TikTok is taking over the world and for any successful influencer marketing company, that’s a really tremendous thing.
TikTok, as we all know, is an app for making and sharing short videos. The videos are tall, not square, like on Snapchat or Instagram’s stories, but you navigate through videos by scrolling up and down, like a feed, not by tapping or swiping side to side.
It’s also a more interactive and addicting platform as users are also strongly encouraged to engage with other users, through “response” videos or by means of “duets” — users can duplicate videos and add themselves alongside.
By now, chances are you’ve heard the buzz surrounding this rising platform, which is swiftly becoming one of the major players in social media and influencer marketing. Many people were initially puzzled by the app, which is seemingly different from the Facebooks and Instagrams of the world, but once you download and dive in, it’s easy to become hooked.
TikTok is also thriving during the global pandemic which makes sense as people, especially younger kids, are looking for anything to occupy their attention and connect with a locked down world.
TikTok’s Influencer Global Reach
TikTok boasts 800 million active users worldwide. The app itself has been downloaded more than 2 billion times globally. But it’s growth is relentless. The TikTok app was downloaded 315 million times in the first quarter of 2020 alone.
We could list the stats all day – but maybe the best evidence of TikTok’s staying power comes from a recent story in The New York Times about Tik Tok influencer marketing. A savvy group of high school students in Florida have organized their own school-sanctioned TikTok club, which has already produced a vast array of rising stars.
Now household names within the platform’s community include social TikTok influencer marketing personalities like dancer and social media sensation Charli D’Amelio who leads the Tok pack with over 60 million followers. She’s followed by filmmaker Zach King with nearly 45 million followers.
Evidence of the influencer possibilities of TikTok during the times of COVID-19 was seen when hygiene and cleaning product giant Procter & Gamble leveraged D’Amelio’s popularity to create a campaign starring the TikTok innovator about social distancing and hygiene concentration.
Why TikTok Has Made Such a Huge Impression
It’s a rabbit hole of fun
The format of the app itself draws the user in and is optimized to capture and hold your attention. The videos take up the full screen (similar to IG and Snapchat stories), with very few distractions to stop someone from continuing the endless scroll from one short-form video down to the next.
TikTok shows you content it thinks you’ll enjoy, learns from your reaction, and refines its algorithm accordingly
Unlike the algorithmic suggestions from IG and FB, where content from your tightly knit community (your friends & followers) is neatly arranged and displayed in an order that seems most relevant for you, TikTok functions on full algorithmic interference.
It’s like artificial intelligence technology that many influencer marketing firms utilize to anticipate what constant your brand’s users are going to want to see and share.
The app, fueled by machine learning, finds content you will enjoy and shows a never-ending discovery feed filled with it. It is NOT driven by news, or outside trends and is one of the first social networks that, in theory, has nothing to do with your actual social network. This creates a user experience that is often unpredictable, but exciting and wildly entertaining.
It’s relatable and easy to use
Unlike the polished feeds of Instagram, where you may have learned to curate a perfectly-filtered image that matches your feed, TIkTok is a “come as you are” app, that welcomes the weird, the misfits and the sometimes “cringe-worthy” (but extremely relatable) content that makes everyone feel heard.
TikTok is not just for young people anymore
It’s true that TikTok’s primary core audience is male and females between 16 and 24 years old. And while their parents may not be as interested in busting a dance move or creating a 60-second lip sync clip to send to the world, the app is bringing together older and newer generations especially during the time when the people are spending more time in their homes.
Many adults – who may under other circumstances never paid any attention to TikTok – are now using the platform as a way to connect to younger family and friends, who use Tok as their primary platform for social connectivity.
This surge in audience profile could also mean a larger, more robust opportunity for influence marketing companies. As TikTok’s users perhaps start skewing a little older, that means a greater opportunity for those users to also be buyers and more acceptable of brand marketing in the social space.
To that end, some of the companies who have seen wildly successful influencer marketing using TikTok include:
- Too Faced
- Red Bull
- Calvin Klein
- Sony Music
- Run Around
- Warner Music
By incorporating clever challenges or simple, subtle product placement on an influencer’s TikTok feed, these companies saw revenue and engagement grow from 2019 into 2020.
It’s all about awareness in the social space, and TikTok is currently killing it for its enormous outreach direct to consumers. But the platform also boasts a gigantic influence over the buying behaviour and brand awareness of their exact target market – kids. In some cases, it’s this audience – the kids – who make their own purchases or, in other cases “influence” their parents to buy brand specific.