TikTok is a content creation and streaming platform that allows individuals to share short videos, sketches, and live-stream on user-generated profiles. What began as a spin-off of the app Musical.ly, where users can lip-sync to popular songs, has exploded into a space where users can share more original content on a variety of topics such as comedy, fashion, crafting, product reviews, and sports. As stated by the Influencer Marketing Hub, most of the videos posted are only about 15 seconds long, but 60-second stories are able to be created and shared. Primarily utilized by a young audience, TikTok is an authentic way to connect with other individuals.
TikTok is experiencing a consistent increase in popularity, which has transformed the social media platform into the perfect medium between company and user. According to Forbes, brands are able to advertise through the following formats: brand takeover, in-feed native video, hashtag challenges, 2-D lenses for photos, influencer packages, and “top-view” videos. Brand takeover advertisements are costly on this platform but are guaranteed a great response. A brand takeover ad is guaranteed 5 million impressions a day at an estimated cost of $50,000 per day. Brands are advised to create their own profiles and post content in order to generate in-feed native videos. Due to the high interaction that occurs on TikTok, users tend to respond positively to challenges that allow them to upload content in response. The mexican restaurant chain, Chipotle, executed this perfectly through their #GuacDance challenge, where users and influencers were able to create videos to the Guacamole Song, ultimately guiding users to the restaurant to showcase their own guacamole. This challenge has since been the highest performing brand challenge on the platform. When partnering with influencers, it is crucial that brands allow influencers to post content in a way that remains true to their personal brand, as users tend to appreciate authenticity over quality.
Even though the ads can be costly, TikTok is continuing to earn credibility with brands through their quality results. Companies such as Universal Pictures have found the benefits to outweigh the costs, receiving 1.3 million likes on influencer videos, 19K pieces of user-generated content, and 11 thousand new followers after launching ads in awareness of their 2018 film, The House with a Clock in Its Walls. Brands attempting to appeal to a younger demographic should consider becoming active on this platform. Ultimately, it seems the most important aspect of TikTok is to create a fun and interactive brand that other users can connect with.