Pre-quarantine, the odds of you knowing about or viewing TikToks were probably dependent on if you had a teenager living in your house or not. A few months into quarantine and TikTok has not only become a household name but in some cases, a household activity. We knew people would be spending more time online as soon as shelter-in-place orders became prevalent, but according to Marketing Land, TikTok had over 100 million downloads in the month of March alone.
What started as a lip-syncing, dance challenge app for teens, has evolved into so much more. While there is still plenty of room for the dance challenges, there are also videos for life hacks, humor, cooking videos, pets, and more. Whether you’re in the group waiting to see if this is a trend that will pass, or if the app will make it through a mass exodus of users based on bans around the globe, or in the group that sees an opportunity on a growing app, we’ve listed a few things for you to consider.
Here are more factoids and key points about TikTok that we believe are helpful for marketers to know and consider:
From Facebook to Instagram, and Snapchat to Pinterest, we’ve become familiar with the different audiences the platforms create. However, the audience on TikTok is completely new. A new audience has its pros and its cons. On one hand, a new audience is a completely new group of people that can be introduced to your brand. On the other hand, being successful on social media is often dependent on how well you know and can reach your audience. And, if you aren’t familiar with the TikTok audience, it can be hard to measure that success.
According to Forbes, the age group most active on TikTok are 16 to 24-year-olds, with the majority of those users being female. So another thing to consider is, are the users on the app your brands’ consumers? Will those 16-year-olds be purchasing your products at the store? The answer to that is most likely a resounding, “maybe.” There is definitely an audience on TikTok for the foodies and recipe creators and if you do it right, you could build a completely new customer base. After all, Hootsuite tells us that American users are spending an average of 46 minutes on the app per day… that’s a lot.
The content on TikTok is also something worth taking a deeper look into. TikTok videos are 15 seconds long and organically edited. What I mean by “organically edited” is that TikTok allows everyone to become a video editor. You can add effects, sounds, cut to greenscreens, you name it, but the trick is remaining organic. You won’t find many professionally shot videos - making the app more approachable for users more so than YouTube!
The bread and butter of the app is capitalizing on trends and “challenges.” Jumping on a trend and using the applicable hashtag or sound, is the key to earning followers and building your account. The strange thing about TikTok that sets it apart from other social media platforms is that replicating other users’ content is really the goal. If a creator starts a challenge or uses a specific sound that goes viral, the next move is to jump on that trend or challenge and create your own. The struggle this brings for fresh produce marketers is that content can’t be created too far in advance. While it would be nice and seemingly efficient to spend the day creating TikTok videos for your brand, you would be missing out on joining the ever-changing trends that ultimately lead to followers and success.
However, if brands create their own trend or challenge that takes off, the results can be astronomical. A great example is Chipotle. Chipotle created its own challenge with the hashtag #lidflip. Users were challenged to flip the lid of their chipotle container to show off their skills. The genius and ROI from this challenge is that users had to purchase Chipotle in order to participate.
You’ve probably picked up on a pattern by now, the audience is completely new, the content is completely different, and you guessed it, the frequency at which you post is also brand new. While we’ve gotten into a rhythm of what works and what doesn’t on Facebook and Instagram, TikTok expects an entirely different schedule.
According to Social Media Week, the fastest-growing accounts are posting three videos per day, on average. The study notes that there is a direct correlation between total followers and average views per video.
While you may not need to post three videos per day, you can clearly see the high demand for this type of content. Content needs to be frequent and regular, which is obviously a huge undertaking for a brand. And, as previously mentioned, attempting to knock out a month's worth of content in one day isn’t the wisest choice. If you have the time and capacity to take this on, awesome! If you can’t add a single hour to your already busy schedule, there is another option for your brand to be involved on TikTok. In other words, with this social media network, fluidity and staying in the “now” is key!
Instead of creating a TikTok account, building a fan base from scratch, and spending most of your hours creating relevant content, consider utilizing influencer partnerships.
While influencers cost money, the opportunity cost here might outweigh the price tag. The main benefit of utilizing influencers on TikTok is that they already have a dedicated and relevant fan base. As I previously mentioned, there is definitely an audience for food-focused videos. There are publications like Bon Appetit, the FeedFeed, MindBodyGreen, etc. that are active on TikTok and have built an audience of people interested in food, health, and recipes.
While we recommend each fresh produce brand be present on Instagram and Facebook, we can’t make the same blanket recommendation for TikTok. But if your brand appeals to Gen Z’s and you have the time and resources to create videos that stay in the present time and follow quick trends, then maybe this app is right for you.