A few weeks ago, The New York Times published an article titled “TikTok is changing the world.” It argues that TikTok will have a profound impact on how social media works, even if you don’t already use it.
And it’s hard to argue with that.
TikTok deserves your attention as it has ranked third in terms of downloads on the Apple Store and Google Play since 2021 – and its popularity continues to grow! Today it has more than 188 million users and has a monthly audience more than Twitter or Snapchat.
What is TikTok?
Table of Contents
TikTok is a productive social program that enables people to upload short videos. Most of them are no more than 15 seconds long, but you can also share 60-second videos. What makes the app so unique and popular is the ability to add a music track or a variety of filters and effects to your video.
TikTok employees are confident that a video created on their platform is much more likely to go viral than on any other social network.
Just like on Instagram or Snapchat, videos for TikTok should be recorded in a vertical format – they take up most of the smartphone screen, which has a positive effect on the user experience.
A bit of history
TikTok is the global version of a social media app released in China in 2016 called Douyin. This platform was created by the popular Chinese IT company ByteDance, which was recently awarded the title of # 1 Unicorn. Check out how it ranks on the list of top startups: But TikTok hasn’t always been called that. It was created in 2014 under the name Musical.ly. Through the app, users could create videos ranging from 15 seconds to 1 minute in length and select accompanying audio tracks, use different speed options (slow, slow, normal, fast, and “epic”) and add preset filters and effects. And then, in 2018, ByteDance acquired Musical.ly, merging it with its app, Douyin.
By September 2018, TikTok surpassed Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat in terms of downloads. And, most likely, the rapid growth in popularity of this application will continue.
41% of the platform’s users are between the ages of 16 and 24. Interestingly, when the app was launched, over 50% of its users were under the age of 24. And these early users seem to have continued to use the platform. This means that the average age of app users is gradually increasing. And while TikTok is still hugely popular with young people, its adult audience continues to grow as well. It’s worth noting that nothing in the social media world is pure luck. On the contrary, the success of social media depends solely on how enticing and attractive they appear to users.
Also, don’t think that TikTok is only so popular in the US. The app currently has about 500 million active users worldwide, with 150 of them in China. TikTok is also very popular in Asian countries such as Cambodia, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Now TikTok is possible in 155 nations and 75 languages.
As for our country, in Russia, the monthly active audience of TikTok in January 2021 reached 18 million users. This was announced by a representative of TikTok, who spoke at the conference “Marketing #Realtime”. According to the company, today women prevail among TikTok users: 60% of them, men – 40%. Children and adolescents make up 43% of the audience, people aged 18 to 34 years old – 33%, from 25 to 34 years old – 21%.
How to use TikTok
TikTok is super easy to use whether you just want to kill time or post your video.
The login process is pretty simple too. You can create an account either by phone number or through your Facebook, Twitter, or Gmail account.
Once you create it, you don’t have to follow or subscribe to anyone to start watching the video. They just appear on your screen, and to watch the next video, you just need to swipe up.
Another great feature about TikTok is that all the buttons you need are located on one screen. So you can add, track, share and comment on videos while they are playing. To create your first TikTok promotional video, you just need to click the “+” icon at the bottom of the screen. Select a soundtrack for your video by clicking the icon at the top of the screen. You will be presented with a whole library of songs and sound effects.
After shooting a video, you can also add all kinds of effects, stickers, and emoticons to make it even more unique. When you’re done, you need to click on the pink checkbox to go to the preview and edit page. You need to click “Next”, and your video will be available to the whole world.
Why is TikTok so popular?
In Q1 2021, TikTok became the first app in the Apple App Store in terms of downloads. It has been downloaded 33 million times. The app is vastly superior to YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. And here are the reasons for the popularity of TikTok:
1. Users just want to have fun
It is no coincidence that TikTok has gained such popularity among young people. It was created especially for them.
The creators of the application decided to choose people under 18 years old as the target audience. Therefore, before launching, they found out all the features and preferences of this age group.
TikTok allows users to express themselves in a modern, creative way, be it singing, dancing, or humor. The good news for marketers is that it’s not just teenagers who want to have fun, so TikTok‘s audience is constantly expanding to include other age groups, and the app itself becomes a great platform to advertise your brand.
2. Sending notifications
The creators of all social media platforms are constantly asking the same question: “How to get more users?” TikTok found the answer: the key to success lies in sending notifications.
TikTok attacks users with its notifications and reminders. As a result, you are almost “led” by the hand to the platform. Undoubtedly, such persistence can be annoying, but this technique works.
3. Always ready
Another reason why TikTok has been able to gain such popularity is that it doesn’t play by the same rules as Facebook or Instagram. As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to follow other users to be able to view content. You immediately receive content recommendations, which, of course, improve over time thanks to modern technology.
4. Application for everyone
Instagram is filled with photos and stories of perfect people with perfect looks. Popular Instagram bloggers always have perfect makeup and shoot in luxury hotels or restaurants.
And TikTok is aimed at ordinary users. The app encourages videos of all kinds and encourages users to create their content. On TikTok, you’ll see teens, 30s, your mom, your boss, and even your grandfather. And they all can win their 5 minutes of fame.
Unique features of TikTok
TikTok can make you “stuck” in it for a long time. All these thanks to the unique capabilities of the application.
Numerous options give users the ability to create unique and interesting content. At the same time, they are not required to have any special skills.
The main features of TikTok videos will be listed below.
1. Vertical format
People tend to hold their phones upright. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that vertical video is the most popular. And while other social networks still believe they can get users to watch landscape videos, TikTok improves the viewing experience.
The use of a vertical format also provides important psychological benefits. Since there is no need to flip their phones, it is easier for users to interact with the author of the video and leave comments.
2. Their video is your video
In terms of engagement, TikTok has surpassed other social networks here too. Here you can not only view and like your favorite videos but also download them to your smartphone.
3. Let there be music!
None of the social media apps offer the ability to add music to your video. This feature sets TikTok apart from the rest. The app offers users a wide selection of music and sound effects that will allow anyone to be creative.
4. Easy to use other people’s music
If, after watching the video, you like the music that is superimposed on the video, then you can easily add it to yourself. Just a few taps and the song you like from someone else’s video will become yours.
5. Double the fun
With TikTok, you can create collaborative videos with other users. This popular feature is called Duet. You can share the screen with a friend, a stranger, or even a celebrity and create a video together.
6. WOW factors
Many applications today have their own set of filters and special effects for videos. However, here, too, TikTok has surpassed everyone. This app boasts of the easiest and most fun video editor.
7. The app knows what you will like
This is one of the secrets to TikTok’s success. Thanks to unique algorithms, the application knows exactly which videos to offer you so that you like them. The playlist is created based on user behavior on the Internet, and also includes the most popular and viral videos.
8. Creativity every day
Challenges are another distinctive feature of TikTok. They keep your audience engaged at a high level. Challenge is a kind of Internet video in which a blogger does a task on a video camera and posts it on the network and then offers to repeat this task to his friend or an unlimited circle of users.
This way, you don’t have to puzzle over what to shoot your next video about. Popular challenges #dancingclothes and #haribochallenge have already collected over 43 million views.
Also, users create challenges themselves, calling them their unique names. Brands are also included in this process.
9. You always know what’s trending now
Hashtags are integral to the functioning of an application. That being said, you don’t need to make any effort to find out what’s trending right now. Just open the Discover page. There you will find a list of videos, next to which the number of views will be indicated, so it will be easy for you to assess the popularity of this or that content.
Do you need TikTok marketing?
The decision as to whether TikTok marketing is right for you depends a lot on your company’s industry and your target audience. If you want to reach young people and Gen Z, then this social network can be extremely useful for you, as only a few brands use it so far, and therefore you will have a better chance of getting noticed.
Also, TikTok is the source of the most viral videos of the moment, and such videos, in turn, are one of the best content strategies today.
Advertising on TikTok
As TikTok’s popularity skyrocketed, in February 2019, TikTok owners announced the creation of a platform for advertisers. It was named TikTok Ads. Therefore, if you are serious about promoting your brand on this social network, then first you need to register on TikTok Ads: The whole registration process is very simple – after completing it, you will receive a notification that the company will contact you within 5 working days.
After registration is complete, the advertiser panel will become available to you, where you can create new ads and track existing ones.
When creating a new ad campaign, you can configure the following parameters:
Ad position and targeting
Ad display schedule
Frequency of ad serving
Campaign goalless of all, TikTok helps users launch their campaigns with the in-app TikTok Video Creation Kit. It provides video and image templates to customize your ads. It also produces over 300 free education appreciation templates to make your campaigns more unique.
Types of advertising on TikTok
There are three types of ads on TikTok:
1. Native advertising
If you are interested in Instagram Stories, then native ads are what you need! These can be video ads ranging from 5 to 15 seconds long, which are displayed on the For You page and have several design options. The user can optionally hide the advertising video.
You can add links to landing pages and calls to action right on the video, for example, “Order” or “Download App” buttons.
2. Takeover Ads
Takeover Ads are full-screen ads that appear when a user first opens TikTok.
They are images or GIFs that are on the user’s screen for 3 to 5 seconds. They can also be linked to your brand’s landing page or the Hashtag Challenge in the app.
3. “Hashtag challenge” advertising
In this type of advertising, the user sees a banner that will transfer them to the page with instructions and rules of the competition. The banner is placed on the search page and depends on the user content. While you can offer your challenge as a brand owner, it is best to sponsor TikTok challenges to get a better chance of going viral. This means that your challenge will be listed on the search page for six days, giving you maximum reach and engagement.
How How to promote your brand on TikTok
Advertising isn’t the only way to promote your brand on TikTok. You can also take one of the rules here:
1. User Content
User-Generated Content (UGC) has ever been a huge support for content marketers. And now it is also more powerful than always. 85% of consumers consider user-generated content to be a more effective tool than branded photos or videos.
2. Marketing influence
Influencer marketing is another very effective tool, especially on TikTok, as the platform already has quite a few popular users with a large audience.
Before choosing an influencer you want to partner with, do a little research and ask yourself the following questions:
Does the content posted on the influencer’s page match your brand?
Does he have a lot of fans?
Are his fans your target audience?
Brands that are successfully promoting themselves on TikTok
The major fashion house Burberry has decided to launch the #TBChallenge challenge to advertise its new collection.
The company invited users to recreate the new Thomas Burberry monogram with their own hands. According to Business of Fashion, 30,000 videos have been uploaded as a result of the challenge, with a total of around 57 million views.
Hero Cosmetics is a cosmetics brand for problem skin. They launched an ad campaign on TikTok, which outperformed similar campaigns on Instagram.
As part of their Get Fit With Me campaign, they created the hashtag #schoolsurvivalkit, where 20 users shared a video of their morning skincare routine using a Mighty Patch product. Marketers noted that this campaign was much more cost-effective than the one on Instagram Stories. Also, the engagement rate was 12% compared to 4.5% on Instagram.
This brand runs the most effective TikTok campaigns. For example, to celebrate Avocado Day, they launched the #GuacDance challenge, which encouraged avocado lovers to come up with a dance dedicated to the fruit. To promote their challenge, Chipotle has partnered with YouTubers Brent Rivera and Loren Gray. Marketers announced life events: 250,000 papers in 6 days.
The Washington Post
The American daily launched its account in May and has since become one of the most popular on TikTok. Its goal is to gain the trust of young viewers of the app and introduce them to the articles that are published in the newspaper. They post fun, engaging videos that have amassed over 309,000 subscribers to date, while TikTok CEO Dave Yorgesson of the Washington Post says he hopes to eventually use the platform to distribute videos that are both informative and entertaining.
It’s time to act!
To be sure, TikTok is still a newcomer to the world of social media, and many big brands haven’t even thought of using it to promote their products and services yet.
But it’s hard to deny the fact that the app is growing in popularity. There is something very cool and modern about it. And new trends appear on the market very quickly and soon turn into effective marketing tools. Learning how you can use TikTok for your business can be a boost to growth.
We hope this article has inspired you to at least create a profile on TikTok and explore the possibilities of this application. If you are already an active user and decide to create an account on TikTok Ads, do not forget to create an advertising landing page and come up with creative and funny calls to action to match this social platform.