TikTok: The new social media app where Gen Z flock

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TikTok launched in international markets in September 2017. But it was not until 2019 that it saw its huge growth. From the beginning of 2020 interest from brands and digital marketers alike has peaked and continued to grow. 

So what is it? Who is using it and how do you advertise on it? The paid social experts at Green Ginger have taken stock and are here to tell you all you need to know about TikTok. 

So what is TikTok? 

Taking 200 days to develop in China, TikTok is a video-sharing social media platform. Owned by the Chinese company ByteDance it has recently surpassed one billion worldwide installs. Its popularity has been surprising, particularly when you compare to apps such as Vine and Musical.ly.

You’re probably thinking who? Vine and Musical.ly are the apps who started the trend of creating short videos to be shared, but they both crashed and burned. TikTok is a merger of Music.ly and has a unique proposition in that it allows anyone to become a content creator. Whilst Vine was used for high quality, unique content. TikTok can be used by anyone, supported by its easy to use editing and camera filters. This means users are both consumers and creators, which has been important for the growth of the app vs. its predecessors. 

Who is using TikTok?

At Green Ginger Digital, we believe in an audience-first approach to marketing. Targeting specific consumer groups to ensure efficient media buying. When hearing about the app our first question was ‘who is the audience within TikTok?’.

Data from Statista shows the users on TikTok are 18-24-year-olds, with the group accounting for 26% of the total audience. Whilst Instagram tends to drive more female users, the TikTok gender split is relatively equal. The audience is highly engaged, driven by its personalised content which is algorithmically curated, as soon as the app is opened. 

How can I target the TikTok audience?

TikTok lends itself to brands and businesses targeting generation Z. Passionate, creative and innovative, this generation is highly influenced by social media. Creating partnerships with key influencers and showcasing engaging content is key. Plus a natural way of building a relationship with your audience through TikTok.

Like all social apps, TikTok is not missing an opportunity to offer paid advertising through the app. Which could be an opportunity for those wanting to invest media into an app not owned by Facebook. TikTok’s goal is to “connect the brands of today with the consumers of tomorrow”. Offering a less saturated market than Twitter and Snapchat, there are opportunities to target specific audiences through the app. Advertising options range from:

  • Brand takeovers – where ads appear as soon as a user opens the app
  • In feed ads – native ads placed at the bottom of organic videos or in the TikTok feed
  •  Hashtag challenges – creating a sponsored hashtag which encourages users to share content on TikTok for your brand

Big brands such as Nike and Guess have jumped at the chance to target a younger audience for their products. It must be noted that the ads are relatively rare and as such come at a premium. With minimum investments and an average $10 CPM. Understanding the impact of TikTok and ensuring there is a tangible audience for your brand is key before investing. 

To TikTok or not?

At Green Ginger Digital we are focused on results and driving a return for our digital marketing activity. The success of implementing a campaign is reliant on the audience you target and the metrics and measurement you put in place. 

It is crucial to understand its role in the customer journey and measure this accurately, to understand the investment and associated results of every campaign.

Need help with your social media strategy? Or if you want to chat more about the opportunities within new social media channels, get in touch today!

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