With TikTok on the rise, many are now scrambling in their respective app stores and looking to download the trending app in order to learn what all the fuss is about - and for marketers, whether they can use it to promote their products.
I hate to admit, but I’m among the former, and it wasn’t until just recently that I began looking at it from a brand perspective (as opposed to lamenting the fact that everyone can sing and dance except me).
Aside from its clear youth appeal, TikTok provides a growing range of ad options, and is taking extra measures to educate its users on how to safely use the platform.
Are you thinking about adding TikTok into your digital marketing mix? Then read on to learn more about the short video app.
What is TikTok?
TikTok, similar to Vine before is, is all about short videos.
Most of the app's former Musical.ly users simply uploaded videos of themselves lip-synching to music videos, while the more talented, enthusiastic, and technically proficient members uploaded videos of original content. The latter cohort went on to become influencers on the platform.
TikTok videos can be up to 15 seconds long, but users can also connect multiple clips together for up to 60 seconds of total recording. Users are also able to upload longer videos which have been recorded outside the app itself.
There's also a live-streaming option and a range of filters and tools to help improve your video presentation.
The app is attuned to modern usage trends, and caters to an audience looking for a new and exciting way to connect. And clearly, based on the download stats, it's hitting the right notes with users.
How Can Brands & Marketers Make the Most of TikTok?
Using TikTok for marketing is actually much simpler than you'd think.
There are currently three key options for brands looking to utilize TikTok for promotion:
- Create your brands' own channel and upload videos relevant to your business
- Utilize influencers to open your content to a much broader (but well-targeted) audience
- Pay to advertise utilizing TikTok’s new campaign options (though, personally, I’d recommend holding off on this until the market is a bit more established)
We’re full of fun and creative ideas for marketing on TikTok. Here are a few that we hope you can use or draw inspiration from:
- In a world where consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical of ads, the raw, unedited videos on TikTok can be a great way to showcase people using your brand in their everyday lives.
- TikTok videos can also be a great place to showcase business behind the scenes or in-the-moment content - for example:
- Human Resources can make trainings more interactive by going live on TikTok to conduct their sessions
- Landing pages can have you popping on to drive traffic to lead magnets
- With such a young demographic, TikTok can be great for higher ed marketers and students within colleges and universities. There’s already a lot of content to be found on campus - sports, BTS, dance marathons, these all do well.
- Boutiques can use TikTok for the ever-popular try-on videos - you can film a whole seasons worth of sales in a fun sped up video and you can even add your own hype music
- Of course, larger clothing brands also see almost immediate success as well. Last fall, Guess was the first brand TikTok collaborated with in the US for its #inmydenim campaign
- Does your product require assembly? User-friendly step by step videos can be produced on TikTok, and even linked to on your packaging.
- Restaurants also have significant opportunities. Chipotle was the first major chain to jump onto the platform, and it recently launched its second major TikTok campaign with the #GuacDance challenge, which encouraged fans to show off their avocado-themed dance moves inspired by Dr. Jean’s “Guacamole Song.”
- #HashtagChallenges are great because they prompt engagement. They’re simple to join in and fun. If you’re not yet a well-established brand, you can also consider using influencers to help kickstart your challenge campaign.
As a marketer - but also as someone who is heavily influenced by marketing AND as someone that regularly writes on social media trends, I like to test new marketing channels and ideas. Generally, if there's something that's growing fast, I'll do a 1-3-month test before writing or publicly speaking on it.
In my time with TikTok thus far, I've seen promise, and an opportunity to connect with audiences in new, fun and engaging ways.
It still has a way to go yet before it becomes a key channel, but it may well be worth considering for your 2020 campaigns.