TikTok is the newest social media craze sweeping the nation. As with any new platform, there are a lot of questions: what is it? How does it work? What is a VSCO Girl? To be fair, we don’t know the answer to that last question either, but we do want to help shed some light and tell you how you can utilize the platform when marketing your business.
What is TikTok?
To start off simple: TikTok is a video-focused social media platform. Users can upload short, three- to 60-second-long videos ranging from lip-synced music videos to comedy skits, animal adventures, food preparation and so much more. TikTok focuses on creating a “tribe” for all its users to see what they want to see and has created a “For You” page that uses algorithms to target videos to its users.
Though reminiscent of the popular app Vine which saw its demise in 2016, TikTok has made improvements to the short-video format by adding royalty-free sound effects and songs for users to incorporate into their videos.
History of TikTok
TikTok didn’t start off as a social media anomaly. In fact it didn’t even start as TikTok. The app originated as musical.ly which focused solely on short lip-synced videos with music provided by the app itself. The app was purchased by Chinese app-developer Duyin who rebranded and re-launched the app as TikTok.
At its relaunch in 2017, the app had 2.6 million users. In two years, the app has seen unprecedented growth reaching 500 million active monthly users. To compare just how rapid TikTok’s growth has been, it took the app just two years to reach the same height of popularity that took Instagram six years to achieve.
Who Uses TikTok
If you already guessed the app is widely popular among young people, you would be right. Approximately 66 percent of TikTok users are under the age of 30 and it’s estimated that one in eight adults are using the app. The app is also more popular among women than men with about 2 million more users being female.
Marketing on TikTok
Likely because of its newness, the app lacks formal marketing methods. It offers very limited targeting and measurement tools but users have used TikTok to exploit a unique type of marketing strategy: influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is a partnership between an “influencer” and a brand. Influencers can be anyone who has a large following within a specific tribe or industry. These individuals create their own content that incorporates services and products of companies and brands for a small fee. This type of marketing is widely popular on YouTube and Instagram.
What makes TikTok’s influencer marketing so unique is the unpolished state of videos.
Instead of spending hours editing videos of brand collaborations, influencers can quickly make a creative and funny video that gets thousands of views in their niche because that’s what their audience likes. By using localized hashtags, influencers can focus their views in their region.
TikTok, though still young, can open a lot of doors for local marketing. It gives brands a chance to more directly connect with younger audiences than ever before. Already a social media force to be reckoned with, it is likely to get even stronger as it grows and develops more marketing tools. Here at Rooted Web, we’re already embracing the platform, so give us a follow.
If you’re interested in embracing new marketing techniques, contact us today to see how we can help you develop a strategy that connects with your audience at a deeper level.