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Why TikTok could deliver new customers in 2020

The Drum 11 Mar 2020 01:10
By Courtney Wylie-11 March 2020 13:10pm

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Mention Me on how marketers can make the most of TikTok.

According to Hootsuite and We Are Social’s Digital 2020 Report, TikTok now has over 800 million monthly active users, up from 300 million in January 2019. That’s a steep annual rise, suggesting that marketers looking to reach Gen Z should take note of the social media app if they haven’t already. Last year, it beat the likes of Instagram and Snapchat to be the world’s fourth most downloaded app - having been downloaded more than 1.7bn times to date according to Digiday.

TikTok users can film themselves – typically lip-syncing or doing a comedy sketch – before using the app’s editing tools to add effects, captions and music to their short-form (maximum 15 seconds) video. And forget painstakingly curated perfection; TikTok is all about quirky creativity and big performances. (Check out this Twitter thread to see what I mean.)

Three ways to use TikTok to increase brand awareness and sales

Building your own brand account on TikTok is great, but it may take some time to accrue a loyal and engaged following. Working with influencers who already have these numbers is a shortcut that, done right, can connect with a large audience and deliver effective results.

Major brands including Google, Coca-Cola and Chipotle have since followed suit. Could your brand be next?

An effective channel requires regular content. If you don’t have the resources to regularly post to TikTok, then launching a competition offers a great way to connect with your audience and create user-generated content.

In 2018, the United Nations' International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) launched the #danceforchange challenge in support of its mission to end world hunger. Despite being rooted in such a serious topic, the campaign used upbeat music, engaging imagery and exciting challenges to inspire followers and get people talking.

3. Feature adverts

Last year, TikTok quietly introduced advertising with standard in-feed video ad units. Users now see paid-for content roughly every five videos within their feed from apps like Facetune, Digit and Grubhub. The quality of these ads, however, remains relatively low - offering a brilliant opportunity to stand out from the competition with better creative.

But be warned: Gen Z is the least willing generation to tolerate any form of online advertising. Anything obviously sales-y is likely to do more harm than good for your bottom line; creating authentic content is key.

Courtney Wylie, vice-president of product and marketing at Mention Me.

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