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The TikTok phenomena and how brands can leverage the social platform

Once upon a time there was the popular app Vine…

Today, Generation Z are completely captivated by the app that is TikTok. Formerly known as Music.ly, the app was created by Beijing-based company ByteDance in 2018, but has since gained momentum as one of the most popular social media apps on the planet.

What is TikTok?

With similarities to the extinct app Vine, TikTok is an app where users upload 15 second videos of themselves lip-syncing, acting and dancing to an index of songs, sound bites and effects. Collaboration is a big part of the app – users reply to others with split screen videos creating an endless chain of reactions. You can search videos by hashtag or by user, additionally a special “For You” curated page pulls top video recommendations for users.

How are brands leveraging the app?

As a fairly new app, brands are still figuring out the ways in which they can use the platform as a marketing tool. With a very clear demographic of Generation Z users, not every business will find the platform and its unique offering useful for marketing purposes. However, for those brands who target the 16 -24 year old consumer, this app stands to be a lucrative tool.

Beta ad testing began in early 2019, big businesses like Nike and Fenty Beauty have both used the app to promote product and engage this younger audience. As the platform expands and develops, paid advertising methods and offerings will too grow.

Alternatively, brands are creating their own accounts, building a following and generating their own trending content as a way to build their brand awareness among users on the app.

Influencer Campaigns?

You may have heard the term “TikTok famous”? With the rising popularity of the app and its users, naturally we have begun to see an influx of influencers on the platform – these are users whose videos have gained popularity earning them the title “TikTok famous”. Brands can leverage their popularity and reach with an influencer partnership.

With over one billion users worldwide, TikTok is undoubtedly a platform businesses have their eye on. It’s up to you to decide if the platform is right for your client’s business objectives and the ways in which you will use the platform.