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The Value of Social Media Marketing on TikTok — Why Brands Should Consider It

social media marketing on tiktok

Everyone has heard of TikTok by now. And even if you haven’t, you’ve likely already seen some of the platform’s videos without even knowing their origin. But how did this app become so popular so quickly? Did social media marketing on TikTok get off the ground yet? What is the future of this app? These and many more questions are still up in the air, but one thing is for sure — the reign of this social app over the digital world is indisputable. 

As found by Influencer Marketing Hub, TikTok was the second most popular app in 2019, with about 738 million downloads across both Android and iOS. On top of that, TikTok also has over 800 million active users worldwide (500 million in China) and currently rakes in an estimated $3.5 million in monthly earnings!

As you can see, the platform has a massive user base and is highly profitable, which begs the question — just how lucrative is it for marketers?

That, among other things, is what we’re going to find out. Here’s what we’ll cover in brief: 

Now, without any further delay, let’s get to the matter at hand.

What Is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media app that focuses on sharing short video clips that began its online journey in 2014. Although it started as an app called Musical.ly, where users posted videos of themselves lip-synching to various music, its creators soon rebranded and expanded it to what is today known as TikTok (or Douyin in China).

The fundamental change in the video thematics on the TikTok app is what led to its sudden rise to fame. From videos exclusively focused on lip-synching to music, the app became home to an incredible variety of user-made humoristic content. The app was likened to Vine, a popular short-form video platform that had shut down recently, and, in a way, served as its replacement.

Videos on TikTok can be up to 15 seconds long. That leaves plenty of room for freedom in content creation while making the product easily digestible. However, that is the primary differentiator between this app and, for example, YouTube. These short-form TikTok videos cater to today’s fast-paced lifestyles and people’s shorter attention spans. These factors, alongside the user-friendliness of Instagram-like interface and personalized profiles, are what made this app so appealing to many.

TikTok’s interactivity and large user base are what makes it a unique opportunity for marketers worldwide. Overall, the focus on video content combined with the platform’s demographics makes it a fantastic marketing medium for some businesses. Speaking of users… 

What Is TikTok’s User Base?

When it comes to the platform’s demographics, it is essential for all marketing endeavors. Now, according to data from Hootsuite, TikTok’s user base predominantly consists of Gen Z users. The most numerous are 18–24 year-olds, making up 42% of the total in the U.S. In the same manner, 13–17 year-olds comprise 27% of the platform’s U.S. user base. Although TikTok’s global user demographics consist of mostly younger audiences, in China, the dominant age bracket is slightly higher than the rest of the world (25–44). Finally, the gender division of the platform’s user base slightly favors female (60%) over male (40%) users.

When taking this data in mind, it is evident that TikTok is an excellent platform for marketers targeting younger audiences. That is why many businesses have already adopted various TikTok marketing strategies to take advantage of this app’s power. We know this app won’t fit all brands’ needs, but TikTok’s immense growth and potential are potent tools in the right hands. That is why we believe all marketers should keep a close eye on this platform, even if it might not suit their current needs — things are liable to change in the future.

6 Ways Marketers Can Use TikTok

social media marketing tiktok

If you’ve identified TikTok as a marketing channel with high potential for your business, it’s time to give you some insight into how you can use it to the fullest. Here are six ways you can utilize TikTok to market your brand:

1. Make a Channel for Your Brand and Post Video Content Relevant to Your Business

This method is pretty straightforward and similar to what you’d do on YouTube. By having an active TikTok channel, you could create videos relevant to your business. All social media marketers know that the more social networks your brand is on, the more effective you’ll be at getting your product out there. Overall, creating your dedicated TikTok channel would increase your brand awareness and maintain a steady line of communication with your younger customers in particular.

2. Use TikTok to Showcase Behind-the-Scenes Content

This point is pretty straightforward — TikTok’s short-form videos are a perfect way to give your customers an inside look into your company. Aside from that, you could even upload some spur-of-the-moment clips to showcase that your brand isn’t just some tall, concrete building in the city center. Quite the contrary — it’s made up of real people. That kind of down-to-earth communication will prove particularly effective due to TikTok’s younger audience. Such a strong message is sure to resonate well with the youth.

3. Create Product Demonstration and Tutorial Videos

One could say that there are better platforms for this type of content, such as YouTube, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include these types of videos in your social media strategy for TikTok as well! However, the catch here will be to adapt this content to TikTok’s short-form video format. That means you’ll have to make every second count! But, if you ask us, that is an excellent thing to strive for. Not only will it save your users time, but it will also force you to be more creative with your explainer videos. And we’re sure your customers will love that!

@onlink8787

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♬ Countdown – Gabriel Candiani

4. Make Brand #HashtagChallenges

Now we come to the exclusively-TikTok part! #HashtagChallenges are all the rage on the platform, and they’re a tool you shouldn’t miss out on under any circumstances. TikTok itself points out that 35% of TikTok users actively participate in them, which makes them one of the best means of raising brand awareness on the platform.

But how do these challenges work? It’s quite straightforward — you will create a branded #HashtagChallenge and will invite users to send their video responses following your terms. These will include anything from asking your audience to play something out, do some dance moves, or make a funny video on a specific theme — the possibilities are almost endless. Due to the viral nature of this platform and users’ willingness to actively participate, #HashtagChallenges are a fantastic way to build your brand’s image on TikTok.

5. Reach Out to Prominent Influencers to Promote or Feature Your Product 

Just like on any other social media platform, influencer marketing is highly potent. And despite TikTok being pretty young, it still has thousands of prominent influencers on it. However, since this platform’s content is so short, you will have to adjust your influencer marketing strategy. 

Instead of having those people talk about your product or openly promote it, you should focus on getting exposure. In other words, when indulging in influencer marketing on TikTok, you will be paying people to use and feature your products rather than openly promote them. So this method best works for brands whose products are highly sought-after and widely-used, especially among the young population.

@hello_happy_mom

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♬ original sound – hello_happy_mom

6. Use TikTok’s Paid Advertising Campaigns

Last but not least are the traditional paid advertising campaigns. Unfortunately, this TikTok’s feature is still in its infancy. That is why most marketers used to extensive analytics and intuitiveness of more ingrained social advertising mediums like Facebook or Twitter will find TikTok’s ad campaigns lacking. Nevertheless, they are a valuable asset to all advertisers as they offer the easiest way to get exposure.

Still, you will have a few options to choose from. The most common types of ads you can find, aside from the already mentioned #HashtagChallenges are brand takeover and in-feed native video ads. The former will entail your brand’s ad appearing for an entire day before any user-generated content. At the same time, the latter is short-form video ads between 9 and 15 seconds long that will be featured between users’ videos in the app’s feed. So even with just a few ad types available, you will have plenty of opportunities to promote your brand via paid advertising campaigns on TikTok.

And just because there aren’t many advertising options on the platform currently doesn’t mean there won’t be in the future. Don’t forget how quickly the platform rose to fame!

Tips for Brands Looking to Get Into Social Media Marketing on TikTok

Before we wrap up, we wanted to give all of you new to TikTok marketing a few tips to get you started. Here’s what you should keep in mind when advertising on this social video platform:

Unleash Your Inner Teen and Be Genuine

However unusual this may sound from a business perspective, TikTok is an app with a very… particular spirit. Also, since your audience will primarily consist of teens and young adults, you will want your message to resonate with them. And how can you best achieve that? Well, definitely not through a bunch of business suits and ties. That approach might fare well in the business world, but it won’t work on TikTok’s audience (unless, of course, it’s satirical).

Perhaps one of the most notable aspects of TikTok is that its content is highly engaging. And if you want yours to get any traction whatsoever, it has to follow the same pattern. So don’t be afraid to goof off and be silly; after all, that is the spirit of the platform. Trust us — your audience will love to see the fun side of your brand as well!

@washingtonpost

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♬ Happy Together – Weezer

Create Concise and Impactful Content

Brevity is essential to attracting viewers on TikTok — the shorter your content, the better. Now, we know you won’t have much time to begin with; after all, the platform’s innate limit is only 15 seconds. However, you should aim to make your content even shorter! After all, the power of your message is proportional to the quality of the points you make but inversely proportional to the amount of time it takes you to make them. For everyone who is having flashbacks to their second-grade math classes right now, this merely means you should aim to state your point in the least amount of time. Believe it or not, by making your brand’s message so “punchy,” people will be more likely to remember it!

Get on TikTok Right Now!

All experienced marketers will tell you that building a brand presence on a social network takes time, regardless of how well-established your business is. So that’s why it’s imperative to get the ball rolling as soon as possible!

Aside from that, many brands are still reluctant to give TikTok a go, so its market is ripe for the picking! However, that might not be the case for much longer, so we urge you not to miss the boat on this one. It never hurts to experiment a little, even if it doesn’t pay out in the end. A much more significant loss would be to miss out on huge potential revenue this platform could bring.

Is the Future of Social Media Marketing on TikTok?

The answer to this question is uncertain, just like everything in marketing. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that TikTok will play a massive role in the online advertising realm soon. With TikTok being the third most downloaded app in 2019, its popularity will inevitably continue growing. And with that, many more marketing opportunities are bound to come. 

If your target audience fits this platform’s demographics, you’d be remiss not to take advantage of it! So what are you waiting for? Get started with social media marketing on TikTok today!

We wish you plenty of luck on your journey!

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