The social media industry has always been challenging when it comes to online marketing. There’s always something new that comes up and you’re never so sure if you want to spend time and effort in investing marketing forces there. Something comes up and dies down most of the time, right? And what’s left in the end are your usual staples: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
When a new social media platform called TikTok came out, you might have asked: should I consider this for an online marketing effort? TikTok is a short video social media platform. Yes, just like what Vine was.
When Vine officially signed off, people are looking for that short video format that they all love. Funny, witty, 6-second videos drove people’s creativity at a whole new different level. Somebody just needed to step in, and TikTok came to the rescue.
However, the entry of this new social media platform has now sparked debates in the online marketing world. Some online marketers are now considering what they call as TikTok marketing. But would this be worth it in the long run? Would it be there for the long haul? Or would it just disappear like all the others?
Let’s get to know TikTok and see why people are so crazed about it, and why it is confusing online marketing efforts recently.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a short-form video social media application wherein a user can record and lip-sync short videos with recorded audio of songs (song verses, mostly) and some famous lines from movies or television series.
The app came after the Beijing-based tech company called ByteDance acquired the app Musicl.ly – an app of the same short-form video format. After the acquisition, they merged Musicl.ly and the concept of Vine to fill in the gap of the latter’s exit.
TikTok is now one of the most downloaded apps in the app market. At some point, it even bested Facebook and Instagram! What makes people get hooked with this app is that it capitalizes on a person’s creativity. With just 15 to 60 seconds of audio, it surely challenges each user on how to execute each dub properly.
The app contains a wide catalog of audio clips. People can dance or lip-sync into songs or music; some can get creative with a comical skit or even their own take on famous movie lines. After recording, the user can share their video to their Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media accounts.
Fun, creative, and engaging – these are just a few things that people like about a platform. And it works out well for TikTok. However, now that it is becoming a widely-used app with over 500 million users all over the world, can this be a platform that brands and marketers consider for an online marketing strategy?
Having 500 millions users all over the world is no joke. That is, indeed, a lot of audience to cater to. And that’s what makes it so enticing to dive into online marketing in the app. TikTok only released a little report on its demographics that is 41% of its users are people aged 16 to 24. A huge chunk of the audience can also be around 24 to early 30’s – although this is just an assumed estimate.
Nonetheless, that’s already a lot if you think that is the same as your brand’s demographics. So how can you maximize this large exposure?
TikTok Marketing Do’s
One thing that you can invest in is influencer marketing. The app is centered on an individual and their creative content. And since it plays around creativity and humor, it is highly shareable.
If you already have an influencer or two that represents your brand, encourage them to use the app and produce their own content that includes their brand. It could be subtle exposure, name drop (that is if it’s part of the audio), or even dub from your own old advertisements.
While it is easier to use music for a TikTok content, it might be more challenging if it’s a dub of a movie quote. You can ask your brand ambassador to look for movie lines that are related to your brand. For example, if you’re selling statement shirts, they can use audio with any mention of a shirt, fashion, outfits, or even just of any movie that relates to your brand.
But if you still haven’t jumped into the influencer bandwagon, maybe it’s about time to really get into it. Look for someone who has a huge following in most of the social media platforms (especially Instagram and Snapchat). Also, check the TikTok content that they make. Choose someone who has a possibility of high engagement, is funny, and totally creative.
If you’re still tentative about influencer marketing, then you can create your own TikTok content. You can create your own TikTok account and link it to your brand’s social media accounts. Then, you and the rest of your marketing team can take turns in creating your own content.
You might not be as famous as influencers seem to be, but it’s also a breath of fresh air for your audience to see how you guys can be creative and funny.
TikTok Marketing Dont’s
Not all marketing and advertising online is welcomed with open arms. What’s raising some eyebrows from the app’s users lately are ads.
TikTok is actually experimenting on how the app can create revenue on their own and pop-up ads are always the first in mind. Maybe they were thinking that brands would like to invest in placing ads in the app because of their number of users. But we’re telling you right now: please don’t.
Nobody wants annoying ads that disrupt the app usage; not even during the ad’s startup. And, all the more in the middle of using the app. Spare everyone the agony and not invest in online marketing that way.
Do it your way. Organic and fresh content all the way.
The Future of Short Videos
With TikTok’s rise, we’ll be expecting short-form videos to become popular in the next couple of years. We saw how Vine did it and it was phenomenal, with many Viners getting popular and had a loyal following. When Vine closed, these Viners moved to YouTube or even Facebook. But with a platform that allows longer videos, they lost their charm and wit with it. What was fun about Vine is that it only gives you 6 seconds to create a story – and that challenged everyone’s creativity.
The birth of TikTok might have just given that past a chance to relive itself. Yes, it still has a longer duration, but it’s “short-form” nonetheless. Limiting people to a matter of seconds to send a message really plays on creativity and wit.
One thing that TikTok adds to the plate compared to Vine is that the user is more “limited” in such a way that they cannot just create their own story as they do in Vine. Instead, there’s already a story provided (based on the song or skit available). It’s then up to the execution on how one lip syncs or dub the entire material.
This content limitation does not affect the app negatively. In fact, that’s what makes it exciting and enticing. It is by limiting users tbat tests them to go beyond these limitations through concept and execution.
So, are we ready for the short-form video revolution? We better be. Because with the height that TikTok is going, it seems like it will last for long – longer than Vine ever survived. But we’re hoping it wouldn’t meet the same fate.