The video sharing platform remains one of the fastest growing apps in the US and the world.
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March 2, 2021 5 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.
TikTok has grown exponentially over the past year, reaching 100 million active users in the US and hundreds of millions more worldwide. What was once a meeting place for Generation Z is now a diverse platform that spans ages, regions and interests. This means that the target audience for most brands can be found there. The platform can be particularly powerful as it drives billions of dollars in engagements, numbers not known on any other platform. This is just one of several reasons why TikTok should be part of most brands’ marketing plans for 2021. Here are four that stand out.
Almost every audience is on the platform, and that will only increase
Since December 2020, TikTok’s share of monthly active adult users in the US has increased significantly. More than a third (nearly 38%) are over 30 years old, and more than 65% of US users are over 20 years old. These age differences reflect the platform, which is increasingly diversified allowing brands to reach niche communities from gamers to fashion fans to funding geeks and beyond.
The nature of the content on TikTok is also extremely diverse. Communities have sprung up for every interest, from beauty to cooking to sports, comedy, and even beekeeping. Most brands will find that the conversation around their category (and sometimes even their specific products) is already robust. This diversity is only expected to increase. In some reports, TikTok has grown to more than a billion users in the coming year.
Related Topics: How To Use TikTok To Promote Your Business
Opportunity for authentic brand marketing
Much of TikTok’s culture is rooted in its early adopters: Gen Z. As the first to adopt TikTok, this generation really set the standards of the platform. What feels like oversharing for older people is normal for these digital natives, and that is reflected in the content of the platform. TikTok prefers authenticity over perfection and thus offers an authentic and natural space to present your brand. This is in contrast to Instagram’s highly commercial approach, which encourages users to buy products that are featured in curated posts.
To be effective at TikTok, brands should use a storytelling style that is important to them. Take Chipotle, for example. Chipotle is a TikTok fan favorite with nearly 1.5 million followers and more than 25 million likes because it aligns with popular TikTok trends and gives users an authentic look at their recipe book.
Brands can quickly become relevant
The TikTok virality offers unexpected opportunities to quickly and relevantly gain relevance for the audience. Ocean Spray is a good example. It all started when Nathan Apodaca’s truck broke down on the way to work and he found a creative way to end his path by creating an organic, unsupported TikTok that came with his skateboard and a bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry Juice was fitted. Almost immediately, the video reached 26 million views and is currently nearly 80 million views. To jump on the viral moment before it was over, Ocean Spray sent Apodaca a new red truck full of the brand’s juice that made waves not only in the TikTok community, where TikTokers were playing the viral video itself, but also offline. The product quickly sold out on grocery shelves across the country.
In this example, Ocean Spray jumped on an existing, relevant TikTok conversation. Brands can also jump into the driver’s seat and create relevance through their own TikTok content. elf Cosmetics, for example, was an early adopter of TikTok. Throughout 2020, their viral hits helped the brand achieve five-quarters of consecutive sales growth despite a 20% decline in the overall category.
TikTok is suitable for budgets of all sizes
Perhaps the most attractive part of TikTok is that it can be successful within different budgets. The marketing options also span a wide spectrum, allowing businesses of all sizes to participate. Compared to more established platforms, it’s still relatively easy for brands to achieve organic reach.
Users turn to TikTok to find the coolest products and trends by word of mouth. This is reflected in some of the platform’s top performing hashtags, all of which are based on organic engagement: #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt; #Buy this; #TikTokFinds; #GotItFromTikTok; #TikTokMadeMeDoIt; and #WhatTikTokMadeMeBuy – each of which claims more than a million to more than 600 million views.
The upcoming integration of the app with Shopify will only make these campaigns more valuable to many DTC brands that have direct purchase opportunities embedded in the platform experience.
Related: How this 18-year-old TikTok star built a business with 5 million followers
Conclusion: TikTok shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone in their marketing plans. In contrast to any other social platform, the platform offers a great opportunity for engagement and branding. As with any new campaign, this effort can take some trial and error, but you’ll be surprised how quickly content can take hold.