Putting TikTok to Work for Your Company

May
10
2021

Even if you aren’t already scrolling through TikTok on your own device, you’re likely familiar with this buzzy young platform thanks to a slew of popular references, viral videos, and dances, or just from hearing about a new generation of young influencers who are taking the social media landscape by storm. So, what does all this mean for your company?

 

TikTok 101

If you’ve yet to experience TikTok for yourself—here are the basics:

  • TikTok users, or TikTokers, create short videos and edit them with effects, filters, captions, and music, then post them for their followers on the platform to enjoy.
  • Content creators use hashtags and identify which popular category they fit into to be discovered by non-followers more easily.
  • The focus is on entertainment, and much of the site’s most successful content is comedic or lighthearted.

 

TikTok as part of an overall marketing strategy

Although TikTok remains on the fringes of many companies’ overall marketing efforts, that is starting to change. TikTok was the number one most downloaded app in 2020, and it’s estimated that TikTok has about 689 million monthly active users and 2 billion app store downloads.

We already know that mobile is the primary way people consume content today. With vertical video becoming the standard format people use to enjoy entertainment on their phone – TikTok is well-positioned to play a critical role in successful advertising going forward.

 

TikTok Workshop Takeaways

Eager as ever to get a better sense of market trends and opportunities for our clients, GANDT recently participated in a workshop for advertisers hosted by TikTok and Shuttlerock. From reaching untapped markets to how to incorporate TikTok into an overall marketing strategy, here are a few of our key takeaways:

 

Tap into an unduplicated audience

50% of TikTok monthly users over age 16 are not on Instagram. TikTok is most popular with people between the age of 16 and 24, which makes up 60% of the total user base. TikTok reports that 80% of all users are between the ages of 16-34, confirming that this probably isn’t the channel for marketing to the older crowd. Nevertheless, if you’re looking to speak to a younger demographic – you’re likely missing the mark if TikTok isn’t part of your strategy.

 

The field is still wide open

As our Social Media specialist (and avid TikTok user) Sharon Livain explains, “right now, there isn’t a huge amount of competition on TikTok, as many businesses have been slow to get on board. This means you get a lot of reach for a reasonable budget.”

She also highlights the fact that TikTok is also an ideal platform for companies to share educational resources and informative videos, “Although entertainment remains the core of their mission—clips that also contain an educational or instructional component are shown to more viewers.”

 

You have options

Currently, TikTok offers five ‘Branded Solutions’ for businesses looking to utilize their platform: in-feed, brand takeover, branded effects, top view, and hashtag challenge. With the right strategy in place, this specialized advertising system allows brands and companies to tap into TikTok’s massive user base quickly and effectively.

 

Content fueled algorithm

TikTok’s unique algorithm has provided a breath of fresh air for anyone who feels they’ve been fighting a losing battle when it comes to follower count. As Sharon explains, “the main thing is, you don’t need any followers to get views on your videos – which is a big difference to Instagram or Facebook, where the content is only shown to the followers. Although the algorithm itself is a closely guarded secret, it’s safe to say that the more engagement you have in the beginning, the more your video gets shown to other people.”

 

Putting TikTok to work for you

As companies and brands continue to search for ways to generate content that is unique, honest, real, and fun – TikTok is likely only going to continue gaining traction. Compared to other top social and video platforms, there is a lot of room for experimentation and the potential to reach an entirely new audience.

Of course, engaging with potential customers in a place where they go to be entertained does require a precise and thoughtful approach. If you’d like to learn more about how to incorporate this platform into your marketing plan or determine which branded solution is best for you – we are here to help. Likewise, if you’d like to stay up to date on current social media trends and growth marketing hacks, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest digital marketing news.

This article was co-written by Sharon Livain (Social Media Professional, GANDT Zürich Team) and Megan Flottorp (Content Marketing Specialist).

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