TikTok is the social media world’s shiny new toy. More exciting than old boy Facebook, and more edgy than polished Instagram, TikTok is young, dynamic, and knocking the socks off its competitors in terms of growth.
It may have been around since 2017, but 2020 was the year that TikTok crashed into the mainstream and mass adoption of the app happened outside of its native China. Figures swing wildly in terms of its popularity, but TikTok has been downloaded more than 800 million times, and there are in excess of 500 million active users globally. The pandemic has helped propel the app to stardom on home turf, as Gen Z through to Gen X lost themselves for hours in the engaging content when stuck in lockdown. The UK user base grew by 75% in 2020 and it is predicted that by 2021 homegrown TikTokers will exceed 10 million.
As TikTok appeals to a mobile-first audience, it is little surprise that the app over-indexes with digitally native Millennials and Gen Z, who expect their mobiles to provide their primary source of entertainment. More than half (57%) fall in the 18-24 age bracket, and a further quarter are aged 25-34. However, whiling away hours watching short-form video is not the preserve of the young: it is estimated that 12% of users are aged 35-44. Collectively, these three age brackets represent a lot of buying power. TikTok is a platform that brands need to start including in their marketing plans, not least because a high proportion of TikTok users do not use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
However, unless brands have very deep pockets the prospect of creating a proprietary TikTok channel is prohibitive for most. Unlike its digital forefathers, stock imagery and existing brand collateral aren’t usable content, bespoke video is the only content that works, and it needs to be engaging, fresh and tap into trends – there is nothing ‘stock’ about TikTok. The most effective way for brands to currently tap into the social media channel is by working with influencers.
You can work with TikTok influencers relatively cost-effectively at the moment. As it is still a relatively new platform and the influencers – or ‘creators’ – are often new to the commercial game, there can be massive disparities between what they charge to promote a brand. This presents some great opportunities for brands to dip their toes in the water without investing vast sums. And the added bonus is that any of the content created is platform agnostic so can be used on a brand’s other social media pages too.
We have run TikTok influencer campaigns to great effect for a number of our clients and if this could be of interest to you too, then get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.