Article by Emma Auty, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre

The Newest Social Platform Targeting Generation Z

“TikTok” is a new social media platform taking the digital world by storm and is being predicted as the new Instagram when it comes to video content. With over one billion downloads and 500 million monthly users, 41% of TikTok users are between 16 and 24 years old (Generation Z). If Gen Z is a target demographic this is your chance to reach them organically and genuinely. But even if your brand targets a different age demographic, they are likely to communicate effective messages to their parents, family and friends who may be more in your target demographic

TikTok is a social media app for short-form mobile videos, where creators can share vertical, looping videos between 15 and 60 seconds in length. It hosts an extensive editing toolkit, with filters and effects and a huge music library that lets users create and edit their content to a clever and comedic effect – in short, this means you can create your own video content within the app, for free.

Like most social media platforms, TikTok is all about user-generated content. But unlike Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites, TikTok revolves less around people you follow, and more around introducing users to new content.

So what does this mean for business?

What stands out most, is that you don’t need high quality or polished content to make the required impact, so if you have a low marketing budget, you can utilise TikTok as a no cost marketing tool where you can create and share your own video content. Let engagement be your guide and dig into what is fun about your business. Make sure you clearly understand your brand culture, values, and identity so that what you create is genuine and true to your brand. This is the time to get super creative and forget about corporate guidelines and have fun with your branding.

TikTok is also attractive because it is still, for the most part, uncharted territory when it comes to paid marketing. The app has only just begun exploring paid advertising and offers an open arena for influencers and brands to fight for top positions.

TikTok will support four types of advertisements on the app;

  • Infeed native content: the native infeed videos must be 9-15 second in length. The content will be displayed in full screen much like how Instagram stories are displayed and are skippable. They support multiple features such as website clicks or app downloads. The impact the video has is measured by the number of clicks, impressions, CTR, video views, play duration, and video interactions (like share and comments).
  • Brand takeovers: In this category, images, GIFs and videos can be used. The embedded links can be connected to websites landing pages or challenges and hashtags within the platform. The brand takeovers are exclusive to one brand every day. This category offers impressions, unique reach, and clicks.
  • Hashtag Challenges: This form of ads is used when brands choose to use promoted hashtags. In this category, the hashtag challenge will contain a link that directs the users to the main challenge page where they can see the details of the challenge and the featured instructions. Hashtag challenges can be measured by video interaction, clicks, banners views, and similar user-generated videos.
  • Branded Lenses: With the promising outcome the application has had in the last few years since its debut, TikTok is undertaking initiatives to make it more engaging. One of the prospective projects picked up by the company is the branded lenses. Much like the Snapchat 2D and 3D lenses for photos and faces, TikTok plans to make their platform could possibly infuse the feature to their application.

Each type contributes to a different purpose and will have a different outcome based on the type of campaign you’re running.