tiktok for marketing

Influencers have made their mark on Instagram and YouTube, with 89% and 70% of users on these platforms, respectively. It’s fair to say that these will continue to be the platforms of choice for influencers in the coming months, but it’s also important to look forward to the platforms the next generations will—or already are—using.

That’s where TikTok, a wildly popular video sharing platform among Generation Z, comes in. Over the past year or so, it has exploded onto the scene, with over 500 million global users each month, with 66% of users under the age of 30.

What Is TikTok?

Known as Douyin in China, TikTok began as a relatively modest video-sharing app. After it bought the more famous—especially in America—musical.ly app, both were combined together under the TikTok name.

Musical.ly was the place for teens and tweens to create lip syncing, dancing, karaoke, and even duet videos to share with friends. Since its enormous growth as TikTok, the app is now home to a wide variety of video styles, though the musical theme remains prevalent for most users.

Like YouTube, accounts through TikTok are called channels. Your branded channel is like your profile on Instagram and Facebook. This is where your own videos will live—the content that you create and edit for your products or services.

Brands Take Notice

With more than 1.1 billion downloads of the app as of March, 2019, it’s no wonder brands and influencers have begun to use TikTok to market their products to Generation Z buyers. Food brands like Chipotle and The Bailey Bakery; beauty brands like Too Faced, Mark Anthony, and Hero Cosmetics; and clothing brands like Guess and Ralph Lauren have all made a home on the platform. Even grocery giant Kroger has waded into the waters, allowing users to shop within the TikTok app.

Those brands that don’t yet have their own profiles on TikTok can still benefit from increased exposure from influencers who use the platform. Hashtags and challenges from brands and influencers alike result in a surge of new videos from users, as Coca-Cola, Google, and many other brands are learning.

Engage an Influencer

Because brands are still finding their way on the platform, influencers are a great way to break into the audience waiting for great content. Many Generation Z buyers trust their peers more than brands anyway, so you’re likely to get better results by working with popular TikTok personalities.

Keep in mind: microinfluencers have a lot of sway, even here. While they may not reach as many people, they’re likely to experience higher engagement rates among their followers. Those followers are more likely to make a purchase from an influencer with a small but loyal following.

Even after you create your own channel, influencers are a great way to continue driving traffic to your brand’s channel. A healthy mix of brand-created and influencer-generated content is the best way to inform, entertain, and delight your audience.

However you use TikTok for marketing, one thing is clear: creativity is a must. This isn’t the platform for the same old posts you’re sharing to other platforms. If you want to catch the eye and wallet of Generation Z, you have to be prepared to go above and beyond.

Because Generation Z can spot a fake from a mile away, you must also trust your chosen influencers to create the content they know their audience will love. If you get too involved, your buyers will know you’re not being authentic. They’ll no longer trust your influencer or your brand. As long as your influencer meets your brand standards, give them free rein to take their content to the next level.

If we can help you learn more about using TikTok for marketing and the opportunities you have there to reach more young buyers, give us a call. We’re here to help.