Why Generation Z Loves TikTok: Brands Shouldn’t be Afraid, You Don’t Have to Be Justin Bieber

Social media marketing has been an effective way to target younger generations over the previous 10 years or so. Back in the day, brands could trust on using social media sites such as Facebook to reach a younger demographic. However, it was inevitable that through the evolution of social media platforms a newer competitor would arise.

TikTok has emerged out of nowhere with extreme popularity, but what is TikTok? TikTok is a Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. It is used to create short dance, lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos. The app was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android in markets outside of China.

TikTok already has a number of social media influencers and is being utilised for social media marketing purposes. Essentially TikTok videos tend to be short video clips with a short sound track, typically under 10 seconds. TikTok songs can be selected by a user themselves.

Social media addiction is a real phenomenon and by nature TikTok is much more addictive than other platforms. We have found that users can easily expend hours a day browsing though TikTok videos. This is bad news for parents, but good news for social media advertisers as increased time on the platform leads to better ad potential.

As compared to static Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts TikTok is designed to be more appealing. The user-experience is stream-lined with audio and visual video elements combined with use of more of our senses when engaging with TikTok videos. Social media marketing agencies are already catching onto the popularity of the platform.

There is no such thing as normal on TikTok. Unlike Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, there is no etiquette. What is clear, however, is that all content should have a human face to it. Overly pushy marketing content will be reprimanded through TikTok’s use of AI and algorithmic decision-making.

You should create demand rather than look to make direct sales. TikTok is all about building a following through content that actually inspires some reaction out of the user. Remember that TikTok has 800 million active users worldwide and is growing!

TikTok also has a native ads platform, allowing you to pay your way into user feeds. Unlike Facebook, however, direct ads are wholly ineffective. All of the ad formats center around engagement rather than leads and sales. The native in-feed ad format resembles YouTube’s video ads before and during videos.

Crucially, these ads can be skipped after a few seconds, so engagement is key. Given the fact that your ad is being shown before they can watch content they actually want to view, engaging them enough to actually keep watching your ad beyond the point at which they are allowed to skip, is no easy feat.

Are you interested in learning more about TikTok?

We are pleased to report that we have written extensively on this topic and our newest book:

TikTok: The Ultimate Guide to Marketing to GEN Z is available exclusively on Amazon.

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