Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn: If you don't keep your finger on the pulse, it's hard to keep track of all the social networks. But that's exactly what social media and marketing management, self-employment and entrepreneurship are all about today.
One platform that has particularly stood out in recent years is TikTok. The short video platform has virtually shot through the roof and is currently experiencing a boom worldwide.
While TikTok is still considered by many people (and marketers) to be a platform for children, those with an open mind are increasingly recognizing the opportunities that the Chinese video portal offers. In fact, there's a lot more to TikTok than first meets the eye.
In this post, I'll look at TikTok in comparison to other platforms and explore the reasons behind the video portal's hype. I'll also explain the three most important reasons to consider marketing on TikTok for your brand and your business.
Spoilt for choice
Why use social media?
If you're planning a marketing direction for a company or a brand these days, you can't avoid social networks. The reason is simple: that's where people's attention is.
And that, after all, is what marketing is all about. You have to find out where people's attention is, why it's there and how you can position your brand there.
A quick look at the monthly active user figures proves that people all over the world are on social media at the moment:
This means that about half the world's population can be found on Facebook and Instagram alone. If you compare these figures with TV ratings, it quickly becomes clear why more and more advertisers are opting for campaigns on the internet.
Neglecting TikTok is a mistake
The US platforms from Silicon Valley are a must-have for every company. However, as in every industry, there are disruptive processes in the social media world that mean serious consequences for all those who don't diversify enough.
Think of platforms like Tumblr or MySpace, which collapsed after the emergence of Facebook and Instagram. If entrepreneurs rely too much on their profiles in the established networks, they risk a big loss if the platforms become less relevant.
It's unlikely – but not impossible – that Facebook and Instagram will collapse in the same way. Nevertheless, it is advisable to always keep an open mind about what is happening in the digital world in order to be able to perceive and exploit all opportunities.
One of these options is TikTok. The video portal, which originally emerged from the musical.ly platform known for lip-syncing, currently counts 689 million users worldwide. This figure is particularly striking in view of the year of TikTok's launch, as the app has only been around in the form it is known today since August 2018. Facebook and Instagram, on the other hand, have been on the market since 2004 and 2010, respectively.
The TikTok Hype
TikTok is one of the fastest growing networks. But why? There are plenty of reasons for the hype around the app:
> Access to the most creative content
At the heart of TikTok are the creators – those users who produce and publish videos. The essence of TikTok, which is to create and share short videos, is exactly what drives creators to keep giving free rein to their creativity and create videos that captivate people in just a few seconds.
> The place where trends start
Everyone wants to belong, understand inside jokes and feel part of something bigger. That's exactly the case with TikTok. The platform is known for constantly initiating new trends there that spread like wildfire. It's not for nothing that TikTok advertises with the slogan "Trends start here".
Comfortable user experience
Of course, the other faction of users is also part of the TikTok hype, i.e. those who only consume. With the "For You" page, which shows users exactly the content that is of interest to them, TikTok has managed to create an enormously convenient user experience.
This is also the case in the Facebook and Instagram feeds, but it's even more effective on TikTok, as videos usually leave a stronger impression than image postings. The result is that users spend hours swiping through the app. This is also the reason why Instagram is currently pushing the reel format so strongly.
All these factors make TikTok and the people who are active there a large, strong community and explain the hype behind the platform. For that reason alone, it's worthwhile for businesses to take a closer look at TikTok.
3 reasons why you should be active on TikTok
1. Organic reach and brand awareness
Probably the most important factor is the enormous reach your business can benefit from. As I described earlier in the article, TikTok has a significant user base and is growing rapidly.
In combination with the strong community factor, it's the ideal place to gain fans and followers and to inspire them for your brand. But what about the target group? Isn't TikTok just for dancing teenagers? These clichés actually had their raison d'être at the beginning of the TikTok journey. Today, however, the demographics and content orientation of the users have changed dramatically.
In the US, a major market for the video portal, the TikTok age breakdown is currently as follows:
- 10-19 years: 32.5 %
- 20-29 years: 29.5 %
- 30-39 years: 16.4 %
- 40-49 years: 13.9 %
- 50+ years: 7.1 %
So while the app still appeals to a rather younger audience, it's also clear that more and more adults are finding their way to TikTok.
In terms of content, too, TikTok is much more than just dancing. To prove this, TikTok is even running a cross-network campaign called "More Than You Think". Topics that are popular on TikTok include music, fashion, sports, gaming, comedy, cooking and social movements.
So neither the age of users nor the content celebrated on the video portal are arguments against TikTok marketing for your business.
What's also great is that unlike Facebook, Instagram and the like, you can actually grow organically on TikTok. That means you don't have to spend thousands of dollars on advertising campaigns to somehow get movement on your profile. Nowhere is it easier than on TikTok to achieve reach, clicks and interactions with organic content.
If you're a little lucky and catch a good moment, in theory you can even go viral with your first video. That's unthinkable with Instagram and Facebook.
So by being on TikTok and uploading videos over and over again, you can generate reach for your brand relatively easily.
2. One platform for all
TikTok is the place to be creative. Of course, there have been creative creators with large followings on YouTube, Instagram and the like for years. But on hardly any other platform are creators of the most diverse types as celebrated as on TikTok.
This is mainly due to the viral character and the strong community, which loves diversity, variety and creativity. A creator like "Mr. Lawyer", for example, comes to mind. A popular lawyer is first of all untypical for a platform that, if critics are to be believed, consists only of dancing young people. Right?
But this example shows that the TikTok community is much more. Mr. Lawyer, as a TikToker, started making interesting videos about everyday legal topics. For example, "Are teachers allowed to give homework over the holidays?" He then answered such questions in his videos under the format "1 Minute Law". This spread extremely quickly and today he is one of the most popular German TikTok creators with, wait for it, 4.1 million followers!
3. Benefit from keeping your finger on the pulse
It's not going out on a limb to call TikTok the hotbed of social media trends. About viral challenges, songs that shoot through the roof and inside jokes that make millions laugh. TikTok has it all and thrives exactly when these trends start moving (which is almost every day).
If you can position your business in the midst of these trends and even play with them, you can look forward to lots of traffic and growth for your brand on TikTok.
This way, you and your brand benefit from the latest trends and the unique dynamics that TikTok offers. In addition, you always get to see what's happening on the platform, what moves people and what topics are interesting at the moment. This also helps you to develop your content strategy across platforms and to create relevant content.
Want some concrete examples of typical TikTok trends? Here are a few loose examples that will make die-hard TikTok connoisseurs smile and give newcomers a good insight into the platform:
There are many more cool trends on TikTok. Just type them into Google and let yourself be impressed!
4 tips for your quick start in TikTok marketing
So you've decided TikTok is a platform you definitely want to be on and you're now wondering what the best approach is? Let me give you four important tips to help you get started.
Tip 1: Content, content, content
Probably the most important rule of success for TikTok is to have a high output. While many say they prefer to follow the principle of "quality over quantity", the reality is that quantity on TikTok is also a certain quality factor.
On the one hand, this has to do with the fact that you can only find out which of your contents the community likes with a large output. If you only have one format and upload one video per week, you have a big risk. Because if this video doesn't work, you won't get any attention at all.
You might be successful with the first format and the first video you produce, but it's not very likely.
Have you heard the saying, "don't put all your eggs in one basket"? This is a piece of advice that means you shouldn't concentrate all your efforts and resources in one area, otherwise you might lose everything.
For your TikTok marketing strategy, this means developing 4 or 5 different formats at the beginning and testing them over a few weeks. In the best case, you upload several videos of one format per day. After the test phase, you'll know which formats work and which don't.
High output is also important because the videos have a rather short half-life. Unlike an SEO article, which, like a fine wine, matures with age and gets better in the rankings, a viral TikTok video can have a sudden drop and come to a standstill. Therefore, you should regularly upload new content to the platform to cushion this circumstance.
Tip 2: "Don't create ads. Create TikToks!"
If you want to endear yourself to the community, you need to present organic content that feels organic. Avoid over-branding, cheesy taglines and dominant product placements.
Typical advertising is completely out of place in TikTok. And not only that – it's also not successful. This is not surprising, given the spirit that prevails on TikTok. The community wants to see creative, unusual videos and not perfectly produced marketing clips.
If you brand your videos too much, you'll make people feel like they've already seen the video the next time they see you on the for you page. Instead, each video should stand on its own and captivate users. Make sure it fits seamlessly into the feed and doesn't look like an advert.
Tip 3: Listen to signals from the community
TikTok is the ideal place to pick up trends and make content from them yourself. This is one of the easiest ways to benefit from TikTok's virality. Even for entrepreneurs, consuming content from other creators is therefore an important part of working with TikTok.
You only know which trends are currently active and which topics are popular on the platform if you regularly watch the videos that people publish.
Then it's important to react in time and create content that is related to these trends. This could be taking part in a TikTok challenge, using a popular song for one of your videos and much, much more.
Tip 4: Think about the first 3 seconds
You've probably heard this tip more than once. Not only with TikTok – it also applies to content on other channels – it's essential to win over users in the first few seconds. Because they're bombarded with so much content, people's attention spans have been reduced to a minimum over the years as social networks have become more and more popular.
You have to try and attract attention in the first few seconds of your videos and establish a storyline so that users stay until the end. This could be, for example, an intro like "WITH THESE 5 TIPS YOU WILL MAKE € 2000 PER MONTH! This attracts attention and foreshadows the appealing goal that the user can achieve with the video. You give them a reason to watch the video to the end. Of course, the tone doesn't have to be quite so striking, but should first and foremost fit your brand and message.
Conclusion: TikTok a must-have for companies
We've now reached the end of this article – so what's our conclusion? Social networks are still the fixed point of digital marketing that no company can bypass. Alongside established platforms like Facebook and Instagram, TikTok has recently emerged as a real opportunity that, due to its high user number, you should consider for your marketing strategy.
Although for many TikTok is still portrayed as unserious and for children, the platform is now also relevant for older people. The numbers prove this development. The app is currently the digital hub of viral movements and trends. Your entire marketing approach can be optimized by taking the signals from the TikTok community and turning them into relevant content.
With high output and platform-appropriate content that speaks the TikTok language and inspires people, you too can gain a foothold on TikTok. TikTok is a portal for creativity and zeitgeist. Taking the leap into one of today's hottest social media channels can give your business a huge boost.