Of course, the first thing we reach out to when we feel even the slightest bit of boredom is our phones. After months of binge-watching, binge-scrolling, and simultaneously doing both at the same time, it wasn’t uncommon to have had come across a TikTok video on my feed here and there.
Tiktok is the most recent up-and-coming (or should I say here and thriving) social media platform to top the charts. Initially, TikTok culture seemed uninteresting to break into. It was an especially popular app among the youngest generations, but not even I, a gen z, couldn’t understand the excitement behind teenager’s lip singing renditions of popular songs. It wasn’t until the Tiktok buzz began to circulate among my friends and it wasn’t too long after that I noticed other adults, brands, and businesses begin to slowly make their presence on the app too. I will admit, I was stubborn, but eventually, I caved and downloaded the app. 2 hours of scrolling later, it was pretty apparent that it was easily going to be my favorite social media platform. The pandemic allowed TikTok to gain widespread acclaim in a relatively short time. Among its billions of daily users is an army of content creators hoping to capitalize on the app’s virality. Tiktok has quickly become the rising platform for influencers, and it comes as no surprise that brands are just as eager to adjust their media strategies to fit it in with the relatively new social channel.
TikTok is still very much be in the “experimental” phase for most brands, but it’s the unique, unpolished, and more than often, relatable video content that gives the platform a competitive edge in the influencer marketing industry. Typically, the goal of a social platform is to grow your following so that your content can reach the maximum amount of people. While growing a following is still a worthy goal, TikTok is a platform where an influencer with even a small platform can skyrocket to fame overnight and get thousands or millions of views, unlike Instagram where it usually takes months or even years to build up a decent following.
The secret to going viral is surrendering to the algorithm. TikTok’s “For You Page” is similar to Instagrams’ “Discovery” tab, except it promotes content based on a user’s interests and engagements extremely accurately ( so accurately it’s almost scary) and doesn’t discriminate against follower count.
Navigating the Niches
What makes the app so fun is that any type of content has the potential to succeed. Contrary to belief, it actually is possible to become an influencer on TikTok without being a 16 year old. Influencers are simply people who produce interesting content regularly and attract an audience.
Deep within the algorithm lies a labyrinth of niches. Engaging within a certain niche automatically shapes the content of your TikTok’s ever-evolving FYP. Most popular creators developed a following by adhering to one. Sure, you’ll find the same mega niches that have infiltrated social media platforms for years such as the lifestyle, beauty, food, or fitness industries, on TikTok, but even the most eccentric of communities can be extremely effective. Influencers with smaller audiences are not only more cost-effective but tend to have stronger relationships with their communities. This can lead to more powerful endorsements and even driving sales.
While influencer marketing proves to work time and time again on Instagram, it’s a different ball game on Tiktok. Over half of the users are under the age of 34, and many are hesitant to trust that their favorite influencers are sharing their support for products and services from genuine experience. People just want spontaneous, genuine, and fun. Some companies have already shown proof that paid UGC resonates better with customers on TikTok. Just take a look at the Revlon Hairdryer, Aerie Crossover leggings, and the skincare brand CeraVe. Each product saw a huge surge of sales following a TikTok viral! Basically, the best thing that could happen to a brand is their product trending with the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.
Here to stay
The app has come a long way since its release in 2016. It’s no longer just a place of viral dances and song miming, but a community where people of all ages share a variety of content on anything from sewing, to life as a farmer to goofy cat videos.
Whether you like it or not, TikTok is here and it’s here to stay. If you still haven’t adopted it as a way of life, what are you waiting for?
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