Social media is a key marketing channel for companies of all sizes, but with so many businesses active across social networks, it’s harder than ever before to stand out.
Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest are all great for building brand awareness and connecting with potential customers, but have you considered up-and-coming platforms like TikTok? With a growing audience and less competition from other businesses, TikTok is worth considering if you’re looking for a new way to promote your business online.
In this post, we’ll look at what TikTok is, why businesses should consider it as a marketing channel, and explore different ways to use TikTok for marketing.
What is TikTok?
Originally popular in China under the name Douyin, the app was launched as TikTok in 2017 on iOS and Android for markets outside of China. In 2018, TikTok merged with lip-syncing app Musical.ly, with existing accounts consolidated into one app.
TikTok is a video-based app used primarily by a younger demographic.
TikTok is a video-based app used primarily by a younger demographic. It allows users to create short videos with music and filters to share with friends, although people can just browse the site. Like other social networks, users can subscribe to channels, search by hashtag, follow other users, and like and comment on other users’ videos. Most videos are up to 15 seconds long, although they can be longer.
Many videos on TikTok are users lip-synching to popular music, but you’ll also find dancers, comedians, skateboarders, pranksters, crafters, and beauticians all sharing their talents. Significantly for marketers, people are also sharing videos of themselves using products.
Why Marketers Are Paying Attention to Tik Tok
In the first quarter of 2019, TikTok was the most downloaded iOS app, with 33 million downloads (1). By June 2019, the app had 500 million active monthly users worldwide, but that figure is likely to be much higher today. It also has international appeal, with a significant proportion of users in the USA, India, and China.
If you’re trying to reach a younger audience, TikTok could be a great addition to your social media marketing strategy.
What makes TikTok interesting for marketers is that its content is video-based, and recent studies show that online video consumption is on the rise. In 2019, consumers spent on average 58 minutes watching online videos every day. By 2021, global online video consumption is expected to grow to an average of 100 minutes per day (2).
If you’re trying to reach a younger audience, TikTok could be a great addition to your social media marketing strategy. Forty-one percent of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24 (1), and around a quarter of all users are between 25 and 29 years old (3).
Even though TikTok is overwhelmingly more popular with a younger crowd, figures show that the app is growing in popularity among older audiences. From October 2017 to March 2019, the number of US adults using TikTok rose 450 percent (1). As the creators of the app continue to tweak its advertising options, TikTok may steadily move toward attracting an older audience.
Is TikTok Right for Your Business?
Of course, TikTok may not be suitable for all types of business. However, if your brand has a fun side and doesn’t take itself too seriously, using TikTok is definitely worth further investigation.
…if your ideal customer is over fifty, it’s probably best to focus on other channels.
First, do your research. Are any of your competitors using the app for promotion? What types of videos do they produce? How do they interact with their audience? Check out the trending topics page. Are there any topics or themes that fit in with your type of business?
Next, think about your target audience. Do they already like to share visual content – including videos – on your other social media channels? If you already share short videos that are entertaining or informative, TikTok could work for your business. On the other hand, if your ideal customer is over fifty, it’s probably best to focus on other channels.
How to Promote Your Business on TikTok
As a business, you should definitely sign up for a pro account, which is free at the time of writing this post. Pro accounts offer users access to analytics data, including video performance data and audience stats, which is key to measuring results going forward. You then have a number of options for promoting your business…
Create Original Content
You don’t need to produce highly-polished videos; a smartphone will do the job. Do you have products that can be demonstrated in a fun way, set to quirky music? Just remember to keep it simple and make it entertaining.
Launch a #Hashtag Challenge
A hashtag challenge is all about encouraging other users to create or recreate content using a unique hashtag. Probably the best-known example is Jimmy Fallon’s “Tumbleweed challenge,” which challenged users to roll around like tumbleweed to western music. Perhaps you could encourage your customers to share videos of themselves using or interacting with your products in an interesting or amusing way.
If you’re new to TikTok, it might be easier to take part in other challenges to build your presence on the app. Even if you’re a brand, people won’t mind you joining in as long as you’re entertaining.
Using the power of existing influencers to reach a larger audience is common on other social networks, and it’s no different on TikTok. As always, the key is to select influencers with an audience that match your target market. You’ll then need to contact an influencer to form a partnership, devise a content plan, and work out a deal that suits you both.
Often, brands work with influencers to display their product in some way. Just make sure that you both comply with FTC guidelines on sponsorship disclosure. Learn more about Influencer Marketing.
As a marketer, you can pay for in-feed ads which blend in with user videos. Like other social media sites, there are three primary models of in-feed ads: cost per click, cost per impression, and cost per view. You can also target users based on gender, age, and region.
Other advertising options are available, but you’ll need a big marketing budget to even get started. TikTok is currently developing its advertising services and the options for marketers are sure to change in the near future.
Now, Over to You!
As one of the fastest growing social media platforms of 2019, it’s no surprise that businesses have begun to see the marketing potential of TikTok. No longer just a lip-syncing video app for teens, TikTok is starting to get a lot more attention from businesses of all sizes and in all sectors.
Hopefully by now you understand a lot more about TikTok, and you can start to think about how to use the app as a marketing tool. It doesn’t suit every type of business, but if you have a younger target audience, TikTok is definitely worth checking out. Take some time to understand how the platform works and get to know its users. With the right approach, TikTok could introduce your business to a whole new audience.
Don’t have the time? Contact Easthall Design today