From memes and goofy videos, to dance challenges, TikTok is the app to be on. The video-sharing app owned by Chinese tech firm ByteDance, is slowly delving into marketing and advertising – challenging the already disrupted industry.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a downturn for marketing as brands and agencies suspended campaigns and sponsorship deals. The industry, however, adapted well and like many others, it turned to social media as a marketing platform.
With social media usage increasing, engagement on sponsored posts during this time went up. According to research carried out by Shareablee. Interactions with sponsored posts reached 57 million in July, almost five times the amount from March 2020.
TikTok has grown at a record rate during the lockdown, reaching almost two billion downloads by June 2020. A new pool of influencers emerged and as a result, new opportunities for brands opened up.
The emerging app has quickly become another social media platform that brands use to promote their products or services.
What happens on TikTok, doesn’t stay on TikTok. Content created for the online video-sharing platform is everywhere nowadays. Many viral TikTok videos have even crossed over into mainstream media, making the app a form of national and international communication.
Influencer Intelligence explains in its latest report, “The State of Influencer Marketing in Beauty”, that the growth of TikTok’s influence is due to its unique algorithm.
This algorithm informs the content on the “For You” page, which is personalized for every user based on how they interact with videos.
TikTok is also considered to be one of the best platforms to reach a mass audience.
An influencer named Maria Nichol said to Influencer Intelligence, “TikTok has so much potential when it comes to brand collaboration. On platforms like Instagram for example, a majority of people who would see my sponsored content would be my followers. On TikTok, your content has the potential to be seen by millions!”
Meme-inspired marketing has become more popular in an attempt to reach younger audiences and Generation Z consumers. This demographic have a growing spending power. With approximately 800 million users worldwide, through TikTok, brands participate in social conversations and demonstrate their target audience’s cultural relevance.
An average TikTok user spends 476 minutes per month on the app, second to Facebook. Audiences especially younger ones are accustomed to watching content with little or no advertising. TikTok manages to sneak in a relatively robust advertising experience that doesn’t put off audiences.
TikTok ads show up in users’ feeds like regular TikTok videos, only that they are made by brands and not users. Fortunately, this distinction isn’t always obvious.
Brands are welcome to use the platform for advertising as long as they are creative and authentic.
“2020 has been a year of tremendous evolution for brands’ advertising strategies on TikTok,” notes Stuart Flint, head of global business solutions for TikTok across Europe. “However, we see clearly that brands find success on our platform not because they have simply repurposed their TV commercials for mobile, had the glossiest ad or the biggest names in their campaign, but because of their ability to creatively engage and connect with users through feelings, actions and sounds.”
However, advertising rules and regulations that apply to social media platforms should also be adhered to on TikTok.
All posts and content, whether paid or unpaid, when made by a brand ambassador must be clearly identifiable as an advert. Brands should ensure their influencers are aware of and fully compliant with the rules.
Moving into 2021, we are likely to see an increase in emphasis on social media marketing. The TikTok community is throwing their support behind brands that engage with them on a genuine level.
As a marketing manager, it is important for your brand to get user attention now. Stay ahead before the app adds an integrated commerce model that encourages users to spend on products.
“We are seeing a lot of marketers rethink media strategies this year. Many believe the remaining months are an opportune time to start on TikTok,” said Sid Gormley, founder of digital agency Osaka Labs.
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