The world of social media is constantly evolving, and with the head of Instagram claiming the platform is no longer a photo sharing app (more on that here), it seems like vertical video is the way of the future. Of course, we can’t talk about vertical video without mentioning the ever-growing TikTok!
Staying on top of social media trends is crucial for getting your business out there in 2023, and it’s important to start thinking about whether TikTok is right for your business.
If you’ve been out of the loop and don’t quite know what TikTok even is, we’re not here to judge! Let’s talk about it.
In essence, TikTok is an app that’s all about short form vertical video. While users were initially limited to 15-second videos, this eventually expanded to a 60-second limit, and the platform has now begun rolling out access to 3-minute videos.
As mentioned in our previous blog post, other platforms like Instagram and YouTube have risen to the vertical video challenge with Reels and Shorts respectively, with many influencers and businesses repurposing content across platforms.
If there’s anything to know about TikTok for business, it’s that TikTok is more than just teens recreating each others’ fun dances. While people in their late teens to early twenties are definitely still the most followed creators on the platform, the variety of content is constantly expanding and evolving, and you’re bound to find a TikTok channel for just about anyone.
Other popular forms of content include recipes, storytimes, ASMR, visually ‘satisfying’ content, niche interests like #cleantok, and content series where users showcase their favourite restaurants, cafés, kitchen gadgets, and so forth.
The numbers speak for themselves.
According to research by Roy Morgan, nearly 2.5 million Aussies were on TikTok by mid-2020 – that’s over 1 in 10 Australians aged 6 and older! In fact, the platform saw its Australian user base grow by over 850,000 in the first half of 2020 alone.
Roy Morgan also found that in 2020, over 70% of Australian TikTok users were from Generation Alpha (those born in 2006 and onwards) and Generation Z (1991-2005*). In contrast, only 9% of Aussie Millennials, 4% of Generation X and less than 2% of Baby Boomers and Pre-Boomers were on TikTok at the time.
So, is TikTok right for my business?
Well, that depends on your business goals and your target audience.
If your target audience belongs to Generation Alpha or Generation Z, then you absolutely should consider using TikTok.
For businesses aimed mainly at Millennials, TikTok will still be on the cards for you, especially if your business lends itself to the type of content Millennials are consuming on TikTok. Remember that Millennials make up a smaller portion of the TikTok audience, so you’ll need to know exactly what they’re after to make your efforts worthwhile.
If your target audience is made mostly of Gen X and older, TikTok might not be the right fit for you. However, there may be an opportunity to create TikTok content specifically marketed at a younger crowd who might buy your products or services for their older family members.
Do some research on the kind of content that resonates with your target audience, and use that information to think about what kind of opportunities for TikTok content exist within your business.
TikTok looks like it’s here to stay, and while we typically recommend getting in while it’s hot, the most effective social media strategies involve taking a step back to consider whether your business is ready to take on another social media platform – especially one as fast-paced as TikTok.
Staying on top of trends, planning, filming and editing takes time, and TikTok users are there to be immersed in content. Ask yourself, are you ready to put in the effort it takes to truly bring value to your audience?
How businesses can grow with TikTok: Some examples
You might be surprised to find out that an audience skewed as young as TikTok’s would be interested in watching videos about cleaning products, as one example, but businesses in this sector have uncovered massive success thanks to videos on #cleantok.
Cleaning businesses such as The Pink Stuff and Scrub Daddy have developed massive online audiences via #cleantok videos like this one:
@jemscleaning Pink stuff cream sink scrub with scrub daddy ? #cleantok #sinkclean #asmr #pinkstuff #scrub #scrubdaddy ♬ original sound – Jem
In fact, organic product promotion is so big on TikTok that there’s even a “Things Tiktok made me buy” trend:
@cotswoldandco Things Tik Tok made me buy that I actually use part 1 #tiktokmademebuyit #amazonfavorites #amazonfaves ♬ CRAFT – OFEKNIV
And when it comes to influencer marketing, this video by popular #cleantok TikToker
@vanesamaro91 #PepsiApplePieChallenge @scrubdaddy #cleantok #cleaninghacks #scrubdaddy ♬ Blue Blood – Heinz Kiessling & Various Artists
It might seem simple, but Vanesa’s video highlights another TikTok favourite: behind-the-scenes videos from businesses. Consumers love peeking into what goes on behind closed doors – whether it’s to learn something new about the industry, or to get to know the people behind the business.
Don’t worry food businesses, you’ve got a place on TikTok, too!
Sharing and recreating interesting recipes is another popular side of TikTok. User @rawmanda, along with vegan and non-vegan TikTok users alike have recreated this 2-ingredient vegan chicken recipe:
@rawmanda tastes like chicken! mind-blown ? thank you @futurelettuce #foodtok #veganrecipes #plantbased #learnontiktok #vegantiktok #seitan #veganchicken ♬ Caution – KAYTRANADA
For ready-to-eat products, ‘What I eat in a day’ videos and picnic inspiration videos are another way to showcase what you’ve got:
@keni_lin Wait for the final picnic setup ? made a meat & cheese board for my non vegan friends too #charcuterieboard #charcuterie #vegan ♬ Aesthetic – Devonte Mayo
Ready to get started? Here are some things to remember:
- Don’t worry if you feel awkward! TikTok users value authenticity, and showing your real, unpolished personality is what will resonate with your audience.
- TikTok users are accustomed to fast-paced content. The first few seconds of your videos are crucial in capturing their attention.
- Don’t forget to keep up with trending TikTok sounds! They make for great inspiration when planning content.
- TikTok users don’t have to be following you to see your content on their feed, and it’s not unusual to find that some of your posts have significantly more views than others.
- And last but not least, remember: something that might seem like a mundane aspect of your business might be insightful or interesting to your audience. Don’t just take our word for it! Check out this TikTok by @bobacandle:
@bobacandle labeling some of our most popular candles! which scent would you want to try the most?? #melbourne #australia #candle #smallbusiness ♬ Small biz tip record everything – Buzz Tie Dye Creations
Want to get on the TikTok train but not sure if you’ve got the time? At Powered PR, we live and breathe social media! Our team will take care of every step of your social media marketing strategy, leaving you time to focus on your core business. Contact us today to get started.
NB: *The exact dates for Generation Z vary from source to source, but these are the dates used in Roy Morgan’s research.
AUTHOR: Nicole Odviar
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