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How To: TikTok & Influencer Marketing

Inarguably, the most difficult kind of startup is social startups, you know, the ones promising to connect like-minded individuals and revolutionize the market. While it all sounds great on paper, it takes a significant amount of adoption in such a saturated market. There are thousands of apps promising social connection, yet only five or so have been adopted widely. There is a newcomer on the social media block, Tik Tok and it is one surely here to stay. Here is all you need to know about the Gen-Z’s favorite app.

What is TikTok

A social media platform with a seamless and addictive automatically-changing video content of up to 15 seconds videos that Gen Z’ers cannot get enough of. There are 500 million users worldwide. TikTok is Gen Z’s fresh take on the popular app Vine as it is similar to its video length and creative content. You can lip-sync, dance, embrace memes, and create political messages.

Who uses TikTok

The pop-culture reference for Millennials and older for the phrase TikTok is the popular Ke$ha song. However, for GenZ, TikTok is the social platform that many spend (on average) 52 minutes daily. The majority of users are 16-24-year-olds.

What kind of content is on TikTok

Cringey, funny and wildly addicting has all been used to describe the social phenomena that is TikTok. The Gen-Z-favorite-app’s content ranges from pranks to comedy, and dance, but perhaps the hallmark of TikTok’s legacy and what helped catapult it into fame are its contests. Specifically, the 1 million auditions contests, in which participants are given a theme and the top creators are awarded. The daily contests have led to thousands of localized videos that allow creators to gain recognition and build their followings.

TikTok for Influencer Marketing

Where TikTok shines is in its ability to create virality. TikTok brings new life to an overlooked grassroots marketing tactic: contests and challenges. With the rise of social media, hashtags have become indispensable for brands to gain awareness and for platforms and users to see what’s popular. With Instagram, nobody wants to post to their feed with a hashtag for a contest because it’s so…permanent (and can ruin the perfectly-orchestrated feed). 
TikTok leverages their innate ephemerality to brands’ advantage. There is virtually no negative backlash for anyone to engage in contests. Traditional influencer marketing with an influencer promoting a product, of course, is present on the app.

Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins campaign

However, where brands can really score big is with hopping in on the trends that are already apparent on the app with brand-specific promotional content. Brands can also create their own viral hashtags and campaigns. Typically ones that do well are ones that involve a hashtag-able challenge, like in the first US brand collaboration with TikTok for Guess’s #InMyDenim campaign or Jimmy Fallon’s viral challenges.

Guess’s viral #InMyDenim TikTok campaign

Overall brands should take time to ensure that the app’s irreverent, jokey and cringe-y content is a good match for their brand. Much like with Youtube creators, brands wishing to advertise on TikTok also are likely to have a very hands-off approach and let the creators do what they do best. 
Because TikTok is based on trends and hashtags that can easily become “so last week” brands can even partner with influencers to create content that promotes their product using viral hashtags or challenges that are trending. 
What’s important is that the brands trust them to create branded content as the contests and trends arise– on very short notice. This benefits both the creators and the brands to reap the benefits from the principle that has made TikTok so successful: its ephemerality, reflective of the internet culture at large. 

Looking for the perfect creator for your TikTok campaign? Reach out to Captiv8.

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