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Is TikTok The Next Instagram of Social Media Marketing?

TikTok has taken the world of social media by storm. Less than three years after its official release, TikTok garnered more than 600 Million mobile app downloads. The hype around TikTok is palpable, as it beat Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube in the fourth quarter of 2018 in terms of new users added to the platform. 

It is time, marketers understood the untapped potential this new platform holds. With a monthly active userbase of 500 Million, most of which come under GEN-Z & Millennial demographics. Any business looking to reach these groups of people needs to pay attention to TikTok. We take a closer look into the TikTok ecosystem, to understand its marketing potential for businesses.

Short Digestible Content

The core idea behind TikTok is user-generated content which can be easily consumed and digested. That is why TikTok reintroduced the vertical-video format into the industry of social media apps after the death of VINE. 

It is undeniable that it is much easier to consume content build to suit your smartphone’s form factor. Add to that the fact that the majority of TikTok videos are limited to 3-15 seconds of watch time. TikTok videos also take up the full screen of the user’s smartphone, thus creating a more engaging and immersive experience.  

Ads that are short and impressive along with being vertically oriented, can boost a brand’s marketing campaign to an unprecedented degree on TikTok.   

Trend Transcendence 

TikTok has shown something that not many apps in recent times have. It has shown resilience and its ability to adapt to adverse situations. When it was banned in India, its biggest market outside of China, by the Indian Government regarding user-privacy abuse concerns.

TikTok was swift in its action and made drastic changes in its platform practically overnight to accommodate Indian Laws. With this, it was understood that TikTok wasn’t going to abandon its 160 Million Indian users. 

In the United States, TikTok has steadily added users to its platform. American users make up 26% of the 500 Million Monthly Active Users. This gives businesses a sense of security with regards to their marketing strategy, knowing that TikTok isn’t going to vanish anytime soon.   

Content Variation 

Even though TikTok and VINE are similar in the type of content formats they use. One thing that substantially separates TikTok from VINE, is the variety of content available. VINE become viral for its 6-second video loops, which people soon grew tired of, as there was nothing else to do. 

TikTok has tremendously added to the vertical content format. TikTokers can lip-sync to popular music, TV, and films and create their own renditions of their favorite media. TikTokers can also upload original content with the help of the many filters and mods available to tweak the content. 

This gives the users of the platform a much-varied menu to choose from. It also helps brands to pursue marketing campaigns on TikTok without compromising on their brand identity.       

Meme Potential 

Virality on the internet is no longer a mistake. In the age of analytics, anything can be analyzed and replicated. As the old saying goes; “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. In the world of the internet, memes are the only way to reach an unprecedented level of the audience. 

TikTok is the only platform with its demographic of young users, and content type presents such a unique marketing challenge and opportunity. If brands can leverage this innate ability of the platform to create social trends that affect the entire social media ecosystem. The gains generated will be of a level not seen by many.  

Our Take

TikTok represents a fundamental shift in the social media ecosystem. For the past two decades, social media was dominated by American platforms. Now, you have a Chinese that is shattering expectations and offering its users a new and unique experience.  

For the first time, western companies have been defeated in social innovation. Just like Instagram, TikTok is also not taken seriously at its infancy, now look at how much Instagram has grown. It is our understanding that marketers and businesses should not let this type of marketing opportunity slide once again.

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