One of the newest and likely to be the most disruptive social media platforms of the decade, TikTok, is taking the marketing world by storm, with its massive reach and engagement rates. It utilizes short, often goofy, and musically-backed, free-form videos posted by users, to drive major engagement and exposure.
For now, TikTok is viewed as a youth-dominated platform for kids to post videos of singing in the car or dancing around the living room...
This youth-centered stigma isn’t stopping many companies from leveraging the platform’s massive reach, allowing for audience engagement in their native environment. With over one billion downloads, this past year alone, and 500 million active monthly users, TikTok is positioning itself for a major disruptive advantage over competing platforms. Even US-based machine shops are already on the platform, with an incredibly strong base. One such company, sporting the username @mfgvidz, had over 3413 followers and 17.4K likes.
Their videos, produced to showcase their industrial metalworking shop action... Powerful motive. With its reach, content consume-ability, and massive opportunities for growth within its current user base, Tik Tok is catching the eye of many serious marketers.
In this article, we will explore some of the reasons why TikTok, “the newest wild west for marketing,” may be a great opportunity for your company.
Early Platform AdvantagE
Because TikTok is a relatively young platform, company-based account saturation is very low, offering a possible lack of competition in the space. As the user base continues to grow in size, companies have the opportunity for extended reach, compared to larger, established platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. TikTok, as a marketing channel, allows for a proverbial foot in the door, to scale and maintain your initial user base with minimal effort or financial investment.
The Algorithms are Simple
Established platforms (Ie., Facebook and Twitter) have to contend with how to properly optimize the feed, ensuring that content is distributed effectively for the good of the users and the platform. With platforms, such as LinkedIn, the sheer volume of the updates and posts is overwhelming. If the feed were to be directly tied chronologically, no one would have the opportunity for any engagement or reach. In response to this, older platforms are forced to build complex algorithms that typically disadvantage new-comers, that is, until one figures out how to hack the algorithm or pay to play. However, Tik Tok, similar to Twitter and Instagram--in the earlier days, uses hashtags and trending engagement as its primary feed drivers. This is where the major advantage lies. The ability to utilize a #B2B or #manufacturing hashtag, is instrumental for gaining the right viewers. Even if viewership is slightly smaller in quantity than other platforms, your post will rank much faster than other channels.
A couple quick hashtag searches on Tik Tok resulted in the following:
81.6 million views
21.3 million views
7.0 million views
18.3 million views
381.1 million views
Content is Short, Sweet and Quickly Consumable
Video clips can range from around 15 seconds to 60 seconds maximum. We know that statistically, most engagement and investment in a video happens in the first 30 - 60 seconds. Very few videos will continue to keep viewers engaged after that. For this reason, on TikTok, a person can view many videos, quickly, maintaining engagement throughout. TikTok understands best practice video psychology, providing a platform that keeps us in the ideal lane.
Reminiscent of the Early Days of Social Media:
Chances are, many of us remember the “good old days” of Facebook or Twitter. Feeds were lively and reach was incredible, garnering massively organic exposure. Engagement was high and every post had comments and likes. Unfortunately, for the older platforms, those days are long gone. As soon as companies figured out, they could use social media to grow brand awareness and engage with their customers, marketing content flooded in. Facebook ultimately realized the financial implications of this and monetized it, effectively killing the organic reach. Instagram, owned by Facebook, is beginning to go through the same dilemma. Once heralded as a unicorn, with its uninhibited reach, hashtag driven feeds, and broad user bases, it used to be possible to scale a massive niche audience in a matter of weeks. As soon as companies started flocking to the platform to take advantage of great metrics, organic reach died off due to over saturation, leaving few early adopters with massive audiences easily reaching without paid promotion. The rest fought for scraps. While older platforms are good places to run campaigns, they are unfortunately no longer organic machines. TikTok reminds us of the good old days, the wild west of social media, a platform to deliver content and expose your brand to the world, organically and quickly--in a big way.
The Platform is Already "Aging Up"
Almost all platforms start with a younger generation. Facebook started in colleges, Twitter initially targeted texting-crazed teens, and Instagram and Snapchat started as user bases for youth vanity. They all “aged up” to include targeted demographics for any given industry, age group, and job title. If you scroll through TikTok's feed, initially, you will see video clips geared toward a younger audience. That being said, we’ve seen an increase of 5.5 times the number of adults using the platform within the past 18 months. People are testing the waters as we speak and the floodgates are about to fly open.
We believe that TikTok anticipated business interaction on its platform, making it incredibly simple to share content, created on the platform, with other primary platforms, such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. The platform gives us the ability to download the finished video or to generate embedded code, allowing users to test content on one platform while performing or creating viral content on another platform. TikTok videos are also viewed on LinkedIn. The ability to share, signals the platform has prepared itself to be a hosting and creation platform, as well as, a valuable asset for a business-minded social platform.
Advertising is Available on the platform
While the advertising is still very young on the platform, it is now available. The ability to create ads and utilize them to supplement the already generous reach of organic content could have profound impact. At this time, we don't recommend this tactic for anyone except youth targeting consumer companies. In either case, it is nice to know that it exists, so if you do start to find traction, you will be able to amplify.
Half of the battle with marketing, is staying in front of current trends in communication, so you can ride the wave, showcasing a modern and savvy company. The key is establishment in places where you will be seen, before it becomes too challenging and expensive for the sake of survival of your company. Tik Tok may be the next big social platform, or it may not. With that being said, all of the signs are pointing to the fact that we consider it and setup our outposts and content channels now, so we don't miss the boat later.
If you have questions regarding TikTok or other video-based social marketing, contact Nesbit Marketing: www.nesbitmarketing.com/contact
or by phone: 231-360-0179