TikTok; What Is It, Who’s Using It, How To Implement It With Digital Marketing.
What Is TikTok?
Wondering what is this shiny new toy that no can seem to put down? What is it that has people in fits of laughter on public transport or on the street with their eyes glued to their phones? That’ll be TikTok for you, the latest social media craze that has won over the masses. Remember Vine and Musically? Well, the two have had a baby and it’s been named TikTok. If not; Musically was a video hosting app with content exclusive to lip synching and dance routines which was founded in 2014, while Vine was a video hosting app where people posted 6 second looping videos of anything whatsoever that got discontinued in 2016. Well, Musically was soon bought out by a Chinese tech company, Bytedance, who then improved and adapted the app and re-released it as TikTok.
TikTok holds on to the lip synching and dance routine video stylings that musically fans were so fond of, but also has re-introduced the more dynamic and varied video styles of the dearly departed Vine. People who download the app can participate and make videos of varied lengths themselves, or can merely lurk in the shadows and enjoy other people’s content without so much as a follow. You can even check out the app without signing up for an account to try it out. This is part of what makes it such a major platform for getting your content seen; you don’t need any followers.
The “For You Page” (what is the #FYP? The FYP echoes the Instagram discovery page but is the main feed shown, and then is personalized and customized automatically to show videos that match the type of content you’ve been liking) will show any video that’s uploaded for a certain amount of time regardless of popularity, then your videos’ success will determine how long it will be featured there for the multitudes to see.
TikTok is an online hub buzzing with content creators uploading videos of quite literally anything and everything. From song and dance routines, skill showcasing, food recipes, comedy routines of all sorts, pranks, fashion inspiration, beauty and makeup showcases to everyday musings, stories and thoughts from people worldwide. There’s something for everyone, which is what makes it so popular.
Below is a screenshot of what the app displays when opened; the For You Page.
Who Is Using TikTok?
For now, it is mainly teens and tweens that are avid TikTokers, the Gen Z population, but the audience is spilling into older crowds too. The current audience is on average 16-24 year olds, with more females than males, but you’ll also find adults and the elderly often featured on TikTok. We in fact stumbled over a video on the For You Page of an elderly woman contributing to TikTok comedy content, who has her own account with over 250 thousand followers, and so @dolly_broadway would be considered a TikTok influencer. So, while it is most popular with younger adults, TikTok’s intoxication clearly reaches all sorts of audiences.
Ways TikTok Can Be Implemented Into Your Digital Marketing Strategy.
- Influencer Marketing Strategy
If you don’t already know; influencer marketing involves recruiting a popular online public figure (influencer) to work with you and advertise your brand on their page for their many followers to see. Nowadays, on the likes on Instagram, influencer marketing can prove difficult if you have a small budget, influencers are charging extortionate fees for a mere mention on a story or a single post. The great thing about TikTok is that there are heaps of micro influencers for heaps of niche interests, who are new to the scene and humbler than the insta-famous. Chances are, there’s someone out there suited to your company who would be happy to help. Find someone who they themselves and their following suit your product and have an interest in it. Offering them your product or service for free, or a small monetary contribution, will more than likely guarantee their cooperation. Leave the content creating up to them, since they will know what their followers want to see. Sit back and watch your brand be revealed to thousands via TikTok influencer marketing.
- Paid Advertising
Another direction you could go with TikTok marketing is paid or biddable ads on TikTok. At this moment in time, the option for paid ads is available but not as it is with standard platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube where you can personally manage paid ad campaigns and can decide on campaigns and money spent yourself. With TikTok, you must go through a TikTok ad representative who helps you set up the paid ad campaign. Even still, the settings and targeting options are quite basic. There is only one type of campaign you can run; the in-stream video; where your ad will occasionally appear in the feeds of users. This type of campaign starts at $500 per day and has no long term commitment.
Other options are on the much pricier end of the scale such as Hashtag Challenges and Brand Takeover Ads. E-Commerce Hashtag Challenges cost brands $100,000+ (Adweek, 2019), and Brand Takeover Ads can cost between $20,000 – $200,000 (Digiday, 2019). Targeting options consist of age, gender and location. To weigh your options; while it could be worth investigating further, we personally feel observing how the app progresses with paid ad options and improvements is the more affordable and safer course of action, but getting in early while there are few ads on the platform could also provide a good opportunity for less competition for your ads and brand to be seen by many.
- Brand Awareness
The mere fact that you can upload a video and have no followers, and your video will still be shown on the For You Page and seen by a sizable portion of people for at least some amount of time, makes TikTok a gold mine for being seen and in turn for brand awareness and your digital and social media marketing strategy. You can post anything, no matter how insignificant, and still be seen. To maximise visibility and get increased brand awareness, obviously creating good content that could go viral is important, and not as hard as you think. What we would suggest is downloading TikTok and observing the trends for yourself. See what is most featured on the For You Page and what’s receiving the most likes. Joining in on established trends such as dance routines and lip-syncs is a good safe bet but always remember; humour drives virality. Dig deep and summon your inner comedian, and get the people laughing! Or if you haven’t a funny bone in your body; hire someone to do it for you! It should go without saying; utilise your brand into your content. Or try starting your own challenge that requires the use of your product.
The possibilities are endless and you have nothing to lose since posting is free. Good luck!
Examples Of Tik Tok Brand Marketing Success.
There are tons of examples of marketing success within TikTok, below are 3 examples of some of the best campaigns that went viral.
- Universal Music Denmark
Record labels have a massive, if not the most, opportunity to profit from TikTok. If you have the app, you’ll have noticed a soundtrack goes with almost every viral video. Via the power of influencers and hashtag challenges Universal Music Denmark managed to have one of their new songs go viral and reach over 5million users in only 3 weeks.
It wasn’t surprising that a huge fashion brand like Guess received immediate success with TikTok. They joined forces with TikTok and started their #InMyDenim campaign where they challenged users to show off their best guess looks. The campaign was a huge success and their hashtag received 39.8 million views so far. Something to take from this is; hashtag challenges inspire virality, and never underestimate the lengths people will go to show off their body and clothes! Feed into the vanity!
For restaurants, TikTok can be a great way to show off the behind the scenes of the workplace. Mouth-watering videos of food being prepared, or hilarious videos of staff having fun and enjoying themselves. An example of successful marketing from a restaurant brand on TikTok is America’s beloved chipotle, who inspired a #GuacDance to go viral. They challenged users to show off their best avocado themed dances, stimulated from the Guacamole Song by Dr. Jean. (look it up)
What this all proves is that TikTok is a social media platform with massive opportunities for business and marketing and if you feel that your target audience is using this app; you should be too! Get on board with with Tiktok, integrating it within your social media marketing strategy, and in tangent with your SEO strategy and Google Ads Campaigns.