If you'd like to speak the language of your Gen Z target audience, it's time to familiarize yourself with the app TikTok. The creator-focused app has been downloaded over 1.5 Billion times since its 2017 launch. With 69% of TikTok users between the ages of 16 and 24, there's a lucrative audience waiting to be reached.
Before we dive into how to use TikTok effectively, let's review the essential terminology.
Now that we've gotten that over with let's dive into how brands can effectively participate on TikTok. A study 82% of all online content will be video by 2022. In order to be competitive, brands must invest in and experiment with video content. What works for brands is hyper-targeted TikTok strategies that are platform-specific and catered for Gen Z. Anything that users feel is being repurposed from other platforms will be discredited. Although, interestingly, many Instagram video memes are pulled directly from TikTok.
TikTok can also be an effective platform to find and employ influencers. We've seen popular influencers come to TikTok for its unique features and content styles and many YouTubers transition seamlessly to TikTok. Content that performs well on TikTok can vary, but tend to either be original sound filled with quick cuts and zooms for comedic effect, or lip-syncs/dances. What all videos have in common is an emphasis on . the sound used, whether it’s original, music, or common dialogue from TV shows/movies.
The culture of TikTok is centered around T Hashtag Challenges, Memes, Influencer Content, Duets, Slow-Mo, Celebs, and Pranks. If you want to speak to the TikTok user, know that they are “Szn” obsessed and the trends change rapidly on the app, brands who want to participate on TikTok must be ready to be agile with content creation or they'll miss the conversation. Above all, content must be user-friendly, digestible, and should blend into content native to the app.
In terms of ad placements, TikTok has 5products: the hashtag challenge, brand takeovers, in-feed video, branded lenses and a “top-view” videos. According to an AdAge article, the campaigns can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars with a hashtag challenge starting at $150,000 a day. Although their ad offerings are relatively robust for a newer platform, there are major concerns in terms of reporting accuracy and a lack of defined KPIs for the platform given its infancy.
The brands making a splash on TikTok are natural content creators, people aren’t just following brands the way they would on other platforms. Brand content must fit seamlessly into their feeds.
Before you take to TikTok, make sure you have a strategic plan in place. TikTok is not for every brand and will require a large investment to create the timely content needed in order to engage with its users. If nothing else, consult a Gen Zer in your life before your brand embarks on your TikTok journey.