In February 2019, TikTok surpassed 1 billion downloads. The increasing growth of TikTok users forces those who are not on this platform to ask themselves: Why do people like TikTok so much? What is it that attracts your users?
The TikTok platform offers user-generated content in the form of music, skits, and even live streams. Users can choose the sounds, songs and effects of the application or upload their own sounds. They can even sync with other users’ videos. It’s the perfect mix of Vine and Musical.ly in this regard. The application is currently available in 150 countries and 75 languages. The application also allows users to create profiles, edit their videos directly from the platform and interact with other users in the form of likes, comments or actions. The content that fills the feed ranges from reaction videos and dance challenges, to the day-to-day of a dentist and monologues.
According to new data from the agency Sensor Tower, 44% of the total of 1.65 billion TikTok downloads to date, or more than 738 million installs, occurred in 2019 alone. And even though TikTok is still experiencing Using different monetization methods, the app posted its best year in terms of revenue, totaling $ 176.9 million in 2019 – or 71% of its all-time revenue of $ 247.6 million. Previously, the Apptopia consultancy claimed that TikTok generated $ 50 million per quarter.
The app initially emerged as Musical.ly, a Chinese-owned video-sharing network that allowed users to upload short videos of themselves dancing or lip-syncing to music. Musical.ly quickly spread among teens and attracted millions of users. In 2017, it was acquired by ByteDance, a Beijing-based tech company. At the time, ByteDance was operating a similar video-sharing app called TikTok (known in China as Douyin), and the decision was made to merge the two apps. In August 2018, Musical.ly ceased to exist and TikTok absorbed its user accounts and content.
In no time it became one of the most popular applications in the world. The data collected by App Annie indicates that it was the seventh most downloaded application of the 2010s. That places it behind Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Skype, although ahead of Twitter and YouTube, which is very remarkable for an application that is just 18 months old.
Due to its surplus of users, brands are starting to use the application as a source of marketing and advertising. This leads us to the following questions: Who is using TikTok? And how can brands reach them? It is not a secret that TikTok is an app widely used by young people between 16 and 24 years old. Many users in this age group have abandoned the idea of creating and sharing content on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. In March 2018, App Ape Labs revealed that 56% of users were men, and only 44% of women used this app. It can be assumed that this number has changed, since since then the application reached the barrier of one billion downloads in 2019.
Music is one of the defining characteristics of TikTok, and the app has been widely accepted by music industry figures who acknowledge that the app’s popularity is a factor that can contribute to its worldwide success. Just last year, trendy singer Lizzo’s song Truth Hurts made it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, just two years after its release. The cause of this sudden increase? The lyrics of the song that inspired a meme from TikTok known as the DNA Test Challenge. Similarly, rapper Lil Nas X triumphed when his rap group Old Town Road was discovered by TikTok users. The song subsequently topped the charts worldwide, and was one of the best-selling singles of 2019.
Brands are increasingly looking to the platform as a marketing tool. Sony Pictures, Paramount, Clarins, Pull & Bear, Adidas, Nike, and Samsung have established a presence on TikTok. Ralph Lauren immersed himself earlier this summer in a campaign related to the US Open tennis tournament, while Burberry’s challenge to users to recreate the company logo using their hands generated 30,000 video responses and 57 million views. visits.It should come as no surprise, but influencer marketing is commonly used by brands on TikTok. Today, the number of users with the ability to promote their products to their thousands of followers is significant. For brands, the key will lie in their ability to capture trends and be able to capture strategic actors who have the ability to create content that represents their mission and vision.
Another turning point is that if brands want to invest in TikTok, then they will have to fully trust their influencers to produce content as they please and in their own way. Since the success on the platform goes beyond the numbers, and is more oriented towards authenticity. TikTok users are not easily swayed by the flashy camera work, or the extravagant editing in Adobe Premiere. These users like originality and simplicity more than quality. That is why not all brands manage to adapt to the philosophy behind the short video network.
When Universal Pictures wanted to promote its 2018 movie, The House of the Clock on the Wall, it created a promotional campaign through TikTok ads. The film company launched a social challenge with the hashtag #FindYourMagic, which consisted of users filming themselves doing their own magic tricks. In addition to this challenge, they asked 10 influencers to post their own videos, either doing magic tricks or creatively editing magic in a video. Universal received 1.3 million likes, 19K impressions, and 11K new followers on its profile.
Because the ad platform is still under construction, ad campaigns can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per day. However, a brand acquisition ad is guaranteed to make five million impressions a day, with a purchase of $ 50,000 in one day. Such three to five second long videos can take users with one click to an internal or external destination. Although each format is bulky, brands like Universal Pictures have found it worth the expense.
If a brand’s target audience segment is not within the 16-24 age range, then TikTok may not be the best platform to advertise right now. It is necessary to bear in mind that social networks and new technological advances are usually adopted by a younger audience first and then they make their way to the more adult demographic groups. Brands that are willing to jump in and invest in impact marketing in an expanding market should take a fresh look at TikTok and jump into the short video pool.