TikTok – the new app in town. How does this fit in with a brand’s video content strategy? With Musical.ly trying to already enter the industry with high competition, why would the brand think that rebranding it as TikTok would make it unique? The app is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and is designed in an easy-to-use way for the younger audience. It comes with simple video editing tools, that enables these TikTokers to dance or lip-sync to famous songs or even dialogue reenactments. While the former only focussed on music, TikTok combines music with entertainment too. The app has a monthly user count of 500 million whereas Musical.ly stands somewhere 1/5th of that number.
Both of these apps target users between the ages of 14 and 21. Similar to YouTube, TikTok influencers also have millions of fans following their content. TikTok has only been around for two years and has already managed to get one billion users worldwide. It also is available in 75 languages. The app allows for video discovery with demographic targeting and recommendations even when not sponsored. What makes the platform more than Instagram for videos is that it doesn’t place an emphasis on a culture where users follow specific accounts. Rather, the focus is upon the discovery feed. This means the content is diverse and fresh for every TikTok user and thus encouraging them that they themselves have the power to create a viral video. The app gains a fine balance of rewarding creativity but a slight drawback would be that it reduces loyalty toward specific influencers.
TikTok saw some incredible numbers in terms of installs in the last few months of 2018. Surprisingly, the worldwide installs of the platform even exceeded that of Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. TikTok has managed to entice and captivate consumers with an inclination towards binge-watching video content. Another interesting face for India is that even though 26.5 million of the 500 million monthly active users are from the U.S., TikTok’s user base is largely from India taking up 43% of the current crowd users of the app.
TikTok offers a variety of locations in its plethora of videos. What makes it so bingeable and relatable for the audience is that the backgrounds and settings mostly aren’t picture-perfect like in other platforms like Facebook or especially Instagram posts, and a sizable chunk of these videos are shot in tier 2 and tier 3 of India where is a substantial amount of audience present. According to SimilarWeb, TikTok in India has a whopping nine million daily active users and they spend an average of 31 minutes on the platform. It is quite understandable why the app is doing so well here though. It is every Indian’s Bollywood dream to lip sync to a star’s song or dialogue.
How can brands use TikTok well?
Wit TikTok being touted as the current viral sensation, brand marketers have started noticing it as another shiny object with great potential that offers good engagement with a niche demographic. Advertisers are no longer interest in placing brand-generated ads but are looking at user-generated content. If the content is well-made, the same can be easily recycled in other social media platforms too.
The fact that TikTok is a discovery feed-based platform is more enticing to brands and makes it easier to target their demographic audience and generate endless interest. Since a lot of brands still haven’t explored the platform much, brands who are open-minded with TikTok have high chances of gaining the first-mover advantage. Brands who are open to entertainment-based content with peppy music and fun dialogues have already foraged into this.
One innovative and widely popular brand ad format is a play on #HashtagChallenge, where brands challenge TikTok users to create videos inspired by the brand’s initial video. Musical.ly also tried to initially go this direction before the merger with TikTok.
The platform’s hashtag challenges like #RaindropChallenge has over 685.7 million views on TikTok and Jimmy Fallon’s #TumbleweedChallenge created 8,000 videos with over 9 million views in seven days. Jimmy Fallon is currently incorporating these challenges into “The Tonight Show.” Though it looks like the show has no transactional dealing with the app, as the host himself enjoyed the app and wanted to integrate it in the Tonight Show. TikTok even beat Instagram in the #InMyFeelings challenge videos where it managed to produce 5 million views when compared to Insta’s 1.8 million.
Max, India’s fashion brand came up with a dance campaign with a hashtag #BehenKuchBhiPehen. The brand, while marketing on other platforms, also delved into TikTok where the dance challenge is being recreated by the users.
A marketer needs to realize that TikTok which offers a new level of engagement. Predictably, in other platforms, the whole idea of engagement is to get as many likes, shares or comments as possible. A video on TikTok encourages someone to turn into a brand ambassador to start a conversation.
What makes TikTok so exciting is that the number of opportunities it provides for marketers and content creators in general despite the platform still dealing with issues based on the age of its content creators with the Government. Has your brand considered implementing a campaign on TikTok? Is TikTok’s success exaggerated? Can the app evolve into something more than an entertainment platform? Do share your ideas and opinions with us below in the comments section or visit our website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages to reach out to us.