The Rise of TikTok and byte: How You Can Take Advantage

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Generation Z are a key focus for brands and marketers alike as they are on track to become the largest generation of consumers by the year 2020 and they already account for $29-$143 billion in direct spending. On top of this, 93% of parents today say their children influence family and household purchases. 

What is TikTok?

TikTok launched in 2017 and has grown immensely, with an estimated 800 million monthly active users across the globe. TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service for short-form videos, usually up to fifteen seconds in length. Unlike Facebook, TikTok has a younger audience, as 69% of its users are generation Z (aged between 16-24). If done right, marketing your app or product on TikTok could provide an effective entryway to a previously difficult to reach audience. Additionally, in 2019 TikTok generated over $115.3 million from user spending.

What is byte?

The recent release of byte, a six-second video app from the co-founder of Vine, has sparked wide-spread interest as marketers question whether there is space for another short-form video app. TikTok already has an abundance of competitors in this space – even Facebook has released its own short-form video platform, Lasso, in the US. Despite this, byte managed to gain 1.3 million downloads in its first week upon release, which is likely due to a soft spot many users continue to hold for Vine. Whilst byte is still comparatively small, it is one to keep in mind for future marketing purposes. For the meantime, it can be used as an opportunity to test audience reactions to paid influencer content, before expanding to TikTok.

How is byte measuring up to TikTok?

byte has already confirmed it is bringing in prominent advertisers to the app and has launched its first ad campaign with Nike. byte’s strategy revolves around initially paying 100% of advertising revenue to partnered creators, and its long-term plan suggests influencers will continue to receive a major portion of revenue. Giving creators 100% goes beyond the norm and reinforces byte’s “creativity first” branding, positioning it as a platform that has creators’ best interests at heart. As with Youtube, the total amount byte creators get paid will depend upon the amount of views their videos receive. Instagram influencers, on the other hand, are paid depending on the amount of followers they have.

byte has also announced that it will not host ads that disrupt the content viewing experience, with a view to ensure the app’s user experience is optimised, nor will it host any retargeted ads. Instead, byte is looking to partner with brands to host more creative sponsored content which will appear in a ‘sponsored’ section in the app’s ‘explore’ tab. This is in contrast to the advertising strategies of large social network companies, such as Facebook and Youtube, which choose to maximise advertising opportunities by allowing adverts to run mid-way through videos.

If byte is able to strike a good balance between hosting original content and monetizing it, without failing creators, they will be teaching the rest of the industry how it is done. However, if you are looking to expand your app marketing strategy, TikTok should still be a main priority due to the wider audience reach and the greater variety of advertising strategies available (which will be highlighted further down).

Should you incorporate TikTok into your app marketing strategy?

Now is an optimal time to build a user base and test out organic advertising techniques which show off your products or services. New social media apps, such as TikTok and byte, allow brands to be more experimental and authentic with their marketing tactics. Whilst byte is still in its pilot phase in the US, now may be the perfect time to test marketing strategies on byte before placing greater emphasis on TikTok. You may even get some valuable ideas for marketing and content across other platforms.

TikTok has a younger audience than most other social media platforms. If you can create videos that appeal to these demographics, it could be a valuable marketing tool for your business. 

However, not every company will profit from marketing their products or services on TikTok. You have to be sure that there is a real need for your product or service amongst the Gen Z population. If your product does not align with Gen Z values and consumer habits, then it is unlikely that marketing on these platforms will be successful. Additionally, marketing through an influencer will only work if they are the sort of person who would typically use the product. Users will be quick to spot if this is not the case, which may in turn have a negative impact on your brand. There are a few ways in which you can ensure you are effectively taking advantage of TikTok.

How to use TikTok in your marketing efforts

In the US alone, TikTok’s 30 million monthly active users spend an average of 46 minutes on the app. This is a lot of time spent in-app that marketers and advertisers can take advantage of.

A key difference in marketing on TikTok, that will no doubt also be seen on byte, is the ability for large brands to utilise influencers, through giveaways and competitions, which allow brands to look more authentic in their brand awareness approach and increases virality.

For example, Ralph Lauren encouraged TikTok users to make videos of themselves either winning at tennis or at life to win official Polo U.S. Open apparel, using the hashtag #winningRL.

Ralph Lauren TikTok competition

It is clear that, so far, e-commerce companies have been the first to explore marketing on TikTok, and they are the ones who will likely see the most value in doing so moving forward.

Gymshark, for example, has focused a portion of their marketing efforts on TikTok. They have 1.2 million fans and have been posting a combination of workout videos, workout memes, and inspiration. Check out some examples below.

Gymshark TikTok campaign

TikTok enables marketers to have a unique ability to encourage users to interact with your brand, not only through liking and sharing content, but also creating their own content that creates hype and virality around your brand.

Since TikTok is quirky by nature, brands need to be creative to truly gain attention from their audience. A simple ad or sponsored influencer endorsement might not cut it.

There are three main ways that brands can market on TikTok:

  • Through creating their own channel and uploading relevant videos 
  • By working with influencers to spread their content to a broader audience
  • Through paying to advertise on TikTok – however, it is very early days for TikTok advertising

Many brands find it most effective to do a combination of posting curated content on their own channels and working with influencers to spread content to a broader audience.

Advertising on TikTok

TikTok is still experimenting with the different ad types that will be available on their app. Some ad types TikTok has focused on includes:

  • In-feed native video
  • Brand takeover
  • Hashtag challenge
  • Snapchat-style 2D lens filters for photos
TikTok ad types

TikTok is currently testing ads in both the US and Europe.

How Yodel Mobile Can Help

If you are unsure where to start when it comes to promoting your app on new social media channels, feel free to reach out to Yodel Mobile and we can answer any questions you may have in this area. Yodel Mobile ensures that it stays ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding new marketing efforts. We take into consideration all aspects of a client’s marketing strategy and can advise on the introduction of new social media channels.

Yodel Mobile is an agile and holistic consultancy, aligning the views of the marketing and product teams into an app growth strategy. We work across the whole app user journey, understanding the wider business needs throughout.

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Smokehouse Yard, 44-46, St John Street, London, EC1M 4DF 🇬🇧