Viral cranberry-sipping skateboarder. Sold out Aerie cross-over leggings. Jason Derulo.
What do all these have in common? You’ve guessed it – TikTok.
If you’re still thinking TikTok is only for aimless hours of boredom scrolling, or Gen Z lip-syncing, you might not be seeing the power and influence this app can have for creators and brands. As of June 2020, TikTok reported nearly 100 million active users in the U.S alone. As user growth expanded exponentially during the pandemic, TikTok found ways to evolve in order to keep pace with their audiences. And while you might be right in assuming this app is heavily skewed toward a younger audience under 30, with 48% of users being between the ages of 18-29, it’s not just an outlet for teens. Older adults are finding their own niche within the space to educate, bring joy, and make relationships. Look at 80-year-old fitness influencer Erika Rischko, who has gained roughly 159.0k followers from posting videos of her planking and dancing with her husband. Not to mention the shoutout she received from Jason Derulo after posting a video featuring his hit single “Savage Love.”
So, should your brand consider joining the TikTok craze? In short – yes!
As one of the most participatory platforms, there is a huge opportunity for your brand to extend your reach to new and diverse audiences. Keep scrolling to find out more about how TikTok works, and marketing opportunities on the platform.
How Does TikTok Work?
Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. YouTube. With so many long-standing social platforms to compete with, TikTok had to find a way to stand out from the online crowd. But how did they break through the noise to become the fastest growing social media app in 2020? One way was through their unique discoverability algorithm. Unlike other social platforms mentioned above, TikTok analyzes the videos you’ve liked, accounts you follow, comments posted, and shares, to deliver personalized and tailored content to your ‘For You’ page, whether you’re following that account or not. Even further, TikTok acknowledged that not only do they deliver content relevant to users' interests, but they also populate content different from those interests to ensure diversity and creator inclusion.
When comparing TikTok across the social landscape, this video-first platform is designed only for vertical videos created and/or watched via smartphones. Comparing this to YouTube, TikTok encourages people to create and share content in the moment, without needing to have extensive editing software, expensive cameras, or hours set aside for long upload times. If there is one thing TikTok has shown, it’s that it can be simple and easy for the everyday person to produce creative, cool content.
We’ve talked briefly about content discoverability, but let’s look more closely at the three main ways content is surfaced to users on the platform.
The “Following” stream provides a feed of all the content produced by people you follow, and is surfaced under the ‘Following’ tab.
The “For You” stream provides a feed of curated content delivered to each user based on your platform engagements. The TikTok algorithm “monitors content types you engage with by analyzing text, images and videos using natural language processing and computer vision technology.” This content is surfaced under the ‘For You’ tab.
- The Discover page provides users the opportunity to search through all the available content on the platform. In this feed, users can explore the wide variety of content created by the TikTok community, from trending videos, hashtags, creators, and sponsored content.
Marketing Opportunities for Brands
If you’re still wondering if TikTok is right for your brand, let’s look at the data.
TikTok is proving to be more than just a quick fad or simple replacement for Vine. Not only is it competing with the big social players, but it’s also offering brands and creators attractive advantages that seem to work in keeping users engaged with the app.
Brands don’t need to have an existing following for their content to be seen. Unlike Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, you don’t need to spend a lot of time and money building followers and promoting your content. Instead, TikTok's algorithm helps surface content to relevant audiences rather than prioritizing content based on follower networks.
TikTok allows for the creation of more original, imaginative, and personable content since the platform is more focused on awareness vs. conversions. Tongue-in-cheek humor and un-viral challenges push brands to find niche ways to participate in trends and experiment with content that embraces the joyful, light-hearted nature of the platform.
You don’t need highly produced assets or videos! TikTok is all about delivering real content that’s less stylized - allowing brands to leave behind the idea of perfect and focus on authenticity.
TikTok is not as complicated as it might seem on the surface. In fact, it’s easy-to-use interface and video editing technology allow brands to easily join the platform and begin creating content.
Explore TikTok For Your Brand
TikTok presents an exciting and new platform for brands to create, innovate, and experiment with short-from video content. It’s certainly swept the attention of a new generation and continues to become popular with older generations as well. If you’re looking to expand your marketing horizons, chat with us today about creating scroll-stopping content for your brand!
Psst... Do you want to learn more about TikTok marketing? Read the next part of our TikTok series on Creating Content now!