Lately, due to the current state of the world that we find ourselves in, I've been glued to my phone while practising social distancing (...of course outside of office hours 👀 ). I've spent a lot of time watching videos on TikTok – there's so much content I never knew I wanted to watch.

Most of our previous posts have been about Facebook Ads since Zalster is a Facebook Marketing Partner and Instagram Partner. Now we want to start mixing it up a bit and will incorporate more and more content about other social platforms that we find interesting. Starting with TikTok!  

TikTok is a social platform for short-form video. Since the start in 2018 the platform has been growing rapidly – faster than Instagram back in the days. It's basically a viral video app where users create, upload and watch short videos. Remember Well, Tiktok's mother company ByteDance acquired the app and merged TikTok and into one, keeping the name TikTok.

TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Their mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy.

The thing about TikTok is that it's simple for users to consume and create engaging, fun, spontaneous and genuine short videos. There's an endless stream of creative videos uploaded to the platform each day. The videos range between 5 to 60 seconds and you can select a wide range of filters, effects, and music to apply to your videos. It's basically an all in one app, so no figure it was the 4th most downloaded app in 2019.  I completely understand, it's really addictive!

Why is TikTok so successful?

The users can easily create content themselves, for most other apps such as Facebook or Youtube you often need a third-party app to create the final content. Here you can cut and add music as you like. In TikTok, you can be creative and quickly create fun and bite-sized content. The user all of the sudden becomes a content creator and producer – it brings out the creative side which can be really rewarding on so many levels. There is A LOT of editing options.

The main reason for TikToks success would have to be their algorithm. The algorithm uses machine learning to determine and evaluate the video quality of uploaded videos, and what then to recommend to users in the For you section of the app, which is kind of like the Explore section in Instagram. TikTok makes the discover function a main staple in the whole TikTok-experience, which is why some videos go viral so easily and it all depends on the algorithm.  

TikTok empowers everyone to be a creator directly from their smartphone.

How to TikTok

Music is what drives TikTok. It is kind of like the core to it. But there is no set of rules on how to do it. There are loads and loads of content waiting to be discovered and created. But some trends for example challenges, blow up quite quickly. It often involves a hashtag, a song or a dance, which motivates and encourage users to create their own version.

Duets allow users to add a video of their own to an existing video and create a collaboration.

Cringe videos: Videos that are basically too hard to watch without just cringing.

Challenges are trending video memes that involve a song or hashtag which encourage users to create their own video of a dance or song or their own take on the theme. A challenge often consists of three main staples; text, sound, and movement. It is basically inspired by the meme culture. Seen in both organic and sponsored content. You can participate in an already existing challenge or create your own.

Who's on TikTok?

TikTok has 800 million users monthly! For now, more than half of them lives in China but it's rapidly growing in other countries around the globe. According to studies users are gender-neutral with an almost 50/50 split and 41% of users are mostly between 16 and 24 years old.  Surely teenagers are 🍌🍌 about TikTok, but it doesn't mean it hasn't been attracting an older generation as well, both Millennials and Baby boomers have definitely been spotted on the platform. Celebrities have seen the benefits of being active on the platform as a way of communicating with their fans to create hype around new projects. Like Justin Bieber promoting his new song Yummy by using the #yummychallenge which currently has 1,4B views.

Great TikTok campaigns

Branded hashtag challenges seem to be working really well on TikTok. Several musicians and companies have been creating successful campaigns that engage the TikTok audience.  

Universal Pictures launched a Hashtag Challenge themed #FindYourMagic which helped them promote their upcoming movie by engaging American users to take part in the challenge.

And WHO (World Health Organization) are utilizing the channel to spread awareness through social campaigns such as the #safehands challenge. Where WHO encourage TikTok users to post funny short clips related to #safehands to raise awareness and spread information about how to stay safe and avoid getting sick from the Covid-19 virus sweeping across the globe. Currently have 1.8 Billion videos using #safehands 🤲

Cross-platform sharing

What happens on TikTok doesn't necessarily stay on TikTok... a lot the time the memes or videos created on TikTok make it to other platforms quite quickly. Users share content on other social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Pinterest – to name a few.

Its also really easy to link to your other channels from your TikTok profile. Fun fact; when I am writing this article, there are currently at least 37.9 million photos or videos using the #tiktok on Instagram.

TikTok for Business

Are you curious about using TikTok as a new marketing channel? We highly recommend that you try it out if your audience or potential audience can be found there.  Stay on top of trends and stay culturally relevant to an audience that kind of drives the content development. It's a great way for businesses to reach Generation Z and create some buzz around your product.

There are unique engagement and immersive formats that will allow your brand to really connect with your consumer. Creating organic content that will engage with your audience is kind of like an art-form and you need to see the potential this channel has. For example, Buzzfeed hired a content creator to cover the American election on TikTok.

There's also TikTok Creator Marketplace, which makes it easier for brands and Creators to collaborate. By browsing through the most popular Creators on TikTok brands can see data and insights before deciding to collaborate with certain Creators, to make sure they will reach the right audience. This is a pretty cool feature!

What are the possibilities for ads?

A lot of big companies and brands have already started to tap into the not so known marketing sphere within TikTok since the platform launched the self-serve Ad function in 2019. There are much to gain from taking advantage of marketing in this platform at this point. Since TikTok hasn't been offering ads for that long, it's still in the early stages and not as evolved as other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram's self-serve alternatives.  See it as an advantage to get in and learn early and to pick some low hanging fruits and to connect with Generation Z which is the next generation of consumers. We will cover the how-to do TikTok Ads in a very near future post. So stay tuned!  

Download TikTok and play around a bit to discover loads of fun ways to create video content!