Since TikTok exploded onto the scene it has now become one of the most downloaded apps in the world with a massive 500 million monthly users. The app began life in its native country of China as Douyin and has now spread across all eight continents as TikTok. Appealing mainly to a younger audience, TikTok encourages its users to upload short videos usually around 15 seconds long.
In 2018, the app bought out Musical.ly because they had the same target audience, causing all of their users to instantly migrate to the combined TikTok platform. Now marketers are slowly starting to see the potential of TikTok as an advertising tool.
Who uses Tik Tok?
TikTok is now a globally used app and is available in 155 countries however its users are more prominent in some countries as opposed to others. For example, the country where the app is most popular in India, 467 million Indians use the app, that’s more than double of anywhere else in the world.
Starting as just a music app, TikTok acted as a platform for young performers to showcase their abilities. With the app's growth in popularity has come an eclectic mix of talents. Up and coming comedians performing stand-up routines, skateboarders showcasing their skills, pranksters, dancers, fashion buffs, budding beauticians, and craft fans, all take the chance to share videos demonstrating their abilities. And now we are even seeing people sharing videos featuring them using their favourite products.
How Can Brands use Tik Tok?
Social media is a major part of any brand’s marketing strategy and has been for a few years now. A brand’s online presence is defined by its social media content. TikTok is still very much in the early stages of its marketing tools. Its advertising platform is currently being tested in the USA and Europe. There are three main ways that brands can market on TikTok
- They can create their own channel and upload relevant videos through said channel
- They can work with influencers, to spread content to a broader audience
- They can pay to advertise on TikTok – it is very early days for TikTok advertising – there certainly isn’t a market yet like there is for YouTube. However, TikTok may become more popular and established over time.
Many brands do a combination of running their own channels and working with influencers to spread content to a broader audience. You might try some of the ideas listed below on your own channels, or you may suggest that your influencers create and share these kinds of content.
Tik Tok’s Marketing Tools
Though, as previously stated TikTok’s marketing tools are still in their early days, however, there are a few techniques that are starting to gain traction.
Infeed Native Content
Much like Instagram, users can browse through content on the platform and see what other people are posting. In-feed video advertising consists of native videos which appear whilst users explore posted content. This type of video is up to fifteen seconds long, is full screen, and can also have a musical background. This type of advertising is ideal to gain exposure and call users to action since there is a CTA section you can use to redirect people towards a specific website page or hashtag challenge.
A brand takeover is a full-screen ad which is displayed when the user first opens TikTok. It’s either a three-second image or a three to five-second GIF. The ad can be linked to a brand’s landing page or a Hashtag Challenge within TikTok. These takeovers are exclusive to different categories each day – so only one specific brand can take over a category each day. By using full-screen mode, the brand draws the users attention. So this format is perfect for maximum exposure and reach.
Hashtags are the main driver for content on TikTok, trending hashtags allow content from all sizes of influencer to get traction and drive challenges forward.
Challenges on TikTok are also primarily driven through hashtags – this makes the challenge more easily accessible and shareable and makes it easier for users to browse all of the content for that challenge.
From creative face filters to animated objects, users can radically change their environment with their smartphones. TikTok offers the possibility to create and use 2D, 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) for the platform.
With Branded Lenses, users can interact with the brand and play with it by using their filter. The lenses promote the consideration to buy and allow users to test products. By integrating Branded Lenses into a hashtag challenge, a stronger bond to your brand and products can be promoted.