TikTok: The Younger Generation's New Platform

You may have seen TikTok while scrolling through your social media or hearing about it on the news. TikTok, originally called Music.ly, is a video-based social media platform that has mostly been focused on light-hearted and often laughable videos. The app was created by ByteDance, a popular Chinese technology company.  Similar to Vine, TikTok has attracted younger generations in need of simple entertainment. Below are some things to consider if you are thinking about using TikTok for your brand’s marketing.

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Target Audience

TikTok is focused on a very specific market. The platform is used mainly by people between the ages of 16 and 24. The majority of users (about 70%) were also female. If your company’s target audience aligns with this, then it may be a good idea to explore the platform further, but it is not smart to put the time, effort, and money into marketing on the platform if you are trying to reach an older demographic.

Influencer Marketing

TikTok has seen a big shift towards influencer marketing, and has pushed away from paid ads that interrupt the content on the platform. Just like Vine, people have jumpstarted their career on TikTok and have become famous for the short videos they have made. Brands have the opportunity to use these influencers to display and talk about their products or company in general.

Organic Content

If your brand fits the quirky nature of the platform, you can explore the option of creating videos of your own. TikTok is all about originality and personality. Make sure those things are prioritized before you start creating content. If you think this is an  option for you, set up a profile and start seeing how your consumers react!

Hashtag Challenges

Some brands have been utilizing user-generated content from the app by using hashtag challenges. This involves creating a hashtag with a specific call to action for users to post videos. This is a good way for a brand to test the waters and see if their target audience is interested in the brand on the platform. For example, Guess did an #InMyDenim challenge where influencers and users would post videos of them showing off their Guess denim. It provides the brand with exposure, reach, and a fun way for consumers to feel involved with your brand.

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What’s Coming Next?

TikTok is exploring other options for how companies can use the platform for their marketing. First, the app is exploring the use of branded filters. Similar to Snapchat filters, this would allow brands to put their name or product information directly on the videos. Another thing that TikTok is exploring is biddable ads. Companies will have the option to make short ads for the beginning of videos and throughout the app to reach consumers in a new way. Along with this would come better measurement tools for companies to track how their ads are doing. The biddable ads started in January 2019, but more features are coming soon.

To learn more about marketing to Gen Z, check out this post.