By Ryan Metcalfe 6 Feb 2020 2:59pm
If you haven’t heard of TikTok, it’d be safe to say you are probably not a teenager. A sweeping generalisation, perhaps. However, according to Global Web Index, 41% of TikTok users are between 16 and 24 years old.
Recently we have had clients asking us what is TikTok and questioning whether they can get on TikTok. So we wanted to share our knowledge and experience of this App that is taking the mobile world by storm.
What is TikTok in three words? Concise videos. Or, as The Verge put it in a few more words, it’s “the closest thing we have to Vine,” the former video-sharing App owned by Twitter. It is that simple TikTok is just a massive library of short videos. According to TechCrunch, TikTok is “the Instagram for the mobile video age.” No matter how you describe it, the App takes the digital world by storm, and marketers take note.
It feels as though Tik Toks story started when the Vine story ended. Vine was a short-form video hosting service where users shared seven-second-long, looping video clips. Vine launched the careers of Rudy Mancuso, Liane V and Logan Paul, who evolved into a YouTuber who took part in two boxing matches that achieved a combined audience of 40 million people.
Vine was also used by mainstream celebrities such as Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams and pop stars Arianna Grande and Justin Bieber. Vine was discontinued in 2016 as competitors entered the marketplace.
Musical.ly was a lip-syncing app that became popular, and in 2017, TikTok’s parent company, Bytedance, purchased Musical.ly for $800 million. Bytedance had already launched Douyin, the forerunner to TikTok, in China. After acquiring Musical.ly, the two platforms merged and launched TikTok.
Two years later, in February 2019, TikTok exceeded one billion installs from the App Store and Google Play. More than half of these installs occurred in 2018.
Suddenly marketers pricked their ears and salivated at the thought of a captivated audience of one billion people. Big brands got on board, such as Nike, Fenty Beauty, and Apple Music and with entrepreneur and serious influencer Gary Vaynerchuk proclaiming TikTok to be the current and the next biggest thing, TikTok certainly demands its share of the marketplace.
There is a catch. However, TikTok has a demographic coined as Gen Z, most of which use the app as entertainment. So, the content has to be entertaining but not just amusing but entertaining to Gen Z. That’s not all, and the content has to be short after all as we said, TikTok in three words is ‘concise videos.’ The combination of these factors has left marketers questioning what’s the secret to success on TikTok. The answer is simple there is no secret. It’s straight-up creation of high-quality content altogether targeted at your target audience. This so far has been achieved most successfully through the use of influencers who have built an audience who trust them and enjoy their content and, therefore, will accept their recommendations and product placements.
TikTok has undoubtedly left everyone guessing what will happen next and striving to stay ahead of the curve, which can be a significant issue for businesses and brands.
No Doubt TikTok represents a fantastic opportunity for the right businesses but it is not right for everyone and we appreciate that.