TikTok is a ticking bomb that is about to explode in the social media world. Previously known as Musical.ly, TikTok has become a huge hit with kids who were born between 1995 and 2015 – also referred to as generation Z. With 800 million users worldwide, it was the most downloaded app in the world in 2018. Just recently it also opened an office in Los Angeles and according to Business Insider, it might be a sign that TikTok is looking to take on social media giants Instagram and YouTube.

First things first.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a platform for short videos of 15 seconds that play in a loop. Users can easily become popular by creating and sharing ‘homemade’ video content. TikTok is easy to use and allows everybody to become a creator by enhancing content with musical overlays, fun effects, AR filters and more. You can follow your favourite topic through hashtags and see all the relevant videos you like, for example #petsoftiktok (my favourite). It reminds me a bit of the funny home videos I used to watch on TV as a kid.

Who is using TikTok?

18 to 24 years old
13 to 17 years old
55+ years old

According to TikTok most of the users are between 13 and 24 years old. TikTok requires serious effort and time to create cool and engaging video content. That’s why TikTok will probably remain popular with Gen Z and older people, because they have the time on their hands. See for yourself… 😁

More and more brands are starting to take TikTok as a serious channel to reach Gen Z. TikTok is a great platform to build exposure by using powerful hashtags. 

So how can you expand your reach on TikTok? Here are 6 options:

  1. Get a pro-account
  2. Use relevant hashtags
  3. Link with Youtube and Instagram
  4. Partner with influencers
  5. Create a hashtag challenge
  6. Start advertising

1. Get a pro-account

Just like on Instagram, you can switch your normal TikTok account to pro for free and get access to the statistics – like video views, reach, profile views and demographics. These insights will help you understand who your audience is and what they want, so you can improve your content strategy. 🎯

2. Use relevant hashtags

If relevant hashtags on Instagram are a part of your current strategy, apply it on TikTok as well. The only downside on TikTok is that you don’t have as much space as on Instagram to use up to 30 hashtags. So you need to make choices and only select the most important ones. Check the trending hashtags in the overview to lift on the exposure, or get creative and come up with your own campaign hashtag.

3. Link with Youtube and Instagram

There is no possibility to add a link to your TikTok account, but you can link it with your Instagram and Youtube accounts. It’s a bit cumbersome, but it’s the only way to direct your visitors to your website.

4. Partner with influencers

Partnering with relevant influencers can be incredibly lucrative, but you need to know how to make your influencer campaign a success. Make sure that the influencers you want to work with, have a similar audience so your ad will feel more natural. Select influencers who are the right fit for your company and match your budget and goals. Check if they have a strong sense of what great content is on their platform and don’t forget to analyse their engagement (comments, likes and followers). 

5. Create a hashtag challenge

Like any other challenge on social media this one is no different. With the hashtag challenge on TikTok brands can stimulate users to create user-generated content (UGC). According to TikTok 35% of users participate in challenges and 16% of all videos on the platform are tied to challenges. Here are some examples:

6. Advertising 

TikTok offers several ad forms like in-feed video, brand take-over, top view and branded lens, but the targeting options are still in its infancy compared to Facebook. Take note that the following advertising options are not yet available in all countries:

In-Feed Video
In-feed video ad is  a full screen take-over, auto play and audio-on ad. The duration of this ad can vary from 5 to 15 seconds plus you can add any link you want. TikTok makes sure the ads appear as native as possible by showing all the info that a normal account has, like the username, profile picture etc. 

Brand Takeover
A brand take-over ad is exactly what it implies. You can flash your large ad full screen when a user opens the app – it’s the first thing she or he will see. By adding a link to the add you can direct users to your website and accomplish your goals. Next to that, TikTok is making big promises: you’ll get category exclusivity – meaning that TikTok only allows one advertiser per day plus 5 million impressions. 

Top View
Top views is in fact a brand take-over ad combined with in-feed video ad with an overall length of 15 seconds. All the big promises above apply here as well.  

Branded Lens
Branded lens is a very cool way to promote your brand. TikTok can produce 2D and 3D lenses in-house on request. The price tag of a branded lens is $ 80K – 120K, depends on the complexity of build. So make sure you have a big bag of money ready. 💰

Now you have a clear overview of the advertising possibilities TikTok offers for brands. If you need some good dose of inspiration then check out how other brands already put TikTik to use for their marketing.

Lately I’ve been seeing lots of ads in the video feed on TikTok and guess what? TikTok app uses the Facebook Audience Network to show you the most relevant ads. Next time you are going to advertise on Facebook or Instagram, keep this in mind. 😉


Social media war 💥

While TikTok is competing with Instagram and Youtube, a new app was born just a couple a days ago called byte. It seems that byte is also up for a battle with TikTok… Who are you going to bet your money on? 😏


Need help with your social media marketing?

    Freelance creative Aksana Mikhalap