Heralded as the future of entertainment and the ‘last sunny corner of the internet,’ TikTok has fast-become a global sensation among today’s mobile-first audiences as its platform and community reinvent the way people consume and interact with content.
The leading destination for short-form mobile video, TikTok had already clocked more than two billion downloads globally in April and made history with the most downloads of any app in a single quarter, according to data from market intelligence provider Sensor Tower.
This includes more than 1.6 million downloads in Australia.
The surge in popularity has been driven in part by the joyful and entertaining user-generated content on the platform, and accelerated by the global pandemic which has led to people spending more time in their homes engaging with and creating content on mobile.
Unlike other platforms, TikTok doesn’t limit users to seeing content from their own social network or filter bubble. Its algorithm allows users to discover completely personalised content to match their preferences.
This discovery puts users in touch with content - and brands - they wouldn’t normally have found, opening a plethora of opportunities for marketers to create breakthrough campaigns in a cluttered advertising market.
The platform is also centred around shareable audio, making it an immersive, sound-on environment for brands to create new trends and reach new audiences.
But before brands start sharing across the content platform, it’s important they get to know TikTok and what it’s all about.
TikTok’s mission is “to inspire creativity and bring joy”. This rings true with the myriad of content available to and created by the TikTok community.
Showcasing the latest trends and crazes from around the world, users could be viewing anything from clips of cute animals, to tutorials and life hacks, or partaking in the latest viral dance competition or lip sync challenge.
TikTok offers a unique experience to users, creators and brands alike.
Users can enjoy an endless stream of engaging content tailored to their interests on the personalised ‘For You Feed’, while creators have a raft of in-app tools at their disposal to experiment with when crafting their videos, and brands have a new way to connect with their customers.
One of the many things that sets TikTok apart is its engagement factor.
Moving beyond a simple like or comment, TikTok also offers users the ability to actively participate in and respond to the content they are watching with features like ‘react’, which allows users to film themselves reacting to another video, and ‘duet’ which calls on people to join in and repost other people's videos.
Its in-app features allow users to easily become creators within moments, and in turn can help brands go viral. Think of it as like the new and improved word of mouth, moulded by a digitally native audience.
American fast food chain Chipotle is one brand who has nailed it on TikTok with its consistently irreverent and engaging content receiving millions of views and shares.
For the brand’s #GuacDance challenge ahead of National Guacamole Day, it received more than 250,000 video submissions and 430 million video starts in six days.
Thanks to the campaign, Chipotle reported more than 800,000 sales of guacamole on the national day.
Likewise, its recent playful video ‘Society if Boomers could say “Chipotle” correctly’ has garnered more than 10.7 million views.
Down under, Australian food delivery app Menulog took TikTok by storm with its viral #DeliveryDance hashtag challenge, where users were encouraged to post videos of themselves dancing to a Snoop Dogg jingle with their takeaways in tow.
These tongue-in-cheek campaigns are exactly the type of content users are looking for on the platform and how brands should look at approaching the TikTok community.
Inclusive, Authentic and Discoverable
TikTok has made its mark with the authentic and accessible nature of its content.
Moving away from the heavily staged and ‘living my best life’ content found across social media platforms, TikTok is all about celebrating authenticity. After all, its tagline is “Real People. Real Videos”.
Less polished videos, many of which are filmed from inside the comfort of one’s own home is what TikTok is all about.
Some attribute this style as a huge factor in TikTok’s growth this year, with stay home orders impacting people around the world.
For brands, this represents a major opportunity to tap into highly-engaged audiences in an immersive app environment not found on other platforms. Building TikTok into the marketing mix allows them to be creative, think sound-first, and engage with audiences in a whole new way.
Not just for generation Z and millennials, one famous TikTok creator is 87-year-old Joe Allington - or @grandadjoe1933 as he is known on the platform - who has 2.3 million avid followers.
The LGBTQ community is also huge on TikTok with more than 14.8 billion views of content shared with the hashtag, while the #BlackLivesMatter content has amassed a whopping 20.1 billion views.
TikTok’s community presents an inclusive environment that welcomes people from all walks of life and transcends age groups.
To help brands maximise their impact, TikTok For Business has launched as a global platform designed to give brands and marketers the solutions to be creative storytellers and meaningfully engage with the TikTok community.
Whether you’re a small to medium enterprise or multinational corporation, TikTok offers equal opportunity for all to succeed. It truly is democratising creativity and discovery like never before.
The discovery mindset of users on TikTok, unique and authentic style of content, humour and creativity, and level of participation among the community are all what makes the platform an environment unlike any other for advertisers. Well-executed campaigns become a native and immersive experience for users, and don’t feel like ads in any traditional sense. This is at the heart of TikTok’s proposition to brands: Don’t make ads. Make TikToks.
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