There’s a new kid on the block. TikTok has taken the world by storm and has become the worlds most downloaded iPhone app, overtaking Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. If you aren’t already using it, you have most certainly heard of it. With over 500 million active users it seems like an appealing marketing tool, but is TikTok good for business? We’re going to find out and discuss all things TikTok.

What is TikTok? 

TikTok was launched in 2016 and is a social media app for iOS and Android. It’s a platform used to watch, share and make videos of up to 15 seconds long. In 2018, TikTok merged with Musical.ly, a similar app. This brought TikTok to a new level and it was crowned the most downloaded app in the world. It has over 5 million active users from over 150 countries. You can find videos on anything, from sport to food to dancing, making TikTok suitable for all ages. However, TikTok has a noticeably younger audience compared to other social media apps with the majority of users in Generation Z. You could say it is an up and coming version of YouTube but with a twist.

How can you use TikTok for business?

It’s very clear that TikTok is making waves in the social app world. By using the strengths of the app it’s an easy way to promote your business and get it out there for millions to see. 

TikTok started showing ads in January 2019. There are 4 forms of advertising you can use on TikTok:

1. In-feed native content 

These are essentially promoted TikTok videos. They must be 9-15 seconds long and are displayed on the ‘for you’ page. The video also allows you to drive clicks to an internal or external page. 

2. Brand Takeovers

With this format you can use images, GIFs and videos can be used. These popup when the app is opened and can link to internal and external pages. TikTok however only allows one advertiser per day for this format, but does guarantee five million daily impressions. 

3. Hashtag challenges

This is the most popular approach on TikTok. The challenge encourages users to create videos relating to the specific hashtag. They are found in the trending section and can be measured by video interaction and clicks. Brands are creating their own hashtags to promote and expand content. 

4. Branded lenses 

These became very popular after Snapchat introduced them in 2015. Brands are able to create a 2D or 3D lens for users. By using lenses this gets companies in the trending section and therefore seen by a greater audience. 

Each of these forms contributes to a different purpose and will have a different outcome depending on the type of product or service you are advertising. 

Influencers are now promoting their TikTok channel to their followers on other social media platforms and therefore growing their TikTok followers.

Positives of TikTok and business

TikTok is still rather new in the app world, but this means it is less saturated compared to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. Therefore, there are fewer users competing for ad placements and it’s cheaper to advertise as it isn’t as strong a community for influencers yet. With Instagram, it’s becoming harder and more expensive to stand out which is why moving to TikTok may help you. The new and popular app allows you to explore a different aspect of your business with creative, fun and original content that reaches a huge global audience. TikTok also offers a pro account which is designed for businesses and allows you to track data. 

Negatives of TikTok and business 

As it is a new app it means it isn’t as stable as other platforms. It is a rather time consuming process as it takes multiple takes to get a good video compared to a quick upload on Instagram or Twitter. For a Brand takeover ad it costs roughly $50,000 which is not ideal for small businesses. As well as this, the audience is very young so it really depends on the audience you wish to attract. It may be a great platform but it may not be the right image for your business. For many people, Instagram still remains very useful for business and is potentially more professional. 

Unlike other social media apps, TikTok doesn’t allow you to link your website on your profile which is key for business.

Don’t know where to start?

If you believe your company will benefit from TikTok marketing and it has the right target audience for your business, then it’s definitely worth it. 

If you wish to start using TikTok for business, you need to:

  • Create a business account
  • Understand the culture and the way TikTok works
  • Follow a large number of accounts
  • Search your ‘thing’ and follow accounts related to it
  • Get posting…

Our thoughts 

Can TikTok benefit your business? The short answer to the question is yes. However it is very dependant on the business itself, whether it will be a beneficial marketing tool, or not. It’s big now, but where will it be next year? It might be bigger and better or it might be the next Vine and go extinct. Nevertheless the overall goal with using social media, is to raise awareness of your company by getting people to talk about it and TikTok can do that. 

Sophie Taylor, Account Executive at Ellis Digital says “We think TikTok is a great platform for creating fun and engaging content so therefore is a worthwhile investment, however, 66% of people on TikTok are aged 16 to 29, so this method will be more beneficial for companies who wish to reach this demographic.” 

If you are planning on using TikTok for your business, now is the time! We are a TikTok approved agency so we can help you with getting ads up and running.

If you have any questions or are looking for help, we are a leading digital marketing agency based in Hersham, drop us an email on info@ellis.digital, or give us a call at 01932 301300.