As a digital marketing agency, it’s especially important for us to keep up with online trends. The latest craze that’s piqued our interest? TikTok.

Known for dance videos and attracting tweens, TikTok is a social media platform that has exploded on the scene in a big way. The app came about when video-sharing app Musical.ly was bought by ByteDance for a reported $1 billion. This illustrates the predicted success of TikTok, which hit 1.5 billion downloads in November 2019. 

To truly understand the incredibly popular app, we consulted our specialist advisor and avid youth TikTok user, Annabelle.

Using the App

When asked what she likes most about TikTok, she cites she “just likes making videos”. This speaks to the creative and fun appeal of the app and aligns with how video content is skyrocketing as the most-watched content online. 

‘When asked what she likes most about TikTok, she cites she “just likes making videos”.’

When Annabelle first started on the app there weren’t many ads, but now they appear quite often on the ‘For You’ page. This is the feed that most people scroll through, and users aim for their videos to do well on the For You page in order to go viral. It’s similar to the Explore feed on Instagram. 

Who’s on There?

TikTok requires a minimum age of 13 to use the app and reports the average user age to be 16 to 24. However, from Annabelle’s experience, she would guess that the average age is more likely as young as 8 to about 28 years of age. 

Brands like Mecca and Roblox use the platform for advertising, as they are often appealing to tweens and young teenagers. Although Annabelle is sometimes impressed by the ads, like one she saw of a photo necklace, she’s ultimately not able to buy anything without the help of her parents. Parents are often not as easily swayed by the sounds and colours of TikTok ads, and Annabelle didn’t get the necklace. 

That said, businesses whose audience are young people would miss a great opportunity by not advertising on TikTok. As we all know, children are often very capable of influencing their parents’ purchasing habits. And as kids watch less TV and read fewer magazines, TikTok is where to find the youth audience. 

Paid Advertising on TikTok

Annabelle’s advice for any brand considering paid advertising on TikTok? Make the video bright and colourful and use the most popular TikTok sounds. The worst thing it could be? Boring. If it isn’t interesting in the first two seconds, she’ll just keep scrolling. 

Influencer Marketing and Challenges

Marketers don’t need their own account to post ads. Which is a good thing, as Annabelle tells us that most people only follow their own friends or very famous people, like her favourite 15-year-old influencer Charli D’Amelio. Charli is famous from the dances she choreographs, which millions of fans then copy when they upload their own dancing videos. 

@charlidamelio♬ #hiteverybeat – lulbabyyneliiTikTok is content-driven not connection driven. And for content marketers, that’s exciting. 

If you can manage to go viral with a #challenge campaign, it’s a marketer’s dream. Why? Because users will upload their own version of your challenge video, giving you free user-generated content that rakes in millions of views. 

Influencer marketing has also been tapped into, with influencers like Charli promoting products within their own feed. With an audience of over 30 million, it’s a lucrative advertising stream.

How to Get Started

Start your paid advertising strategy by first looking through TikTok’s inspiration page. No doubt as more and more advertisers flock to TikTok they’ll expand on their case studies and suggestions. 

Alternatively, identify the emerging trends and challenges, then integrate them with your advertising concept.

Remember: the key to advertising on TikTok is being catchy, authentic, and relevant. 

A very special thanks to our guest TikTok expert Annabelle for her valuable input. Until Annabelle’s old enough to handle your marketing needs, reach out to the other TikTok fans and social experts at Emote. 
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