Since its initial release back in 2016, TikTok has rapidly evolved from 30-second lip-syncing and choreographed dance videos to a revolutionized form of strategic marketing for products and brands. The app saw a significant rise in popularity during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, it TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2021, with 656 million downloads.
One of TikTok’s most famous attributes is the app’s ability to retain what type of content each specific user prefers. The app then uses this information to create an algorithm, providing content customized to its users’ interests, hobbies, careers and of course, the most controversial, recent google searches. This double-edged sword has sparked a negative connotation to the app as some people say they feel the app violates their privacy, knowing “too much” about their interests and lives. However, for users who do not mind the personalization the app creates, TikTok has opened a new window for brands and products to appear on their targeted audiences’ feed, creating a whole new meaning to online advertising and marketing strategy.
One of the best outcomes for brands and products on TikTok is gaining popularity and consumers through organic advertising. The infamous “viral TikTok Products” have given a multitude of brands and companies organic advertising from genuinely satisfied customers. One viral video of a positive review turns into hundreds, or thousands of “duets” of other users wanting to review the product, which results in many brands having sold-out shelves of products they weren’t even actively advertising. This new-aged form of word-of-mouth advertising has impacted the way companies advertise knowing that gaining speculation on TikTok can drive business faster than ever.
Much like other popular platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, TikTok was quick to take advantage of paying influencers on the app to include product placement in their videos or even include sponsorships. This strategy ensures that the advertising will reach its targeted audience and promote the idea of “if this influencer that I like uses this product, I should use this product.” The rise of falling into a “TikTok aesthetic” has allowed brands to promote their products knowing that customers want to achieve a certain look or trend.
Consumer spending on TikTok increased by a whopping 77% in 2021. Overall, users spent $2.3 billion dollars in the app, compared to $1.3 billion the year before.
Companies Hopping on Trend
While the app has become a booming platform for advertising products, several companies have implemented the app in the workplace as well, allowing for a more personable relationship with the public. A deeper connection results in higher engagement. In fact, TikTok influencers in the U.S. had an average engagement rate of nearly 18% in 2020. Having a social media team that can stay up to date with vastly evolving TikTok content has given companies an outlet to contribute to viral trends and highlight more of the work they do in a fun, relatable way.
Dunkin’ was one of the first brands to employ influencer marketing on the platform by partnering with TikToker Charli D’Amelio. Together, they launched new menu items at Dunkin and collaborated on several videos. After posting content about the partnership, Dunkin saw a 57% spike in app downloads and a 20% sales boost for all cold brew coffees.
The TikTok Effect
TikTok gives businesses access to an audience that other platforms don’t have. If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, TikTok is an especially useful tool as 62% of its audience are aged 10-29 years old. Unlike Facebook and Instagram’s homepages which largely consist of people you already know and channels you already follow, TikTok prioritizes videos from creators you’ve never seen before. The TikTok user interface is designed to keep people in the app for as long as possible. Users can also add a link in their bio, allowing for marketing and selling opportunities.
More brands and companies are joining the TikTok community to take advantage of a singular platform that offers mass viewership, partnership opportunities and creative advertising strategies. This optimizes how brands can reach consumers and create content that offers a more casual and “realistic” approach to advertising.
If you think TikTok is still just an app for trendy dances and viral videos, think again. This app has single-handedly changed brands and companies’ marketing strategies forever. In this advanced, fast-paced, technology-focused era, it is crucial to understand how these apps can elevate your marketing practices and form stronger relationships with your public.
However, not every business feels that TikTok reaches its intended audience. If you are looking for other creative ways to build connections and expand your business, Mulberry MC has the experience and tools needed to make business-to-business personal. Through other social media outlets, campaigns, press releases and more, our goal is simple: helping you speak directly to your audience. If you’d like to find out more about us and what we do, get in touch today.