Video app TikTok is rapidly taking over the internet. The app has more than 500 million active users worldwide and celebrities like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Martin Garrix are amongst the celebrities that enjoy making seconds-long videos with TikTok. The explosive growth of the app also makes it an interesting tool for influencer marketing. But what kind of app is TikTok excactly and how can you use the platform for your influencer campaign?
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a video app that allows you to create short videos of maximum 15 seconds. Particularly young teenagers like to use the app to lip sync songs, show their dance moves or record pranks. Besides that, the app is used more and more for challenges. For example, comedian and host of The Tonight Show Jimmy Fallon regularly challenges his audience via TikTok. Although the app is most popular amongst Generation Z, the video service is rapidly gaining ground within other demographic groups.
TikTok is the successor of the similar short-form video concept musical.ly. Chinese media company ByteDance bought musical.ly in 2017 for 700 million euros and merged it with TikTok, which already existed in China. ByteDance transferred the musical.ly users to TikTok and combined the features of both platforms. Although most “musers” were initially quite skeptical about this change, the popularity of the platform has since been growing at a tremendous pace. Whereas musical.ly was primarely used for lip sync videos, TikTok gives its users a lot more options like the possibilities to add special effects and filters. Nowadays you can also record video comments. Just in the Netherlands and Belgium there are currently 4 million users.
The power of short videos
As one of the most popular video apps in the world with more than 500 million users, TikTok is of course a perfect platform to use as a brand in order to communicate with your target audience. Major companies such as Coca Cola, Disney, Universal, Kit-Kat and Warner have seen this potential and have launched various successful TikTok campaigns.
The potential of the app comes first and foremost from its interactive nature. It is a perfect platform when it comes to launching brand challenges or win promotions. As soon as a challenge takes off, it will rapidly spread around the internet (and through other social media). The platform offers the possibility to promote challenges through hashtags. Another big advantage of TikTok is the strong focus on local content. By using local trending hashtags you can see which topics are popular in a certain country, area or city and you can adjust the video challenges accordingly.
The right influencers are able to give your campaign a headstart. There are already TikTokkers with millions of followers. As the platform continues to grow, more and more TikTok influencers will arise and they will start to focus on different niches.
Whether TikTok will be short-lived hype or a long-lasting concept, the future will tell. In the past there have been other video services that rapidly exploded but disappeared from the radar even faster. Remember how Twitter in 2013 launched Vine, the app where users could create videos of up to six seconds? In a short period of time, Vine quickly became incredibly popular. The hype soon faded and in 2016 Twitter pulled the plug from the platform. If TikTok wants to last longer than that, it is critical that the app continues to innovate to stay relevant and hold the attention of its users.
As you can see, TikTok is a platform with enormous potential. It offers a new opportunity for influencers to put themselves in the spotlight. The fresh, positive appearance makes this short-video app a perfect platform for original, interactive marketing campaigns.