Back in 1997, just a few short years after the internet went live and took the world by storm, a new phenomenon began to take shape. Early on, this budding marvel became known as social media. As new social media sites emerged and their followings grew by unprecedented proportions, businesses began looking for ways to use these sites for marketing purposes.
The Rise of TikTok
In 2014, amidst the growing social media craze, an app known as Musical.ly was made available to the public. This platform evolved into TikTok by 2017 and became a popular outlet for people to create short videos and share their talents with the world. On the other end of the spectrum, it allows users to find and enjoy interesting videos.
At present, TikTok has amassed a monthly following of more than 500 million people. During the first quarter of this year alone, it generated over $600 million in revenue and was the third most-downloaded app on iTunes.
Businesses have already discovered the power of short-form videos in terms of marketing. TikTok happens to be the perfect platform for such videos. This leaves companies across the globe wondering how, and if, TikTok might fit into their overall marketing strategies.
HYPR Offers Insight into TikTok’s Brand-Promoting Potential
Roughly a decade ago, the influencer marketing platform HYPRBrands was launched. CEO Gil Eyal had already come to realize the potential of influencer marketing even though the industry had barely gotten off the ground at that point. He and company CTO Guy Tamir brought together the power of social media influencers and in-depth analytics to develop an industry-specific influencer marketing platform.
Recently, the company conducted a survey among Millennials and members of Generation Z. Their goal was to determine young people’s use of social media and shed some light on TikTok’s marketing potential. Their findings were not only impressive but enlightening from a number of angles.
Taking a Look at the Outcome
Surprisingly, TikTok has been slow to attract users of all ages. The majority of social media users surveyed by HYPR (over 60%) are still not yet using TikTok at all. The notable exception is the 14-18 year old demographic surveyed, who are in fact using TikTok at a higher rate and report high daily usage for both posting and consuming content on the platform.
It remains to be seen whether marketers, especially those dealing with influencer marketing, should allocate marketing budgets to TikTok just yet. YouTube, with highly positive sentiment and the majority of users spending 2+ hours on the platform, is a better option for now, and Instagram continues to be the first platform of choice for nearly a third of users.
What Does All This Mean in Terms of Marketing?
Some naysayers are downplaying TikTok as an effective marketing venue because of the relatively small amount of time people actually spend on the platform and its young following. Others are saying none of this truly matters.
Marketing statistics show it doesn’t take long to make an impression on consumers. Some say a tenth of a second is all you need to catch people’s interest and draw them in. Many are virtually sold on a product in as little as seven seconds.
Certain authorities are arguing the biggest portion of TikTok users are too young to have jobs and expendable cash, so marketing to them would essentially be a waste of time, effort, and budget. Many point out brands like Mattel, Hasbro, Hot Wheels and Lego don’t exactly market to adults, and their strategies seem to be working for them.
From another perspective, various critics are insisting TikTok’s followers are going to outgrow the platform, so it may be nothing more than a passing fad. Of course, they most likely felt the same way about Instagram and Snapchat. Both sites’ users are mainly in their 20s to 30s, but they started using the site at much younger ages. Their interests may have evolved over the years, but their use of these platforms didn’t fade.
These are only a few of the key takeaways from the survey. Further details are available at https://www.hyprbrands.com/resources/tiktok-is-it-that-big-of-a-deal.
Should brands use TikTok for influencer marketing? As is the case with any social media marketing strategy, the types of products and services being promoted and the brand’s target audience are the real deciding factors here. But the survey shows that Instagram and YouTube are still the big players for tapping into influence.