TikTok has taken the world of social media by storm, and there’s no wonder really. The instant video platform arguably replaced a niche that was previously occupied by Vine. Back in 2015, Vine was an incredibly popular outlet for sharing short videos of people’s everyday lives. TikTok, however, offers much more in terms of creative features and media content. The app so far has been especially popular among teenagers. Here are 5 reasons why that is the case and how businesses can use the growing significance of TikTok to their advantage.
1. Celebrity Presence
Just like any other social media phenomenon, there’s no shortage of celebrity accounts on TikTok. Notable ‘TikTokers’ include TV show host Jimmy Fallon, actress and comedian Awkwafina and singer Rita Ora. TikTok provides a rare insight into the everyday life of celebrities, one of the reasons why teenagers love this app. This means that TikTok is a huge platform for celebrity endorsements for any teenager-focused brands. One thing to keep in mind is that the video length for TikTok posts is short – from 15 Seconds to 1 minute. This means that businesses’ advertising campaigns need to be concise yet memorable.
2. Contests and Brand Engagement
What makes TikTok different from other social platforms is its focus on genuine humour. The app is home to thousands of awkward videos depicting how hilarious regular scenes from our everyday lives are when coupled with some funny music or video effects. Teenagers love TikTok as there’s comparatively little fakeness on this platform compared to other platforms.
To leverage this, businesses should focus on community engagement instead of pushing their own message. One example of a great TikTok campaign was the recent DreamWorks contest. In this campaign, the studio invited users of TikTok to dance to a theme song of the brand’s new Netflix show. Not only did this boost awareness of the show but the campaign was also fully in line with the core message of TikTok. The combined video views totalled a massive 4.3 million, highlighting just how powerful TikTok can be in the hands of creative marketing professionals.
3. Brand Takeovers and Direct Brand Communication
Another reason teenagers love TikTok is that the platform significantly reduces the disconnect between regular users, celebrities and brands. As TikTok typically focuses on weird humour, companies using this platform are seen as down-to-earth and close to their customers. While this is undoubtedly a pretty unique marketing proposition, one question remains. How exactly brands can leverage this to their advantage?
Fortunately, TikTok offers a ‘Brand Takeover’ function allowing brands to reach customers not following their account. Participating in a brand takeover means that businesses’ content will be shown to everyone. Businesses can also receive a greater degree of creative control by creating unique GIFS or app functions. Brand takeovers seem similar to typical advertisements and may, therefore, be a bit intrusive for TikTok users. To address this, businesses are recommended to make their content humorous as well as informative.
4. Immediate Access to Content
An interesting feature of TikTok is its unique main screen. With a lot of other social media platforms such as Twitter or Instagram, the user is required to swipe the page to gain access to content. While Twitter frequently auto-plays video ads, there are no guarantees that your advertisements would actually be shown to an audience who only use social media for short amounts of time. With TikTok, it’s different. When you launch the app, you’re immediately greeted with a whole stack of new videos from both brands and people you’re following.
This means that your branded content is shown immediately to users opening TikTok. However, this can also be a disadvantage. If businesses’ advertisements are considered annoying, too colourful or generally distracting, more people might become irritated with a particular marketing campaign. TikTok, therefore, requires marketing solutions that are non-intrusive and are able to attract users who are surrounded by a huge volume of video content. While TikTok represents a significant opportunity, businesses would be wise to keep this tip in mind.
5. New Areas of Brand Image
Let’s face it, traditional social media marketing has become a bit boring. Brands typically focus on direct and informative user communications, leaving little room for humour and the human side of businesses. On TikTok, this kind of approach is not really appreciated. One of the main reasons teenagers are in love with this app is that TikTok can be an endless source of entertainment in a world overloaded with boring and often useless information.
For brands, TikTok represents an opportunity to highlight the areas of their brand image rarely seen by their audience. For instance, Washington Post recently posted a clip of its editorial team discussing the final of ‘Bachelorette’, a hit TV show. Coupled with their other social media accounts, the newspaper’s social media strategy highlights not only its commitment to quality journalism but also it’s humourous and relatable side. While this may not be applicable to some brands, it can be fun and useful for many companies to show a different side and reach new fans outside of their normal target audiences.
There’s no doubt that TikTok offers new and exciting opportunities for social media marketing. The app emphasises the humorous side of social media, allowing brands to connect with previously unreachable audiences. If you’re one of the businesses wanting to try TikTok, you definitely should give it a go. The experience should be fun not only for you but also for your new fans.