If there is one social media platform that has really gained ground during lockdown it is TikTok. Probably best known for its dance themed videos, the channel has proved incredibly popular, especially with younger people. In the first quarter of 2020 alone there were 315 million first time TikTok downloads, a significant rise on previous numbers. There is no doubt that TikTok has gained ground this year but does that mean it should be part of your digital marketing strategy?


How could TikTok work for businesses?

TikTok content has been hard to escape in 2020 but the spontaneous dance videos that are often set to popular tracks don’t appeal to everyone. Nevertheless there are some advantages to investing in TikTok, including the light hearted tone of the channel that has a very broad appeal and the fact that the platform has a number of built in creation tools that mean making the videos is easy. TikTok also offers branded channels for verified businesses and could essentially be much like a YouTube channel as a location for all the content your business wants to promote.


Making TikTok part of your digital marketing strategy – what you need to know

  • It’s a conduit to a younger demographic. 42% of 13-16-year-olds use TikTok, which is roughly the same as use Facebook. The platform currently has a total of 800 million active monthly users.
  • TikTok is growing at a blistering rate – among adults too. The number of adult users of the platform has doubled in the past year so it’s not just teens you can reach if you’re marketing via TikTok. In 2019 TikTok was the second most downloaded app coming in just behind WhatsApp and above Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram.
  • Of course there are some concerns. For example, one recent report identified the potential for hackers to manipulate posted content while the US Army has labelled TikTok a “cyber threat” and forbidden its staff from using the platform on devices. However, many of these concerns have the potential for quick resolution as the platform grows.
  • You could enjoy less competition when it comes to reaching users. A recent report found that almost three quarters of marketers are not planning to make TikTok part of their marketing budget allocation this year so it’s a channel that remains relatively new and unexploited. However, many of those who are already there are planning to increase their usage.
  • Users stay on TikTok and engage with it. In 2019 users spent 68+ billion hours on TikTok, which was a 210% increase. The platform has enjoyed a significant spike in interest during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw a 27% rise in average engagement.
  • There are different ad options and the right one has the potential to generate huge reach. For example, the first paid ad on TikTok received more than a billion views and travel videos alone get 1.7+ billion views.

Whether TikTok should be part of your digital marketing campaign will depend on your business, strategy, objectives and whether you’re likely to see a return on this kind of investment.