Trends are the currency of the Internet and TikTok is the breeding ground of today’s most permeating trends and memes. If you’ve heard it, seen it or laughed at it somewhere on social media, chances are it’s already gone viral on TikTok. You might wonder what’s behind bold campaigns and how you can increase awareness, build brand loyalty and drive revenue growth for your business via TikTok? In a culture saturated with 15-second dance challenges and esoteric comedy, how can brands find their footing and make their presence in the space or move the needle? Should they even?
TikTok is a viral Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by Chinese company ByteDance. It’s so new that you might call it a baby-bloomer) – it’s been around for just about 3 years only. It’s an international version of Douyin that was originally released in the Chinese market in September 2016 and went global starting with US in August 2018.
So how has the tech baby-bloomer behaved since making its first galloping steps on the international market? Well, it’s been fairly controversial – a ‘naughty-player’ many might say. In fact, it survived most recent ban threats in the US, India and Pakistan, where the latter still went ahead with banning TikTok videos in the current month (October 2020) showing the discontent related to ‘immoral’ videos.
To-date the app has been made available in over 150 markets, and in 75 languages, having been downloaded 104 million times on Apple’s app store. After merging with musical.ly in August, downloads increased and TikTok became the most downloaded app in the US in October 2018.
FEATURES & TRENDS
VIDEOS – THe CORE OF TIKTOK
The TikTok mobile app allows users to create a short video of themselves which often feature music in the background, can be sped up, slowed down or edited with a filter.
They can also add their own sound on top of the background music. To create a music video with the app, users can choose background music from a wide variety of music genres, edit with a filter and record a 15-second video with speed adjustments before uploading it to share with others on TikTok or other social platforms. They can also film short lip-sync videos to popular songs.
Few curiosities around TikTok’s video features (fairly exclusive and non-replicable yet elsewhere : The app’s “react” feature allows users to film their reaction to a specific video, over which it is placed in a small window that is movable around the screen. Its “duet” feature allows users to film a video aside another video.The “duet” feature was another trademark of Musical.ly.
What’s similar between Instagram & TikTok?
Well, probably the grid to start with. The only difference is Instagram’s grid is a mix of images and videos (as a content format) while TikTok is all about videos and videos only!
So to recap – on Instagram and TikTok your feed shows the content you’re posting. However the Discovery/Explore feature on Instagram is seen similar to TikTok’s ‘For You’ page which is a page populated by an algorithm with the type of content it deems relevant for you. Needless to say it makes its judgements in the same way other social platforms’ algorithms are functioning: based on your past preferences or if you’re new it decides based on similar user profiles, per. their interests.
So as you can see successful features get replicated elsewhere and Facebook’s Instagram is far from willing to give up on a fair share of its audience to other ambitious and no-less popular platforms.
How to get started on TikTok?
You’d find that the initial set of recipes are fairly intuitive. According to our social media expert, Ancuta Alupoaei the most productive early steps would be the following:
Spend a couple of days researching: checking what other profiles similar to yours are doing on the platform;
Gather a collection of opportunities, react to content you might find useful to help build your points of reference when gathering inspirations at a later stage;
Follow people you’d follow on other platforms;
Finally, get your set of inspirations & add your spin on it!
How to advertise on TikTok?
With immersive video ads format, TikTok Ads has become one of the core channels for reaching out to your audience in a new and innovative way. It’s fun, joyful, vertical, immersive and interactive.
It’s a way of using eye-catching visual excitement to engage with your audience. It’s how your customers are communicating with their friends and documenting their journeys.
So let’s start sharing the ad recommendations:
Deliver Your Brand Message Clearly;
Make the first few seconds count:
• Capture users attention in the first 3 seconds with high impact visual imagery.
Highlight the brand early and often:
• Place key messaging takeaways and clear branding at the start of the video.
Create clear and concise messaging:
• Use straight-forward storyline; make sure you come up with a brief message that’s punchy and gets straight to the point.
End with a Strong CTA:
• Your call-to-action (CTA) drives viewers to take actions on your ad. Emphasize the action you want your audience to take, such as “Download Now” or “Learn More”. Make sure to use “Swipe left” instead of “Swipe up” in your video’s CTA.
As you can see the actual ad principles are not that different from the other platforms we’ve featured earlier on the FREE Guides resource tab. In other words, TikTok advertising is the one tot watch-out for, if not try out for your brand without further due! If you have any questions, there’s also a chance to connect:
If you’re not yet a member of our Whatsapp club – sign up it’s FREE: https://chat.whatsapp.com/ISgyy6OcUS9IBj629YSC5F (we don’t charge for questions asked:)
Or if you are in need of further training for your in-house team client or agency – side, feel free to reach out saying ‘TRAINING’ in the subject line and email us on: email@example.com
STEPP Digital Social Media Team