If you're over the age of 20, you probably don't know exactly what TikTok is. You might just think of it as "that lipsync app" or the reason that all the teens you know are making nonsensical videos. If you're in the marketing sphere, though, you need to have this app on your radar.
The app got its start in China in 2016, where it's called Douyin. In 2017, it went international and purchased the lipsync app Musical.ly, which also enjoyed a flash of popularity with the Gen Z crowd. By October 2018, it had become the most downloaded app in the United States.
Yes, more than Instagram and Snapchat.
Advertising on the app is still just getting started, but video marketers need to be paying attention to how it's changing the landscape of online video. How do you leverage this popularity for your brand and make sure you're not falling behind?
We've got you covered. Read on to catch up on the TikTok trends marketers need to know for 2021.
First, some housekeeping. If you're going to be putting time and resources into this, how effective can you expect your campaigns to be?
Of course, like everything else, your results are going to change based on the strategy you choose. Still, you can basically guarantee a captive (and active!) audience on TikTok. Users spend nearly an hour on average on the app each day and there are 500 million monthly active users around the globe.
If you know how to engage with the community, your campaign has a high chance of performing well. All you need is for one challenge or hashtag to take off. More on that later.
In some cases, what works on Instagram and Snapchat can also work on TikTok.
Reaching audiences through influencers, for example, is also a tried-and-true practice on the newer app. Influencers may look different on TikTok -- it's not like the always camera-ready Instagram -- but they still have an impact on their audiences.
However, most advertising will probably focus on creating or joining the challenges that are already popular on the app.
As you plan your marketing strategies for 2021, these are the TikTok trends that you need to know. Don't plan any content without being familiar with these first!
While you can follow people on TikTok, that's not the main focus of the app. It's not geared towards community building in the way that Facebook, Instagram, or even Twitter have been. Instead, people jump from community to community by participating in different challenges.
These challenges can look like anything -- one huge one was organizing gummy bears to look like an audience while Adele's "Someone Like You" plays in the background. Another, where people transform themselves into cowboys, helped make "Old Town Road" a chart sensation.
Creating a challenge of your own can get people to engage with your brand. Jumping on an existing challenge, on the other hand, can help to draw more eyes to your page.
Like we mentioned above, influencer collaborations are already happening on TikTok. Expect the number to shoot up next year, though, as more companies realize the marketing potential that TikTok has.
Starting a challenge along with an influencer can help it to take off, especially if you're still working to build an audience. You can also pay an influencer to make a video promoting your product in a fun way, especially if it inspires other people to riff on their idea.
People playing with ideas and making them their own is a huge part of the app. If you lean into that, you can find yourself going viral in no time.
We don't mean duets in the traditional sense here (even though you might see some of that on TikTok. There is truly something for everyone).
On TikTok, a "duet" means that you can basically collaborate with anyone by creating a split-screen video. Their video plays on one side, while yours plays on the other.
People use this feature to put themselves "in" videos with celebrities, complete strangers, or friends. This might be a response to a popular challenge or just a silly way to create yet another inside joke.
You can take advantage of this feature, but you should also beware of it. People might "duet" with your videos in ways you never intended.
We all know that the Internet loves its memes, to the point that no social media platform is complete without them. TikTok is no different, so expect video memes galore.
We do have a word of caution on this, though. Brands have to be careful with engaging with memes for risk of falling into "hey, fellow kids!" territory. Whether they're done right or wrong, meme posts can be viewed millions of times -- but you want those views to be because the audience is laughing with you, not at you.
Whether it's a dance meme or people dressing up their cats, meme culture is alive and well on TikTok.
This is less a trend and more of a feature -- authenticity is big on TikTok.
We don't mean that in the sense that people are pouring their hearts out to millions of strangers (even though they might be). But on TikTok, it's more acceptable to let your hair down. You don't have to be as perfect as you do on platforms like Instagram.
People make fun of themselves and post unflattering videos without worrying about being teased. Anything you post should have that same carefree tone.
Whether you're on the app or not, these TikTok trends are likely going to bleed into other social media platforms, too. As we get closer to 2021, it's going to be even more important to understand the latest app to disrupt the market.
By reading up on these social media trends, you'll be more prepared to design a successful marketing campaign across platforms.
Still want a little extra help? We've got your back. We offer social media management to ensure that you're always on top of the latest digital marketing trends.
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