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The rise of TikTok & what it means for brands

Launched in September 2016, TikTok is a social media platform for sharing short videos that looks to drive virality. The difference between TikTok and other social platforms is the type of content being put out – carefree, light-hearted video content. It is not surprising that this content type is the most well-received given that 41% of the 500 million active users worldwide are teens aged 16 to 24 years. Another content type that resonates is challenges.

For instance, GUESS Jeans partnered with popular TikTokers to promote their hashtag challenge. The aim here is to get the TikTok community to be part of the brand’s challenge so GUESS Jeans is able to leverage on these user-generated content (UGC) for reposting.

Aside from generating UGC, brands can now have ads on the platform – pre-roll ads, in-feed ads, promoted hashtag challenges and branded effects. The key to success on this app is to be wildly creative that inspires fun.

What does this mean for brands: Brands targeting the younger generation needs to understand the platform and be visible on TikTok. It is an exciting way to engage the 16-24s with creative ideas that does not need to be brand-perfect. In addition, it allows brands to appear fun and young to showcase the other side of the brand. However, not all brands fit into this fun persona, so be sure to dissect the platform to see if you fit into it!

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