Originally known as Musical.ly, launched in 2017 for iOS and Android markets outside of China, TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service created by Byte Dance, a Beijing-based company founded back in 2012. It allows users to create 60 second lip-sync, comedic, talent videos and it navigates like most social media apps with followers who are able to like and comment on creator’s content. TikTok is believed to be the next Snapchat or Instagram, the app has approximately 80 million users in the United States and 795 million across the globe.  

Generating $176.9 million in revenue in 2019, 71% of the total it accumulated since the app launched, and $88.5 million in its 4th quarter, were six times higher than the previous year. Valued at $75 billion, TikTok’s parent company Byte dance surpassed Uber to become the world’s most valuable start-up. TikTok held the second spot for number of 2019 downloads on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.

Why Should Your Business Get Involved?

One of the current major features of TikTok is there isn’t any advertising or monetization, making the user experience more laidback and enjoyable as none of the content is interrupted or restricted. However, this doesn’t mean eventually the app won’t move in that direction, as it cannot stay free forever. For businesses, this can be a good time to build a user base and enjoy organic advertising techniques to show off your products or services. This can be achieved by issuing a #challenge to your followers promoting your product, made mainstream by Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show with his #Tumbleweedchallenge.

TikTok has a younger clientele in comparison to the other social media platforms. So, if “Generation Z” is the main target audience for your company, and you are able to create videos that appeal to that demographic, it can become an integral marketing tool for your business. TikTok is billed as a social media platform where you can show the real you. And including authenticity into your marketing strategy will help express your brand’s values and purpose. Today’s consumers. in particular younger ones,  are more inclined to engage with businesses that share their values.

Influencer marketing with TikTok

TikTok’s mobile-friendly nature, coupled with its creative, easily digestible content, are the key reasons for its continuous success. Currently there are more devices on the planet than humans and, with video being our favourite form of content, TikTok as a platform gives us a glimpse into what the future holds for social media. Its worldwide fanbase covers a range of different communities, including dance, comedy, fashion and even food. This makes it the perfect place for influencer marketing. Younger audiences are flocking to TikTok in pursuit of smaller influencers who are now active on the platform. Much of the audiences are drifting away from the social giants of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to smaller platforms where they are able to connect with people who share similar interests and hobbies.

Influencer marketing is not as of yet a main practice on TikTok, but it won’t be long before this becomes the norm. Being one of the early adopters of influencer marketing on this youth-targeted platform will help your business expand its reach, allowing you to promote your content to a greater audience in a more personal way. The likes of Calvin Klein, Sony, and FIFA have recently produced their own influencer marketing campaigns using TikTok, connecting with vast amounts of engaged users. The more the platform grows the more companies are expected to follow. Smaller brands are also joining in on the possibilities, in the hope of building a small fan base to build on as the app’s users increase.