FEB. 18, 2020
The digital world is always evolving, and businesses need to find new ways to keep up. TikTok, for example, has recently sprouted in popularity. This new surge of growth on the video platform has resulted in many business owners wondering whether they need to integrate it into their digital marketing strategy. Many also struggle with how to exactly use it for their businesses. For this reason, we’re going to discuss what TikTok is and how you can use TikTok marketing to gain more customers.
What Is TikTok?
TikTok is a video-sharing platform, where you can create short-form 15-second videos ranging from a variety of topics. TikTok offers a wide selection of sounds and songs in snippet form and special effects and filters to add to the videos straight from your mobile device.
Additionally, TikTok gives you an interesting way to share posts with your audience. TikTok has a traditional sharing feature, but you can also share posts through reactions. This means you can share videos of yourself reacting to other people’s TikTok content.
TikTok Growth Trends
TikTok has a very specific audience. With more than 1.5 billion users, two-thirds of TikTok users are under 30 years old. In fact, 60% of the app’s monthly active users in the U.S. are 16 to 24 years old. It’s safe to say that TikTok is a platform for millennials and gen Zs.
When analyzing TikTok’s growth trends, the results are almost unbelievable. TikTok generated more than 660 million worldwide downloads in 2018. This statistic is interesting, considering the app received 130 million downloads in 2017. That’s an astonishing 416% increase in growth, making TikTok a promising platform to use for marketing.
Although TikTok is still a relatively new social media platform compared to others, it is certainly a close competitor. In the U.S. alone, TikTok’s monthly downloads saw a steady climb of 1.5 billion, beating out Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat. The app also managed to surpass established platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
Promoting Your Business on TikTok
TikTok is popular because it allows users to make authentic videos. This means that TikTok is a great opportunity for you to connect with your audience by creating videos that are both genuine and engaging. TikTok may cater to a relatively young audience, but this same audience has buying power. In fact, millennials alone spend $600 billion in the U.S. per year, with 63% making online purchases from their smartphones. Here are a few ways to promote your business on TikTok.
Join Hashtag Challenges
A hashtag challenge is an excellent way to get people to talk about your business. The goal of a hashtag challenge is to encourage users on TikTok to create or recreate content with your hashtag as their focus.
Zach King / TikTok
You can encourage your audience to make a video using your product and your branded hashtag. The more people you can get to talk about your business, the quicker it will be shared with others. Hashtag challenges are extremely catchy and many users are eager to take part in these challenges.
Create Fun and Engaging Content
If you haven’t realized by now, TikTok is all about fun and creativity. These short-form videos quickly capture the attention of users because of their entertaining nature.
You may be used to creating polished videos packed with insightful information. Although long-form videos are certainly still relevant, TikTok gives you the opportunity to create content that is more laid back, that focuses more on having fun and connecting with your audience. What’s even better is that it’s completely free to do so.
With that said, you don’t need to feel the pressure of creating meme-worthy content. You can simply create a video with background music showing off your product. The goal is to keep videos light-hearted while still managing to highlight your product offering.
Although TikTok is still in its early stages of advertising, there’s still plenty of opportunities for you to take advantage of the platform. One way to advertise on TikTok is through influencers. Just as with other top social platforms, you can leverage TikTok influencers to promote your business.
Collaborating with influencers to promote your products or services is an effective way to get the word out. This means you need to scan influencers who align with the kind of products you offer for the best results.
Pay for Advertising
In addition, you can leverage TikTok’s official paid advertising program. TikTok’s advertising features aren’t on the same level as other social platforms; however, it’s still worth looking into for your business. TikTok currently offers three types of paid advertisements: Native Ads, Takeover Ads, and Hashtag Challenge.
- Native Ads: TikTok’s in-feed native ads allow you to serve ads to YouTube users by bidding for spots.
- Brand Takeovers: A brand takeover ad means that your ad will play the moment a targeted TikTok user opens the app. If users are interested, they will hopefully click on the link, which then takes them to your content.
- Hashtag Challenge: We’ve already discussed hashtag challenges. However, you can turn your hashtag challenge into an ad to make more users aware of the challenge if you’re not seeing the results you want.
What Are TikTok Ads?
In addition to the Native Ads, Brand Takeovers, and Hashtag Challenges, TikTok also offers shoppable ads and branded TikTok stickers. The shoppable ad format is also known as Hashtag Challenge Plus. This feature adds a shoppable component to hashtag challenge ads by allowing users to explore products and visit your website where they can complete the checkout process. Branded TikTok stickers can also entice users to engage with your brand’s content. This provides users with a more interactive experience that’s less intrusive than traditional ads.
How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on TikTok?
Because ads on the TikTok platform are fairly new and rare, it will be more expensive to run ads compared to other platforms. The price of your TikTok ad campaign depends on the type of ads you run. TikTok’s in-feed ads start at an average of $10 per CPM. Expect to spend at least $6,000 on campaigns using in-feed ads.
There’s also a brand takeover option, which displays a full-screen ad when a user first opens TikTok. It can either be a three-second image or a three- to five-second GIF. You can link the ad to your brand’s landing page or a Hashtag Challenge with TikTok. Brand Takeover Ads cost $20,000 to $50,000. Additionally, if you wanted to run a Hashtag Challenge, you must pay a flat fee of $150,000 for six days. You’d also need additional funds to promote the challenge. In all, expect a budget of $150,000 to $200,000.
Overall, if you’re going for a larger campaign, the budget can go up to $300,000. If you have a smaller budget, and you’re looking for more affordable advertising options, TikTok may not be the right fit for you because you need a minimum of $500 to get started.
Which Brands Use TikTok?
Over the years, TikTok has seen explosive growth in its number of monthly active users. Today, TikTok’s popularity is steadily increasing, so it makes sense that major brands are leveraging the platform to get more exposure to customers, especially younger audiences. Which brands are using TikTok and how are they using it?
The NBA has been leveraging the power of TikTok since the platform’s early days. The brand is constantly putting out exclusive and unique content on TikTok, which usually consists of game highlights, inspirational quotes and music montages. The brand uses musical features available on the TikTok platform to lighten up their brand and make their athletes more relatable. The NBA is a great example of a brand that brilliantly shows off its personal side, which makes it more likely for users to engage with them.
Fortnite is already killing it with over one million followers. Its first campaign invited users to join its #EmoteRoyaleChallenge, which encouraged people to create their own dances. Winners of the challenge would get their very own emote in the game. As you can imagine, gamers couldn’t resist the challenge of possibly making an appearance in the Fortnite game. As a result, the hashtag has been used more than 250 million times.
Guess was the first brand to launch a challenge on TikTok. The #InMyDenim challenge encouraged users to take videos of themselves in interesting places while wearing Guess’s new denim line. Guess’s #InMyDenim challenge is an excellent example of a challenge that can quickly spread product-based awareness on a highly visual platform like TikTok. This challenge works so well because it shows off clothing worn by real people. When TikTok users see an outfit featured in the challenge, they might feel compelled to go out and buy it for themselves.
Chipotle is another popular brand that uses creativity to boost engagement on TikTok. For example, the company posts memes and music to highlight menu items. This is a fun way to show users and potential customers the Chipotle menu. Chipotle has also been successful in creating a viral TikTok marketing campaign with the use of National Avocado Day. On this particular day, people are encouraged to make avocados a part of their diet, and restaurants are urged to add avocado in some form to their dishes.
Chipotle started a dance challenge on TikTok using the hashtag #GuacDanceChallenge. The challenge urged users to create a dance dedicated to the fruit. The fast-food chain received over 250,000 video submissions. It turned out that the challenge was one of TikTok’s highest performing campaigns in the U.S.
Looking at what these brands have accomplished should give you an idea of the massive reach you can generate with TikTok.
Is TikTok Good for Influencer Marketing?
Because TikTok is relatively new, you may be having doubts about starting an influencer campaign on the platform, but the answer is a resounding yes. You can reach a vast audience using influencers on TikTok. Users spend about 52 minutes per day on the app. That’s extremely close to the number of minutes people are using other popular apps, like Facebook (53 minutes), Instagram (58 minutes), and Snapchat (49.5 minutes). Users open the app eight times a day and individual sessions on the app are the longest at 4.9 minutes.
But what does all this have to do with influencer marketing? One word: engagement. Because users are logging into the app so often, they have ample opportunity to see influencers who post high-quality, attention-grabbing videos that are in line with your brand.
One great example of the reach influencers have on TikTok is Victoria Bachlet’s back-to-school video promoting Target products. Bachlet has 2.9 million TikTok followers and posts about parties, self-care, and other topics teens or young adult women can relate to. Her content is on-brand with Target and aligns well with its audience because a lot of young people enjoy shopping at the store. You can follow a similar strategy for your influencer marketing campaign on TikTok, although your campaign will differ based on the products or services you offer, the audience you’re targeting, and the type of content that relates to your brand.
Should Businesses Use TikTok?
Ultimately, you should focus your marketing efforts on where your customers are. TikTok is a fast-growing platform that has a promising future for those who want to create engaging content to attract their audience, increase their brand’s visibility, and increase revenue.
With that said, TikTok is catered to a younger demographic, which means that businesses that have a significant market dedicated to millenials and gen Zs will probably see the most success with this platform.
By Malasia Johnson and Britney Sanders