Haven’t we all been in the situation where we’re walking past our little sister’s room and we see her doing the same twenty-second dance routine, or we’ve seen our little cousin repost a video of a girl who is acting out a scene of her favorite teen drama on his Instagram Stories? Odds are you know what I’m talking about and your mind went straight to the app TikTok. But, what is this app where most teens, young adults, and even grown-ups are spending hours on end? In case you didn’t know TikTok is a short-form social video platform that has rapidly become the most popular app out there with over 614 million downloads. Meaning this platform is an untapped mine for Influencer Marketing success. The social media giant was born 2016 after its parent company ByteDance purchased the popular lip-syncing app Musical.ly. Its monthly downloads have surpassed those of Facebook and Instagram, garnering more than 500 million active users worldwide.
So how did the underdog end up coming up to par with veterans such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube? The answer is because of its simplicity. TikTok is such an easy app to navigate in which a user can find content that resonates with its interest and consume it in a quick and easy way. TikTok sets itself apart from Instagram by featuring short style videos, it's very effective tag or “hashtag” system and the “For You Page” featured in the app permits its users to find the content they are interested in without having to put too much effort. It only takes a like from its users for their For You Page to be filled with all the content they’re interested in. It sets itself apart from YouTube because it lets users create fun, engaging and viral content with its in-app features, making generating content much easier and less time-consuming. Now “TikTokers” don’t need to invest in expert production and editing, they can create viral-worthy videos through the app in half the time it takes to produce a YouTube video. Enabling the existence of more potential influencers on the platform and an infinite amount of incoming content. Lastly, TikTok has the ability to viralize content like no other app, a viral video on TikTok can garner more than 1 million views in less than a week.
Running ads on TikTok
It is no surprise then that Influencer Marketers and brands are setting their sights on TikTok to launch massive and potentially very successful campaigns. But in order for one to be successful on the app one must understand how it works. There are many ways on how brands are using TikTok to create high impact campaigns. Brands are starting to use in feed ads that blend seamlessly into the “For You Page”, these ads run in 3 different models; CPM (cost per impression), CPV (cost per view) and CPC (cost per click). TikTok also features “Brand Takeover Ads”. This feature permits a brand to takeover certain categories such as fitness, fashion, food, comedy etc. When a brand chooses this as its form of advertising they’re allowed to take over that category for a full day and the ad will display once the user opens the app giving it immediate attention, these ads can cost about $50,000 per day and receive 5 million impressions guaranteed. TikTok also has the “Hashtag Challenge Ads” meaning brands can take the challenge culture of the app and turn it into advertising, so what they do is promote a challenge and encourage the submission of user-generated content. This ad will usually be displayed in the “Discover Page” once a user taps the challenge they can find hundreds and thousands of videos generated for the trend and even has the option to become a part of it. In recent months TikTok has come up with “Shoppable Ads” these are similar to the hashtag ads except this new feature creates an experience for users within the platform consisting of video content and products. Brands also use branded stickers that users can add to their video-making this strategy more interactive and less invasive. Lastly, brands have also used influencer marketing on the app to get their message across.
Working with Influencers on TikTok
Now, in order to launch a successful influencer marketing campaign brands must take their time and explore the app, they need to learn that there’s a difference between a content creator and an influencer. A content creator is a person who, as its name states creates content on the platform but has no influence over its audience. On the other hand, an influencer is a person who not only creates content but has “influence” over its audience due to its high engagement rate and millions of views. Once the brand identifies who these influencers are the next step is to identify which of these influencers resonates with the message they are trying to convey. But how does a brand find influencers that will get the message across? Well, brands must not be swayed by a big number of followers, instead they must look at how many views each TikTok gets, the amount of likes, comments and even shares. Those are the key metrics a brand must take into account when measuring an influencer’s engagement on TikTok and which the brand can use to decide if a creator is a good fit for the campaign. Another key element brands need is to know what the main goal of their campaign is in order for it to be successful. Are they looking to generate brand awareness, downloads or purchases? Once the brand has defined its goal and found the creators that are a perfect fit the campaign can be launched. It is important for brands to understand that nobody knows TikTok better than TikTokers, so when it comes to guidelines a brand should give them a general idea of what they’re looking for but they must not be restrictive at all. Influencers know which sounds are getting the most reproductions and which hashtags generate more impressions, so creative freedom is very important. Once the videos have been launched and the campaign has been closed in order for a brand to measure its success they must look not only at the total amount of views the influencer marketing campaign generated but also points such as user generated content of the hashtags or sound effects used and the amount of likes and shares.
As a conclusion we can see that TikTok is the future of not only digital marketing but more specifically of influencer marketing as well, thanks to its millions of active users around the world, the enormous amount of content generated each second and how viral that content is.