With the world of social media being an ever-changing and innovative landscape, it is inevitable that new platforms will come and go. Some fizzling into obscurity, with others quickly gaining traction and becoming a massive success. No better example of this can be found than the platform TikTok, which within nearly two years has gone from a niche app used predominantly in Asia, to a staple app for those looking to build a following. With any new platform come new opportunities for advertisers and brands to benefit. Tiktok Marketing, whilst still in its relative infancy, has enormous potential for growth.
Tiktok is essentially a viral video sharing platform in which content creators make short videos which have become massively popular with those from “Generation Z” or those who are under 20 years old at the time of writing. Obviously, with any online visual media sharing platform, brands were quick to realize that they could use the fast-paced and highly engaging nature of TikTok to promote their products and services to new audiences.
However moving onto such a new avenue of demand generation can be a daunting prospect and with TikTok only just starting to formalize their advertising platform, it can be off-putting to businesses.
What is TikTok and How did it start?
TikTok is a video sharing platform that allows content creators to upload short videos of themselves. The platform also allows creators to dub over their videos with audio from different sources in order to allow miming and lip-syncing videos (much like Music.ly) which was the original drive for its initial large-scale success. The parent company of TikTok is a Chinese company called ByteDance and was originally launched in China as “Douyin” before officially being rebranded as “TikTok” to coincide with its international launch. The platforms do use the same technology as they did at release but each is a separate entity due to the strict censorship laws imposed by China’s ruling party.
By the end of 2017, TikTok effectively bought the competition with its acquisition of Music.ly, which was a platform solely focused at making lip-syncing videos. This gave the TikTok team many new tools in which to enter the US and European markets where Music.ly was already established. As of 2021 TikTok has gone from these humble beginnings to being a mainstay app for many younger people, effectively becoming Gen Z’s equivalent of Instagram (in terms of popularity).
How can TikTok Marketing help me advertise?
1. Traditional Influencer Marketing
Naturally, with such a highly engaging, visual medium built pretty much exclusively on the viral nature of its creators content, Influencer marketing is quickly becoming one a mainstay strategy for generating demand on TikTok. Essentially these creators know the power they have over their audiences and suggestions for the right product from the right TikTok-er can drive massive amounts of interest in the target brand.
Essentially brands and companies will approach TikTok creators whos general subject matter and audiences match their target market and strike up a partnership in which they promote the brand’s products. These can be varied in their substance, from review videos to showcases to just having your products visibly on display in their videos are all ways of promoting through TikTok Influencer Marketing.
2. Brand Takeover
This is a fairly new strategy that brands use in order to strike an affinity between their famous TikTok influencers and themselves in order to gain traction amongst their followers and in return, expose your following to them. This is one of the more mutually beneficial strategies and normally involves the TikTok-er “taking over” a brand’s own TikTok account in order to produce content that incorporates their products in a natural and engaging way.
3. Making your own TikTok page
Brands are also increasingly making their own TikTok accounts and releasing their own content in order to strike a chord with relevant audiences across the platforms. While it may not seem possible, its important that your brand is approachable and personable to your consumers and seeing your brand take part in Hashtag challenges and other viral or trending format videos can make your brand seem like a real entity, as opposed to a faceless business entity. Using a TikTok account, your brand can create a sense of belonging in people’s lives and thus, creates a dedicated customer base.
4. TikTok Ads
TikTok’s proprietary ad delivery system is still currently in its infancy and not nearly as well developed at Facebook or Youtube’s systems, yet. However, businesses that have started using it have reported great success. TikTok advertising actually encompasses a number of different platforms. However, ads on Tiktok will appear in one of four places, which are within the In-feed, Detail Page, Post-roll, and Story. These placements are chosen by advertisers; depending on where they think their ads will perform the best. Ad’s on TikTok are all video-based and they work on a system similar to PPC advertising.
You can set a bid for the amount you are willing to pay for each time a user takes an “action” on your ad (be that on a Cost Per Click basis, or on a Cost Per Mille (Or per 100 ad views). The most prudent budget strategy all depends on where your ads are appearing and what the overall goals of your campaign are. Some will find that a CPM payment structure works best for their awareness-raising campaign, whereas those looking for direct sales and conversions may be better suited to a CPC model.