TikTok is a social media app for creating and sharing short videos. The app was launched in 2017 by ByteDance. While the app was originally mostly used to share music videos, it’s now a platform to showcase talent of all kinds: skateboarding, stand-up, dancing, fashion… On TikTok everything revolves around “sounds”. Most TikTok videos are up to 15 seconds long, although you can create stories up to 60 seconds in length. TikTok had over 1.1 billion installs as of March 2019, with more than 500 million new users each month.
Who uses TikTok?
66% of TikTok users are under 30 years old and two-thirds are female. TikTok presents a real opportunity to reach Generation Z.
How can brands use TikTok?
As with most social media platforms, brands can create their own channels and upload engaging content. The key to success is to create content that fits within the style and tone that users are accustomed to on TikTok. This means taking a “soft sell” approach and posting content that is entertaining and follows TikTok’s “talent showcase” format. Blatantly commercial content will be viewed negatively by TikTok’s Gen Z user base.
Brands can also work with influencers to spread their message on TikTok. As with Instagram, influencers are very popular on TikTok, with some accounts having up to 32 millions followers.
TikTok has also introduced an advertising platform, currently in beta testing in the US and Europe. Brand takeover, in-feed video, and hashtag challenges are available for advertisers.
“TikTok isn’t just for kids. It may seem so now… but “cool kids” are trendsetters as we all know, and then others follow. At minimum, for any brand that wants to hang out/understand/target the “cool kids” and their followers… they should be on TikTok.”
– Niko Bonatsos, Managing Director of General Catalyst (Invested in Snap)
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