Since its international debut in 2017,1 TikTok has taken its US audience by storm. Beginning as Musical.ly in China before becoming TikTok and coming to the US,2 this short-form video social media app has climbed at an unparalleled rate in the past two years alone. TikTok has reached the status of most downloaded social media app in a single quarter, surpassing well-known platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat.3
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the app jumped from 199.4 million downloads in Q4 of 2019 to 315 million downloads in Q1 of 2020, and it’s only continuing to grow.3 Ever-evolving, it’s clear that TikTok’s rapid growth is in its DNA–not a passing trend. Currently at 1 billion users and expected to reach 1.5 billion users by the end of this year, this platform is only just getting started and its audience is expansive.2
TikTok’s expansive audience and social media qualities are the most immediately obvious reasons why it makes sense as a marketing tool, but through a more in-depth look at the platform, there are several aspects of TikTok that make it a marketing tool that is unlike any you have in your strategy.
With a unique algorithm based on niche interests that facilitates audience targeting, a super-engaged user base you can reach in new ways, and rich opportunities to humanize and expand your own brand as part of your efforts, TikTok is a great new tool to add to your marketing strategy.
With any social platform and marketing strategy, a wide and varied audience is crucial, and TikTok has the definition of not only a large audience, but also an engaged one. TikTok has the highest overall engagement rate per post, and an extremely impressive engagement rate of 18% for US influencers. For reference, the social media giant Instagram has only a 3.86% engagement rate for US influencers.4
TikTok is also clearly beloved by its viewers judging by the astounding amount of time the average user spends on the app per day. 90% of all TikTok users go on the app on a daily basis, spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app,1 and spend an average of 850 minutes on the app per month.5 Not only could you potentially get a lot of eyes on your content, but you’re also marketing to people who don’t tend to leave the app right away.
TikTok users’ consistent engagement with content is not passive either. 54% of users have commented on a video,5 a clear demonstration of how this audience behaves. TikTokers interact with and act on the content they experience and act on that content. Despite TikTok’s short history, it has proven itself to be a successful way to market products with 50% of users purchasing from brands they have interacted with in some way on the platform.6
TikTok’s user base is also especially useful when targeting younger demographics since 62% of its users are within the 10-29 year old age group,6 meaning if you create content that engages viewers with your brand, you could be capturing potential life-long consumers of your product.
The constantly evolving, deeply engaging, and persuasive nature of TikTok and its connection to the younger demographic has definitely captured the attention of users. Taking advantage of this attention with your own marketing strategy is a perfect way to draw consumers to your own brand.
Zhang Yiming incorporated the AI-platform on TikTok that identifies users’ interests and funnels them content that is ideal for them.2 TikTok’s unique algorithm has become one of its signature qualities, setting it apart from apps like Facebook and Instagram, and adding a layer to TikTok’s own brand persona.
After using TikTok for even a short time, you’ll notice and be struck by how personally tailored your main feed or “For You Page” is to your personality and interests. Certainly ideal for consumers, it’s also ideal for marketers. If used correctly, TikTok has the potential to completely level up your marketing strategy with its ability to target your desired unique niche audience with your content.
TikTok also sets itself apart from other platforms with how it filters and prioritizes content. With TikTok, any video could go viral regardless of what an account’s following or previous videos are like, making the quality of the content the most important factor.6 Because of its unique algorithm, TikTok can offer marketing strategists the opportunity to both reach their niche audience in a new way and create social media strategies that don’t require accumulating a large following in order to play the game. With TikTok, anyone can play the game. It’s just a matter of creating engaging, unique content.
TikTok’s impressive engagement does not only come from its hyper-targeted algorithm. TikTok’s unique presence and popularity also come from the platform’s unfiltered, up-close-and-personal, raw content rather than the kind of social media content you might see that feels curated and intensely edited – like what you might see in a traditional commercial, Instagram, or Facebook ad. Users love authentic content and enjoy how the space feels ad-free.3
The challenge of creating content for TikTok is making it feel authentic and user-generated since your audience is on high alert for anything that resembles a traditional ad. Creating content for TikTok isn’t impossible, however, it requires intention. Rather than pushing ideas from other platforms onto TikTok, notice what your audience is gravitating towards and determine what content might align with those interests and with your goals for your brand. When you accomplish this, you can see some incredible results.7
TikTok prioritizes organic content, making it easier to reach your audience organically than you would on Facebook or Instagram. And again, TikTok doesn’t favor content from accounts with larger followings, making it possible for one amazing post to break through and go viral.7 This can even help you grow our brand’s presence on Instagram and YouTube because they are compatible with TikTok.6
Creating successful content for TikTok doesn’t have to be a headache. It’s a great opportunity to think creatively and outside-the-box in terms of your brand. Since very ‘human’ content does well on the platform, it’s a great opportunity to humanize your brand rather than directly trying to sell to your consumers.
Using TikTok as an opportunity to deepen and display your brand values, voice, and the purpose behind your brand to your audience will not only make for more successful content, it will also be more likely to lead you to the right audience.4
With TikTok’s ability to bring niche audiences to the content that fits them, your content (and influencer if you choose to partner with one) might reach a few of the right people or it just might reach all the right people.6
Once you decide that you want to start integrating TikTok into your marketing strategy, there are a few ways you can go about it.
Create your own business TikTok account: Release content based on the knowledge you have of your audience, learning as much as you can about how to successfully gather an audience on the platform.7
Paid advertising: Similar to the type of content you would post if you had your own account, but with more formats to choose from, successful ads on TikTok abide by the same rules of being raw, unfiltered, and audience-focused. They must fit into the For You Page and seem almost indiscernible from organic content.7
Here are a few different types of ads you can choose from.
• Top view ads
• In-feed ads
• Hashtag challenges
• Brand takeovers
• Branded effects8
At Connext Digital, we’re experts at helping you find the right audience and deliver your brand’s unique message in the form of paid advertisements on TikTok. But delivery is only half of what you need. Knowing which metrics to track regarding your campaign is crucial. From click-through rate to
conversations and cost per click, analyzing your campaign—and knowing what to analyze—is crucial to your future campaigns’ successes and your brand’s success overall.9
We’re skilled at helping you track your audience’s engagement with your brand on the app, tracing their journey from your viral video all the way to purchasing products from your online store. Being in tune with the traceable nature of TikTok engagement will allow you to know your audience on an even deeper level so you can make your content even more targeted next time. Connext Digital is here to guide and partner with you as you get started.
A shift in the social media landscape has clearly taken place. Audiences are moving on to TikTok, choosing to spend more of their time there instead of on Instagram & Facebook. Since many other brands have not yet made the jump into the world of TikTok, this is an excellent opportunity to be the brand landing in front of these rapidly growing audiences.8
Ready to integrate TikTok into your marketing strategy? Connext Digital can help you take your first steps into this fun and engaging platform that is full of possibilities. Contact us and we’ll get started!