Social Media
April 29, 2020

It's Time to Take Your Brand to TikTok

Alisha Donnelly

Have you heard? There’s a new kid on the social media block; TikTok is taking over screens across the globe. True to its name, users tend to get lost for hours on this platform, with its addictive content and unique strategy has led to over 1BB monthly active users. TikTok has cemented its place amongst top social media platforms and is poised as a blue ocean opportunity for marketers.


TikTok’s rise to social media stardom is not accidental; its ascent was carefully planned and executed by its parent company ByteDance. TheChinese organization purchased the app back in 2018 and converted that usership to TikTok. From day one, TikTok had vast reach across NorthAmerica. TikTok’s designers have also broken the status quo with several key features of the app (for a more detailed report on this check out our latest blog post – Unwinding the Inner Workings of TikTok).


TikTok users are incredibly engaged; as of 2018, 90% of users open the app multiple times a day and the average user spends 52 minutes on the app daily. The majority of users are between 16-24 years old and older usership has continued to grow with stay-at-home policies forcing everyone inside. TikTok’s powerful algorithm understands its users incredibly well, keeping them on the app, consuming content.


Similar to other social media platforms, there are three main ways that marketers can reach TikTok users.

1.    Run Ads – TikTok allows brands (currently notCanadian brands but it is coming soon) to run video ads that are served to users as they scroll their ‘For You’ page (similar to Instagram’s Explore page).

2.    Hashtag Takeover – this one is more unique.Brands can choose to sponsor a specific hashtag that is featured on TikTok’s Discover page.

3.    Influencers – brands can sponsor UGC from the platform’s top creators.



Running Ads on TikTok


Like Facebook, the TikTok Ads platform is programmatic.Advertisers can bid on several key performance indicators (clicks, optimized clicks, impressions, views – 2-seconds, 6-seconds, video completion). Spending can be given a daily or lifetime budget. Ads can be targeted based on demographics, keywords, audience type, and several other factors. Without getting too granular, the TikTok Ads platform provides plenty of customization for marketers. Brands such as Guess, Mercedes Benz, and Maybelline have all seen success in utilizing this tactic.



Hashtag Takeover


This one is more self-explanatory. Brands can sponsor a‘hashtag takeover’ where their tag is given a coveted banner on TikTok’s Discover page (this can be targeted geographically). Users can click through to review all associated content and become inspired to create their own TikToks. Brands have seen tremendous results using this tactic; in 2019, Chipotle sponsored #GuacDance and, currently, that tag has had over 1BB views on the app. That doesn’t even count views on other social platforms (TikToks tend to spill over to other apps due to the built-in ease of content sharing). Hashtag Takeover is a unique opportunity offered by TikTok.



Influencer Marketing


Finally, brands can partner with top TikTokers to produce content touting their offerings. While this tactic is not unique to TikTok, it’s results can be. TikTok is a platform built on virality. Because users open the app to their ‘For You’ page and the algorithm places previously successful content in front of users, each and every TikTok has the potential to receive millions of views. It also means that content can easily flop if users do not engage.


In a recent influencer campaign executed by JONES, ten influencers posted a try-on video for a popular clothing brand. While a couple influencers saw around 10K views, one influencer reached over 1MM. It was wildly successful. This brand’s CPM was less than a quarter of the CPM they could expect from the same campaign on Instagram.undefined


Going forward, even more creative freedom should be left to the content creators. Popular TikTok-ers know better than marketers what content has the potential to go viral on the platform. It is more important than ever that brands form long lasting relationships with influencers to optimize their chances of going viral. It is simply a numbers game; the more content produced and posted, the better the chances that one will explode in viewership. In the previous example, JONES ensured that a minimum of ten influencers were commissioned for this campaign. Moving forward, the influencers who were successful might become ambassadors of the brand, as each post will reach not only their followers but also a unique audience with similar interests. While the majority of the TikTok user base is still young, brands can optimize their long-term strategy and utilize this platform to begin developing brand affinity with their future customers. Influencer marketing on TikTok has tremendous potential for brands; those jumping in early are reaping the most rewards.



As TikTok continues to grow at a staggering rate during stay-at-home policy, now is the time to take the leap and launch your first TikTok marketing campaign. If you’re interested in working with an experienced agency, please reach out!

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