Why TikTok should be part of your Marketing Strategy

What would you do if you realised you were ignoring over 1 million potential new customers every year? 

Now, imagine we tell you it's no longer just 'a million', it's in fact... a billion. That's right, TikTok has blossomed from 1.33m annual users in 2018 to over 1bn users as of 2021. You can't afford not to start advertising on the platform. Right now.

TikTok even has it's own dedicated website for businesses wanting to get ahead in marketing. Their slogan "don't make ads, make TikToks" is hard hitting. Now, we understand that some of you may be wary of setting foot on this fairly new social media platform. So, to put your mind at ease, here is a brief history of TikTok:

Firstly, the concept of the app has been around in it's original form since 2016, the name in China was A.me then it was changed to Douyin. The brand that own the company are called ByteDance. When it came time to reach outside of the Asian market they rebranded to TikTok a year later in 2017. By 2018 they ranked first among free application downloads on app stores in Thailand and other countries. In July 2020, TikTok reported close to 800 million monthly active users worldwide... after less than four years of existence.

Secondly, we suppose you are wondering about the demographic that your ad could reach on TikTok. Originally there was a huge surge in the youth movement, and you were looking essentially at 'children' using the app for dance trends, and Vine-style short videos. However, since the average TikTok time limit has been increased from 15 seconds to 60 seconds... as of 2021 some accounts are able to have 3 minutes – this has diversified the people using the app.

To build on the above points, TikTok business themselves say: "Content first. Our algorithm ensures your brand’s content is viewed by users who find it interesting and are most likely to engage. You don’t have to chase followers to get your content seen on TikTok. Our user interface is optimised for discovery and prioritises good content over all else, leading to long session times and high engagement from our millions of users." 

What can you actually do on TikTok?

As early as 2018, TikTok was available in more than 150 markets, and in 75 languages. This isn't just an app that can put you in front of China or the USA, it reaches minorities that could be interested in buying your products or using your services. The platform suggests that you use sound and visuals to impact your target audience, and that they can even offer you a full screen experience so your ad isn't buried or 'hidden' at the bottom of the screen as a pop up. 

You're able to harness the versatility of graphic overlays (similar to stickers on Instagram), as well as effects and sound bites. These will appeal to a vast array of people because, for the shorter attention spans you can look at what's trending for Gen Z users or millennials, but for an older audience you can play on the 'nostalgia hit' using quotes from retro movies, and cult classics – instantly engaging the people you want to connect with. 

How do you know if your brand will succeed on TikTok?

As with any marketing channel, it is not guaranteed that your campaign will be a success. That's no reason not to reach out and try your hand at at TikTok ad! Ask yourself this; do you like stereotypes? Are they fair? If your answer is 'no' then keep reading, because these days we make sweeping generalisations about Gen Z and Gen Y, we assume they like a certain style or fit into a certain box. That just isn't true, and by ignoring TikTok you could be missing out on thousands if not millions of new consumers. 

According to AdEspresso and Adweek TikTok 63% of users aged between 10 and 29 are growing up, and with that their tastes are evolving. We have see this happen in many popular, impactful culture phenomenons such as the Harry Potter franchise. When you thought of Harry Potter for years you imagined children's books, and then... children's films... and then theme park rides... yet now, if you look at the age of the first gen people they are old enough to have children themselves! They still love the brand and they have also matured into next-level consumers. 

The same is true for TikTok users, think back to when you were 18 years old. Those formative adult years between the end of teenage school life ad the start of a career (or further education) are etched into our memories. We all experience a 'coming of age', and as TikTok moves into its next era wouldn't it be awesome to be able to say that you got on board at the start?