Already Tik Toking?- The new hype of the Gen Z

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Illustration "Tik Tok Marketing"

Why TikTok should become part of your marketing strategy 

Whenever there is a hype about a new app that dominates the everyday life of the younger generation, we tend to react with a little discomfort and ignore it at first. “Oh those kiddies, “That’s definitely not for me”, “I’m doing tough Business and no kid’s stuff”…  And that’s how many people feel about TikTok. Most of us associate TikTok with a platform exclusively for teenagers with useless content and well… a little “bullshit”. Although this may seem be true at first glance, TikTok as an extremely fast growing platform that actually offers a lot of marketing potential for companies. We explain why it may be worth it paying slightly more attention to this platform. 

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a mixture of Snapchat, Vine and Instagram. Most people  think of a Lipsync. App- well that’s because the platform originated from Musical.Ly. But meanwhile TikTok offers content from different areas. TikTok users upload short videos between 15 and max. 60 seconds and can spice them up with filters, music and stickers. Overall, the platform contains far more visual effects than the competition.

Today, TikTok has more than 800 million active users and was the fastest growing app in 2019. In Germany, TikTok has a total of 5.5 million users every month.  The app is particularly popular with the younger generation: 41% of users are between 16-24, making it an ideal platform if you want to address the Gen Z and Millennials.

Handshakre TikTok and Musically "Tik Tok Marketing"

What makes TikTok so different? If you compare the short videos with Instagram, one thing stands out: High resolution and quality are of secondary importance, creativity and entertainment are much more valuable. Users are probably tired of the whole “fake Insta-life” and prefer again real content instead of  Hollywood-ready staging.

TikTok for companies? 

Can TikTok establish itself as a new marketing platform? The numbers at least sound promising in order to reach a large audience. Of course, it depends on your products and services. But many people underestimate TikTok because of the target group. Firstly, this target group is the purchasing power of the future and secondly, it cannot be ruled out that TikTok will suddenly establish itself as a big hype in other age groups. The world of digital marketing surprises us again and again. 

At the moment TikTok is still a very young platform on which comparatively few companies are represented.  However, it offers great potential for certain niches. The uploaded content is fast moving and arouses the urge to watch new videos all the time and keep the viewers on the platform. The following is an overview of why the world of TikTok is lucrative: 

Quickly established niche 

TikTok gives us everything that Instagram takes from us, namely the joy of sharing, recognition and reach. While Instagram is radicalizing its algorithm more and more, so that without monetization we can hardly achieve engagement and reach, TikTok gives us the recognition we need. Since it is not yet so populated, higher reaches in the respective niche can be achieved more quickly. This gives us the chance to “cross-promote” the content excellently on other platforms once a certain fanbase has been established. The goal is not to pick up a trend that is already being hyped all over the world, but to recognize it before it grows, to keep ahead and to become part of the trend. Maybe you’re also sometimes annoyed that you weren’t active on Instagram 6 years ago… well then you can do better with TikTok now. 

All we need is more likes- Graffiti. "Tik Tok Marketing"

Influencer Marketing 

There are also more opportunities in the area of influencer marketing, as most TikTok influencers are less known and therefore more affordable than on other platforms. Also, the whole influencer business on TikTok is not as exhausted yet.  With the help of user-generated content they can contribute enormously to brand awareness. Influencers can, for example, upload short videos under company hashtags and thus motivate the entire community to similar videos.

Employee recruitment  

TikTok offers wonderful opportunities in the area of recruiting, because that’s exactly where the junior staff is hanging out. It can also be used effectively in the area of employer branding and contribute positively to a company’s image. For Millenniums and Generation Z it is extremely important to be able to identify themselves with the respective company and to be convinced of the company. Short videos of employees, “behind the scenes” insights or short tutorials – that creates a company personality and pays off enormously in today’s times to stand out from the competition. 

Large advertising potential 

On TikTok, advertisements are still relatively new compared to Facebook or Instagram, but there is more and more potential for companies as well. At the moment, brand initiatives in Germany can only be launched directly via the Tik Tok website. There are the following possibilities: 

  • Hashtag Challenges: The classic on TikTok that puts user generated content in the foreground. The Hashtag Challenges offer an enormously exciting format for companies because they interact directly with users and disseminate brand content. Companies create a hashtag that invites viewers to upload their own videos on this topic. Hashtag challenges can quickly go viral, especially in cooperation with an influencer. A good example is Otto’s #MachDichZumOtto campaign. User-generated content is becoming more and more important and you should definitely not do without it. 
  • Native video ads: Similar to Facebook and Instagram, TikTok can also integrate videos into the feed and thus become part of the user experience.
  • Brand Takeover ads are displayed when the app is opened and lead to landing pages. .
  • Sponsored TikTok Lenses: Similar to Snapchat, TikTok develops branded Lenses with face filters and 3D options.    

Hashtag Challenge TikTok. "Tik Tok Marketing"

But there are also many more elements you can add to your brand’s videos like Voting Cards, Badge and Super Likes. And certainly there will be even more  possibilities in the future.  

Things to consider 

As with all other platforms, you should think carefully about how you want to proceed on TikTok. Compared to Instagram, TikTok offers “Real Life Content” and therefore focuses less on professionally edited videos and more on authenticity. Nevertheless, you need to know the target audience and understand how relevant the products are and what content it likes. TikTok is a fast-paced platform. You should therefore always be on the lookout for the latest trends and add variety to the content. “Real-time marketing” is the key word here. The videos should be a maximum of 15 seconds, whereby the first 3 seconds are decisive, whether the video is watched to the end or whether the users scroll for further videos. Creativity is crucial on TikTok.

TikTok Logo. "TikTok Marketing"

Conclusion: Ready for TikTok?  

If you want to communicate effectively to the younger target group and take advantage of an emerging trend on time, there is no way around TikTok. The recipe for a successful digital marketing has not yet been found on this platform, but it offers excellent opportunities to stand out from the competition as an early adopter and to bind the TikTok community to yourself. So, get to the platform! It’s time for your creativity and experimentation. The former Musical.ly is clearly on a growth path and you should not miss this social media trend before the platform is flooded with commerce.