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TikTok: How Are Brands Marketing on This New Platform?

TikTok: How Are Brands Marketing on This New Platform?

TikTok seems to have exploded out of nowhere, becoming a major social media platform next to the core four: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. If you don’t know what this new app is, it’s a video sharing app where users can record up to a minute of video with the ability to add music or sounds. To date, this emerging platform has over 800 million downloads and more than 500 million users each month. Generally used by younger consumers, as 66% of users are under the age of 30, this platform seems to resonate best with Gen Z.   

With a large audience and such a major reach, there’s no question why more and more brands are utilizing this platform to market to Gen Z. So, the real question: How are brands marketing on this platform, and how can your company do the same? 

There are three main ways to leverage this app to reach consumers.    

  1. Create a channel for your brand and upload organic, relevant videos   
  2. Utilize influencers to reach new consumers   
  3. Pay to run in-feed ads or Brand Takeovers

Create a channel

Many brands are turning to create their own channel to promote products or services through organic, relevant content. Since users on TikTok value entertaining, captivating content, the videos on the brand’s channel must adhere to what its target market would normally watch, while subtlely incorporating the brand. Brands can take part in major trends to gain traction. For example, Nickelodeon, with almost five million followers its account, creates nostalgic, funny videos referencing it’s older and current shows.

In this specific video, Nickelodeon used one of its iconic characters, Spongebob Squarepants, to hop on a TikTok trend.

@nickelodeonNothing to see here ? #officelife #dontbesuspicious #comedy #funny #spongebob♬ Don’t be suspicious – dumbbishsauce

Influencer Marketing  

Influencer marketing is a very effective way to market to your target on this platform. There are viral “TikTokers” who generate millions of views on daily posts with engagement rates much higher than those on Instagram and other platforms.   

Take a look at what Tarte Cosmetics, a major makeup brand, did to successfully market new products. The brand partnered with influencers who regularly post videos of makeup tutorials and transformations, resulting in natural, on-brand videos These videos were captivating and fast-paced, accommodating the short attention spans of users. 

@tartecosmeticsEffortless, sunkissed glam with our #hannahxsugarrush multi-purpose palette ? hannahmelochewhy #fyp #foryou #makeup♬ original sound – tartecosmetics

Paid ads  

TikTok allows brands to pay for placed ads, similar to Instagram, Facebook, etc. Through this, brands can target specific demographics and interests. TikTok can then strategically place the advertisements based on where they will perform best. TikTok also gives advertisers the ability to optimize advertisements for various goals including conversions, clicks, and impressions. The app conveniently offers a Video Creation Kit, which provides video and image templates to customize, using existing images. It also comes equipped with 300+ free options for background music.   

There are two types of paid ads: In-feed and Brand Takeovers.   

In-feed ads are strategically placed after organic videos. To consumers, these advertisements appear as a normal TikTok like the following “The Tonight Show” ad.

On the other hand, Brand Takeovers appear as soon as consumers open the app, and are shown before consumers reach the home screen of the app.

Although it’s new to the social world, TikTok could be a great tool for reaching younger audiences. With room for exploration and growth, brands can experiment with new and old strategies to market to consumers. As the app continues to gain popularity, brands should take advantage of this opportunity, get ahead of the competition, and begin marketing on this quirky, fun app.