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Is TikTok Changing Social Media For Brands?

Is TikTok Changing Social Media For Brands?

TikTok is changing social media for brands and taking the world by storm. Its popularity has skyrocketed and is fastly becoming the new marketing avenue for brands. 

The internet has changed consumer behaviour and the way companies are now conducting their business. For example, digital marketing through platforms such as TikTok offers low-cost brand awareness and a significant increase in sales. 

As TikTok became the most downloaded app worldwide in the past 3 years, it leads us to wonder if high-cost marketing campaigns are still necessary? 

How Popular Is TikTok and Why Is It Changing Social Media For Brands?

TikTok saw its upward trajectory during the covid-19 pandemic. Many people joined the app to pass the time by watching videos and creating content about popular trends. In the first quarter of 2020, the app set a record for the most downloaded social app in a quarter at 315 million instals

If we compare it to Instagram, where it took them 6 years to get to the same amount of active users TikTok gained in under 3 years. Therefore, marketers are keen to use TikTok to reach a younger, more impressionable audience worldwide. 

Brands can boost their sales and credibility by jumping on the newest trends performed by TikTok influencers. Not only that, but TikTok does not require big budgets for video creation as it makes use of ordinary settings such as bedrooms, car parks and gardens. 

What Is A TikTok Influencer?

Just like YouTube saw the rise of very successful YouTube stars in the early 2000s, TikTok has created a new career path. A TikTok influencer is someone with a channel with a significantly large following. 

TikTok influencers are paid by brands to promote their products or services. Very similar to ads on YouTube and Instagram, but instead via TikTok. The videos are usually short-form, casual content and no high production is needed. 45% of brands used Tiktok for influencer marketing campaigns in 2021. 

It is very effective because TikTok influencers are trusted by their audience and relate more personally and casually than YouTube or Instagram. Therefore it comes across more like a recommendation from a friend than an advertisement.  

How TikTok Ads Have Changed Social Media For Brands

TikTok ads are new to the platform and are now in direct competition with Instagram and Snapchat. There are a few different types of ads:

  • Brand takeovers- typically when you first open the app 
  • Top views- Guaranteed to the first ad in the in-feed ad. 
  • Brand effects- allows brands to create AR overlaps that TikTokers can use. 
  • In-feed ads- these appear when scrolling through the app in between videos. 
  • Brand hashtag challenges- build brand awareness as they appear on the discovery page.

TikTok ads are new, and it will be interesting to see how they do, seeing as the app prides itself on not being very ‘sales’. However, it highlights how TikTok is changing social media for brands as they are introducing subtle ways for brands to promote their products or services. 

How To Create A TikTok Marketing Strategy

So, how do brands start leveraging how TikTok is changing social media? 

  1. Get familiar with TikTok and become a pro-consumer before using TikTok marketing campaigns. This way, you will know what the audience wants if you are your target audience. For example, recently, users have liked longer videos than the original short videos. Therefore being a consumer yourself will help you identify that. 
  2. Create an audit of TikTok content already being produced in your space, including by your competitors. It will help you to know what’s out there and what you need to beat.
  3. What do you want to promote, and how will you measure its success? Will you use influencers, or will you use ads? Decide whether success is the number of likes, views or followers.
  4. Post regularly and stay consistent. It allows you to experiment to find what does well. You will also be rewarded by the TikTok algorithm by posting regularly.
  5. Track your progress. Some things will be a great hit, and some will 100% miss. Develop your own metrics of success and assess your videos against that. 

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