TikTok’s rapid growth has provided a new social media platform that includes content for every niche out there. With 2 billion app downloads and over 1 billion accounts made, TikTok quickly reached the top of the charts in today’s social media popularity. While it started out as an application mainly used by younger generations, the user demographic and number of app downloads have spiked in recent months.
In just one year, the number of users over the age of 18 has tripled from 12.6 million in 2017 to 39.2 million in 2018. As TikTok has blown up it has become a successful platform for influencers, YouTubers, and businesses both big and small. As a result, TikTok has recently launched TikTok for Business: a new marketing platform that allows brands to reach TikTok’s diverse user base.
TikTok For Business launched at the end of June and was created with the goal of “giv[ing] marketers the tools to be discovered and connect with the broader communities around them,” as described by Katie Puris, managing director of global business marketing.
There are several advertisement options that business accounts may choose from including the following:
The ad is the first thing to show when a user opens the app
|Brand Takeover||3-5 second ads as either a video or an image|
|In-Feed Videos||Video up to 60 seconds with sound that appear in a users feed|
|Hashtag Challenges||Brands create hashtags for trends/challenges that users can do and post using that hashtag|
|Hashtag Plus||An addition to Hashtag Challenges, but adds the user ability to shop from the ad|
|Branded Effects||2D, 3D, or AR filters that include the brand or product being advertised.|
Why Should You Use It?
Puris accredits the success that brands have had on TikTok to the “ability to creatively engage and connect with users through feelings, actions and sounds,” rather than depending on flashy visuals to grab people’s attention.
The nature of TikTok is widely inclusive and filled with people and content that is meant to inspire through visuals, sounds, and storytelling. An ad experience on TikTok has the opportunity to be vastly different than the ads we are used to seeing on screens. Videos show up while scrolling through the For You Page, which allows businesses to place their brand among the community, rather than on the side where they can be easily ignored or conditionally dismissed. The ability for users to comment and engage with ads allows for conversation and like-minded people to bond over a shared interest.
Trends are a popular way for TikTok users to connect with one another, and businesses have the opportunity to hop onto existing trends or create new ones for others to pick up. The beauty of TikTok is how easily you can reach a massive consumer base by creating one viral video.
Similar to Snapchat’s Sponsored Lens, the ability to create an interactive filter piques interest and drives users to engage with the brand out of curiosity and amusement. By sharing videos using the filter, it reaches a larger web of viewers who will then be exposed to the ad without realizing or associating it with a typical ad experience.
Influencers and content creators have been flourishing on TikTok because of the ability to edit within the app using endless filters and effects, as well as the ability to edit videos using one’s own editing software and upload them to the app with high quality results.
What Can You Do?
Businesses can partner with popular accounts that qualify for brand partnerships, so influencers can post sponsored ads to their hundreds of thousands of followers (one requirement to unlock this feature is having 100,000+ followers). Most of the 20 most followed TikTok influencers have partnered with companies to produce sponsored content.
TikTok also offers in-depth analytics and statistics, which lets an account analyze its audience demographic and post activity/engagement.
Here are some useful links to help inspire your TikTok business venture:
- Guide to TikTok advertising
- A guide for brands and influencers: how to use TikTok
- Best practices for TikTok influencer marketing
To top it all off, TikTok For Business is providing $100 million in ad credits for small businesses as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on the fragility of small businesses. It is not uncommon for small business owners, artists, and talents to have a video go viral, instantly increasing their sales and activity almost overnight.
Larger corporations have also caught on to the power of TikTok as an advertising platform by posting comical and relatable content that users want to engage with. By having a successful TikTok profile, it encourages people to post videos in an attempt to catch a brand’s attention in hopes of “being sponsored” or being followed by the account. Sometimes it’s serious and sometimes it’s just a joke. Either way, encouraging people to post using a brand name is an additional form of advertisement you don’t need to pay for. Plenty of brands have already successfully used TikTok to gain a larger following and connection with users.
If your brand is targeted towards younger generations (60% of TikTok users fall in the Gen Z category), then you should definitely consider using TikTok For Business for advertisements. TikTok as a platform allows for countless ways to capture the attention of a generation with a notoriously small attention span, and that in itself is something worth investing in.