TikTok – have you heard of it yet? If you haven’t, you’re probably going to be hearing a lot about it in the next coming months. I must confess, I was very skeptical at the beginning and didn’t succumb to downloading the app as I brushed it off as another social app trying to compete against the giants and well, destined to fail.
But rewind back to last week and there I was, giving in and downloading the app to my home screen.
What is TikTok?
Before we get into this blog post, it would be good to give you a little background information about the app in question in case you haven’t heard of it.
The TikTok app is essentially a video platform (it actually used to be Musical.ly but was acquired in China). I know what you’re thinking – “but so is YouTube?” – but this app allows you to edit videos in short clips and are either 15 or 60 seconds long. If you also didn’t know, our attention spans are now the equivalent of a goldfish – three seconds. So perhaps 45 minute influencer vlogs are a thing of the past.
TikTok videos are usually funny, accompanied by music and part of a challenge. We all remember those weird and odd challenges that go viral on social media like the Plank Challenge and the Ice Bucket challenge, right? Well TikTok takes that kind of virality and creates random challenges that has everyone uploading their versions to TikTok.
Another thing to know about TikTok is that it seems to be geared toward the younger generation of Generation Z. Most users are between the ages of 13 and 17 and a lot of the content on the platform seems to happen in schools.
Will your mum be downloading TikTok? Probably not, but the app is currently set to challenge the popularity Instagram as it was the most downloaded app of 2019, placing Instagram in 2nd place.
Are there influencers on TikTok?
Yes. Lots of them. And new ones – plenty of new ones.
It seems to have proved quite tricky for the big influencers of Instagram to migrate their large following to TikTok. This could be because influencers on Instagram are good at creating static content – outfit posts, selfies and pictures of their avocado toast (lol who am I to judge?) and not so great at producing video content.
What I like about TikTok is that we’re all basically starting from scratch again with 0 followers. Even the people with thousands of followers on Instagram, they’re in the same boat as us.
I mean, they have a bit of an advantage where they can promote their TikTok account on their other socials in the hopes that their followers/fans will follow them over to the video app.
But it also means that anyone out there that is truly great at video content in short bursts, or just funny in general, has the opportunity to make it big on TikTok and become an influencer on there. I think TikTok is definitely going to open up a whole new world of influencers which is what makes Influencer Marketing so exciting.
Target audiences on TikTok
With a new app comes a whole new demographic. When Facebook first became popular, all the kids were on it. Now it’s a world full of our parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
The Instagram demographic is mostly for teens and those in their twenties whereas TikTok is proving popular among the younger generation of those between the ages of 13 and 18 as a lot of video content takes place in schools.
So if you were to create some Influencer Marketing plans for TikTok – who would you be targeting? What would work and what wouldn’t?
I guess anything goes, but I could see fashion brands doing well on TikTok if fashion influencers were to produce quick videos of different outfits from one brand. I could also see beauty brands doing well with quick tutorials from different makeup companies.
The TikTok idea kind of reminds me of Joe Wicks’s cooking videos on Instagtram as that’s what seems to be the general idea, so I could definitely see foodies taking off on the platform too.
Will Influencer Marketing make TikTok worse?
Users on Instagram often complain that there are now too many adverts, too many sponsored posts and they miss the raw and authentic Instagram that once was, all those years ago. It doesn’t deter people from using the app, but it may do so in the future if they are offered a better alternative: TikTok.
If TikTokkers that are excited by this new platform that is just funny videos start seeing their feed filled with adverts and sponsored posts, they’re going to get bored and start looking for something new.
Or perhaps adverts don’t phase us on social media anymore? I know I’ve become more subconscious in the passing of adverts on my Instagram and Twitter feeds. I would hope that TikTok doesn’t go down the same route as Instagram, but as with every app, there will always be new roll-outs and improvements.
Remember when Instagram first introduced the ‘Story’ feature and we all hated it? Now I’d be very much lost without it.
TikTok is still relatively new and there are still a lot of people that are skeptically sitting on the fence as they do with every new social media app and are reluctant to download. But with most things, they will increase in popularity in time if they are worth it. With the help of celebrities and influencers, it won’t be long until we’re all on TikTok making the most outrageous videos for our TikTok fans.