 new products in 2024. 

Their content is relatively simple - it’s not creatively overpowering, but it’s spot on for the beauty space. A face-to-camera setup with perfect lighting, clearly filmed on a phone to mimic UGC shows enviable results from using their lash serum. 

Any predictions on what’s coming next on social? How should brands prepare for Gen Alpha?

It’s impossible to predict what’s coming next. Everyone thought that social media was completed when we had Snap, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, and along came TikTok. Clubhouse tried to enter the space with podcast-style content and BeReal made a splash with the ‘right here, right now’ content, but neither were long-lasting.

I believe that the world is getting more immersive, faster, and easier, so Gen Alpha will be looking for a platform that satisfies those needs, whether that’s a new feature from a platform that already exists or a new social media channel as a whole. 

You’ll be joining our Social Media Track for a keynote on Staying Ahead of the TikTok game, what can our audience expect?

I’ll be sharing all our trade secrets on how to tackle TikTok to beat your competitors, covering everything from how to break down your strategy to SEO tips to reach the audience. My aim is to make sure you leave the talk feeling like you have all the tools you need to be able to go away and smash your TikTok strategy with no fear!

Quick-fire Round: The questions we ask everyone

Biggest Gen Z myth?

That they’re ‘too young’ to target. People still view Gen Z as children, when actually they're between 12 and 27, so the older end of the Gen Z spectrum are perfect to target. The earlier you connect with people, the more likely they’ll be connected to your brand in the long term.

What do you most admire about Gen Z?

Their adaptability. Gen Z’s sense of humour, ability to mould themselves to different moments and create worldwide cultural occasions are super impressive. I love how they have total control over the future of TikTok. 

What’s your favorite app (apart from TikTok) at the moment?

Sadly, LinkedIn. It’s an amazing source for inspiration and industry-wide updates. Outside of work, I’d have to say X. I’m on it constantly, it’s the perfect TOV for me and my humour. 

What are you most looking forward to at YMS?

Meeting people! I love networking and can’t wait to meet such a wide range of people at the event. 

Like what you’ve read? Join Vic, plus many more, at YMS LDN in June. Secure your tickets now. 

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