Six Things Marketers Need to Know About TikTok
TikTok’s not just another way for kids to pass the time. Find out why marketers need to shift focus to this app.
Don’t be so quick to dismiss TikTok as another teen fad. This social platform is quickly gaining traction. And in ways not even the creators expected.
According to DataReportal, TikTok has 500 million active users worldwide. In Q1 2019, the app was the third most downloaded app, growing its user base by 188 million. And it’s the most downloaded app in the Apple App Store.
So, what does that mean for marketers?
There’s a new social media platform to use for marketing strategies.
Before you dive into the world of TikTok, there are a few things you should know. Check out some of the growing trends for this growing app.
#1 – Focus Shift from Music to Comedy
Unless you have a teenager in your household, you may not even be familiar with TikTok. The short story is that it’s a social media app for music-related content. At least, that’s how it started.
It’s slowly changing.
If you scroll through it, you’re also likely to see popular meme remixes, original stand-up comedy routines, and even some cooking tutorials. Sure, they’re all entertaining. But there’s a particular theme that runs through most of them: comedy.
Its edgy, alternative comedy should come as no surprise since it is a replacement for Vine. However, it’s important to note that if you’re planning on using this platform for marketing, you need to keep it in line. That means that it’s essential to show a company’s fun side to create an emotional connection – especially on this platform.
#2 – Expanding Age Range Usage
TikTok is the playground of the world’s youth. The app’s millions of registered users range from teens to mid-twenties. So, most likely, if you’re older than 24 years old, it’s not on your radar.
But that’s changing…
The age shift is a big one because it may impact your current marketing strategies.
When TikTok first came on the scene, many marketers may have dismissed it because of the young demographics. But that’s no longer the case.
Savvy marketers should pay attention to this new kid on the block. New data shows that the number of adult users grew by 5.5 times in less than 18 months. And it’s only growing.
#3 – Genuineness Rules
If you’re looking for polished aesthetics, TikTok is not it. Imagine seeing people you see every day at work or school. Those are the types of people you encounter on the app.
In other words, it’s a network for ordinary people. And that’s not a bad thing!
This supportive network is free of the toxic elements that make up modern internet culture. So, if you want to target the audience on this platform, only positive messages apply.
#4 – A Youth Culture Pulse
Do you want to know what’s in and what’s not? If you’re targeting a young audience, it may be hard to keep up with their everchanging culture. But TikTok makes it a little simpler to find out what young people are into.
What’s better than tapping into a focus group of young minds? Doing it for free on an app!
Generally, if you see something going viral on the internet, it probably did so on TikTok first. You can get a jumpstart on the competition and find out what and where youth culture interests are at any given time.
#5 – Tribes and Reach
TikTok has tremendous global reach and local engagement – more so than any other social network type.
For the moment, its biggest audience is in Asia. There are around 250 million active users in China (called Douyin) and 120 million in India. But its reach is on the rise.
In addition, TikTok has various “tribes” or subcultures on the app. Think along the lines of:
- Makeup artists
- Fitness fanatics
In actuality, the app wants users to find their “tribe” by using algorithms to pinpoint their groups based on interests. It’s like the way Netflix recommends shows for you, except TikTok recommends subgroups.
This is especially important to marketers. You can pinpoint marketing strategies for a specific youth audience, instead of relying on only demographic data.
Find the right tribes for your clients based on a multitude of categories.
Do you want a group that has specific attitudes or shared interests?
It’s easier to find using the TikTok app.
#6 – Still Growing
Can you jump onto TikTok as a viable advertising platform?
Not exactly. At least, not to the degree that Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter cater to advertisers. But that may be a good thing.
Right now, you can find brand takeovers, native content, and hashtag challenges for advertisers.
For example, the U.S. restaurant chain Chipotle recently offered a hashtag challenge. The campaign generated 250,000 submissions for the hashtag #ChipotleLidFlip. It also had 430 million views.
These types of campaigns may not cost as much as other campaign types, but it does come with some downfalls.
Expect engagement numbers to dip below the expected numbers for rival apps. That’s just the way it is because only 29% of the users access it daily.
Also, at this point, TikTok doesn’t really have a range of targeting and measurement tools.
These factors may not be absolute deal-breakers. But you may want to take a “wait and see” position to see how the app addresses these concerns.
Take a Peek into a Fast-Changing Culture
For right now, TikTok may only work as a resource for most marketers. It’s a great way to find out what’s popular or growing in popularity before it gets too big. But marketers may want to wait before jumping on the TikTok advertising bandwagon.
It may be worth your while to experiment with small campaigns if your target audience is under 24. Otherwise, you may want to wait before adjusting your marketing strategies to include them.
This social media platform is on the rise, but it may not be as enticing as other major platforms in the paid ad space. At least, not yet.
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