TikTok marketing beginners guide – how to get started

TikTok is the fastest growing social media application in the world right now. With an estimated one billion active users and growing, what does TikTok mean for the future of digital marketing?

It’s easy to get started on TikTok. Creating video and content that will get seen is vital. Games and marketing agency Project N can help.

We know some of you are still a little bit behind on TikTok – we can’t all be hip millennials after all. But as the fastest growing social media platform in the world, TikTok is having a huge impact on the world and how customers look for products and services, and as marketers we should all be paying attention to its rise. To get you up to speed on the hottest app around, let’s go back to the beginning.

How did we get here?

TikTok first exploded onto our phones in 2016, bringing with it vibe checks, glow-ups, and dances a-plenty. TikTok found its initial fame in Asia, particularly in India, China, and other parts of South-East Asia. 

But it wasn’t until 2018 when the application really started to take off in Europe, North America, and the rest of the world. Today, the application is available in 40 different languages and has been downloaded two billion times. Since then, TikTok has seen a meteoric rise as its user-base grew to encompass other ages and demographics. 

And its growth isn’t slowing down. The Digital Marketing Institute – who dubbed TikTok the “fastest growing social media app of all time” – found that in the first quarter of 2020, TikTok set the record for the most downloads in a single quarter for a social app, at a whopping 315 million installs.

What’s equally impressive is the rate that it has dominated the market. The bar graph below taken from the Forrester survey on Gen Z usage of Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok shows how quickly the application has overtaken its competition.

The main reasons that TikTok has dominated according to the Gen Z users surveyed were: 

  • Entertainment value – Respondents frequently used the words “fun” and “funny”, with one respondent saying: “It has funnier videos.”
  • Variety – The platform’s endless scroll of a random variety of short video clips keeps users engaged.
  • Positive self-expression – The “positivity of TikTok” was cited by several respondents emphasizing their ability to freely express themselves (i.e. dancing).

TikTok and Digital Marketing

As stated in a previous blog, the tech-savvy Gen Z are leading this new social media age. With 75% of their screen time dedicated purely to smart phones, it’s no surprise that they dominate the platform. TikTok reported 41% of its users are aged 16 to 24, and of that group 91% admit to using the platform daily. 

TikTok is huge with all the most valuable demographics and it’s clear that it’s here to stay. With this market domination comes opportunity for marketers. So the real question is, how can marketers use TikTok to their advantage?

TikTok for Business reported that 52% of its users say they find new products from ads on TikTok, and according to HubSpot, 72% of customers would rather learn about a new product or service by medium of video. If this doesn’t scream “video-centric social media platforms are the future of social media advertising” then we don’t know what does.

TikTok allows marketers to reach a younger audience around the globe in a positive environment. As with all new platforms, you should have a clear plan and strategy before investing budget into TikTok. Be sure you know what you are trying to achieve and who you are trying to reach. We suggest three main ways you could use TikTok in your digital marketing strategy:

1 – Create a channel for your brand

Marketing tends to be the same regardless of the tool or channel, and the best way to learn is to get stuck in. TikTok content can be utilised with a £0 budget, so set up a free channel for your business and get involved with the latest hashtags, trends, and memes.

2 – Use the advertising business function

As explored briefly above, TikTok for Business allows advertisers to sign up to create an account and run in-feed ads, homepage banner ads, and even sponsor hashtag challenges. Despite the platform’s growing success and size it is still not saturated with advertisers, meaning that TikTok is still an affordable place to generate impressions and clicks.

3 – Collaborate with influencers in your industry

People are often more likely to purchase from a brand that’s associated with their favourite personalities.TikTok currently offers one of the best platforms for brands to connect with creators and influencers via its Creator Marketplace.

We’ve run through the basics of TikTok, but we’ve only just scratched the surface of its potential uses for marketing. For any support with TikTok or wider social media strategy, why not book in a chat with an expert video game marketing agency – perhaps one like us? So start the latest TikTok viral sensation and book a chat here.