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Tiktok app icon on the screen of a smartphone

Ah TikTok. A couple of years ago, it was known as the sound a chicken produces. 🐓 Now it is the name of a platform with challenges, dances and lip-syncing, that quickly became very popular among high school girls and boys. How did it end up being the best video application in the App Store? Is it still only relevant for a young audience? And how can it fit in your marketing strategy?

Phone screen with the TikTok app in the App store

The data behind the #challenges

If your brand’s target audience includes anyone between the age 13 and 30, you should probably continue reading because numbers are about to get really interesting. TikTok was launched in September 2016, and in the three years since its launch, the app has exploded with about 800 million active users worldwide. That makes TikTok 9th in terms of most popular social network sites, ahead of better known sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat.

It’s interesting to point out that 350 million active daily users are in China, which mostly use the Chinese version of the app, called Douyin. TikTok has been enthusiastically welcomed by many Asian countries such as Cambodia, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Just to give you an idea of how other apps perform in comparison: 

  • it took Instagram six years from its launch to gain the same amount of monthly active users that TikTok managed to achieve in under three years. 
  • And for Zuckerberg to hit the same monthly active users mark, it took nearly over four years.
Image of two smartphones with screenshots of challenges in the TikTok app

Now prepare for some more numbers that will make you drool.

  • TikTok has been downloaded 1.9 billion times worldwide.
  • Its users love the app. They spend about 52 minutes a day on the platform.
  • 83% of the users have posted a video.
  • A user opens the application 8 times a day.
  • TikTok hasn’t made it available yet to measure engagement. But to give you an example: Jennifer Lopez recently posted a video on Twitter and TikTok. The video on Twitter got 2 million views off 45 million followers, but the video on TikTok got 71 million views off 5 million followers. Crazy, we know.
  • Also a top trending song on TikTok is typically top trending on Spotify as well. Aren’t you the top notch of the application world, when you start to influence other platforms?

Not bad, TikTok, not bad.

TikWhat? The viral power of the app

But how does this amazing app work? This paragraph is quite useless if enjoying TikTok clips every now and then is your guilty pleasure. However, some of us aren’t really getting the hype or are not interested in increasing our screentime with another addictive app. But what might interest you anyhow, is how TikTok can be relevant for your brand or business. Knowing what the application is about, comes in handy.

TikTok describes themselves as the world's leading destination for short-form mobile videos. They empower everyone to be a creator directly from their smartphones and to share their passion and creative expression through their videos. We couldn’t have said it better, TikTok. But what is this viral power of the app? According to us, it is the perfect mix of 

  • lip-syncing, dancing, challenges and acting out comedy sketches,
  • songs, effects, or sound bites that can be added to the videos​
  • built-in editing tools allowing to edit videos without any additional apps​,

And so much more. Also, the videos are also timeless: the time when they are published is irrelevant. As a result, TikTok is completely separate from news, which can be a welcome change from other platforms.

Now let’s make customers TikTok their way to your brand

It’s a lot to process, right? All these numbers and possibilities make you want to create content, as we speak. So let’s get to the good stuff: enrolling your brand on TikTok.

Creating your own profile

There are a couple of ways to be out and about on this app. The easiest one is by creating your own profile and producing content. E.l.f. Cosmetics, The Washington Post and Chipotle are great examples. They post frequently and often launch their own #challenges. Keep in mind: TikTok users are not there to see commercial videos. So practice the art of TikTokking with these tips: 

  • Make your content as accessible as possible​
  • Think about how people can interact with your content​
  • Laugh, cry, scream, gasp, make them feel something
  • Make something for every hashtag
  • Do something different to stand out​​
  • Look for up and coming trends before they get into the list​
  • Follow people similar to you and comment on what they are doing​

Do you feel like you could use some help with starting your TikTok profile? Give us a call!

Image of three smartphones with screenshots of challenges in the TikTok app

Working with influencers

If you’re familiar with Instagram influencers, you know the drill. TikTok made it easy to find people to collaborate with, by creating a platform called Creator Marketplace but as far as we know, it’s invite-only. If you received an invitation or you’re looking for influencers on your own, it’s good to know that TikTok influencers with 2.5 million followers or more charge around €600-1000 per post. These are international numbers, and because TikTok-influencers are still finding their way in Belgium, you probably won’t have to invest that much. And sometimes, they just like nice goodies to use for their videos in a creative way. Keep in mind that a lot of influencers are minors, which asks for a specific contract.

You can also contact a TikTokker yourself, and propose your catchy idea/song/… With a good concept and a little bit of TikTok magic, your content will spread over other social platforms. If it’s possible, we recommend you to include the influencers in your brainstorm. They know your target audience very well and they’re familiar with the application, so it will help your creative process. Like BIC for example, they created a very nice challenge with MrPenBeats called the #BICBeatsChallenge. And speaking of challenges, Crocs, the shoe brand, is doing it all. Based on lyrics of Post Malone, they started the #ThousandDollarCrocs challenge. It encourages fans to share what their $1,000 Crocs would look like "by customizing, enhancing or by just embodying the Come As You Are mentality and letting the world know I’m gonna be whatever I want.”

Oh, and just like on the gram, including clickable URLs in the video captions is not possible, so you can skip the idea for a TikTok traffic campaign. Do you have an awareness campaign in your mind? GO! And do you have absolutely no idea what we’re talking about? We’re here to help.

Paying for official TikTok ads

If you don’t have the creativity or connections, but you have your checkbook ready, you can always pay your way into TikTok stardom. The paid advertising options aren’t as advanced in Belgium yet, let’s hope it enrolls soon. But it doesn't hurt to know the possibilities:

  • Campaign heater: A storytelling video ad embedded within the ‘For You’ page with multiple clickable elements to heat your campaign.​ Users can interact with the ad via comments, likes, shares, etc.
  • Fanbase booster: The same video ad, also appears on the ‘For You’ page, designed to boost your TikTok fanbase. Users can interact with not only the ad but the advertiser’s TikTok profile via comments, likes, shares, following, using the same soundtrack, etc.​
  • Brand Takeover: The first thing a user sees when opening the app, is your exclusive advertisement. It’s a fullscreen experience where you can link to a landing page or a hashtag challenge within TikTok. You have to be quick though, the Brand Takeover can only be done by one brand per day and the ads cost anywhere between $20,000 – $200,000.
  • Hashtag Challenge: Brands can create their own challenge rules that suit the campaign’s goals. Participating in hashtag challenges is very easy for content creators and the average engagement rate on hashtag challenges is 8.5%. This great number makes it easy for brands to generate huge brand buzz and affinity. Make sure your hashtag is challenging and outstanding, as it costs $100,000 – $200,000 in ad spend within tiktok to promote a hashtag challenge.
  • AR, stickers and lenses: Brands are able to create branded AR lenses, filters, and stickers for tiktok users to insert into their video content.
  • Music Library: Possibility to promote your original soundtrack and deepen relationships with users through music.

Since we don’t want to give you false hope and it seems to be expensive to advertise on TikTok, we would love to have a look at the possibilities for your brand. Contact us!

The talents behind this project

Because teamwork makes the dream work. 

Paulien De Clercq

Paulien De Clercq

Community manager

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