What is TikTok, and should your business use it?

Posted 16.06.2022

By Bethany

If you’ve not been living under a rock for the last couple of years, chances are you’ve heard of TikTok.. But what actually is it and does your business need it?

First, let’s start with some facts about TikTok. In a nutshell, it’s for short mobile videos. Videos can be anywhere from 5 seconds to 3 minutes long and there’s no telling what will go viral or be successful. TikTok uses a sophisticated algorithm to provide users with a dedicated “for you page” that suggests videos based on their past viewing. The app continues to grow and at the time of writing it’s the 7th most popular app in the world with 732 million active monthly users.

The most common thing we hear when talking about TikTok is “it’s a kids app, right?” Wrong!

Although TikTok is incredibly popular with GenZ which accounts for 60% of its users, there’s more to TikTok than just viral dances. Videos cover any topic you can think of including makeup, fashion, cooking, science and education, so there’s certainly room for your brand to produce some interesting content for your target audience. In fact, 56% of users feel closer to brands they see on TikTok.

TikTok is known for light hearted, authentic videos which is great news if your business is looking to show off its culture and creativity. A brand that took TikTok by storm was the language learning app, DuoLingo and their mascot, a sassy, dancing, Dua Lipa-loving owl. The mastermind behind the TikTok account filmed themselves participating in challenges, using trending sounds and engaged with their audience with witty comebacks and sharp barbs. A risky move, but one that paid off. 

You might be concerned about the time investment needed to produce TikTok videos, however it’s actually incredibly easy to film and edit videos in-app. TikTok gives your team access to filters, royalty free music, captions, voiceovers and sound effects and you can edit and merge on the go. Authenticity on TikTok is appreciated by the audience, so brand videos with less polish tend to do better than those that have been edited professionally. That’s not to say your team will only need to spend 5 minutes on a video though, the research into what’s hot and what’s not is just as important as the video itself!

TikTok allows brands to create a business account, free of charge and allows you to begin creating adverts. In feed videos are one of the most popular choices and allows you to create a 15 second ad between videos on the “For You” page that link to a designated landing page, you also have the option to have a “brand takeover” ad that appears when users open their app. If 15 seconds isn’t enough, you can create TopView ads that allow 60 seconds.

Still not convinced? 

Here’s a few signs that your business should be on TikTok: 

  • Your target audience is between the ages of 16-30 
  • You’re looking to expand awareness of your brand/business to the younger demographic
  • You can easily show what you do in a video 
  • You’re happy sharing light hearted brand content 

In short, TikTok isn’t a serious platform, and if you’re comfortable sharing fun, light-hearted, visually pleasing content it’s definitely a platform for your business.

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