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“As a business, growth is one of the most important factors to consider,” says Daniel Patrick, Founder of Daniel Patrick. “Without growth, you can’t thrive. You won’t advance. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of research and know what works for your market. A big part of this comes down to advertising.”
When looking at advertising methods, there is a new component to consider. Social media marketing has been around for a while, but TikTok is changing the way that businesses are growing and marketing themselves on social media.
“TikTok is the new kid on the block when it comes to the big social media networks” , says Ryan Lee, Co-Founder and CEO of Rooted. “TikTok is our chance to reach a new market of consumers so it’s important to make a good impression”. “Just because TikTok is the newest in the major social media platforms doesn’t mean it’s lacking an expansive reach or potential to make impressions” said Hector Gutierrez, CEO of JOI, “TikTok is giving us an opportunity to use a creative approach to expand our marketing efforts.”
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a platform created by the Chinese company, ByteDance. This organization bought out the previously mildly popular app, musical.ly back in 2016 which became a popular platform among young Gen Z users and encouraged them to share their favorite songs by creating lip-syncing videos using creative transitions, filters, and effects to help boost the song’s popularity within the app. “TikTok has become the birthplace of many trends, a source of inspiration and a perfect outlet to share the latest tips, tricks or even political opinions,” says Alison Bringe, Forbes Council Member. “It has also become a starting force for many creators’ careers whose creativity can now thrive in a democratized space.”
After merging with Musical.ly, TikTok set out to create hyper-specific algorithms that would draw users in by providing them with consistently engaging and relevant content by monitoring their preferred videos by analyzing how much time they spent watching videos with certain hashtags or sounds and which videos they liked or commented on as well. This algorithm allowed TikTok to create their popular “For You” tab where videos posted that meet each individual’s preferred qualities based on the algorithm’s data. Users are also able to “follow” creators on TikTok and see their recent content in the second tab that is easily accessible on their feed. Currently, TikTok has over 1 billion users in 150 countries around the globe.
Why is TikTok Important for Growing Businesses?
As an entertainment platform, TikTok is becoming the preferred app among Gen Z users and even many millennials. “This crowd has long been sought after by marketers because of their purchasing influence and the way they are reached.” says Ryan Rottman, Founder and CEO of OSDB. “This is our big window of opportunity”.
Unlike their older counterparts in the Gen X and boomer generations, very few of these individuals will ever purchase an item based on an advertisement they see on television or hear about on the radio. “These generations just don’t view media like traditional marketing expects,” says Lauren Kleinman, Co-Founder of The Quality Edit. “They’re using premium streaming services without advertisements so they’re missing commercials and ad placements that used to be considered the prime locations.”
Statistics are showing that more than 80% of individuals within these demographics are typically only influenced by what they see on social media rather than traditional advertising mediums. However, simply placing advertisements on social platforms is not enough. “The young generation tends to be abhorrent to having ads on their phones,” says Carol Sarpini, Senior Writer for Retail Dive.“This presents a problem for retailers trying to take advantage of Gen Z’s reliance on social media, as mobile apps are a main access point for the younger generations.”
“We’ve found that sneaking content into newsfeeds is more effective than posting an ad,” says Judy Nural, President and Founder of MicrodermaMitt. “If we can make an ad look like a normal TikTok video, the viewers are more likely to watch and interact.”
“One of the advantages that I see in TikTok is that they don’t differentiate business accounts from personal accounts,” says Anesh Patel, Founder of Tinto Amorio. “Unlike Facebook and Instagram where you can instantly see that it’s a business account, TikTok is a bit more of a discrete advertising platform.”
“Authenticity and transparency on these platforms are so appealing to Millenials and Gen Z,” says Justin Chan, Growth Manager of JuneShine. “A huge number of consumers are buying based on social platforms alone.”
In fact, 75% of this generation of shoppers report that they have recently, within the past 3 months, purchased something based on a video they saw on social media. “This crowd is more trusting of transparent organizations but they also want to stay on-trend” says Jeff Meeks, CEO and Founder of EnergyFit. “So seeing that a brand has an active and engaging social media platform that shares its purpose and vision is more important to them than a sale or promotional deal”.
“TikTok has capitalized on this idea and has encouraged brands and organizations to create advertisements that appear as non-ads” says James Ville, CFO of GunSkins. “What this means is that it shouldn’t immediately be evident that the advertisement is made to promote a product”. “The video should encourage the viewer to watch the ad by incorporating popular music, trends, influencers, and so on,” says Seb Evans, Co-Founder of Banquist. “The goal is to catch the eye of the individuals that we are marketing to so that they don’t continue scrolling past the video.” Furthermore, by focusing on a specific type of content, a company can find its way onto the “For You” page of its targeted market by providing content that they are more likely to see.”
Conclusion: Growing Your Business on TikTok
So what does this all mean for a brand looking to grow its business? “It means that if you’re looking to reach those younger demographics, you need to maintain an active and relevant social media presence,” says Courtney Buhler, CEO and Founder of Sugarlash PRO. “In today’s market, growing your business is so heavily reliant on what you post on social platforms. If you’re not interacting with your clients where they’re at, you won’t grow.”
Starting a TikTok account is fairly straightforward. The key component will be to stay on top of relevant trends and utilize hashtags and sounds to increase the chances of appearing on your target audience’s feed. From there, consistent posts and responding to comments can help in boosting the account’s appearances.
When creating content, it is important to remember that this is not just an advertisement, it is an experience for your viewer. “Video is the only type of content that captures all of your attention. Not only do you have to be looking at the screen, but your sound has to be on as well because the audio plays such a major role in the content,” says Brie Anderson, Writer for Search Engine Journal. “When a user opens up the app, they are dedicating their attention to the videos they are going to be watching.” Take advantage of this and your business through that dedication and interaction.