TikTok is the new kid on the block.
You might not have even heard of it before you clicked on this post – somehow. And if this is you, and you’re a digital marketer who has somehow let TikTok pass them by, then it’s time for that to change. It may be the infant of the group, but TikTok has made a colossal step in the world of social media and digital marketing. So grab your reading glasses and a notebook because we’re about to delve into the energetic world of the fresh-faced video platform that has taken over the hearts and minds of Gen-Z the world over.
At its core, TikTok is a short video sharing platform that gives its users the chance to show off their creative chops for up to a minute with the help of its wide range of effects and filters. The company has had a storied rise to power and is actually the international version of a Chinese app called ‘Douyin’ after it was merged with the lip-synching app ‘Music.ly’ back in 2017 by the parent company, ByteDance.
You still with us…?
Confusing history aside, the rise of TikTok isn’t our main priority – what has been happening since is what we digital marketers are interested in. You see, since its arrival in 2017, TikTok has grown to be one of the leading apps available on mobile and a leader in the social networking realm. Recent figures put its monthly userbase at – you ready?
800 million. Not total installs, not total users. 800 million people using TikTok every month.
For comparison, Twitter has been one of the leading social media platforms for years and has gained (a meagre) 330 million users since.
If you’re familiar with Facebook’s equally mind-blowing monthly user base of nearly 3 billion (yes you read that right) then this may not be as mind-blowing as I’m making it out to be, but consider how long Facebook has had to grow that user base to where it is now. It’s had over a decade to earn that number and TikTok is very quickly catching up.
Find more statistics at Statista
That’s not to say that TikTok is going to be the Facebook killer, the two platforms have two very different USP’s and demographics, and Facebook has arguably a much wider pool of people to appeal to than TikTok, which we will cover now.
Understand how social media can make or break your digital marketing plan here: Digital Marketing & Social Media
TikTok’s Demographic: The ABC’s of Generation Z
As mentioned earlier, TikTok has been made with the Gen-Z consumers in mind, aged 9 to 24-year-olds. Gen-Z is a unique generation of people in that they are the first to be brought up with the mainstream accessibility of the internet that we all enjoy today. In the past decade, this has been in the form of Facebook and Tumblr, until the arrival of photo-centric Snapchat and the six-second shenanigans of the late Vine.
Interestingly, this focus on photo and video has been what has stuck with Gen Z, and is what defines their generation of consumption. Similarly, this is what defines the marketing strategies of those who are looking to reach them.
Enter TikTok, with 800 million monthly active users that seemed to appear out of nowhere. Whilst all the young’uns were out there recording themselves lip-synching to music, discussing their favourite hobbies, and being an all-round creative bunch, the older bunch of marketers seemed it best to just leave them to it.
But part of TikTok’s brilliance is actually its marketing potential and how it relates to its audience through immersion.
How Brands Can Use TikTok
On a platform based solely on sharing short videos, what better way of advertising your products than by creating your own videos?
One brand that has mastered this is RyanAir. If you want an example of effective and low-cost advertising on TikTok, then look no further than the budget airline’s channel:
You may have watched these and questioned why these are such effective methods of advertising for brands – they don’t really make sense, right?
Yeah, that’s kinda the point. Gen Z is also unique in its humour. Having spent many of their formative years with an online persona of sorts, it is easy for this generation to rally behind random jokes and memes that don’t make sense outside of that online bubble. TikTok is currently one of the biggest online bubbles for Gen Z humour out there, and brands like Ryan Air are catching on.
You may have noticed all the hashtags involved in the text box of the above TikToks, they’re not there by accident. In fact, hashtags and hashtag challenges are an essential part of TikTok’s culture.
In their essence, hashtags are a great way of categorising content under a certain theme or community in order for it to be more easily found and memorable.
There is the main hashtag that every aspiring ‘TikToker’ hopes to reach, the revered #ForYouPage.
The For You page is TikTok’s silver bullet when it comes to tailor-made recommendations for its users. Based on the time spent on certain content, TikTok’s algorithm will send its users more and more content that it thinks you will enjoy, usually to stunning effect
The idea, then, is to make a video so in line with the trending topics of the time, that TikTok pushes it to everyone itself, no further work needed on your part. The For You hashtag is a potent tool in creating and predicting successful content on TikTok.
Another way in which hashtags are utilised on TikTok is through challenges. TikTok challenges are another unique feature of the platform that challenges users to create content based off of a certain challenge or theme. One of the more popular uses of TikTok #challenges was the #tumbleweedchallenge by none other than US late-night host, Jimmy Fallon, after discussing it on his show.
It might seem like Fallon is just indulging in his naturally childish nature through this challenge, but make no mistake that this was a strategic move by the marketing teams of TikTok. Keep in mind that this was done in the app’s early days, so it’s likely that TikTok approached Fallon and asked if he could create a segment that took advantage of TikTok’s challenge feature.
Regardless, it worked. The #TumbleweedChallenge reportedly generated thousands of submissions and, most importantly for TikTok, millions of engagement and first-time installs for the app.
What’s your least fav chore? 😅##tumbleweedchallenge @fallontonight |🗣 @@ourfire 🎥@@tjblk♬ #TumbleweedChallenge – The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon
Samsung is another example of successfully utilising the creative power of TikTok to sell its products. For the launch of its Galaxy A phone, it teamed up with TikTok influencers to show off the potential of the phone, as seen here.
In conclusion, TikTok is a new and powerful platform, not only for young people to enjoy in their free time, but for brands and digital marketers to show this audience why their product is the best out there. If you can speak to the TikTok generation in the right way, then there’s no doubt that you can take advantage of this huge circle of consumers that spend a lot of their time with TikTok.
Need help building your construction brand? Framework Marketing is a one-stop solution to helping online construction businesses grow through digital marketing. For more info, visit our website here or get in touch with Michaela at 01204 357658.