In 2020, no other app could touch the vast growth experienced by TikTok across both Android and Apple platforms. Its rapid growth might be surprising to those who regard the app as just another social media platform, but the fact is that TikTok is actually influencing how people in varying demographics consume online content, and engage in it, making it a dominant force in international family marketing.
TikTok stands out because, unlike traditional social media platforms that seek to capture the user’s desire to keep scrolling through a feed, it engages users through short, interesting, captivating, original, and highly creative video segments that span across a spectrum of interests ranging from a fine niche to trending, highly popular clips.
Realizing the platform’s potential, brands have been using TikTok to create premium content that will keep users entertained. Once one is entertained and impressed, they are likely to come back for more content consumption. Eventually, the user will begin to engage with the brand. This allows for a dynamic engagement with the consumer, rather than communicating through the traditional static image form of marketing. However, this approach works for brands only when they successfully achieve the delivery of true entertainment to their audience.
While TikTok’s growth is unrivaled, it is still a relatively new platform in the social media sphere. This also means that there are still a lot of misconceptions about it. Time to get some of those cleared up.
TikTok Is not Instagram
Instagram’s Reels and TikTok pages may appear similar to the casual observer, but how these two entities cater to their prospective consumers is quite different. They differ in that TikTok engages users who are not yet followers, while Instagram caters to those who are already engaged with the particular reel or the explore page. The two platforms also play to different advertising strengths.
The most important aspect of any marketing methodology is brand awareness. TikTok’s formula is based around the generation of creative content in order to amplify the message that a brand is trying to broadcast. Paired with the fact that TikTok averages 15% to 18% engagement (the highest for any social media platform), makes this medium a winner among those aimed at generation z marketing or kids marketing to boost the attention to their brand’s products or services.
TikTok accomplishes generating such engagement through several pertinent strategies:
- Hashtag Challenges: This strategy allows users to create fresh brand content that appears on the discovery page or sharing of it on one’s own page. It also permits collaboration with influencers to draw attention to a brand by generating organic content that has the potential to go viral.
- Shoppable Advertisements: This strategy is essentially the hashtag challenge with a more overt call to action via a “Show Now” feature being included within the content.
- Brand-based Takeover Ads: Grabbing the users' attention right from their app’s start-up, then keeping them as a captive audience for some period of time, long enough for them to be exposed to a brand.
- Brand Stickers: Spreading sharable stickers across the TikTok platform.
- In-Feed Ads: Being able to track the engagement of ads within the brand’s feed via CPM, CPC, and CPV methods.
Some believe that they can simply transfer their Instagram advertising to TikTok seamlessly, but due to the different nature and approaches of the platforms, this is not a strategy that yields advantageous results due to the distinct variants of paid-media amplification and influencer participation.
TikTok has been changing the landscape of how consumers and content creators engage with one another, making it imperative for brands to learn how to leverage its array of strategies to put their brand’s names out there and this is exactly what our international agency network specializes in and can easily help with.
Entertainment Comes First
While it is a great marketing tool, first and foremost, TikTok is an entertainment platform. This is, after all, where its value is most deeply rooted. Because the platform is built around users engaging with one another, brands can similarly engage with prospective clients by developing highly entertaining, creative, and vastly engagement-driven content through the platform.
Similar to Instagram’s Explore page, TikTok’s feed utilizes a vertical format to display to users the hottest, newest, and most creative new trends with the hope of capturing their attention with the use of hashtags, challenges, and trending songs. That means that any user or brand, regardless of how little attention has been given to them before that point, can score itself massive recognition by simply figuring out new, fresh, interesting content to display.
The high level of engagement translates to users wanting to be a part of the trend, cutting off a major need for influencers, instead choosing to engage with other users based on challenges and ideas presented by those users’ videos. This develops as a cyclical effect, with more users playing off of each others’ ideas to develop their own creative spins and takes on it, propelling the trend forward.
TikTok Works For Everyone
Sure, at one point TikTok was a platform for catchy dance trends and clips of hilarious fails, but it has transformed and grown into a giant full of entertainment and education. The education aspect ranges from explainer clips and tutorials across a wide swath of industries ranging from healthcare and wellness to cooking, beauty, and DYI hacks. One thing is for certain, it can be one of the tools used for Gen Z marketing.
The more users join in on the platform’s movement the more ideas are put forward. More users join, learning about the effectiveness of TikTok, growing the platform’s library into a wide range of material available to any user armed with a smart device. These days, if a brand in the fashion, beauty, tech, food, fitness, wellness, or home or family marketing wants to stay relevant, they must utilize an actionable strategy on the TikTok platform.