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TikTok trends to take into 2020

The Drum 19 Dec 2019 12:42
TikTok trends to take into 2020

2019 has been a breakthrough year for TikTok. Armed with billions of dollars in funding, its aggressive marketing and appeal to creativity has seen it become the most downloaded app in 2019 pricking the ears of marketers everywhere.

As a company focused on reaching the Gen Z audience, we at Fanbytes noticed the rise of TikTok and have subsequently run over 190 TikTok influencer campaigns with everyone from Warner, Universal and STX Entertainment to unlikely brands such as the ACCA (Association for Certified Accountants)

Having spent so much time in the proverbial trenches, we’ve seen the rise of certain key trends which will shape how brands and marketers can reach the TikTok audience. In this article, I’ll share those trends equipping you - my fellow marketer - with the insights to develop strong TikTok campaigns for 2020.

Treat everyone as an influencer

A key difference in the user behaviour between TikTok and other social networks is that everybody is an influencer to some degree. Contrast this to Instagram where there is a clear distinction between those with influence -- people with hundreds of thousands to millions of followers, and those who do not, regardless of the quality of their content.

As a brand, therefore, one of the most important things you can do on TikTok is to develop content that gives people the chance to show off -as more people join the platform, this “show off” style content is going to be hugely important as a way to differentiate users and the brands who provide opportunities for people to do that are those who are going to win on TikTok in 2020.

One of the most unique conventions of TikTok is the episodic nature of the platform where users tune in as if they were watching a TV show. The reasons for this is simple: TikTok content is discovered predominantly through the use of hashtags which provide people the opportunity to 'follow stories'.

Take for example the popular trend “30 days of X” a hilarious theme where people consistently do a specific action for 30 days - washing their toes with Dettol/ dressing up as a Disney character for 30 days which has gained insane traction on the platform with over 310 million views since it started. People tuned in every day looking to see the next “episode” of the content which led to the huge groundswell of hype and attention.

If you’re a brand using this content strategy in 2020, be prepared to achieve explosive results. You will not only succeed in mirroring TikTok’s ethos but also “hacking” the virility of the platform.

The striking difference between TikTok and other platforms is the appeal of less polished content. This lends itself to the idea of a more "behind the scenes" style content which looks like it was made in a bedroom with no real purpose to entertain. Despite looking uncoordinated, it is this type of content that achieves trending status and goes viral on the platform.

Another example comes from a TikTok campaign we ran with ACCA where influencers were invited to accountancy firms to show the real-life of an accountant. Whether it was showing how to negotiate contracts or speaking to clients, the content produced was far removed from the stereotypical branded message around accountancy. We were able to turn this: “dull, boring, elitist and exclusive” into this: “exciting, impactful, and relevant” and as a result, we received over 1 million views and over 100,000 hearts.

I predict that we're going to be seeing a lot more brands, regardless of what industry they're in, take to this approach. What's more, those who are able to do it well at scale will succeed in building a strong and identifiable brand on the platform.

Timothy Armoo is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Fanbytes.

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