With the aftereffects of the Coronavirus pandemic, the main topic on everyone’s lips is digitising your business – just go online! But that’s easier said than done. With the acceleration of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we are bombarded with an array of options and information. So today, we’re just focusing on two things: TikTok and advertising on TikTok.

In the first quarter of 2020, TikTok was the most downloaded app worldwide, with over 2 billion downloads. But with the rise in popularity, a rise in confusion came along with it, leading to marketers and brands worldwide trying to analyse the influence potential of the growing social media giant.

How does TikTok’s algorithm work?

TikTok incorporates machine learning to determine what content the user prefers and is most likely to engage with. When a user opens the app for the first time, they are welcomed by 8 popular videos of different categories. The algorithm will continue to provide 8 videos based on which videos they interact with and what the user does. After that, the algorithm identifies similar videos and collects enough data to map out their preferences in relation to similar users. In a nutshell, TikTok aims to avoid redundancies that could bore the user, like seeing multiple dance videos of the same creator.

How does TikTok’s content differ from other social media platforms?

Unlike Instagram, TikTok is not as focused on aesthetics, but more content oriented, leaving users feeling that it’s more authentic and relatable. A survey conducted by indaHash stated that 63% of users agree with the statement “Content on TikTok feels more ‘real’, it’s more relatable and less ‘polished’ than other social media.” They also go one step further to explain that TikTok has made it easy to edit content inside the app. The editing function is extremely user-friendly and offers a variety of tools to compliment user needs.

“TikTok is the first entertainment powerhouse born in and built for the smartphone age — and it might change everything.” – Shira Ovide, The New York Times

What do users want to see on TikTok?

Entertainment, lifestyle and fashion content dominates TikTok, closely followed by tutorials and challenges. But what stands out? Trends. TikTok is all about trends (or challenges) and there are two ways you can go about it. You can either choose to create content that aligns with current trends or you can attempt to create your own trend. That’s what makes it fun!

How old are the TikTok users?

At first, the app was aimed at Gen Z’ers, but lately there has been a rapid increase over all age groups. However, the audience remains younger.

indaHash Internal TikTok Survey 2020

Advertising on TikTok

Besides having creative freedom to create new opportunities, the cost involved in creating an ad on TikTok remains low. The one negative view is that TikTok might be so cheap because they’re looking to increase their volume of clients before raising the prices. Another is that TikTok is still refining its advertising algorithm, and once it’s done this, the price of advertising will increase.

Jungle Topp conducted a study between TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram ads and found that the main benefits for conducting ads on TikTok were the lower costs, the younger audience and the greater creative freedom. Another perk was that 99% of TikTok ads ran on iOS.

On the other hand, Facebook is easy to set up, has useful analytics and advertisers and agencies know it works. Also, Facebook has the most active monthly users (it’s even double Instagram’s monthly users). Another plus, is that Facebook is not limited to mobile users, meaning your ads appear on desktop screens as well.

Struggling to decide?

In the end, you know your brand the best. If you love exploring the creative side of marketing, do a few tests on TikTok to see if it gains traction. The only way you’ll be sure is if you take the time and money to invest.

Need assistance navigating these digital marketing trends? We can help you! The Blue Room offers a wide range of digital marketing solutions that will elevate your brand. Interested in what we can do? Click here to view our full list of digital marketing services.

To find out more – and to give your business the edge – call us on 021 553 0315 / email info@theblueroom.co.za.

Written by Chanté van Schalkwyk, Digital Marketer, The Blue Room