TikTok Marketing Take Over

Launched in 2016, TikTok is a rapidly growing social media platform that now boasts over 500 million active users worldwide. In 2019 TikTok became the world’s third most downloaded non-gaming app of the year with an excess of 1.5 billion app downloads. However, even though the app may be gaining popularity, marketing on it may not be right for your business. Before taking the plunge, it’s best to understand how TikTok differs from other social media platforms for business, its inherent strengths and weaknesses, and whether your business is best positioned to take advantage of the platform.


What makes TikTok different?

Before we talk about what makes TikTok different, let’s first cover how to use it. The platform is based on 15-second video content that can be combined to create a video of no longer than 60 seconds. People interact with these videos by scrolling through their feeds, engaging with the posts they like to train their algorithms to show similar content. TikTok has an exceptionally high engagement rate and users typically interact with the platform for 45 minutes a day. 

When correctly managed, social media can be one of the most effective strategies to market your brand on a budget. But what makes TikTok different from all the other social media platforms?

TikTok has taken strengths for all the existing platforms, i.e. the video content approach of YouTube, the quick scrolling functions of Twitter and Facebook, and the native mobile environment of Snapchat and Instagram. It also makes use of an adaptive algorithm so users can easily find and consume their favourite content. 

Unlike other social media apps that tried to overtake Facebook by targeting users of all demographics, TikTok focused on a younger audience. The primary user demographic is aged between 16 and 24, however, the app did grow in popularity with older users during the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 


How to use TikTok to best market your business

People have become increasingly dependent on online shopping, with a predicted 65% of internet users partaking in online browsing for the bulk of their consumer needs. This inclination is predominantly prevalent on TikTok, where over three-quarters of users visit online stores, and nearly a half of the users have purchased something they have seen on the platform.  

While the above does make many business owners eager to enter the TikTok world, it should be noted that measuring ROI is particularly challenging on the app. The marketing focus on TikTok is measured strongly on making connections rather than clicks or direct conversions. This means that the majority of marketing efforts on TikTok are for brand awareness and creating positive brand associations that will indirectly translate to sales over time. 


Types of TikTok ads 

TikTok is open to all businesses, however, they are different ways to market on the app depending on your budget. In general, it’s important to avoid any flops and maximise positive potential by doing research and capitalizing on the current trends within the app. Currently, the app offers the following ad types:

  1. In-feed ads: these are the most common types of ads, they can be up to 15 seconds long and a call to action can be added. 
  2. Brand takeover: These 3-5 second videos or images cannot be skipped by users and can offer a brand broad exposure. 
  3. Top view: these ads appear at the beginning of users’ feeds and can be up to 60 seconds long. 
  4. Influencer partnerships: partnering with an established influencer can be highly effective to kick start any video or campaign by accessing their account’s built-in audience. 

TikTok has demonstrated higher ad engagement and brand awareness for brands who understand the nature of the platform and its audience. If used correctly the platform empowers brands to form deeper connections with their targeted audiences, encouraging deeper customer relationships. But before diving into TikTok, make sure that the platform makes sense for your business.  

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