The Dramatic Rise of TikTok Marketing

Since acquiring and merging with Musical.ly in 2017, TikTok, and its censored Chinese equivalent Douyin, have been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times.

TikTok is a social media platform that allows users to upload short video clips of between 5 and 60 seconds. It is characterised by challenges that often become viral, spreading to other social media networks.

With TikTok alone boasting 500 million active users spending an average of 52 minutes per day on the app, it’s clear that marketers cannot afford to miss this opportunity.

Here are some examples of how brands have utilised the platform so far:

Participating in existing challenges

Trendjacking isn’t new or unique to TikTok and is perhaps the least effective method for achieving a brand’s ultimate marketing goals on the platform. However, it does assist with building an initial following, thus leading to:

Creating sponsored challenges

US clothing brand Guess is one of the only fashion retailers on the app, acquiring 38,000 followers off seven videos before launching their own #inmydenim challenge in late 2018. All in all total videos featuring the hashtag were viewed over 40 million times.

Partnering with influencers

TikTok’s most followed user, Loren Gray, boasts nearly 40 million followers of her own, and the platform is home to 22 accounts with more than 20 million followers.

When cosmetic brands eos, NARS and e.l.f. launched their combined ‘Eyes. Lips. Face.’ campaign they partnered with users such as Charli D’Amelio, number three on TikTok’s most followed. Ultimately resulting in more than four billion total views.

Overall the platform that TikTok provides is crucial to reaching Generation Z, of which 82% skip ads and more than half utilise ad-blocking software. Anti-marketing, less invasive strategies is the best way to reach this demographic. Brands need to create a sense of community  and generate content adapted to suit this specific audience.

A successful example of this is the National Basketball Association (NBA) which has segmented their offerings. Match highlights on Instagram, news on Twitter, and comedy, memes and motivation on TikTok. This strategy resulted in their account gaining nearly 10 million followers, the most for a non media and entertainment or technology brand.