If you started your marketing career a couple of years ago (in my case, 10+, but who is counting), you probably had these older colleagues that were hesitant to open a Facebook account. They hoped it would all pass, and we could return to planning press and TV soon. They were partially correct, as TV is still there, as to some extent is the press. However, it was making you a bit impatient. Aren’t they GETTING it? Facebook is new and hot, where ROI is high, and clutter is low! Well, do you have Tiktok now? Or have you become complacent and sure that whatever works for you will continue to do so?
I am not making a case for a late career as a content creator, even though, who knows? You may become a viral hit yourself. However, you can still benefit from Tiktok if you observe. At the moment, it is the easiest way to know what is trending, which you can use outside the platform to benefit your brand.
What to know before you start?
Everyone’s TikTok is different – you still have serious advantage by being on the platform and seeing some of it with your own eyes!
- Tiktok has a very refined algorithm, so depending on what you interact with, your For You Page will be different from the next person’s. So you will never get 100% visibility over what is available on the platform. Fear not, though. The most influential trends or discussions are so significant that in the worst-case scenario, you will get someone’s stitch (commentary citing the original video).
If you want to experience new trends first hand, TikTok is the place to be.
- Instagram reels content quite regularly originates on Tiktok, and then it is reposted by creators. So while Instagram is an important advertising platform, many trends develop elsewhere.
There is no age limit on TikTok!
- There are many older people on the creators’ and users’ sides of Tiktok. Gen Z is to be recognized as customers and trendsetters, but you can also find creators in the retirement age.
Search is becoming more competitive, experiential, and long tail.
- As much as 40% of GenZers are using Tiktok as a search tool before turning to Google (https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/12/google-exec-suggests-instagram-and-tiktok-are-eating-into-googles-core-products-search-and-maps/?tpcc=tcplustwitter&guccounter=1). It is still visible in some categories more than the others but it is interesting to see what users are really looking for and respond accordingly.
Tiktok is driving more and more purchase decisions. Think how you can become part of this trend.
- People trust TikTok creators with their products and solutions recommendations. It led to creation of hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit which currently has 37 billion views. I bought Walking Pad based on one TikTok video, and I don’t regret a thing. If your product is good, putting it in front of relevant influencers might strike gold for you.
Amazon has aggregated viral products on special page: https://www.amazon.com/b?node=23865208011&tag=yle01-p-s-ks-20&ascsubtag=9f0cb127903c11edb9f9b3761556f00f Others are implementing Tiktok videos with their products in their ecommerce pages and using the hashtag instore. Think how you can capitalize on this trend for your product or brand.
Long time lurker, first time poster is still a valid strategy!
- You don’t need to decide to create content for Tiktok just yet. It is also an excellent tool for noticing general trends. It can be helpful in many ways – you can track seasonality and base your content in other channels on it, see the current topic that sparks conversations, or potentially make product decisions. What appeared recently on my fyp is the topic of mold and its influence on health. If your product helps find mold, it might be your time to shine. I’m using this example to show that Tiktok is very down to earth, and on top of classical beauty, gym, and travel content there, you will see creators speaking about hormonal health or cleaning books… you name it; it is there!
You need to understand your customers’ language before speaking to them.
- It is also an excellent opportunity to catch on to the lingo of the younger generation. I recommend against using it yourself, but it is good to know if your campaign is a w or an l (you are aiming for major w(in), of course!
I am passionate about putting the customer at the center of every marketing activity. Can you allow yourself not to know what is essential for your customers now? A condescending tone was never a good look, now more than ever. But be warned, Tiktok is slightly addictive; before you know, you might not treat it as a work assignment anymore!
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