Time to add TikTok to your marketing strategy?

13 April 2023

When it comes to the history of platforms, none have become as popular as quickly as TikTok. What started as a dance app for teens is now a global phenomenon with an undeniable cultural impact. TikTok has revived the concept of brand love — but is TikTok a safe bet for organisations? And how does TikTok fit into a marketing strategy in 2023?

tiktok video

What is TikTok?

TikTok launched across the globe in 2017. Originally known as a social media platform for short vertical videos, now the maximum video length has grown to 10 minutes.

Users have the option to follow other users — creators — but it’s not essential. When you launch the app, the For You Page presents you with an endless feed of videos recommended by the algorithm that’s based on your previous activity in the app (likes, comments, watch time, etc.).

At the beginning TikTok had a reputation as a short video platform for teenagers dancing and lip-syncing to the latest hits. But since then TikTok has become a wildly popular way to spend time online and is the world's fifth-largest social media platform.

Today dance videos are still all over TikTok, but they are not the only content on the platform. People cleaning swimming pools attract millions of views, artists use the platform to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at their lives, and viral pasta recipes spread rapidly around the world.

Who uses TikTok?

The TikTok app has been downloaded more than 3 billion times worldwide (source: Sensor Tower). It is only the fifth non-gaming app to reach this milestone. 

Since September 2021 the platform has recorded more than 1 billion active users per month. (source: Reuters). Since then that figure has grown, and TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world.

The app is still popular with young users. For example, 74.1% of users are between 18 and 34 years old (source: Hootsuite Digital 2022 Report) — but older groups like millennials and Gen X are also increasingly using TikTok. 

Just over half of TikTok users (57%) identify as female.

In conclusion, TikTok users are becoming more and more diverse. For example, TikTok is increasingly becoming the platform of choice for building community. So brands that target  younger, female audiences have the best chance of success.

How can brands use TikTok to reach their target audience?

Ads on TikTok reach 17.9% of adult internet users around the world (source: Hootsuite Digital 2022 Report). That equates to an impressive 884.9 million people. 

In other words, TikTok is the ideal platform to access a global audience — or stay very local with targeted advertising.

Building a strong brand with organic TikTok content

With an intelligent content strategy, everyone can strike gold on TikTok — individuals, brands, and everything in between. For organisations, it can be interesting to focus on organic TikTok content to increase brand awareness, appeal to new target groups, and make sincere connections with your target groups.

But how do you create an effective TikTok content strategy?

Follow these tips and you will not go wrong:

  • Be authentic: Time and time again, research shows that users on TikTok crave authentic content — for this platform, it's best to forgo the professional photo studio. Experiment with formats and give your target audience an unfiltered look behind the scenes.

  • Focus on current trends: On TikTok, the most diverse trends pop up — from  a live performance by Lady Gaga to a boy talking about his love of corn. The trick is to capitalise on these trends before they are old news. Make sure you have the right insights with research and analysis of the contemporary social media landscape. 

  • Don't try to predict the algorithm: TikTok trends change every day, and no one can predict what the 1.5 billion users will get excited about tomorrow. Don't be discouraged, regard this unpredictability as an opportunity to hit the proverbial jackpot with strong content.

  • Stay flexible: Sometimes you try everything to get your brand to the right people, but the winning story still comes from an unexpected source. Just think of the story of Doggface — an Idaho man who single-handedly boosted Ocean Spray's sales and online streams of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" with a skateboard and a TikTok video. When this happens it’s always best to briefly abandon your strategy so that you can focus on exploiting the creative potential of the moment.

How do you make the TikTok effect work for your brand?

Our experts recently hosted a webinar about TikTok. Take a look and get started with our insights.

TikTok advertising

TikTok may be a relatively new platform, but it still offers a variety of ways to reach your target groups through TikTok advertising.

  1. In-feed Ad: Content that looks organic, accompanied by a small  "Sponsored" label at the bottom left. Types of In-feed Ads include image ads (like a digital billboard), video ads (similar to a television commercial), and spark ads (existing content boosted with a small — or large — budget).

  2. Brand Takeover: Videos that play as soon as the user opens the TikTok app, fill the screen for a few seconds, and then become an In-feed Ad.

  3. TopView Ad: Like a Brand Takeover. The biggest difference: TopView Ads can't be skipped, and TikTok users see a maximum of 1 TopView Ad per day — this form of advertising comes with a hefty price tag.

  4. Branded Hashtag Challenge: A hashtag that connects to your brand and encourages users to take action.

  5. Branded Effect: A photo or video effect connected to your brand (e.g., stickers or filters). 

Are you ready to get started with TikTok?

Our experts are here to help you on your way.

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