The Chinese micro video app TikTok is notoriously skewed towards a millennial and younger audience – so does the app have any place in your social marketing spend? Katrina Bell investigates.
Often embroiled in scandals surrounding risky challenges, TikTok has established itself firmly in the social media ranks with over 1bn active users. The most downloaded app of 2021, it’s geared towards ‘entertainment’ with 535bn views by hashtag (vbh), followed by dance, pranks, fitness and home renovation/DIY with 39bn vbh. That's hardly a measly audience for users interested in investing in their homes.
And those views have a similar engagement style to Instagram – it turns out that TikTokkers are 2.4 times more likely than other platform users to create a post and tag a brand after buying a product.
Whether TikTok maintains its popularity or goes the way of the now-defunct Vine and is replaced with another platform, the question isn’t whether you will find your usual audience through posts and ads. But more can you afford to ignore such a diverse one?
While not an obvious fit for the KBB industry, the app is easy to learn, whether you opt to advertise on it or grab the handle for your business brand. For instance, Quick Optimisation will generate large batches of TikTok style ad-creative. With just one click, Quick Optimisation automatically combines visual effects, opening frames, and music to create up to 12 pieces of creative from a single video asset.
There are also plenty of how-to guides to help you get your head around TikTok etiquette, much of which will feel familiar from other socials. Certainly brands need to be careful to maintain authenticity, as an overly sales-focused campaign will come off as cringey. The vast majority of viral videos share similarly low production values, a sense of humour and a willingness to share personal stories.
The steps aren’t too arduous – first grab yourself a handle, then set up your account and link up your socials, and then start to follow similar brands to your own so you can lurk awhile and get a feel for the atmosphere.
Here are some successful efforts to get you started:
To show just how bonkers the algorithm can be, take a look at the viral video from Vogue Bathrooms, which is so far its only outing. A small bathroom makeover has over 1m likes and 10.5m views. Vogue now has over 50k followers with this one transformation. A simple before and after – and 14 seconds later the clip now has over 6,000 comments.
The Wood Works
UK bespoke kitchen company The Wood Works has amassed over 500k followers and 7.5m likes with inspirational home tours – think MTV Cribs. The highly consistent style features fast cuts in super-short videos that are overlaid with music, often tunes that are having their own moment of virality on the platform. They keep the hashtags similarly brief – the tactic seems to work as one search for the term kitchen and their name pops right up.
With a more modest 32k followers and 245k likes, Wren Kitchens is finding its feet with accessible inspiration product tours and before and after-style case studies. The retailer encourages followers to tag their own kitchens with a bespoke hashtag – #wrenovation. Again, there are punchy music choices, plenty of jump cuts, and blink and you’ll miss them captions. Wren often leans on humour to make that extra connection, as in this nifty little snippet.
With 8m views, Mira Showers’ ASMR-inspired point of view short-form has been liked by over 68k people. As with all the most successful campaigns, it plays on the most common traits of TikToks by putting the viewer in the eyeline – point of view – of the camera, uses popular music, short subtitles and the all-important sound-fetish hashtag. That last fact could explain why of the three posted videos, this one is by far the most successful.
Photo by Solen Feyissa: Pexels