Social media platforms come and go. But while everyone is tryign to create the best new thing, others may lose sight of whats already in front of them. TikTok has taken the social media game by storm and brands know it. So here is a breakdown about why YOU should be advertising on TikTok.

Understanding TikTok

If you haven’t heard of TikTok yet, you’re probably living under a rock in a remote location. For the uninformed, TikTok took social media by storm with its quirky and somewhat questionable fan following.

TikTok (originally called Music.ly)  is a massive social app for sharing 15-second user-generated videos. Lip-sync, dancing and singing videos dominate the platform, so you can consider TikTok to be a modern spin on karaoke. 

TikTok has also surpassed the one billion downloads milestone and shows zero signs of slowing down in growth. In addition, TikTok is valued at $75 billion, making it the most valuable startup, surpassing Uber.

So how did TikTok become so famous? Well, as the answer isn’t so clear cut, we’ve spent some time evaluating a variety of factors. The biggest factor (or set of factors depending on how you look at it) is how familiar TikTok seems to the average social media user. 

TikTok sticks to the roots of what makes a successful social media app, taking familiar features from Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, Snapchat, Vine (RIP) and making it their own. Features such as hashtags, video uploading, editing, geolocation, live streaming and many more. 

The Opportunity

TikTok presents a massive advertising opportunity for marketers, with over 500 million active users worldwide. Surpassing the likes of Twitter and even Snapchat yet has less ad saturation compared to bigger platforms. Initially, there were little to no ads until they launched an advertising beta in early 2019, roping in some of the big names such as Nike and Apple Music. 

So advertising on this social media platform should be a no brainer right? Except, it’s not when you take into consideration the demographic which uses it. This is due to the fact that your ads may not benefit from being seen by youngsters. In essence, your product needs to first appeal to TikTok users before getting into advertising.

Who Uses TikTok?

With over 500 million monthly active users, 20 million of which are from India, the app has a user base consisting almost entirely of youngsters. In fact, over 66% of their user base is under the age of 30, which falls under Millennials and Generation Z.

India’s TikTok scenes are particularly engaging especially amongst tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Some users have become so popular that brands are reaching out to them for influencer partnerships. 

So How Can Your Brand Take Advantage?

TikTok ads began small with the intent of allowing big brands to test the waters. So naturally, prices are higher than other platforms. But with the full public release of TikTok ads, the prices have evened out.

When approaching TikTok, brands have their own strategies which enforce the communication they’re trying to convey to the audience. The main tool here is videos. How you use those tools is the method of advertising you apply. Here are some of the advertising techniques your brand can take advantage of:

UGC

User-Generated Content is a common term seen across all social media platforms. Here, the term is broad, but it’s still as effective. The secret to a successful UGC campaign is successfully encouraging your audience to get up and participate. 

TikTok users loved getting involved. They love having a happening life. TikTok provides just that with the abundance of trends and challenges. If you can convince your audience to get up and share content which relates to the brand or interacts with your product in a positive manner, your brand will benefit immensely. 

UGC isn’t just for the brand. By creating content, users have a chance to be involved, share their original content and let others have a feel of their passion. This inadvertently creates a cascading effect of trust. 

Customers don’t want to listen to brands constantly blabbering about how great their products are. Instead, they’d rather give their ear to a fellow customer in the same standing as they are and trust them more.

Hashtag Challenges 

If you were to ask users what defined TikTok, a lot of serious answers would be the hashtag challenges. Discussed in the previous point, TikTok users love to get up and participate especially in challenges. 

TikTok is home to these hashtag challenges and we may never see results of successful hashtag campaigns as we do regularly on TikTok. 

Similar to how regular hashtags work on other platforms, you can find relevant content when you type in the hashtag name. The main aim is to generate impressions, views and brand recall when it comes to hashtag challenges. 

Perhaps the most successful hashtag challenge award goes to MAC for their outstanding campaign, racking up a whopping 2.3 billion views. Furthering the shock wow factor over ⅓ of the content was unpaid, meaning with the right targeting, influencers and approach, brands can bear fruitful results without emptying their wallets.

Influencer Marketing 

The advent of any social media platform is bound to create stars. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Vine (RIP again) act as voices for the people unheard and allow them to gather a following. So it’s a given that TikTok would have traditional influencer marketing. Looking to learn more about the future of influencer marketing? Checking out all the details over here.

Influencers have advantages over traditional celebrity endorsements or spokesperson. They have a more genuine, personal relationship with their audience with a greater degree of trust between them. 

The only barrier influencers face when promoting products is that brands are always sceptical and lack trust. Even brands need a certain degree of education about the current environment of what users are okay with and what they are not. The biggest problem influencers have are video production.

Brands need to understand that not all influencers will have a budget and equipment of a full-blown TV ad. Some of their videos will not be up to the mark, but as long as they gain a response and perform adequately, it shows that the production quality is not the biggest concern. 

As for brand leveraging this opportunity masterfully, Myntra and Brand Factory use this method to the best of advantages. The main way these brands use their influencers is by promoting sales and informing its users about upcoming releases. 

TikTok along with Instagram is the future of consumer engagement and should be the deciding factor for brands to hop onto the platform and start advertising. That is of course if your brand and product fit the demographic.