TikTok is Taking Off
We’ll be very honest with you: we didn’t see ourselves writing this blog. We didn’t see this platform getting as big as it did. Even Mark Zuckerberg describes it as an “interesting phenomenon.”
But, TikTok is here to stay, and brands (the smart ones at least) are acknowledging this and taking advantage of it. It’s not an established platform like Instagram and Facebook, and it’s definitely still working on it’s kinks and bugs. But what it is great for, and what brands should hopefully get on board with, is it humanizes and makes brands more relatable.
This is crucial, because millenials and gen z are all about trusting brands, relating to brands, and investing in them if they’re worth it (we delve more in depth about what millennials seek in brands here). And with the older generations slowly dwindling in numbers, it’s important for brands to start appealing to the younger audiences growing in size and spending power- hence, the importance of investing time and effort into an app with a basis of younger generations.
SO LET’S LOOK AT THE FACTS.
If you don’t believe us, then believe the stats- 60% of TikTok’s basis is Gen Z. If we’re assuming we’re talking in 100%, then that’s over half of the base. Even more mind blowing? The average TikTok creator spends 52 minutes a DAY on the platform. In its first year, it had over 1 billion downloads. Additionally – and this fact is crazy – it has the highest engagement rate than other social media apps. With all this out of the way, then, if you’re not quite up to date with trendy social apps and don’t know what it is, we’ll break it down for you.
WHAT IS TIKTOK?
A combination of Musical.ly and Vine, essentially. It was acquired by ByteDance in 2017 and then merged with their app, TikTok, creating a platform for second long videos that could be overlaid with music. Users can create different types of videos that range from skits, lip syncs, duets, montages, or special effects. The appeal is the Vine like quality of making funny videos, making small music videos, or making whatever you want. It is the source of many online jokes or memes that surface to Twitter, and it’s one of the keys to staying in touch with a younger audience, if you will.
SO WHAT BRANDS ARE WINNING ON TIKTOK?
TikTok isn’t a platform where you can post ads in the traditional sense, so it does confuse brands as to how to take advantage of it. But many brands out there are figuring out how to use it and use it well, and we’re going to break them down for you. Here are three brands that made it onto almost everyone’s list of brands that are killing it.
Chipotle is on everyone’s list of brands killing it on TikTok. Seriously, we found them on so many blogs, we had to include it. They’ve amassed a following of 220.6k followers and their content is really, really good. So what is doing well about it? Their content and bio is unique. They make great use of hashtags, and if there is a viral challenge everyone is doing, you can bet that they’re doing it, too. Their success is because they are staying relevant. At the end of the day, a successful brand is a relevant one – which is why they’re at everyone’s top list on TikTok.
The first thing you notice is their bio: “We are a newspaper.” And then you notice how they’re taking themselves seriously-but-also-not. Their content is “native,” meaning they created content specifically for that platform, and people feel drawn and special to that user on that platform. They also go behind the scenes- which aligns with the idea of using TikTok to make a brand more human. Showing the faces that make the newspaper what is it, and then on top of that they’re funny and relatable? Marketing gold. They can’t NOT win.
Three words: Cute. Animal. Videos. San Diego Zoo has capitalized on the fact that people love animals, get attached to them, and can’t get enough of them. If social users feel attached to animals they’ve never met, but can go see at a zoo, this translates into high attendance rate and engagement online for the brand. In combination with this, they post pretty regularly and it’s unique content to their brand and pretty wholesome. I mean, who doesn’t want to see a funny video of a gorilla making music on another gorilla?
Short answer at the moment is no, you can’t. Not in the traditional buy a 30 second slot on a platform sense. There are ways to market on the platform, you just have to get creative; the best two ways to market on this platform are essentially the same as Instagram before there were paid ads as an option. You either:
- Create an account for and about your brand.
- Work with influencers on TikTok.
Because it’s still such a young platform, the option to advertise on it is still in beta testing and doesn’t exist yet. But, that’s why we think TikTok is so unique. It’s forcing brands to get creative with how they market. We’re excited to see where this platform takes the marketing and creative world. And if you still have never seen a TikTok, here’s their official Youtube page with highlight reels of some of the best videos on the app. Have fun getting lost in it like we did!