A Deep Dive: TikTok

TikTok was the most downloaded app in both May & June 2020; a staggering 111.9 million users installed this app on their phones in May, and a further 87 million followed suit in June. More broadly, TikTok has 560 million active users worldwide. Despite the huge uptake of TikTok, many brands still don’t have an in-depth understanding of the platform and why it is so popular with Gen Z users in particular (SensorTower, 2020).

TikTok is an app used for making and sharing short videos between 15-60 seconds, and is the go-to destination for young creators. You navigate the videos by scrolling up and down, like a feed, not by tapping or swiping side to side as you will have become accustomed to on Instagram. Video creators have multiple tools at their disposal to edit their videos: most notably filters and the ability to search for sounds to score their video. Users are also strongly encouraged to engage with each other, through “response” videos or by means of “duets” (users can duplicate videos and add themselves in alongside).

Hashtags play a large role on TikTok. The hashtags exist for various “challenges” or jokes, which engender a lot of organic user generated content. Brands can also capitalise on sponsored TikTok challenges — see our cheatsheet on how to get your own challenge trending! The overriding purpose of TikTok’s content is to be fun, light-hearted, and entertaining.

Perhaps in light of this, TikTok is aggressively young and overwhelmingly populated by Gen Z. Gen Z are the generation after Millennials; born between the mid-90s and early 2010s, they are just beginning to enter the market and are hungry for a different type of content that TikTok provides. 85% of TikTok users are below the age of 34, with 42% falling into the 18-24 demographic. Hot on their heels is the 13-17 group, who comprise 27% of the platforms user base (Hootsuite, 2020).

It also boasts an engagement rate that blows Instagram and Twitter out the water: influencers with followers ranging from 1,000 – 100,000+ were compared across the 3 platforms, and TikTok had an average engagement rate of 7.7% — compared to 3.8% on Instagram and 0.7% on Twitter (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2019). With TikTok’s users so engaged in the app, this makes it one of the most effective mediums to target them with authentic, original, and compelling content.

Last month, TikTok launched a new ‘TikTok for Business’ website, which provides marketers with a range of resources and tools to help them utilise the short-form video app for their ad campaigns. The main focus of the platform is TikTok’s ad slogan — “Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks” — which prompts businesses to focus on aligning with platform usage, as opposed to interruptive ads that do not go down well with Gen Z.

TikTok also recently released their ‘pixel’, which allows pre-established customer specific behaviour to be tracked for performance marketing purposes. With more than 90% of users opening the app multiple times per day, there is a lot of potential for highly effective re-targeting opportunities on your campaigns (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2019).

With such strong numbers across the board, TikTok is well worth considering for your next influencer marketing campaign.