Why Big Brands are Turning to TikTok for Marketing

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 01 May 2019

There’s a rise in large brands turning to apps like TikTok for their new marketing campaigns, and they’re working.

If you haven’t heard of TikTok, your kids probably have. In the first quarter of 2018, the video app was ranked as the number one downloaded app on Apple’s App Store, and number six for Android. In 2019, they continue to dominate with over 500 million active monthly users, and recently beat out Facebook and YouTube for the highest amount of downloads on the App Store.

Its predecessor, Musical.ly, was rebranded last year shortly after being acquired by Chinese company ByteDance in 2017. Known as Douyin in China, its content consists of 15-second videos, mostly comedy and lip-syncs of famous songs, and have produced a myriad of popular users, known as “TikTok Stars”. The majority of these stars are aged between 15-25 years old and fit into the category of Micro Influencers.

Micro Influencers are often categorised as someone who has a following of anyone from 10,000 to 500,000 followers online. These influencers have recently become a vital tool for large brands to reach out to for marketing campaign.

Brands like Coca-Cola, Calvin Klein and FIFA recently reached out to micro influencers for marketing campaigns, with hopes to reach a younger generation of consumers. In 2017, Coca-Cola re-launched its ShareACoke campaign, replacing the first names on the bottles with song lyrics. The campaign generated a massive reaction, with over 900,000 videos created using the hashtag, resulting in over 200 million views. 

Aside from its success amongst the app’s viewers, it also costs significantly less to market to TikTok users. On average, an influencer will charge AUD$1,000 per 100,000 followers for a sponsored post on Instagram. However, TikTok stars with over one million followers can charge anywhere from AUD$500 to AUD$800. The latter strategy also often sees a higher engagement rate and is more cost-effective for brands.

There are various ways to market on the video app, each with their own merits and worth. Influencer marketing is a key tool that brands use to reach out to an audience who follow a specific user. Finding an influencer who has a significant following can often lead to virality, and is a quick way to expose the brand to a large group of a specific audience. However, be sure to research the star before reaching out, so the campaign aligns with both the brand and the influencer.

For brands who wish to steer clear from influencer marketing, original content is another strategy that has proven to be successful, as seen with the #ShareACoke campaign. There has been a cultural shift in consumer marketing, as the Chinese app has proven. Its user demographics may just be the ticket for corporations who have struggled to resonate with a Millennial and Gen Z audience.

 

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