TikTok is a short video sharing app where users upload videos that are usually less than a minute long, and most often between 15 to 30 seconds long. It’s particularly popular with current teenagers, often referred to as Generation Z. If you ask the broadsheets, it’s because this generation is way too restless and active to spend more than a couple of minutes on anything. The majority of TikTok users are under the age of 30, with female users outnumbering male users. The largest sources of users are China, India, and the USA.
How is TikTok Different from Other Social Media Platforms?
TikTok is known for weird video editing, using short and relevant sound bites or music along with videos, funny clips, and unusual or crazy acts that are short but attention-grabbing. The common elements in all videos on TikTok are fun and entertainment.
It’s a platform where you get the attention of the users for a very short period, and you need to impress them within that time if you want to succeed and stay relevant on the platform.
Unlike video platforms like YouTube where videos are longer and have accompanying descriptions, TikTok is an exclusive platform for short videos.
Unlike Instagram, where most of the attention is garnered by professionally created or curated content, TikTok users seem to prefer content created by amateurs, even if it does not look perfect. TikTok users seem to prefer originality and relevance of content over video quality, makeup, editing, and other aspects of a video.
That said, it does share a lot of features with other social media platforms like favoriting, sharing, commenting, and following the content creators.
Brands That Have Tasted Success Using TikTok
Brands have used many marketing strategies on TikTok, with most relying on influencer marketing or hashtag challenges. Here are some brands that struck gold with their TikTok marketing.
Guess came up with a TikTok hashtag challenge called #InMyDenim. This challenge encouraged users to post a video from their favorite location wearing a pair of Guess denims. Some users also included their before and after looks in the TikTok videos.
This is an example of increasing brand awareness using a hashtag challenge. When a campaign like this goes viral, people are exposed to the various denim options that Guess has to offer, and they might be inspired to check them out for themselves.
What do you do when you want to increase footfall in your restaurant? A restaurant named Haidilao in China used TikTok to its advantage by offering a do-it-yourself menu item. When customers picked this item, they were allowed to cook their own meals with their preferred ingredients while being filmed. This video was then edited for brevity and posted on TikTok.
With the videos going viral, the restaurant saw a surge in popularity with nearly 15,000 customers visiting the restaurant to try out the do-it-yourself dish and post their videos on TikTok.
Chipotle has tasted success with two of its hashtag challenges on TikTok. The first involved tossing a lid in a unique manner to close a burrito bowl called the #ChipotleLidFlip challenge. The second encouraged users to perform what was known as the #GuacDance on National Avocado Day.
These hashtag challenges helped to spread the word about the items on their menu and encouraged people who had not tried Mexican cuisine before to visit their nearest Chipotle outlet.
San Diego Zoo
Using their main strength (their love for animals), San Diego Zoo created TikTok videos of cute animals from their zoo that quickly went viral and were loved and shared by thousands of users on TikTok.
The San Diego Zoo also used TikTok videos to cross-promote like-minded brands. For instance, the Monterey Aquarium, which obviously resulted in publicity for both brands, since the followers of one brand were exposed to the other and vice versa.
Ralph Lauren combined the hashtag challenge marketing strategy with the influencer marketing strategy to come up with their campaign for the 2019 US Open Tennis Championships. They encouraged users to share their stories of overcoming real-life challenges with the hashtag #WinningRL and featured Ralph Lauren model Diana Silvers, who is an actress and tennis player, in TikTok videos to promote the brand.
They also enabled in-app purchases within the TikTok app that allowed users to browse through the US Open collection and make purchases.
Tips for TikTok Marketing
While the marketing strategies on TikTok are constantly evolving, some methods have been proven to be successful in marketing campaigns on TikTok. Here are some that you should consider:
- Original engaging content never fails to impress. This can be a very useful strategy in spreading brand awareness, announcing new launches, encouraging user engagement and interaction, and building a follower base.
- Influencer marketing can be helpful for certain categories, especially apparel and makeup, but may not be helpful for other categories that cater to a specific demographic, especially the middle-aged and the elderly. This is because TikTok is overwhelmingly used by people under the age of 30.
- Hashtag challenges are a great way to get noticed and become popular in a very short time. However, be aware that given the number of hashtag challenges that are posted on TikTok, it is not very often that one goes viral and turns into a marketing gem.
- Cross-promotions can be helpful to all the brands involved in the campaign if the brands are similar in nature and people who are interested in one brand are likely to be interested in the other. Be aware that if you are the bigger brand and are cross-promoting a smaller brand in the hope of finding some new customers, the exact opposite can also happen and the smaller brand could potentially cannibalize your sales. Therefore, this strategy, while being effective, can also be a bit tricky.
- Advertising on TikTok is a relatively new space and could prove useful if you are not really into creating your own content. TikTok advertising is simple for someone who is already familiar with Google AdSense and involves embedding ads in TikTok videos to drive traffic to your website or app with a predetermined advertising budget and a mechanism to measure the effectiveness of advertising through conversion rates and other metrics.
We hope you will find this information useful in your TikTok journey. Get in touch with us to discuss how TikTok can help your brand grow online.