Last Updated on May 20, 2021
TikTok is a lot of things. It is new, creative, fun, innovative, time-consuming, but more important than all of that, TikTok is popular. If you consider yourself a person who prefers a phone call over a text, if you get confused by hashtags, or if you have never heard the word emoji before. There is a chance that you haven’t heard about TikTok yet.
TikTok is the most downloaded app in the world. TikTok has over 2 billion downloads and over 850 million current users. To give a perspective of how massive that number is, roughly one out of every 10 people in the entire world are currently active TikTok users. With numbers that gigantic, it feels as if it should be a given to grow your brand on TikTok.Yet, there are a considerable number of factors that must be taken into account. Here we will go over most of them and let you decide if TikTok is worth your time as a business.
TikTok has a young demographic
The biggest and potentially paramount component to consider when deciding if TikTok is a viable platform for your business is the actual market segment of the users on the platform. Currently, 32.5% of TikTok users in the United States between the ages of 10-19. 29.5% of users range from the age of 20-29. That sums up to 62% of users, total. This may prove to be problematic for your venture for the obvious demographic reason. According to these demographics, the majority demographic on TikTok both have and spend the least amount of money when compared to other age groups.
According to research, the total average income for an average household with a primary residence under the age of 25 is $32,893. It is likely they have already spent 94.6% of that income on other expenses before coming across your product.
Compared to the age group of 45-54, which has an average income of $64,781 and spends about 64.6% of their income, the discrepancies become apparent. For some industries, this can prove to be a dealbreaker. It is important to note this factor and consider, that in terms of revenue, there are more effective alternatives than TikTok.
The importance of trends
Unlike other social media, TikTok does not require an initial following before success. There are countless instances of seemingly unknown accounts having a video go viral. While a following most certainly helps, especially for consistent posting, it is not necessary for a post to “blow up”. This is possible because TikTok segments its users into categories that determine the kind of content they see. Most of these users fall into the segment of TikTok that has trending content recommended to them.
Trending content can be anything from sounds used, to the type of videos being recorded, and even what page is recommended. This is why when someone goes on TikTok they can see multiple people posting what looks to be the same video with little differences. Trending content is pushed to more of these segmented areas on TikTok than any other kind of content. However, many of the videos that do “blow up” on TikTok get on the trending content early in the trend.
Traditional business people might struggle to understand why choosing a Justin Bieber song over an Adele song to play in the background would have an impact on how well your videos do. To understand this, try to imagine TikTok trends as stocks. Trends can be anything from songs to dances, to anything really.
If you can buy in early, you are going to make more of a “profit”. (In this case, profit refers to the number of views, likes, comments, etc…); You would make more of a profit investing early on rather than buying in once the stock begins to plateau. Finding these trends early or discovering innovative ways to differentiate them entertainingly will result in more engagement on TikTok.
Traditional marketing practices will not be successful
The most important thing to understand about TikTok is that it is a product of internet culture. As a product of the internet, TikTok is weird. That is said as the highest compliment and should not be viewed as a negative thing. The internet is the strangest, coolest, most creative, and innovative platform ever created. A place where you can make a very good living by sharing the things you love in an entertaining way. If you attempt a more traditional kind of marketing and post videos that are clearly advertisements, you will not succeed on TikTok.
As stated before, Gen Z accounts for the majority of TikTok users. Research shows that 82% of Gen Z skips ads and over half use ad blockers. This is a perfect example of internet culture and the opposition this culture has towards traditional media. But there are ways that people effectively advertise on the internet. Whether that be playing video games while people watch live, dancing to songs on TikTok, or even going as far as finding a market to sell water that you’ve bathed in. Yes, you read that right, there have been a few people who have made a very good profit selling water that they have bathed in.
As repulsive as that previous sentence may be, there is an important lesson from that venture. The lesson isn’t why they would sell their bathwater, but how they convinced people to pay money for it. If you can figure out an interesting way of marketing something, it will sell — regardless if it is on TikTok or any other platform. But you must be willing to bend on some preconceived notions of how marketing should work and adjust to the internet culture and TikTok environment.Internet is a place where you can make a very good living by sharing the things you love in an entertaining way. Click To Tweet
Potential for damaged reputation through association
When choosing a platform like TikTok, you must also acknowledge that you are accepting the reputation of that platform and it’s with your own. This can be very problematic for companies, depending on their industry.
TikTok has a ridiculous culture. The internet is a weird place, but the business world isn’t always fun and silly. On the contrary, most of the time, it isn’t the most convivial place in the world. Some clients would not be willing to work with someone they perceive as goofy. Many people wouldn’t want their lawyers to be dancing to Disney songs on TikTok. Just as many wouldn’t listen to their nutritionist who goes for McDonald’s binges every weekend.
The thought is justified, and entering a world where being serious isn’t valued can have a negative real-world impact on your business. If your brand can be negatively affected by this association with Tiktok, it would be foolish to dismiss this.
It is easy to get swept up and think that what we post on the internet lives in its own sector of reality, disconnected from our own. But it is important to keep in mind that the internet is just an extension of what we experience on a day-to-day basis.
Building your brand on TikTok
There are factors to consider that should scare off many people from using TikTok for their business. One of the biggest upsides has not been mentioned yet. And that is the opportunity it gives to increase customer awareness. This is by far the biggest benefit of using a platform like TikTok. As stated, most potential users are not going to be big spenders. If you’re looking for an angel investor, this is not the place to begin your search.
However, with proper linking and branding, what you do on this platform can bleed into other social media and avenues of business. This idea can improve your following and influence on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms. It is because it can cause the viewer to fall in love with your brand. Social media marketing can work wonders, and TikTok is a great way of getting started. TikTok can get you views and impressions, and with views and impressions comes awareness.
This is just one path. But TikTok is a fantastic way to build a customer base for the younger and more tech-savvy generations. This TikTok generation may not have a lot of capital to spend now. But building relations with them today can have a benefit year down the line. However, once again do keep in mind, while this bump in awareness on TikTok can most definitely lead to sales, there are methods that will have a more immediate impact. Weigh the option and have realistic expectations of what you want from TikTok and you can have success.
So, is TikTok worth it for your business? Yes and no. TikTok most certainly can be worthwhile, but for many people, it should be unjustifiable. The decision should be decided on a case-by-case basis. If the plan is to go into TikTok to fundraise and make capital. Chances are it will not be worth your time, and you need a new plan.
However, if the goal is to increase customer relations, and you are willing to sway from traditional advertising practices, TikTok could do wonders. Need help with social media marketing? Talk to us about our white label Social Media services.