March 6, 2020
Remember that time when Twitter released Vine, the first ever Internet tool for making short-form videos? The app exploded quickly by creating a new wave of celebrities and a new advertising platform for brands using 6-second looping videos.
However, with the rise of new social media stars like Instagram and Snapchat, recording only 6-second videos seemed too limiting and Vine slowly died out by 2017.
Now, everyone’s talking about TikTok (formerly Musical.ly) – another short-form, social media, video-sharing platform, which after being released globally in 2017, already became the 7th most downloaded app of the past decade.
Its concept, at the very core, is similar to that of Vine – short, looping videos for sharing entertainment. However, unlike Vine, Tik Tok allows you to post videos with a maximum length of 60 seconds and the ability to repost videos that aren’t made by you personally. Content on Tik Tok usually contains music in the background with people dancing, lip syncing or doing everyday activities for entertainment.
The question is: will this platform last longer than Vine this time around? Furthermore, considering the growing power of video marketing, what kind of brands can benefit from using TikTok to reach their audience?
As with any social media platform, in order to decide whether TikTok is the right platform for your brand, you need to understand who uses it and for what purpose.
As of last year, TikTok has over 500 million active users worldwide (124 million in the USA), and around 41% of them are aged between 16 and 24. Similarly to Snapchat, which is also primarily meant for the youth, TikTok is all about creative, fun, and often silly, but very entertaining content. Something that catches the attention right away and is not too long.
If your business is in banking, government, insurance or any other similar sector, TikTok may not be the ideal platform for you just yet.
However, it will work great for entertainment, media, retail businesses. You can use TikTok to show short behind-the-scenes footage from events, or fitness instructors and cooking bloggers can use TikTok to post quick daily updates.
For example, the famous pilates vloger Cassey Ho who goes by the username, Blogilates, is successfully using TikTok to stimulate her followers to do something active every day in a fun way.
Clothing, cosmetics, retail stores and restaurants can also use TikTok to highlight special offers or organize contests with hashtags. As a matter of fact, unlike other social media platforms, TikTok allows complete hashtag takeovers as a way to promote hashtage challenges and generate engagement, yet such campaigns may be too expensive for small businesses.
TikTok is likewise growing in popularity among influencers, but don’t forget about the social platform’s user demographics when deciding to partner with one. TikTok will be most effective for brands that actually target late Millennials and Gen-Z. It proved to work very well for DreamWorks which wanted to generate buzz among young girls prior to the release of their new animated series on Netflix.
TikTok provides a platform of entertainment, creativity and community.
Probably one of the biggest benefits we see from using TikTok is that it provides a framework that makes it easier for people to create content. For example, it allows you to use tools like filters, control over video speed, access to professional audio and more. It’s similar to what Instagram did for photography.
Companies can use it to create their own branded content on TikTok, similar to YouTube.
Localization is another great feature of TikTok where businesses that operate in multiple locations can use marketing campaigns for specific locations to reach their target.
Another awesome thing about TikTok is that the user engagement is phenomenal due to its unique algorithms. Videos on TikTok can go viral with relative ease even if you have zero followers. Being that most videos on TikTok are so short, the content on the app is meant for fast and casual viewing.
With over a billion monthly active users that is actively growing, this is a huge opportunity for businesses to set their footprint in early. Because the app is still so new, it might be just be the leverage your business needs to get ahead of the competition.
At the end of the day, the question of whether to use TikTok or not really depends on your business type and the goal you want to achieve with it.
TikTok flourishes on casual, user-generated content as opposed to high-quality, over-the-top edited videos. It also allows you to share these videos on Instagram stories and Snapchat making it a great source of content that will stimulate engagement and won’t empty your pockets in creating it.
It doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t post previously recorded videos. Just make sure to cut them short enough and add a fun tune to them.
And if you are still not sure, it’s worth a try anyway. TikTok is at such an early adaption stage that permits trial and error, and there’s no need for extra budget to do it. Anyone at your company can become a TikTok master and release their creativity.
by Agnese Zimele
Blogger and Marketing Assistant