If you’ve come across a funny video on social media recently, chances are, it originated and went viral on TikTok.
If you’re not yet familiar with the platform, it’s a short-form video-sharing app that allows creators to use an assortment of filters, effects, and audio and music libraries to make 5-60 second videos.
TikTok is often associated with Gen Z, as the biggest age group in the U.S. is 18-24-year-olds, which account for 42% of users. 13-17-year-olds make up 27% of users. Don’t let that deter you, as the app democratizes content more than any other social network.
Why you should be paying attention to TikTok
With TikTok, you don’t have to establish significant followings to land on the For You Page, which is the equivalent to Instagram’s explore page. This app has the ability to spread influence farther and faster than any other platform. TikTok currently has over 800 million monthly active users, which is more than many other popular social networks, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
Still not convinced?! The video platform is also one of the world’s most downloaded apps in recent years, surpassing both the one billion and 1.5 billion downloads mark on the App Store and Google Play in 2019.
Additionally, like many other social networks, TikTok has a growing number of influencers and meme-makers utilizing the platform. In fact, there are more than 35 TikTok stars who have followers in the tens of millions – most of whom are not celebrities.
Amazing dancers, comedians, average people, doctors, teachers, journalists, nutritionists, etc. are all brought together by the same songs and relatable jokes. Top creators in the app have great recognition amongst users in general, no matter what box they technically fit in.
What users can do on the app
Watch and create videos: Videos can be uploaded or created within the app, with stop and start recording, timers, and other tools. Creators can take advantage of visual filters, time effects, split screens, green screens, transitions, stickers, GIFs, emojis, etc. Live streaming is also available!
Add Music: TikTok has a massive music library, and its integration with Apple Music is where the app has a leg up on all other social platforms. Creators can add, remix, save, and discover songs and sounds via playlists, videos, etc.
Lip Sync: In addition to adding music to videos, another popular trend on TikTok is lip-syncing along to popular tv, movie, and even other TikToker’s audio. You can upload your own original sound, or use one that has been uploaded to the platform by another user.
Engage with others: Users can follow accounts they like, and react with hearts, gifts, comments, or shares on videos they like. Videos, hashtags, sounds, and effects can all be added to a user’s Favorites section.
Discover: The Discover feed is mainly for hashtags, but users can also search for keywords, users, videos, and sound effects. If you’re looking to add a specific user, you can find them by searching their username as well.
What brands can do on the app
Brands can utilize all of the same features as general users! Some brand-specific tools include:
Branded hashtag challenges: This is currently the most popular tactic for brands on the platform. These campaigns encourage users to make videos related to a specific hashtag, using a specific song or set of dance moves. Challenges are a user-favorite on the app, as 16% of all videos on the platform are tied to hashtag challenges.
Takeover ad: This ad pops up when someone first opens the app. Ads can be 3-5 seconds long full-screen video, GIFs, or images. TikTok only promotes one advertiser per day and guarantees 5 million daily impressions.
In-feed video ads: Ads are between 5-15 seconds-long, and are essentially promoted TikTok videos. The ads are promoted on the For You Page and can drive clicks to an internal or external page.
Branded lenses: You can partner with TikTok to create 2D and 3D lenses for users to “try on” and share. You will also receive a spot in the Trending section of the Discover tab for 10 days!
Influencer partnerships: Many brands are collaborating with influencers to promote hashtag challenges, or even just to promote products. TikTok will even provide you with a list of potential creators to partner with!
How you can get started
While this app may be very different from the other social networks you’re used to leveraging, it’s important to have an open mind. You don’t want your brand to ignore potential advertising opportunities, hop on a trend too late, or miss out on reaching members of your target audience.
At the same time, you don’t want to adopt any trends that don’t fit your persona or go against your overall brand strategy. As a next step, download the app and familiarize yourself with how it works and what type of content is being shared on a daily basis. What are the latest songs and audio clips users are obsessed with? What new filters and effects have been rolled out?
Once you have a deeper understanding of the app and the types of content that resonate most with users, take the time to review your brand documents and marketing materials to identify the opportunities that await you! We can’t wait to hear your ideas and help you bring them to life.
Ready to start creating? Call, DM, or email me at email@example.com to discuss ideas. We would love to connect with you!