Posted: 06 Jan 2020 Contributor: Therese Palmere
How Brands Can Start Leveraging TikTok Before It's Too Late
Just when everyone thought there couldn’t be another social giant, TikTok came along and proved everyone wrong. Similar to Snapchat, TikTok was seen as just another app “the kids” play with. Little did they know this app would amass over 500 million monthly active users worldwide in just three years since its launch, making it more popular than sites like LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, and even Twitter. TikTok initially launched in 2016, but when its parent company, ByteDance, purchased Musical.y in 2017, the merger resulted in a direct line of access to the US teenage market (AKA a huge increase in its user base).
In Q1 of 2019, TikTok was the most downloaded app and welcomed 188 million new users to its site. But who uses TikTok? As it stands, 41% of the current user base falls within the 16 to 24 age range, but in less than 18 months, the number of US adults that downloaded the app grew 5.5 times. What’s more is that users spend an average of 30 minutes on Snapchat and an average of 35 minutes on Facebook, but with TikTok, users spend an average of 52 minutes on the app daily.
With how popular the app has become, it’s no surprise that brands are looking to capitalize off of its popularity. So, how can brands can unlock the power of TikTok? Well, if you’re ready to take TikTok seriously, here’s how you can leverage this social media platform for your business before it’s too late.
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How to Incorporate TikTok in your Digital Marketing Plans for 2020
TikTok is essentially a video sharing network. The videos are 60 seconds long and the app allows users to add endless different features to those videos with lenses, filters, music, and sounds. Popular content across the channel includes dance videos, talent videos, comedy, and lip-syncing videos. TikTok also uses augmented reality to re-create user experiences with pre-set music and filters so users can have a unified digital experience (talk about the augmented reality of marketing). While TikTok may seem a little intimidating because it means you’ll have to “get down” with the kids these days, at the end of the day, it’s a social media platform (which means you’re already pretty familiar with it to a degree!) and should be treated as such.
To create a TikTok marketing strategy for business, your team needs to strategize and create content for the social site. Just like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, your brand has to create videos that effectively market your company to your target audience. So, how do you get views on TikTok? Well, first you need to make content. You can start by using old company videos and editing them to a new song. For example, if you have an old office tour video, you can shorten the length of the video to include only the best parts of your office, overlay a new soundtrack and voila, your first upload to TikTok is ready to go!
If your team isn’t afraid of loosening its corporate tie and is more laid back, you can also just create new videos on the spot that mimic the content that’s seen on TikTok. Make a silly dance video with your co-workers, lip sync to your favorite song of the moment, or better yet, if you have an office pet, use them to your advantage! Take a look at some TikTok uploads by bigger brands like Chipotle with their free burrito campaign, or e.l.f. Cosmetics and their Eyes Lips Face challenge to get some inspiration. How your team approaches this social media site is much like all the rest and is entirely up to the culture and branding of your business. But one of the most important things to remember for how to become viral on TikTok is authenticity. Above all, TikTok is still social media, so keep it fun but also keep it real.
Shoppable Ads on TikTok
Posting on social media is all well and good for brand awareness, but what’s to say that’s enough? For brands looking to nurture leads and increase sales, never fear, Shoppable is here! Shoppable is a visual media eCommerce company that allows users to shop what they see. For example, if you go to Instagram, you will sometimes see a small shopping bag at the corner of a post that indicates you can buy the items seen in the photo. Tap the photo once and the details of the pieces pop-up. Tap the pop-up tags and you will be directed to a screen that shows all the details of that item, including sizing, color, design, and availability. From there, you can also choose to move forward with the purchasing process by buying any of the items that piqued your interest, or you can choose to return to your Insta feed. If you’re still wondering how can brands can unlock the power of TikTok, with Shoppable, brands will be able to track direct sales and gather useful information about their target audience. As stated previously, the number of adults is increasing on this social platform and with the integration of visual eCommerce, TikTok is positioned to be the next big social site. Predictions of TikTok influencer marketing, and much more of TikTok social media marketing, have already started to come into play. Get ready!
Understanding Generation Z
Generation Z is the generation of users who were born between 1997 and 2012, and are the generation that’s most active on the social media site. TikTok has become popular with this generation because it combines a lot of the aspects of many other popular social sites. Videos have always proven to have more engagement that just photos and hashtags, and challenges are the way to a kid’s heart. TikTok makes it easy to upload customizable videos while also organizing those videos into a community of more videos. What’s more is much like YouTube, users on TikTok can see what’s trending at all times and can choose to chime in with their own version of the latest challenges.
But another thing worth nothing is that Generation Z’s affinity towards TikTok is similar to the Millennial affinity for Instagram. Their peers are on the app and actively using it, which is what makes the app alluring above all others. Many people have critiqued TikTok for having a confusing layout since you have to switch between your Following and For You feed and many more have felt overwhelmed by the amount of options on the site. But the same is said by older generational cohorts of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter until they learned how to use the tech.
Hopefully, this blog post has helped you understand a little bit more about the social site that is TikTok and has shown you how brands can leverage this platform for business purposes. If you’re still wondering, can brands use TikTok? The answer is, yes. TikTok marketing for beginners is very similar to how brands approach any other social site, but a lot of creating effective content for a platform also means understanding that platform. If you haven’t already done so, download the app! (No this is not sponsored) You can’t very well advertise on the site without knowing it first, now can you?
As a leading digital marketing agency, we will help you to create a TikTok marketing strategy for your brand. Get in touch here to talk to us about your project.