TikTok’s mission is “to capture and present the world’s creativity, knowledge, and precious life moments, directly from the mobile phone. TikTok enables everyone to be a creator, and encourages users to share their passion and creative expression through their videos” (Tiktok.com)
What is TikTok?
Users upload short videos to the platform, mostly of themselves dancing or lip-syncing to songs or music videos. Like most social media platforms there are those who invent original content and become influencers. Most of the videos are 15 seconds long, and the platform has developed to include more than just music based videos. Pranks, fashion, talent and skills all play a large part in TikTok content.
Who uses it?
One of the biggest issues surrounding TikTok is that if you are unlucky enough to be on the higher side of your 20’s, you probably have never used it or possibly even heard of it. That said, TikTok was the 3rd most downloaded app in the world in 2018. It reports monthly user stats of over 800 million people worldwide.
The target market of TikTok is the teen to young adult bracket. Not everyone is a budding online star and many social media users are happy to scroll through content or search for topics they find interesting with the help of our old friend the hashtag.
TikTok and Marketing
With the growing popularity of TikTok, quite obviously, marketers can see the potential. Purchasing a large piece of advertising space like a billboard next to a major road, used to be the prime way to reach potential customers. Moving with the times, TikTok is the digital version of a highly populated main road!
One of the key aspects of TikTok, like many other social media platforms is it gets to know what the user prefers, what they like to watch, what they don’t like to watch, what they search for. This data then allows the platform to show content they think the user will like, keeping the user’s feed relevant.
Sell the Brand
TikTok works in a similar way to YouTube. Brands can have their own social media channel and create and upload content. In addition, businesses can work with influencers. Social media is full of celebrities and influencers who are happy to use, demonstrate or talk about a product or service. This not only provides great publicity for them, it also gets the brand out to the hundreds, thousands, or even millions that follow that particular influencer.
Social sharing platforms have the added benefit of encouraging user generated content. Consumers can be encouraged to take to social media to show themselves with a product or using a service. Chocolate giant Cadburys had huge success with the “how do you eat yours” campaign surrounding the Crème Egg. Audiences are encouraged to use a particular hashtag when talking about something and “tag” the brand or business when posting online.
Targeting the Audience
As previously stated, the TikTok audience is young. Marketers need to consider this if using it as an advertising tool. Technology, cosmetics, clothing and many other lifestyle based products do particularly well when it comes to influencer marketing. Due to the brief time of the videos, getting the point across quickly is essential. Viewers are drawn to the fast paced videos constantly changing and giving them fun, original content every 15 seconds. If marketers are considering something like TikTok, the selling point has to be clear, catchy and memorable.
TikTok works as a marketing tool by building brand visibility and audience participation. TikTok Ads is a self-serve ad platform, it is still being rolled out but aims to provide advertising solutions that will get relevant ads in front of the right users. There is also a guaranteed visibility purchase but it is aimed at larger corporations.
TikTok still sits behind Instagram and Facebook in the social media platform rankings but it has the potential to grow to become a very influential marketing tool. If your target market is the Generation Z population then TikTok could be the key, only time will tell!