Is Advertising on Tik Tok Worth It for Your Business?

 How to use Tik Tok for Your Business

-Garren Dulka, Social Media Coordinator

What is TikTok?

TikTok is the latest, fastest-growing social app in the world (yes, the world). TikTok allows users to share short-form video content with music, filters, some pretty powerful and user-friendly editing tools, and perhaps most importantly for social media marketers, #hashtags. For some, TikTok fills the void left by Vine’s untimely disappearance. In contrast, others claim that TikTok has created a whole new international subculture. Personally, I downloaded the app as research for this blog post a week ago and am already completely hooked.


Launched in September 2016, TikTok now has over 500 million active users, placing its popularity ahead of well-known social platforms LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat. What’s perhaps most impressive is that TikTok reached this many users in almost half the time as Instagram, one of the most popular global social platforms. In case you aren’t sold on its popularity yet, TikTok reached 1.5 billion downloads from the App Store and Google Play in a single year (2019) – I mean, wow. 


Some users have described TikTok as a “black hole of entertainment.” Users say that if they’re not careful, they can spend multiple consecutive hours per day watching videos – all without even realizing how long they’re spending! The average user spends about an hour per day on the app, either creating or editing videos or watching content generated by other users. For reference, people spend the same amount per day on Instagram. 


Who Uses TikTok?

Gen Z, without a doubt, has embraced TikTok with open arms more rapidly than others. Approximately 40% of TikTok users are between ages 16 and 24 – which is no accident. TikTok decided to target users 18 and under as its primary demographic, and has seemingly displayed an understanding of the younger generation better than any other social platform. Many adult social media users either haven’t heard of it yet, are still confused, or dismiss it as a young person’s game. TikTok is available in 155 countries; however, the most popular are India, China, Thailand, and the US. 


Something that genuinely sets TikTok apart from other apps is the number of people who use it actively and regularly. Around three-quarters of all apps downloaded are opened once and then quickly forgotten, and TikTok does not fall into that category. 90% of all TikTok users are active on a daily basis, and about 55% upload their own videos. These statistics speak volumes to the app’s relevance, user-friendly experience, and importance for marketers. 


Should My Business Be On TikTok?

Should my business be on TikTok? This is the question many business owners and marketers are currently trying to answer. However, before you can be successful on TikTok, you need to be active on TikTok. Download the app, scroll through the “For You” page, and learn what it’s all about before deciding if your business should join. Does it fit your tone? Is your target audience active on the app? Do you have the ability and resources to create content that will be well-received by other TikTok users? 


The For You page dramatically increases the discoverability of your brand by continually showing users new content. You can also use niched hashtags and interact with other accounts inside your niche to captivate a more targeted audience. One of the most impressive things about TikTok is the ability for videos and users to go viral overnight, even if they have zero followers when the video first posts. TikTok’s mission to show users new content means your video will be shown to people in all corners of the app, even if they don’t follow you or the hashtags you used. 


A great example of one brand using TikTok to crush their marketing and sales goals is Chipotle’s #GuacDance hashtag challenge for National Avocado Day in 2019. The brand’s second hashtag challenge (after #ChipotleLidFlip) was TikTok’s highest-performing branded challenge in the US. Chipotle’s resulted in its biggest Guacamole Day ever, increasing the guac sold that day by 68%. 


Now, you might be thinking, “my business is nowhere near as big as Chipotle!” BUT – that doesn’t mean you can’t go viral. Oftentimes users who go viral on the app upload a video, go to sleep, and then wake up with tens of thousands of followers and hundreds of thousands of video views. This can be life-changing and business-changing, right?! Sure, TikTok is still “new,” but it’s relatively easy to grow a massive audience. One of the most important things you can do for your business once you’ve captivated a large audience is to drive them to your other social channels. We all know that the biggest money-making social platform is Instagram. Using TikTok to grow your Instagram following could, in turn, increase the relevance and ultimate success of your business. 


Advertising on TikTok?

Paid advertising on TikTok is still relatively new, and the market is not yet over-saturated, which presents an excellent opportunity for brands to advertise on TikTok. However, this is not the place for a polished and professional sit-down video. TikTok is all about short, fun, captivating, unpolished, and “real” content. 


Before paying for advertising on TikTok, make sure that your target audience is active on the app, and that you’ve created content that fits with TikTok’s style and captivates attention. Also, it may be worth trying to create a hashtag contest (like #GuacDance) or viral content to grow your audience without having to pay for advertising. 


So… Is TikTok a Good Business and Marketing Tool?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there does seem to be countless benefits to creating a business TikTok page. If your audience is active on the app, and you have the resources to develop this type of video content consistently, go for it! Business owners and marketers are still trying to figure out exactly how to use TikTok for their businesses. Still, one of the best tactics we’ve seen so far is to grow a large following on the app and then take them to your other social channels. 


Some industries that seem to have great potential with TikTok for businesses are:

  • Marketing Agencies
  • Makeup and Beauty
  • Health and Wellness
  • Photography and Videography
  • Food/Beverage and Restaurants
  • Pets
  • Fashion
  • Travel
  • Apps
  • Any other physical product that appeals to Gen Z


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