TikTok is taking over. The relatively new social media platform is growing so fast that marketers simply can’t ignore it anymore.
The fun social network is most popular among the younger generations and fits perfectly into the recent growth in popularity of online video.
You have probably heard about Musical.ly before? In 2017, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance started TikTok after purchasing Musical.ly. The main goal of starting TikTok was to broaden the focus of Musical.ly from only music - and lip-syncing videos to a larger variety of videos.
TikTok currently has over 500 million active users worldwide. That is huge, especially for an app that has only been online for a few years. To give you some perspective: Twitter currently has 330 million active users and LinkedIn ‘only’ 303 million.
This fast growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, as TikTok was the number 1 most downloaded app in the Apple Store in the first quarter of 2019.
So what exactly is TikTok? And how can businesses integrate the popular into their marketing strategies?
TikTok is a social media channel where users can upload 60-second videos. Videos can have different themes or topics, but most of them are music videos, memes or short instruction videos.
As Influencer Marketing Hub explains, there are three different ways in which brands can use TikTok to market their product or service.
To start with, they can create their own TikTok channel and share their own content. If you do this right, this is the most consistent and long-lasting strategy for TikTok success. However, it is the most time-consuming strategy too. Creating a video that is worth sharing takes time and effort. People get more and more creative on the platform, which sets the bar high for editing skills and filming equipment.
Second, brands can choose to work with TikTok influencers to have them promote their product or service. This saves a lot of time and will reach a large number of people at once. And although this is often a one-off boost in success (a campaign doesn’t last forever), chances ongoing viral are a lot higher with this strategy. And this can result in many new followers and fans.
As a last option, brands can choose to advertise on TikTok. TikTok advertising is possible but is still at an early stage. The platform is currently developing its advertising possibilities, and therefore only accepts certain advertisers for certain projects. Setting up your own ad directly on TikTok is not possible yet, which means you have first to apply to be able to join their advertising platform.
Although many brands choose a combination between the above possibilities (having your own channel and working with influencers is the most common one), we would like to dive deeper into influencer marketing on TikTok.
Within only a few years, TikTok has become a popular place for influencers. Influencer accounts have been growing rapidly, and it’s not hard to find accounts with thousands, or even millions of followers. And the best thing: Influencers on TikTok often ask less money than they do on other platforms. Why? Probably because the platform is still relatively new, compared to, for instance, Instagram.
“Social Chain told The Telegraph that it estimates that a TikTok influencer with between one million and 2.5 million followers could make in the region of £500 (€600) to £800 (€959) for a post, whereas an advertiser would expect to pay £8,000 (€9586) to £10,000 (€11982) on Instagram.” - Joele Forrester - TalkingInfluence.
There are different ways to do this. You can simply scroll through TikTok and search on relevant hashtags for your business. In many cases, you will come across suitable accounts quickly.
Are you looking for a more structured way of finding the right person to promote your product or service? Then you can use influencer marketing platforms like Upfluence or Neoreach. Here you can enter the characteristics your influencer needs to have (interests and number of followers, for instance) and contact the ones that are most relevant for you.
Once you have selected a list of possible influencers, you can contact them and plan out your campaign. In most cases, the influencer will create the video for you and will advise you on what will work best for their audience.
A popular type of campaign on TikTok is the hashtag challenge. A hashtag campaign often starts with an influencer post, and gets its own life when others join the ‘trend.’
An excellent example is the #InMyDenim campaign by Guess. In 2018, Guess worked with TikTok influencer accounts OurFire and Madison Willow to promote their clothing. In partnership with both TikTok and the influencers, Guess asked TikTok users to share videos of them in their best Guess denim looks, using the hashtag #InMyDenim.
The campaign was an enormous success. Videos with the campaign's hashtag got seen over 38 million times, which meant a massive reach for the brand among the young audience they wanted to connect with.
What better way to increase your reach than working with only a few influencers, and having thousands of TikTok users share your message?
Especially for brands with a young audience, we think TikTok is a crucial part of any marketing strategy. With or without influencers, the potential of the platform is huge, especially since it's still in the relatively early stages.
Do you think your business could benefit from working with TikTok, but are you unsure where to start? Feel free to contact us for a FREE strategy call so we can discuss how we can help you get started.
Would you like to learn more about marketing and social media, then our Social Media Gids Community may be a great place for you. Here we share many excellent resources and work together with an inspirational group of business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers. Our FREE e-books and our Social Marketing class, for instance, are a great help for those wanting to improve in the field of social media marketing.