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Even if you’re not social media savvy, we’re sure you’ve heard of TikTok, whether it was from your younger family members and co-workers, or on the news. The app first launched in China in 2016, in international markets just a year later, and has become a worldwide phenomenon.

TikTok lets users create short 15-second videos and add background music on top. With this simple premise, the app has become the birthplace of viral content, influencer trends, memes, and much more.

In this article, we look at the top three reasons why your business should use TikTok in 2021 and give our expert advice on how your brand can use this fun video app.


Why your business should use TikTok in 2021

  1. TikTok can help you reach a younger audience

  2. Create viral TikTok content for your brand

  3. Tap into influencer marketing on TikTok


Gen Z Audiences are Flocking to TikTok

In the social media landscape dominated by big apps like Facebook and Instagram, TikTok burst onto the scene and has since gained over 800 million active users worldwide. The app consistently ranks among the top downloaded apps on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.

While other social media apps have launched their own similar features to try to capture a share of Tiktok’s audience, no app has yet to achieve as much success with its short videos as TikTok. One demographic in particular is adopting TikTok at a much higher rate.

One study found that over 60% of TikTok users are part of Generation Z, making this app exceptionally popular among younger audiences. Born after 1996, Generation Z (also known as Gen Z) has grown up in a world where digital technology and social media apps are commonplace. With videos being one of the more preferable ways for this group to consume content, TikTok is the perfect platform for this audience to create and explore authentic and creative content.


What your brand should do on TikTok in 2021: 

  • For brands that want to connect with a younger audience, TikTok is one of your best options, but be careful. Gen Z audiences tend to prioritize authentic and relatable content. Aim to be transparent in your brand messaging.
  • Consider ways to use your TikTok content outside of the app. For example, some brands are using TikTok content in their TV commercials, while others are resharing TikTok content to other platforms, like Instagram. Because TikTok’s video tools are so robust with fun features not found anywhere else, this can give your other social media feeds a creative boost!


Dominate Your Competition By Creating Viral Content

Who would have thought a guy skateboarding down the road while drinking cranberry juice and lip-syncing to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” would be one of the most viral videos on TikTok? With over 12.5 million likes, 143K+ comments, and 655K+ shares, the viral video not only had a huge impact on 420doggface208, the content creator, but the background track as well. “Dreams” saw a 374% spike in sales and an 89% jump in streams, landing it back on Billboard’s top charts. Not bad for a single 15-second video!


♬ Dreams (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac


To learn more about the top content on TikTok in 2020, click here to read its year-end summary.

Of course, with so many people posting their own videos, the next question is how to get your brand’s content discovered. The algorithm powering TikTok’s feed is part of what makes scrolling through content so addicting.

In an article detailing its recommendation system, the company explained how user interactions, video information, and device/account settings all impact what you will see in your feed when browsing through video content. These three factors are then individually weighed based on each user’s interest. While accounts with more followers will naturally get more views, TikTok says this isn’t a big factor in what content gets pushed to a user’s recommended feed.

The next question is how can brands create content that not only conveys important messaging, but gets on people’s feed and captures their attention? 

Like other social media, TikTok offers businesses a variety of tools, such as ads and shoppable features. To learn about the different types of TikTok ads and how to develop your own, click here to read our guide, Mobile Marketing on TikTok.

In short, the more successful businesses on TikTok can effectively condense their brand messaging to a short snippet. While certain ad formats can run longer than 15 seconds, keep in mind that your audience already has one foot out the door as soon as they start viewing your content. By developing ads with a strong opening, you can increase the chance of the viewer sticking around until the end of your content.

Take a look at this case study about the Doritos TikTok marketing campaign for its younger audience and how the company effectively created engaging content.


What your brand should do on TikTok in 2021: 

  • What trends are currently popular on TikTok? This type of research can help you create content that people are actively engaging with. However, make sure that your brand isn’t jumping in at the tail end of a trend’s popularity. This can make you seem less authentic and out of touch.
  • Viral content is all about trial and error. There are no set rules that determine what will or won’t go viral. Don’t give up if your brand’s first pieces of content get less engagement than what you had hoped for. Because of this, it’s important that your TikTok content be consistent in both quality and quantity. Keep experimenting by developing different types of TikTok content to see what resonates with your audience.


Influencers can help your brand reach your audience in a more authentic way

Although influencer marketing is well-established on Instagram, don’t ignore how influencers on TikTok can help your brand reach your audience more authentically. Unlike Instagram where celebrities, athletes, and other well-known figures have the most followers, TikTok is slightly different as many influencers rank among the top.

What influencers do so well is that they understand how to get their audiences to engage with them and their content. The most popular influencers show their personality, are active in speaking directly to their audience, and show their personal side. This can give brands a major advantage when partnering with content creators. 

One way brands work with influencers is to have them promote the company’s “hashtag challenge.” As one of the primary drivers of engagement on TikTok, hashtag challenges typically start with the business creating the first video which sets the challenge and asks the viewer to make their own video while including a specific hashtag.

Since the idea is to encourage user-generated content, your brand’s original messaging can rapidly spread across TikTok as users create content and share it with their audience. A user could be aware of your brand and its messaging without having even seen your original video that started the hashtag challenge in the first place.

This type of campaign is particularly popular among users and TikTok estimates that 35% of its users have taken part in a hashtag challenge. To read a case study about influencer marketing on TikTok, check out this article detailing how Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty enlisted the help of several influencers.


What your brand should do on TikTok in 2021: 

  • Research influencers relevant to your brand’s industry. For example, Savannah Labrant’s content focuses on her family, making her a better fit for certain brands than others.
  • Influencers range in size from micro-influencers with around 1,000 to 100,000 followers to influencers with millions of followers. While your first thought might be to partner with a very popular content creator, it will also depend on your product, your brand, your budget, and what your primary goal is. In some cases, influencers with a smaller following can help your company reach a niche audience that is more engaged with the creator’s content.


That’s all for this article! Be sure to check back every other Monday to read the rest of this mini-series, which will feature other social media platforms. For a recap, here are all the social media platforms we’ve covered so far:

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