It’s safe to say that TikTok is no longer considered a rogue app for teenagers dancing. Brands, artists and celebrities are building huge fan bases and communities on the app on a mainstream scale.
At the same time, creatives have expressed frustration with the platform in that it limirates art by requiring accounts to be ‘niche’ and thus narrow plus it only seems to promote videos that use trending sounds and are humorous rather than videos which market the artist’s hard work.
The most obvious benefit with TikTok is that, if your strategies are smart, then it’s a hell of a great marketing platform and it’s free! Furthermore, the ability for widespread reach is enormous. TikTok has a reach in 155 countries and is available in 75 languages – the majority of its users are in the US, India, and China. This diversity offers you a chance to expand into new markets. With such a wide range of languages available, you can create effective targeted ads that resonate with regional audiences around the world.
Note that at first TikTok will test your content on local audiences, and then spread it all across the globe!
A common reason behind why many are put off downloading TikTok is the pressure to create mass content as the app does favour the more frequent users. However, unlike Instagram, authenticity is the key to impress on TikTok. When you keep things real and genuine, you make your buyers more likely to believe that your business does more than just sell products. Doing this might seem tricky, but focus on the story you are trying to tell. Key in on narratives that show your business going beyond sales and emphasise the human element. In a nutshell, authentic content attracts quality leads, you can leverage content creators who have influential power to make a name for your brand.
In terms of tech and editing anxiety, while many are intimidated by the app’s many features, TikTok can save time in the long run if you are a creator who often produces video and/or promotional content. TikTok does not require high production videos. The best content is shot on a phone with a relatable video of everyday life. Still, if you don’t have enough time to do this yourself, team up with established content creators and they can help create quality content on your behalf.
However, if you are still on the fence when it comes to whether you should download TikTok to promote your work, it is worth considering its limitations. For example, if your brand targets people aged 35-40 and/or over, TikTok may not be the best place to reach them for now. However the app’s demographic is constantly widening so it may be worth keeping a tab on this one.
Secondly, TikTok promotes a very humorous, tongue in cheek tone and for many freelancers and brands, this may not be appropriate. It fully depends on your brand and its associations. You can accidentally attach an unprofessional label to your business by not matching your audience’s interest. This, of course, depends upon the content you create for your brand. Multiple content consultancies have popped up to help brands navigate this process.
Another downside of TikTok is the pressure to constantly create viral content. Creating content that can go viral is a matter of chance. Even if you go viral once, keeping up with the similar consistent viral posts is a struggle. It is worth asking if your brand image would get affected if you can’t keep up with the expectations of your newly acquired followers.
TikTok also isn’t the strongest app when it comes to data. Data is gold, TikTok is getting there, but not there yet. Tiktok, as an advertising platform, is still pretty new. The Facebook Ad Library has ads data dating back to the last decade while TikTok didn’t even exist back then. Brands will have to experiment a lot to get the right fit for themselves to advertise their brands.
Lastly, target advertising on the platform can be expensive. For example, in-feed native videos (min 600 impressions – prepaid) can cost $6,000 with $10 generated per impressions. Hashtag challenges can run from $150,000 per week and influencer posts from $600 post if the influencer has a following over a million.
Overall, there are many things to consider. However, it is worth noting that the app is still evolving so even if you look at the side of the argument which sits against TikToking for your brand, it is worth keeping a tab on the app to test when it’s ready to become a platform fit for you and your brand to promote itself.