Should brands be jumping on the TikTok Bandwagon?

Created with the ideology of being a 15 seconds lip-sync music video sharing platform, TikTok has since evolved from being known as Musical.ly in 2014. Subsequently Bytedance in 2017, the social media platform finally rebranded to the TikTok we know today. In addition to the name change, the functionality within the platform has also grown to create and share longer videos. Now, creators and brands can create longer and more creative content to engage with their viewers.

The global pandemic has been the main driving force towards its rapid growth in popularity as it garnered 619 million installations within the first half of 2020. That’s a 58% increase from the previous quarter in 2019! In spite of its ban in the Indian market, TikTok has recently joined the group of Facebook mobile apps to finally surpass the three billion downloads mark globally.

This achievement has piqued the interest of brands worldwide, attracting well-known brands such as Apple, Hyundai, and Nike to include this platform into their marketing strategy.

TikTok has grown to compete in the big league with other larger social media marketing platforms. With its widespread use, marketers are bound to have some questions.

So, should brands be jumping on the TikTok bandwagon? And how?

What differs TikTok from other social media platforms? 

Social media marketing has long existed before the surge in popularity of TikTok. The big players like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, are competing to provide brands with more engaging and unique advertising space. In such a competitive industry, it’s no wonder that these platforms are constantly updating the functionality within the application to cater to the demands of its consumers. 

Higher engagement with the audience 

Despite having the third-highest monthly active users in 2021 with 689 million users, TikTok managed to retain its users more effectively than its competitors. When compared to other social media platforms, TikTok was observed to have a 44% greater approach, and a 15% higher engagement rate. In addition, users are more immersed in the short and creative delivery method of content produced. 

Younger audience demographic 

Tik Tok generally caters to a younger audience demographic. 41% of users on here are within the age group of 16 – 24 years old. Comparatively, Facebook and Instagram have a higher adoption rate of 73% amongst 50 – 64 years olds. This is followed by a 71% adoption rate amongst 18 – 29 years olds respectively. 

The algorithm 

Both TikTok “For You” page and Instagram “Discover” have pretty similar features. Both aims to show users recommended content. However, the more advanced algorithm brought forth by TikTok allows the personalisation of content shown to users based on their preferences and past activities on the application. This means that the content shown is highly relevant to the individual user instead of less personalised recommendations by Instagram. 

Find out how to create newsworthy content.

Is there a right strategy to use in Tiktok? 

Creating unique beats or content 

A common misconception is that brand accounts can easily gain views or followers simply by hopping on into existing trends. This could be catchy songs, sounds or content. This would be true for brands if their main aim of being on TikTok was just to increase their visibility. For brands who are leveraging TikTok as an advertising platform to potentially generate sales, it’s slightly different. Mere views and likes of such content will not suffice for boosting conversions. 

Similarly to advertising on other platforms, brands should aim to create unique and distinctive content on TikTok. For avid Southeast Asia region TikTok users, the mentioning of the e-commerce platform, Shopee, would ring a highly addictive melody in their heads while they dance along to the beat. Shopee’s enthusiasm in experimenting and creating creative ad campaigns led to its 20% increase in clickthrough rate (CTR). By creating unique content, users can better associate the beat to the brand and allow users to better remember the brand. 

Starting Branded Hashtag Challenge 

“Hashtag” is not a term that is unfamiliar to modern marketers. It started being used as an indication of the content posted being related to a certain topic since 2007. The usage of hashtags is particularly important on TikTok. Essentially, it helps generalised videos for users to easily find content they are interested in. Brands are now able to increase their content visibility on the For You page and target the relevant audiences. Due to the strong ability to increase brand awareness and engagement through hashtag challenges, brands often find themselves leveraging this ability by sponsoring a hashtag challenge. 

Nespresso, a leading coffee brand widely known for its coffee capsule, leveraged the benefits of a branded hashtag challenge by creating a campaign #CoffeeBeats to promote their recently launched Vertuo machine. Through this, the brand managed to significantly increase purchase intent by 50%, ad recall by 70% and brand favourability by 19%. 

Involving TikTok content creators 

By now, modern marketers should already be aware of the importance of having influencers to help elevate their campaigns. When brands employ influencers to join their campaigns, they’re leveraging the creators’ number of followers and influence. TikTok Creator Marketplace (TCM) makes it easier for brands to get the number of reach and engagement of creators in order to select the best-suited ones. 

Returning to the example of Nespresso, not only were they able to create a challenge that gives enough information of the direction for content creators or users to follow, but also did not limit their creativity. By working with top creators in TikTok, they were able to quickly spread awareness of the challenge. 

 So, should your brand be using Tiktok? 

So the perks of TikTok seem to be rather attractive, but is it really the best channel for your business?

We’ve put together a checklist as a general rule to answer your question. If you answered yes to all of these questions, TikTok is a bandwagon that is highly suitable for your brand to jump on. 

  • Does the age of your brand’s target audience fall below the age of 35 years old? 
  • Is the product/service that your brand is promoting best shown through videos? 
  • Is your brand willing to break free from the rigid marketing style to move on to more light-hearted content? 
  • Are there enough employees in your company who can commit and put their time and effort into creating creative content? 

Interested to know more about content marketing? We can help! Contact [email protected] today.

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