What in the world is TikTok?

By now, you’ve probably seen the videos of people doing choreographed dances, challenges or short parodies of real life on an app called TikTok.

TikTok? What in the world is that?

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TikTok is an app where users can express themselves by creating and sharing short-form videos that last 15 seconds or 1 minute.

If you haven’t been down the TikTok rabbit hole yet, here’s a quick look at what types of content to expect. But, there is more to TikTok than funny videos…


You guys (literally) asked for this 😂 ##comedy ##fyp ##wtbdijw

♬ original sound - kisonkee

I have the best Christmas gift ❤️ ##holidaycovers ##handmadegifts ##fy ##fyp ##christmas

♬ What Christmas Means to Me - John Legend&Stevie Wonder

I’m not spider man 😓 ##foryou ##fail ##comedy ##fyp I think I broke my back..

♬ IM SPIDER MAN - rafffytafffy

Some quick facts about TikTok:

  • TikTok has roughly 500 Million Active Users
  • The app has over 1.5 billion downloads globally in the App Store & Google Play
  • US market accounts for about 8% (123.8 Million Downloads)
  • The platform is still looking for users to engage more as engagement is only 29%
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You’re probably thinking, so what? We’re active on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, so why should my strategy include TikTok?

Funny you should ask. If you take a closer look at the user demographics, you’ll see that 41% of the users are guess who… those coveted Gen Zers. The app has caught fire among 16 and 24 year olds, and continues to add users of all ages.

On average, TikTok users spend about 52 minutes per day on the app (source:BusinessOfApps 2019), which is significant when you compare it to average time spent on Instagram (53 min), Snapchat (49.5 min) and Facebook (58.5 min).

You’re probably wondering, how can my Brand tap into this potential TikTok goldmine?

As a marketing touchpoint, TikTok is in its infancy. However, if used appropriately, it can be a valuable platform to reach your target consumers, showcase your brand as culturally relevant and drive organic traffic to your website.

Right now, there are 3 primary ways a Brand can leverage TikTok as a marketing platform:

1. Create your own channel and experiment

There’s no right way to use TikTok. Experiment to see what the right fit is for your Brand. Depending on your Brand Identity, certain types of content may be more appropriate than others. Take a look at the examples:

The fruit gummy company, Gushers, recently joined TikTok in September 2019 with funny brand-made videos that follow trends and relate to Gen Z. While they only have 152K followers, their first video alone was viewed over 4.8 Million times. Think about that for a second. 4.8 MILLION.


Worms catch fish... Gushers catch friends?! ##gushers ##fishing ##comedy ##funny ##foryou

♬ original sound - therealgushers

Washington Post
When you think of the WaPo, you typically think of a traditional newspaper outlet featuring well-written articles and editorials. They started a TikTok to show a more light-hearted side of their hard-hitting reporting.


Don’t try to lie to our Fact Checker team ##newspaper ##liedetector ##factchecker ##lateforwork


2. Work with Influencers

Yes, there are influencers on TikTok too. Partnering with influencers is a good way to boost reach for your Brand. Influencer follower counts can go from the tens of millions to a couple hundred thousand. Some notable “non-celebirty” influencers include Brent Rivera (21.1 M Followers) to Stewart Lance (4.9M Followers).

Chipotle The fast casual Mexican eatery started their TikTok in March 2019 and has been consistently posting videos on their channel to support the Brand and integrated marketing campaigns throughout the year. Chipotle created the #GuacDance to promote their online ordering capabilities with a post on their page along with partnering with relevant TikTok influencers.


TFW guac is free. Online/in-app only 7/31 ##GuacDance Terms:

♬ The Guacamole Song - Dr. Jean

Spell Guac without getting Interrupted!👀👀 ##GuacDance ##ad @chipotle Free Guac online/in-app on 7/31

♬ The Guacamole Song - Dr. Jean

3. Paid Advertising

There are several ways to advertise on Tiktok

  • Traditional – Brand created ads that area featured prior to accessing the feed or in-feed
  • TikTok Partnership – Leveraging TikTok to promote your brand via Hashtag Challenges or Brand Take overs on the splash screen

GUESS Guess partnered with TikTok to launch the #InMyDenim Hashtag Challenge and encouraged consumers to show their Denim Fashion Style on response videos. Official videos featured Bebe Rexh’s “I’m a Mess” that was the perfect complement to theme. The campaign garnered over 39.4M views for the Hashtag and Brand.


Don’t you wish getting ready was this easy? 😂❤️🔥 ##inmydenim ##sponsored @guess

♬ #inmydenim I’m a Mess - Bebe Rexha


Starting a TikTok channel for your brand and creating content may be daunting to start, but with such a young platform, you’re also free to be creative and experiment. My recommendation is to download the app and start exploring for yourself! TikTok will continue to add more and more features as evidenced by the recent addition of in-app e-commerce capabilities and live streaming, so it’s important to be on top of the trends. Go ahead, take a step and dive into the rabbit hole!