Has the TikTok Train left the Station? 🚂
The TikTok hype has had marketers, influencers and content creators pushing out videos at a velocity that we’ve never seen before, since its boom in 2016. But some people have thought of it as a next-generation ‘Vine’ or ‘Musical.ly’. We know those didn’t last long, did they? So it's only human nature that a few remain cynical about the platform’s impact.
But TikTok is different.
The Power Of TikTok
Vine had its tenure for 4 years before becoming nothing more than a legend of short form video, and Musical.ly for a similar amount of time, while TikTok has been reigning for over 6 years now, and is still going strong. Even the term ‘TikTok Famous’ was coined to describe the Gen Z influencers that the platform has given rise to.
New platforms often have a social media lifespan that’s defined within 4 years of its launch, as we’ve seen with ‘Musical.ly’ and ‘Vine’, and can even be witnessed by the ancient ‘MySpace’ which launched in 2004 and began to lose out to Facebook by the end of 2008, so we’d say TikTok is going pretty strong. This has also brought forth another fear for brands…
“Have We Missed The Hype Train?”
Definitely not. The platform still holds a wide amount of opportunity for brands to shoot towards meteoric success, if they can adjust and acclimatise quick enough to capitalise on it.
TikTok combines short form video content of up to 3 minutes with a choice of 150,000 pre-cleared popular sound clips for individuals and brands to make use of, and gain notoriety through its algorithm. This combination of “getting to the point” video formats, paired with popular music and sound bites creates some of the most highly engaging content on the internet.
It has essentially pioneered the way with new age content using this video format and other platforms are playing catch up. TikTok has cracked the code with high paces, entertaining and ‘on-trend’ content which platforms like Instagram and YouTube are heavily attempting to copy cat; because they know it works. This is clearly evident with YouTube’s “Shorts” and Instagram’s “Reels”
TikTok has the first movers advantage, with Reels and Shorts cropping up to meet market demand. But in some instances , it can be a case of straight forward rip-offs and recycles of old TikToks, which end up being a bit awkward. If your platform is full of content that’s pretty much reused after being posted elsewhere, what does that say about your platform…? Yes Instagram, we’re talking to you!
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, TikTok’s definitely blushing.
Take other platforms for example. The value that static posts bring has almost become nil since it’s pretty much useless now as they’re not favoured by the algorithm, nor the viewers. Therefore all attention is on video content. You’re basically wasting your time if the content you brand produces isn’t video.
So that being said, it’s clear that the spotlight is on TikTok at the moment. So how do we capitalise on that sweet, sweet attention?
How TikTok Can Benefit You
We’ve determined engaging video content is the way to go, but there’s so much more you can do to keep your users engaged and make your content shareable. After all, free marketing is better than organically created content or paid ads.
Get Personal - Creating video content that speaks to your audience is achievable by a huge margin when it comes to TikTok. And the hashtags on the platform ACTUALLY work! Don’t be shy and speak to your users in an informal and conversational way to get the best reactions.
Use Music - Everyone wants to feel like they’re in a music video. That’s why music has been such an asset when creating short form video content. If it’s Madonna’s distorted ‘Frozen’ or Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ made popular by Stranger Things, having an on-trend backing track is great for user engagement AND for the algorithm.
Hop On Trends - TikTok has opened the gate to inter-creator collaboration and reaction videos. This just goes to show how impeccably the algorithm starts to work for you when you partake in trending ‘challenges’ or reaction videos. Of course - stay ‘on-brand’ while you do it. This is an awesome way to “piggy-back” off others for content when you simply can’t think of any new ideas. But don’t worry, this isn’t considered plagiarism. It’s simply part of the culture!
I can imagine you might be stressing over the fact the content should be engaging. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be high quality. Some of the most popular influencers and even brands make all their content on their phone. Below are a few examples of how big brands are doing well on TikTok.
|RyanAir||Chipotle||The Washington Post|
|RyanAir has used meme glorification to its advantage to remind customers of its “budget” USP and highlighting the many complaints the airline gets as customers sometimes forget that they get what they pay for. Self-deprecation goes a long way when building rapport!||Chipotle has gone the extra mile to showcase how their food is prepped while showing that they actually listen to customer concerns||The Washington Post created a bizarre video of an employee eating Spam - highlighting how a traditional newspaper is trying to engage users through shocking memes, with a focus on how traditional media is trying to coagulate with the new form of media.|