TikTok: Should you Include it in Your Marketing Budget?
Updated: Apr 10
Anyone who has teenagers or younger sibling has unavoidably heard of TikTok, the new “it” social media for Generation Z. At just a mere one year old, the platform has over 500 million monthly users. While Gen-Z are using it to show off their creativity, many brands have started to include it in their marketing budget. Should you?
What is TikTok:
TikTok is a mobile app which gives users the tools to create 60 second, looping videos with musical overlays and special effects. Similar to Instagram, the app gives you access to two timelines, a public timeline named “For You”. This timeline gets to know you based on your behaviours on the app. The “For You” timeline will show you videos, suitable to you, created by users all over the world. Secondly, you have a private timeline, this is named the “Following” timeline, this will only show you the videos of those you follow. Like other social medias, you have a profile and can like, comment on or share users content.
Anyone who has previously visited the app may be wondering how a business could use this platform, as its content is primarily made up of comedic content such as lip-syncing videos and dance challenges. But the platform does pose opportunity for businesses…
One thing that is sure when it comes to TikTok, it has a very definite demographic. 41% of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24. And although TikTok have not officially released this statistic, it is fair to assume the majority of the other 59% of users are under 30.
Why is this the demographic? Probably because he creators of the app intended it to be this way. From the start, their target audience has been under 18. With this in mind, we can presume they understand Generation Z better than competitor apps, thus 500 million monthly users under the age of 30 (roughly). Bravo TikTok.
How companies are using TikTok:
Ok… so here comes the good part; how you can use it! There are many ways TikTok can be used for marketing, once you are keeping my previous points about the demographic in mind. (i.e, if you are trying to sell a retirement plan, maybe look elsewhere)
The most obvious way brands are using TikTok is through influencer marketing. Getting your brand associated with a user who has thousands or even millions of followers can equal to serious exposure for your brand. It’s been explored and proven that customers are more likely to believe what a trusted influencer says, over what a company says. Team up with an influencer that shares the same values as your company and you could be opening yourself up to a whole new audience.
The next way your company can use TikTok is by creating your own content. This is slightly trickier due to the TikTok algorithm. One of TikTok’s main objective is to keep you on the app as long as possible, so they work hard to make sure they are showing the right videos, to the right person. They monitor users behaviours based on likes, comments, shares and duration of time spent watching a video. To cut a long story short; your video won’t be shown to just anyone, it will only be shown to those the algorithm deem suitable. This could be a good thing, but not if quantity would be preferred.
Because TikTok is a little on the quirky side, brands need to be creative to truly grab users attention when creating their own content. A simple ad won’t cut it on this platform. You could see this as a great opportunity to show a different side of your company. Embracing a more personal, comedic, behind the scenes tone could make the brand appear more relatable or approachable.
Lastly, businesses can buy TikTok ad space. Much like Facebook advertising, on TikTok you can now establish an ad spend and a target demographic. These ads will appear as “In-Feed Ads” meaning the user will see them when scrolling. With this, TikTok campaigns require a minimum investment of $500, so it may not be suitable for smaller businesses.
To conclude, with it being such a new app, it is always hard to tell how it will all evolve. We’ve seen many crash and burn, but maybe this one will continue to grow…could this take-over Instagram? Is video now more important that images? We have to remember, even if this platform does not suit your target demographic right now, it won’t be long before Generation Z are your new demographic, so it could be worth your time evolving your company with them and keeping on top of their behaviours and trends. Maybe it’s time to meet the next generation!
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I’ll leave you with a couple of examples of branding practising TikTok marketing:
#ThousandDollarCrocs challenge. The hashtag challenge encouraged users to post what they think their Crocs would look like if they were priced at $1,000. The results: an 18 percent boost in followers.
The Washington Post do a great job at creating a “behind the scenes” atmosphere on their account, showing clips from their office employees being goofy. Pretty approachable, huh? 423.2K Followers