TikTok, the app that most of us refused to take seriously, is now one of the most lucrative money-making platforms that the internet has ever come up with. TikTok marketing is on the rise. And with that, TikTok celebrities and influencers seem to have become an integral part of the marketing hemisphere.
Most businesses seem to be critically dependent on the traffic that TikTok brings them. But is TikTok really the present and the future of digital marketing?
Let’s find out.
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TikTok – A Short History
Before TikTok came into existence, we had Douyin. ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, introduced this app in the Chinese market in 2016. The noteworthy success resulted in ByteDance rebranding the app as “TikTok” and presenting it internationally in 2017.
Within the first few months of its launch in the international market, TikTok was already soaring through the skies. It trended as the #1 free mobile app, which led to eventual collaboration with Musical.ly – bound to dominate the Western market. The rest is history.
As of now, TikTok has over 800 million monthly active users. Eight. Hundred. Million. These numbers are awe-worthy and leave behind prominent tech giants like Facebook and Twitter. What’s even more astounding is that the app has been downloaded over a billion times ever since its initial lunch.
But Who Uses TikTok as a Marketing Tool?
You’d be surprised to know that a LOT of brands are increasingly using TikTok as a marketing tool. For example, Chipotle. Chipotle has over 1.3 million fans! They use various mediums on TikTok to connect with and engage their fans.
This includes memes, music, and other relevant trends. Chipotle also introduced what turned out to be one of the most successful brand challenges on TikTok – the #GuacDance challenge. Tons of people jumped on the bandwagon and posted videos of them dancing with avocados. This helped Chipotle step into the spotlight and stayed there for the fans!
Another brand that very actively utilizes TikTok as a marketing tool is The Washington Post. One might assume that they strictly provide informational and serious content – which is true for their other platforms. But not for TikTok!
On TikTok, they let their subscribers have a glimpse into the comedic “behind the scenes” footage at their headquarters. That is a very strategic marketing approach; the fans can relate to the fun stuff! Very strategically, The Washington Post is using TikTok to engage fans and disassociate from the traditional image of a news provider.
Only recently, Ocean Spray “gave back” to a TikTok user named Noah Apodaca when a video made by him featuring the drink went viral. The juice sales went considerably up after the video, and Ocean Spray felt the need to do something special for Apodaca.
They gifted him with a truck full of Ocean Spray juices! Not only is it a wonderful marketing strategy, but it is also a remarkable way to connect with fans.
Thanks for the new wheels ocean spray! 🙏. @tomhayes603 #oceanspray
So, What Makes TikTok Different?
The fact that TikTok has managed to surpass its competitors in such a short amount of time makes one wonder – how? Let’s have a look at everything that has and continues to make TikTok stand out from the rest of the social media apps and sites.
Unlike its predecessors, TikTok specifically targeted millennials. Their Customer Acquisition campaigns were mainly constructed to attract the younger generations, and their UX is also reflective of the fact that the app has been made to fit the needs of millennials and Gen Z.
Its popularity among the younger generations has been a point of concern. People argue that the app is merely a means of entertainment for youngsters, nothing else. However, this specific targeting has only worked in favor of TikTok.
The convenience and lack of cost that comes with its front-camera production and viral content strategy fit for teenagers also make it the perfect marketing tool to expand a business.
The primary content posted on TikTok is in the form of visuals. Since there is little to read, it is quite convenient for the user to register the content. Essentially, this encourages excessive consumerism – the content you find on TikTok is far easier to consume than its competitors such as Facebook and Twitter.
The video-based platform offers “snackable” posts that don’t require any effort from the user. It is one of the many things that make it an ultimate fan-favorite!
Also, TikTok has always branded itself as an entertainment app. This sets it apart from other social media platforms that are now hybrids of news-reporting, marketing, and entertainment. TikTok’s identity as an entertainment app makes it way more attractive to an ordinary consumer – and hence makes it an essential platform for businesses.
We have already touched upon how convenient TikTok is to use, but let’s get into its depth to gain a better look. TikTok has made making videos easier than it ever was. There is literally 0 cost involved; you don’t have to go to a studio, you don’t have to hire models, you don’t even need fancy equipment. All you need is your smartphone and a content strategy – and you’re good to go!
What this also means is that everyone on TikTok is a star. Almost everyone. While this is questionable to most people, it is actually very profitable for businesses. They don’t have to spend money on models and shoots and ambassadors; they can hire a TikTok celebrity to do all of that for them.
In Touch with Reality
While this is definitely not something everyone realizes about TikTok, it’s real. TikTok is more in touch with reality than any of the other apps out there.
The app’s format rejects the high-aesthetic model used by Instagram and allows users to be themselves and show a glimpse into their real lives. This is the natural pull behind TikTok stars and influencers; people relate to them. And because people relate to them, they are more likely to trust their endorsement of brands.
TikTok allows user to do about anything and everything- with no effort involved, of course. Whether you are a singer looking to show off your vocals or a makeup artist planning to flex your blending skills, TikTok is the ultimate go-to for you to showcase your talent.
The app has indeed become the hotpot for creativity – which works both for casual users and businesses. Maximize the creativity and take away all the effort – what do you get? You get TikTok. And seamless marketing.
How To Maximize Your Success through TikTok Marketing?
All in all, we have established that TikTok is an excellent platform for businesses to execute their marketing strategy. However, there is still a lot of ambiguity generally on how you can do that.
Well, to begin with, you first need to disassociate TikTok from its traditional identity as “that fun app for kids.” TikTok has so much more potential waiting for you to bite into, so maybe it’s time you started taking it seriously too!
Secondly, you must get a good grasp of leveraging the app and expanding your business. It can not happen in one day, but when it does, it will be worth it! It might sound daunting, but in actuality, all you need is to familiarize yourself with a few tips and tricks that can come in handy!
To help you, we’ve come up with a small, specially curated list of the top 10 things you must remember if you want to use TikTok for what it is; the best marketing tool you can find in today’s day and age.
Top Ten Tips for TikTok Marketing
- Decide what you want to be known for and construct a content strategy accordingly.
- Frequency matters a lot – so stay active and post at least thrice a day.
- Pair TikTok with other platforms to gain the best results.
- Engage with as many comments as possible.
- Follow trends where possible – but don’t overdo it!
- Immerse yourself in the app and familiarize yourself with all the features.
- Practice makes perfect – so keep making those videos until you get the hang of it.
- Authenticity is vital; be yourself and watch it do wonders.
- Make quality content that stands out from the crowd.
- Stay patient!
In general, the more time you spend on the app, the better it is. Knowing who and what is popular is crucial, and that will only come from engaging with TikTok as much as possible.
Despite the glory of TikTok, there are still a lot of people who question its place in the corporate world. Now that we have gone over everything that makes the app useful, it is safe to say that TikTok is not just an app for low-cost entertainment. It is the most helpful marketing tool that you can count on, especially in comparison to some of its infamous counterparts.
So before your competitor dives into the app, you better grab that phone get TikTok-ing!