Should I be using TikTok to promote my business?
It’s new, it’s popular, and it’s becoming a driver for the future of digital marketing.
But does TikTok need to be part of your social media strategy? The answer is yes, but only if you’re ready to be reactive rather than proactive.
TikTok is a social media platform for creating, sharing and discovering short videos. The app was initially used by young audiences giving them a platform to share singing, dancing, comedy, and lip-syncing videos.
The app itself launched back in 2016, but popularity saw a spike in 2020 during the first lockdown. It’s now home to younger and older audiences with a broad variety of content available with timeframes spanning from 15 seconds to three minutes.
You may be thinking: “Well if video content is popular then I need to get on this app ASAP!”
However, the platform may seem shiny and new but there are certain factors you need to consider before pressing record.
Knowing your audience
First thing’s first. Decide if your business if right for TikTok.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to industry in the realm of TikTok. The more important factor to consider is whether your target audience is using the app.
According to The Social Shepard, this is the most recent age breakdown for your potential audiences:
Ages 10-19 are 25% of users
Ages 20-29 are 22.4% of users
Ages 30-39 is 21.7% of users
Ages 40-49 is 20.3% of users
Realistically, your audience will be using the app in some way. But by breaking your demographics down even further into customer habits whilst reflecting on your current marketing activity, you can get a pretty clear idea of what move to make next based on what works best.
The fact that the platform is so new also presents a problem when it comes to algorithms. They are likely to change at some point along the way. Currently, the biggest focus is on the user themselves.
Our biggest tip is to spend some time on there yourself. What sort of content are you seeing? How often do you see new trends? How can you now relate your findings back to your business?
From doing this ourselves we have chosen to use TikTok, but made the conscious decision to not have a specific strategy.
Our TikTok journey
As soon as you’ve planned out your to-do list of videos to create, it’s likely they will be replaced with something new. Trends are emerging so quickly, and they often start with something completely out of the ordinary.
For example, one of our team related TikTok’s took hours of planning, filming and editing. This ended up with 1,600 views. Not too bad! We then posted an impromptu, fun in-office video with no clear strategy behind it which ended up with 2.5 million views…
We’re not saying you can’t be strategic with your content. All we want you to understand is that TikTok is exciting and complex.
It can be easy to get carried away and forget where your marketing values lie. TikTok has impacted so many elements of the marketing world which has opened the doors to some exciting tactics for marketers.
How TikTok has impacted business
It’s safe to say TikTok is primarily a consumer-focused platform with a keen eye on how to keep its users entertained by the content they engage with the most.
Having an algorithm like this makes it’s difficult for businesses to stand out in front of their target audience directly.
If you haven’t seen them, they are not only strategic when it comes to interacting with other brands and consumers in the comment sections, but they are also incredibly quick and on the ball when it comes to jumping on trends.
It always relates back to their industry and brand values too, even it is a slight stretch at times.
Does it give them personality? Yes. Does that mean every business should be doing the same? Not necessarily.
How TikTok has impacted marketing
Since the inception of social media platforms, there has been a wave of different consumer demands. To begin with, written content took centre stage.
Images quickly followed with Instagram becoming the new kid on the block.
For a while now, video has been at the surface across all platforms, yet TikTok has created a demand for short form videos, which has taken over. Instagram and Facebook have even created their own version of TikTok called Reels within their apps.
As well as the changing demand in content types, TikTok has also seen influencer marketing grow to a whole new scale.
Did you know ‘TikTokers’ not only get paid to promote products, but they can also get incentives from merely using a particular song on their videos?!
How TikTok has influenced music
One of the most impressive accolades in the short but sweet TikTok hall of fame is the power the app has within the music industry.
Songs that have ended up in the charts have gained popularity through TikTok. Current stars like Olivia Rodrigo gained popularity from TikTok.
Artist like Adele have been questioned by their record label when it comes to marketing strategies purely because of what TikTok is doing for the industry.
The Brits had a category for their 2021 awards that was purely voted for through TikTok.
The 2022 Eurovision contestant for the UK, Sam Ryder, was found through – you guessed it – TikTok!
Although the app has clearly become a marketing hot spot for the music industry, it’s not the industry that’s giving the app a go and being successful.
To TikTok or not to TikTok
Here’s a few things to consider the next time you question the need for TikTok, or perhaps someone in your team asks why you haven’t gone viral yet:
- The app is still new, so what works now might not work forever
- Your videos will need to be current, topical, and entertaining
- Always remain relevant to your brand and marketing message
- Unlike other platforms, your content needs to be reactive rather than proactive
- Always think of the audience before you post
If you like structure, TikTok may not be for you as it may be unrealistic to stick to a marketing plan when it comes for this particular platform. But it is exciting to see the direction in which the world of social media is heading.
If your answer is yes to TikToking – happy days! If not, it’s ok to stick to the platforms you know if your audience is better engaged on those. Forget about what’s trending and remember who you’re talking to.