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TikTok has evolved beyond the application that brands initially rejected. The days of deep-in-a-pandemic-lockdown have passed. Many brands initially approached it with a healthy dose of skepticism due to the fact that the platform started as an app for dancing teenagers, lipsyncs and pure entertainment.
The platform has evolved and brands are learning to look at it in a different way.
The TikTok you see today is not the same as it was a long time ago. The platform has become a way for brands and creators to grow their brands.
You have probably seen the same statistics about TikTok's growth and trajectory as you have about other social platforms. There are a few unique factors that will make your investment in TikTok even more worthwhile.
You can use TikTok to promote your business.
1. TikTok has become a major cultural — and equalizing — force.
TikTok is different from other platforms in that it is the immediate place of origin for many cultural moments. From the corn song to Harry Styles, cultural conversations and trends are born on TikTok, are adopted by niche communities and spread through a ripple effect across other platforms.
Keeping a close eye on what's top of mind for their communities is something brands need to do. Beyond being a social listening tool, TikTok allows brands to hop on the trends and moments that unfold on the platform, increasing their relevancy and timeliness.
TikTok's equalizing force shows how some of the most successful brands on TikTok could join conversations with other users as equal participants. "humanizing" means that brands succeed by showcasing a human, imperfect, honest character on this platform. A participant's mindset is an entirely new approach that brands need to embrace to succeed on TikTok.
There are ways to stand out as a brand on TikTok.
2. TikTok has emerged as a strong competitor to Google in search.
TikTok has grown to be a go-to search engine for users looking for community-verified answers. The younger demographic puts value in search results based on authentic content that is helpful rather than being engineered with ad spend to rank.
More than 40% of Gen Z users prefer to use TikTok. Today's users emphasize authenticity in the content they consume as well as the platforms they consume the content on.
The brands are capitalizing on TikTok to win new audiences.
3. TikTok favors strong storytelling, original content, and longer-form videos.
Strong stories, authentic conversations, value sharing and a healthy dose of enthusiasm and passion are what the content taking over the app now has. The new age of brands and creators has built communities around honest conversations, their enthusiasm for the niche topics they discuss in their videos, and serialized content that makes them instantly recognizable.
If initially, 15-second clips were the majority of TikTok's content, the platform has pushed towards longer videos of up to 3 and now even ten minutes. The increase in time users spend on the app is one of the reasons for the change. This marks a change in how TikTok is used by brands and creators.
4. TikTok is emerging as a powerful alternative paid media channel post-iOS 14.
In order to not put all eggs in one basket, brands are moving towards diversifying their channel mix. As a top-of-funnel awareness and traffic driver, TikTok has emerged as a strong contender for many brands' budgets.
There is a change in the privacy of small businesses.
The creative on TikTok is driven by authenticity, a raw aesthetic, and a complete antithesis of the promotional feel that other ad formats share. The ads on TikTok mirror user-generated content to stop the scroll and get the audience to pay attention. Next? They visit your website and you can convert them into loyal customers.
5. TikTok can become a flywheel of content you can repurpose across multiple other channels.
Short-form video is the leading content format on TikTok and other platforms. There is more than enough evidence that unpolished, organic, UGC-style videos are the best-performing format right now.
With the fact that most modern cultural conversations are starting on TikTok, it allows brands to create a vault of videos that are on trend, in tune with culture, and that can be used to test other platforms.
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