TikTok seems to have taken over the world in just a couple of years. Initially obscure for users outside China (where it’s known as Douyin), it can now boast one billion active users worldwide as of October 2021. Yes, that’s a billion with a “b”.
That’s also why it’s the second on the list of the fastest-growing brands, outraced only by Tesla. Its value brand is showing an annual growth rate of 158% in 2021.
All of that adds up to one simple truth: no marketing specialist can afford to ignore TikTok anymore. So, let’s break down its 6 key marketing trends – and why they should matter to you.
Why This Should Matter to You If You’re a Student
Look. You shouldn’t expect professors to teach you everything you’ll need when you land a job in marketing. They probably don’t even know what TikTok is, let alone how a business can leverage its potential!
But this platform is here – and it is a powerful marketing channel with an outstandingly huge audience. And, chances are strong that you‘ll need to know how to use its potential once you land a job in marketing.
That’s why if there’s one thing you’ll take away from reading this piece, it should be the following. Focus on building up the knowledge and skills you’ll actually need instead of wasting your time on homework.
Don’t have the time? You can always offload some (or most) of your assignments to an argumentative essay writer at EssayPro to make it. Trust this: your real-world skills are going to matter a lot more than the essays you’ve written.
Now, here are 6 TikTok trends you should try to put to practice yourself.
- It’s Not Just for Gen Z Anymore
Back in 2020, the majority of TikTok users based in the United States fell in the 10-29 age group (62%, according to Statista). Fast-forward a year into the future, and it’s not the case anymore – users aged 10 to 29 make up only 47.4% of the whole user base.
This shift happened thanks to a rise in the number of users belonging to the 30-39 and 40-49 age groups. They now make up 21.7% and 20.3% of all U.S. users, respectively.
All of this means one thing: this is no longer a platform for just kids and teens. So, even if the product you’re marketing is aimed at 30-somethings, this platform is now a viable marketing channel to reach your target audience.
- It’s All About Entertainment
Do you know what the two most popular hashtags are on TikTok? They are #entertainment and #dance. And the former one marks the most viewed content, by far: #entertainment videos have been viewed 535 billion times (once again, with a “b”).
What does it mean for you as a marketer? If you launch a business account on this platform, your content has to tap into this need to be entertained that users consistently show. Here are just a few content ideas:
- Participate in the trending challenges;
- Aim for funny content and use (and create) memes;
- Launch your own challenges.
Your aim should be to go viral with your content.
A quick side note: this is what also makes this social network different from YouTube. As per ThinkGoogle, 70% of YouTube users come to the platform because they have a problem and they’re looking for a way to solve it.
- TikTok Blurs the Line Between Advertising & Regular Content
Ads on TikTok are, to say the least, creative (Facebook and Instagram have a long way to go to match them). And it’s sometimes hard to spot when an ad is an ad there, which makes these types of advertising more effective.
That’s because people have developed so-called “blindness” towards more traditional ads: they’ve learned to ignore YouTube ads playing before videos and paid posts appearing in their Facebook feed.
Here’s what TikTok has to offer to businesses looking for creative paid promotion:
- Brand takeover ads. The moment a user opens the app, they’ll see your ad (it should last between 3 and 5 seconds);
- Branded hashtag challenges. If you launch one, it’ll appear on the targeted users’ “Discover” page. It’s one of the best ways to gather user-generated content and use it for promoting your brand;
- Branded effects. Yes, you can create one of those funny overlays and upload it to the platform. If your targeted users like it, they’ll use the effect in their videos, boosting brand awareness.
- Influencer Marketing Is Still Untapped
Influencer marketing is another one of those marketing techniques that promote a product without outright screaming “it’s an ad”. And while it’s rampant on every social media platform out there, TikTok isn’t a front-runner among marketers (yet).
In January 2021, only 21% of surveyed marketers said they plan to increase TikTok usage in the future. That’s not a lot, especially considering that 64% said they are going to use Instagram more.
When it comes to influencer marketing, there’s one more trend you should pay attention to. It concerns micro-influencers – they can bring you a better return on investment if you target your efforts accurately.
For starters, they charge less. TikTok nano-influencers – i.e., those with less than 5,000 followers – ask for $4-$30 per post (source: Statista). Users with over a million followers, on the other hand, have the price tag starting at $1,600 per post – and “the sky’s the limit”.
And micro-influencers tend to show higher engagement rates than those with millions of followers. So, if your target audience matches theirs, you’ll gain more high-quality leads as a result of the campaign.
- Competition Is Still Low
Most businesses, especially small ones, don’t consider TikTok a viable marketing channel for the moment.
That means you can gain a competitive advantage by simply going where your competitors haven’t yet. It can be as easy as launching an account and serving great content!
What’s more, TikTok’s algorithm is designed for making content viral – even if your account has zero followers at the moment. So, content marketing can be enough for your brand to gain traction on this platform, which can reduce the marketing budget considerably.
- It’s a Vertical-Video-Only Territory
Although TikTok has a web version that you can access from a desktop browser, it remains a mobile-first social network.
After all, there’s a reason why it’s among the most downloaded apps both on Android’s Google Play and Apple’s AppStore. TikTok can boast 30.8 million daily active iOS users and 14.43 million Android ones (as of September 2021).
This means that you should create your content with the mobile-first approach in mind. For one, unlike YouTube, there’s no place for horizontal videos on TikTok – so, you’ll need to create vertical ones only.
TikTok swooped in and gained recognition as a social network for kids and teens. But that’s not all there is to it anymore. Its adult user base is growing, creating new avenues for marketers and businesses alike.
What’s great about it, too, is that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on paid ads to have a successful marketing campaign on TikTok. Content marketing alone can get you far, thanks to the inherent virality of the platform.
So, if you’ve never even set foot on this social network, now is the right time to do it. You can start small and work on your personal account if you don’t have a business client at the moment. That’ll help you learn all the ins and outs of the platform – and employers will value that when they review your resume.