If you have a teen within your household, you’ve probably heard of Tik Tok. Approximately 50% of Tik Tok’s global audience is under the age of 34 (with 26% of its users aged between 16 and 24 years old). Originally known as Musical.ly, it was acquired by Bytedance in 2017 and later merged with its new app, Tik Tok in 2018. Tik Tok stepped into the void left by Vine after its untimely departure in 2019, with the kind of virality and engagement that is unlike any other apps. The rest, as they say, is history. To date, Tik Tok has more than 800 million monthly active users globally.
How It Works
Users get to create spontaneous, short vertical videos that typically run 9-15 seconds before looping to re-start. They can also connect clips together to create videos for up to 60 seconds long.
About Tik Tok and Who Uses It?
- Tik Tok is available in 155 countries, in 75 languages.
- Its user base is dominated by Gen-Z (predominantly in the US). Many millennials have also adopted it around the world. Currently, its fan base in India is growing from strength to strength.
- Has a 4.7-star review rating in the Apple App Store with over 2.1 million reviews.
- Bytedance, Tik Tok’s parent company is valued at USD75 billion, making it the world’s most valuable start-up.
What differentiates Tik Tok?
- While most social media platforms use artificial intelligence as a tool, Tik Tok is AI (in a nutshell). On Tik Tok, the content is pushed to users on a page called ‘For You’ without them having to lift a finger. This helps with driving instant engagement even before the users have been given anything to work with. .
- When it comes to user experience, Tik Tok stands out – it highlights group challenges, hashtags or popular songs to its users, making it easy for them to start creating and posting content. .
- Community is at the heart of the platform – Tik Tok is providing the kinship users desire while avoiding the potential toxicity on other platforms. .
- It is an anti-marketing, digital marketing platform (sort of). Gen-Z doesn’t like advertising – 51% of them use ad-blockers while browsing7. The traditional marketing strategies won’t work well, brands must be less invasive. Brands build their own channels on the platform, with content adapted to suit their target audiences.
- Tik Tok drives authentic content as part of its design. 90% of millennials say that authenticity is important to them when it comes to choosing the brands to support8.
- Tik Tok is currently the hottest thing since sliced bread. Being on-trend is essential if you want to be a relevant brand and drive engagement. Users are more willing to forgive raw, less polished content if it’s right on-trend.
- Influencer marketing will still be a major part of marketing in 2020 but consumers do not want to be sold by celebrities they feel disconnected. They prefer smaller, niche experts that have built communities and content they enjoy. Tik Tok is perfect for nano-influencers (up to 1000 followers).
Why You Should Incorporate Tik Tok in Your Business
Tik Tok is relatively new hence it is not as saturated, and it is still largely uncharted territory when it comes to marketing. It has only begun to explore paid advertising and offers an open space for influencers to contest for top positions. While the platform may be more attractive for direct-to-consumer business models, B2B companies should still consider this as a viable option (hint: Washington Post). Tik Tok is a hub of creative, fun and sometimes crazy ideas that can help companies to soften the brand tone, increase online presence and engage with the next generation of consumers.
Content Strategist in Asia Pacific digital marketing with an interest in Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Relations. She practises yoga in her free time.