Meet TikTok, an app owned by the Chinese tech company ByteDance. It evolved from its older version musical.ly in 2018, which became an international sensation. The concept is simple: shoot, edit, and post. Its appeal lies in its short, 15 second videos that appropriate for a modern, fast-paced world where attention spans are limited, and scrolling is effortless. With its countless effects, seamless edits and transitions, and a vast audio library to choose from, ranging from music tracks to film scenes, it is a marketing powerhouse!
TikTok’s main user audience is centered around the Gen Z demographic that is spread across 20+ regions and countries. Its content is mainly entertainment, comprising of skits and dance challenges that are prone to becoming viral almost overnight, making it the up and coming platform for marketing where brands can deploy a number of strategies.
With an app designed for crowd sourced discovery feeds that don’t rely on follower counts, users are immediately drawn to hopping on any latest trends to get featured or noticed. Brands can use these trends labeled by their own particular hashtags to loop themselves and their content within the general feed or create their own challenges and hashtags that evolve into trends.
An example of this could be how crocs took the app by storm with its #thousanddollarcrocs challenge that jumpstarted with one of Post Malone’s song lyrics. It not only became a viral trend recreated by millions of users, with the hashtag viewed in billions, but it also managed to gain awareness and popularity for the brand across the globe. Recently, TikTok has also released its Hashtag-Plus-Challenge option, where it can lead a user directly to a purchase tab within the app.
Many users have gained immense popularity and reach on this entertainment app, attaining verified accounts, and a mass following. With people like Charli D’amelio having a following of more than 70 million users, they have become the perfect base for brands to kick-start their Tiktok campaigns through collaboration with these individuals.
A particular brand can immediately gain recognition and hype with a simple Tiktok from an influencer on the app. A recent example could be seen with Hollister’s collaboration with Charli D’amelio to start the #MoreHappyDenimDance campaign. In this challenge, the users can recreate Charli’s choreography in their favorite pair of Hollister Jeans to enter a contest with a meet and greet with Charli and her sister Dixie as a reward. Other brands like elf cosmetics have also done remarkably, cashing in on a new ‘eye lips face’ song that users can input in their video for their own glam looks.
The social phenomenon mainly used for entertainment; it is essential for brands to follow the app’s format and integrate with its type of content. While the conventional ‘here’s why you should buy my product’ approach would fall under the radar of TikTok, a freer, humor-based approach will automatically attract views and attention easily.
An example of a brand that has quite effectively used this approach would be chipotle, with its catchy bio “Less Tok, More Guac” and a feed of humorous food-related videos whilst also featuring famous TikTok users like David Dobrik and Brittany Broski on Chipotle’s platform. This not only helped attract views but eventually helped the brand attune itself within the Tiktok community.
TikTok, in its entirety, is a platform for creative and inspiring content, pushing content creation to new boundaries. Normal Ads simply won’t work, but once a brand develops its own niche of entertaining content, the possibilities of being discovered and reaching millions are endless.
TikTok for Brands!
TikTok recently launched a platform for brands with its tagline “Don’t make ads, Make TikToks.” Aimed at interactivity and discovery, this new feature allows brands to directly sign up with the platform and offers a multitude of solutions for merging products with TikToks and helping businesses find a range of possible content and trends to enhance brand discovery and engagement. One of its other features, called “Creator Marketplace,” that is being tested in some regions, is allowing brands to find innovative creators to collaborate with on paid campaigns. With another new feature called Brandscan, its new AR branded effect tool, marketing has become even more creative. Its ability to create 2D, 3D, or AR format products that can be integrated within user videos and hashtags now allows users to have an augmented reality experience with any brand’s product. Think flying pizzas, giant shoes, or even product filters!@ # Key Takeaway
In today’s new world, it is almost essential for any business to have an online presence in order to survive. TikTok, with its ever-growing worldwide user base and creator-friendly format for imaginative innovation, has made it all the more easy for businesses to reach potential customers.
Remember, TikTok is not for conventional ads. Amalgamate your brand or your product with the app’s genre, and discoverability is almost a given! Think creative.