Which platform do you use for your marketing strategy?
Is it Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? Perhaps you’ve even added LinkedIn to the mix?
Do you think you’ve tried all possible social media platforms for your promotional strategies?
Have you ever tried to use TikTok for your marketing?
TikTok currently has over 689 million monthly users who enjoy the app for its diverse presentation of content. From promotions to trendsetting video challenges, the platform proves a versatile tool to add to your marketing scheme. However, the problem lies in the knowledge of how to use it for promoting your brand and how to utilize it in general.
Fret not, we are here to give you a clearer view as to how to use TikTok and why it is instrumental in strengthening your advertising game.
TikTok: Where Short Video Content Is King
Recent studies have found that at present, an average audience’s attention span lasts for approximately 8 seconds only—a 4-second decrease from what used to be a longer engagement rate. Also, video has a retention rate of 77%, and that is higher compared to other types of content. Video is dynamic and powerful in conveying specific messages to its intended viewers.
So how did TikTok accumulate the fame it has now and who could benefit the most from it from a business standpoint?
The answers to these two questions are vital in your pursuit of knowledge for your next marketing scheme.
The History of Douyin: How The World Knew TikTok
Ever heard of Douyin?
TikTok’s company creator, ByteDance, first named the viral app Douyin; that is before it earned global fame in 2017. Although the app was already gaining strong traction in several countries, it was in 2020 that TikTok’s distinct branding finally became a full-on household name. Millennials and Gen Z comprise a huge chunk of the app’s current population of users. Millennials aged 24-38 years old and Gen Z’ers aged 13 – 23 years old now dominate the TikTok community. Both age demographics reflect the online consumers that make up the modern-day audience of most businesses.
Unfortunately, fame will always have its setbacks. TikTok received multiple accusations from Trump, with the latter claiming that the app has been collecting information from its users without their consent. Furthermore, its developers were ordered to surrender proprietary rights to Microsoft. ByteDance rejected the proposal and continues to have full ownership of the video content app.
Despite all the drama regarding TikTok’s alleged breach of privacy, it was ultimately decided that the app is safe to be used and its community of users continued to grow bigger in number.
Another notable phenomenon to point out in TikTok’s influence involves the trend of lip-synching to various hit songs. Lil NaS X’s “Old Town Road” was among the songs that TikTok users incorporated into the trend. Some even dressed up as cowboys or cowgirls for a more authentic feel.
But is TikTok only fitting for trends and fun videos? Where does it fit in in the world of digital branding? Before we delve into that, let’s first discuss the pros and cons of using TikTok to enhance your existing advertising practices.
Should I or Should I Not Use TikTok for Marketing?
With the knowledge of its history and who uses this application, it is tricky to determine how well TikTok would fare as a marketing tool. When a user uploads a video on the app, it is accompanied by catchy music or lip-syncing videos that turn into trends. Each video has a typical length of 45 to 60 seconds so keeping the users interested in your content could be a tricky endeavor.
But, that’s why we’re here. Below is the list of Pros and Cons to help you make a better decision on whether to equip your business with this popular marketing tool.
PROS: It’s a Go for You!
Since the basis of views and engagement from the platform is through video, you can be as creative and wacky as you want. As long as the content does not violate community guidelines nor exceed the established time limit, you are likely to market your business successfully on the platform. The advantages you can gain from TikTok include:
- Brand Awareness: Stand Out
When you create a TikTok account, you make people know you exist, albeit this time, in a creative manner. Whichever product or service you provide, you make yourself accessible and relatable by producing more video content. An example would be the This or That challenge from the app that allows you to show which type of stuff you like and dislike.
The topics vary from what you drink in the morning to the type of pass time you enjoy or what flavor of ice cream you prefer the most. As you grow your presence via the said app, you are also opening doors to collaborate with social media influencers. The best part about TikTok is how you are in control of your target audience’s perception of your brand.
- Reach Audience Around the Globe
TikTok is already massively popular. When you promote your brand here, you are sure to reach your target market faster. You also get higher chances to persuade as many people as you can to purchase from you or check out your products if you play your cards right. Reach an international audience and worry less about time zone differences!
- Trackable Performance Metrics
Like Instagram, you can see how many people have viewed and liked your clips. The metrics will also encompass your Ads’ performance (that is if you decide to use one). TikTok’s content marketing statistics are easy to understand in the sense that it properly identifies, measures, and evaluates what users love about your page.
- Sustainable Video Creation
Since the video length is limited in TikTok, you do not have to expend much in terms of your budget. Depending on what type of content you plan on producing, you can use the simplest of items around you or the least complicated tricks, including a change of clothes or background, or you can even incorporate make-up if you will. You are in control of what you need when creating your marketing clips.
Examples of this are clips showing in-the-moment montages. For instance, during training, you can show people how you do things in the company or how you train your employees to serve customers in a more creative way. Aside from this, you can also shoot your products per season and showcase them in a manner that goes with the beat of the music you choose. Either way, the seamless transitions that the filters on TikTok allow you to present any of your activities and products in a more unique format that everyone will enjoy.
- Various Engagement Methods
Like any other platform, TikTok is not new to having various methods of gaining engagement on your page. From sharing the link to reacting with hearts, posting comments, and following fellow users or brands on the app, it monitors these types of information for you. After all, the higher engagements you have the broader your reach will be. Overtime, your brand awareness becomes greater as well.
These are some of the various benefits of using TikTok. Now, let’s look at the possible risks that come with it.
CONS: It’s Not a Go for You!
Thinking about possible casualties when you use a specific tool is quite daunting. Fret not, this is exactly why we need to discuss it to aid you in figuring out whether you are willing to take the risk or not.
- Not Exactly Budget-Friendly Ads
Normally, you see advertisements scattered all over most social networking platforms. However, in TikTok, ads are much more expensive than the usual rates that you would expect from a viral app. When purchasing ads here, make sure that you are ready to pay the expensive price.
So what makes TikTok ads expensive?
Instead of making you pay for 1000 impressions as other social platforms would, TikTok makes you pay for the redirection from a hashtag to your profile. The same process is done for your appearance on the discovery banner. It typically costs around $50,000 to $150,000. If you have a sponsor, you could ease up on the expenses for TikTok ads.
Some of the TikTok ads can include:
Pre-Roll Ads: They appear upon opening the app.
In-Feed Ads: When scrolling through the app, your video appears.
Promoted Hashtag Effects: Custom hashtag that redirects whoever clicked it to your page.
Branded Effects: Custom brand-created filter with your information that users can utilize.
TopView: Ads are seen after 5 seconds upon opening the app.
- Slow Delivery of Ads
Speaking of ads, aside from it being pricey, it is also possible that your ads will not immediately be seen by your target within the next 48 hours ( or 2 days ). The reason being that TikTok used that period to review the ad you want to put up. Typically, the AI moderator will screen your ad’s content to ould check whether the following violations are depicted on your clip:
Adult Content: Showing excessive skin.
Violence/Suicidal Behavior: Any content that has guns, knives, bloodshed, animal cruelty, or suicidal content.
Copyright Violation: Re-uploading already posted videos (most popular ones) as your own.
Spamming: Video contains irrelevant hashtags and unaccepted or false methods of promoting more likes and comments on your page.
You may report it as a problem if your ad was not posted in the next 48 hours. However, that does not automatically increase the guarantee that your video will be posted right away.
- Toiling in Viral Content Creation
It is not every day that you experience the fame of creating viral content on this platform, unless you have already attained a considerable level of fame prior to joining the TikTok community. You need to think hard and try to devise unique ideas for your upcoming content. It is important that you leave a positive impact on every user you target.
Sometimes, no matter how much of an effort you put into the clip you created, if people are not that interested in it, it lowers your chances of getting noticed and going viral. In some instances, you will also be needing the power of sheer luck. You must also learn how to time your content properly.
Basically, you wouldn’t achieve the brand awareness you desire.
- Creatively Draining
Creating videos is no easy feat. Preparing the right materials, the suitable venue, and having the proper attitude for your shoot is taxing especially if you are not yet an expert in using the app. Aside from that, you have to ask yourself if you would be able to publish videos as consistently as possible to become relevant on the platform. If not, welp, you are going to have to rethink using this new platform for your marketing scheme.
- One-Trick Pony
Lastly, despite the widely known success of having video content on your platform, some want to see diversity in what other brands share on their pages. Sadly, marketing through TikTok is only limited to video creation. Given that the app was first known for the comical nature of most of its viral content, using more diverse and serious topics as the focal point of your short clips may present a more challenging task to take on for your marketing team.
With all that information to consider, what is your final decision now?
TikTok as a Marketing Tool: Yes or No?
The answer is both a yes and no.
Yes, because of how diverse the population is on the platform. Different users means higher chances of capturing the population of customers you want to engage. The sky’s the limit when it comes to producing content that’s unique to your brand.
Meanwhile, not using TikTok as an extension of your branding may be because it needs to be paired with another type of platform for your business to fully reach real marketing potential. Short video clips alone will not be enough to describe your product or service. Pair it with your pre-existing platforms and your website for effective cross-platform marketing.
In the end, it is your choice whether you want to use it for brand promotion or not. After all, this is just a supplementary blog to aid you in choosing the best channel to expand your audience reach and let your business gain global recognition.