Teens are keeping up with current events, but they aren’t using traditional media channels like the New York Times or CNN to do so. They’re keeping up with current events and marketing news like product launches through social media, especially the popular app called TikTok.
TikTok is an app where any posted video has the chance to blow up. Every time someone interacts with a post (by liking, commenting, sharing, etc.), the post is placed on a greater number of users’ “For You” pages. This means anyone producing content on the app has countless opportunities to gain exposure to the public.
TikTok’s algorithm directs posts to people who have interacted with similar content previously, which creates different “sides” of the app. The “sides” can include a diverse range of topics, from “small business TikTok” and “political TikTok” to more entertainment-based interests such as “dance TikTok.” These different sides allow content creators to produce clips that appeal to a curated audience, allowing them to build brands for themselves and loyal followings.
With all the current news surrounding the 2020 presidential election, TikTok has been a great source of information for teens. Young people are learning how to share political opinions through this app, rally support around causes and candidates, and ingest more information to keep them informed about what is happening in the world around them.
People use TikTok in many ways. Some use it to start a career as an influencer and boost their personal brand, while others use it to spread information and endorse their businesses. Jaden Hossler started as a regular student using the app for fun, then began to promote his music and is now a successful musician with 3.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone. He continues to leverage the app as a way to announce new projects.
Even major brands, such as Chipotle, use TikTok to inform teens about new promotions or to challenge users to produce creative videos for a chance to win major giveaways. Small companies use this app as a cost-free way to introduce new products and services to teens. From local boutiques promoting their online stores to small tech companies announcing new business innovations, TikTok is a great way to build a brand.
Using TikTok to promote a brand can be a challenging concept for older brands to grasp because it’s such a newly trending platform. However, the process is just as simple as any other source of marketing exposure.
Here are a few ways to get started:
- Find out what’s trending. (Watch videos that have already gained traction on the app.)
- Come up with short visual scenarios that grasp the user’s attention.
- Try to make the video relatable, so young users can see themselves applying it to their own lives.
- Make it flashy. Go all out! (Teens don’t want to be stuck watching a boring video. They want to see a big, dramatic video that will inspire them to go to the creator’s profile page to see more.)
- Use the correct hashtags. (Especially with TikTok, hashtags are a way to get your video in front of an audience that would be most interested in it. Don’t use hashtags that have nothing to do with what you’re promoting, but also make sure to use the generic, popular ones that reach more pages.)
- Quality counts! (Seamless, well-edited videos do especially well on TikTok when the messaging can be readily grasped – uncluttered by poor production.)
For companies trying to gain the attention of the younger generation, the trending app TikTok provides a platform for cost-effective exposure that can reach more users than almost any other media platform.