Brands Are Missing Out On TikTok

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Brands Are Missing Out On TikTok

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“TikTok is a new, competitive way of doing social media.” Amyer Zulfadly, TikTok Malaysia’s Operation Manager

Have you heard of TikTok––currently the most popular social media platform worldwide? If not, it’s time to update yourself before you get left behind.

On the app, millions of 15-second videos can be found of people singing, dancing, doing comedy, or lip-syncing to snippets of trending songs. Up to this point, it’s easy to see why TikTok has developed a reputation for being a social media platform for teens and young adults who have nothing better to do.

The media has fabricated a negative image around TikTok, making it seem irrelevant and silly instead of something brands should take seriously. However, this image is only a facade that’s hiding TikTok’s full potential.

For brands that want to leverage on TikTok’s exponential success, there are endless possibilities in sight.

Always start with advertising.

The first and most important step you’ve got to do as a brand: promote your name. Here’s why TikTok is the ideal platform to do so.

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TikTok has created a massive following since its merge with and official launch in 2018. In that year alone, TikTok became the most downloaded app on the (Apple) App Store, reaching up to 45.8 million downloads globally. (1) Brands can easily receive a global outreach if they decide to advertise their campaigns on TikTok.

The most popular (and least boring) way to carry out promotions on TikTok is through hashtag challenges.

Hashtag challenges are a new trend that TikTok has made famous and brands have utilised to their advantage. Users are challenged to create videos according to a thematic hashtag that, by doing so, helps to promote a brand or a product. Hashtag challenges are the most well received by users and the best strategy for brands. It provides users with opportunities to create original, creative content while subconsciously advertising the brand’s name to the world.

Examples of successful hashtag challenges done by brands in Malaysia include McDonald’s #BigMacTikTok Challenge.

Advertising a brand or a product in these ways would be fun to watch and easy to accept for viewers. People won’t feel like they’re being attacked with lifeless advertisements, and instead feel included and inspired to support the brand themselves.

Target the younger demographic.

Yes, the TikTok platform is filled with teenagers. No, that might not be such a bad thing.

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66% of TikTok users are under 30 years old, with 60% aged 16-24. (3) Almost every teenager on this planet has heard of TikTok, or is even using it on a daily basis. For brands that want to specifically target the younger demographic, there is no better place to do so than TikTok.

Content is being produced and shared at high rates, which causes a continuous cycle that makes TikTok the hub for consistent, viral content. TikTok’s eccentric content has started the most conversations among the public, and it’s the younger generation that make it so.

However, simply promoting your brand on TikTok isn’t enough to make it the talk of the town. Teenagers are no longer impressed by manufactured advertisements, often skipping them or ignoring them. Marketing on TikTok is a good strategy, but to truly make it successful, changes must be made to fit TikTok’s algorithm.

The most important advertising strategy for TikTok? Promote user involvement.TikTok is a platform driven by user involvement and creativity. This is why hashtag challenges are so popular on TikTok–– they stimulate users to create unique content of their own. Teenagers have a fear of missing out and crave joining in on trends.

The perfect ad campaign on TikTok is one that both appeals to the demographic, as well as getting them to participate and be involved. Only then can brand awareness be effectively promoted.

Guess’s recent campaign on TikTok checks all the requirements. The #InMyDenimhashtag challenge was aimed at millenials and prompted users to dress in Guess clothing for their videos. It helped to increase sales for their products and encourage users to have fun at the same time.

Make use of influencers.

TikTok is curated for the growth of creators and influencers.

TikTok promotes the concept of smartphone videography and that even smartphone-produced content, despite not being as refined as cameras, can be extremely entertaining. TikTok encourages everyone to be a creator from their smartphones, cultivating a “if they can do it, I can too” mentality that drives users to produce their own content.

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“TikTok empowers everyone to be a creator.”Amyer Zulfadly

Videos on TikTok are also less fabricated, maintaining a sense of authenticity. Users get to know the creators as real people.

Naturally, creators who are committed to producing consistent content on TikTok would gain loyal followers and, as time passes, credibility for their words. People start to trust them and their opinions on things such as products. What they say can now influence what people think.

Brands soon realised that and started making use of the reach of those influencers to build brand awareness. Influencer marketing skyrocketed on TikTok. The multitudes of content on TikTok are what catches people’s attention, but the influencers are what make people stay.

Gymshark, a company based in the UK that sells fitness clothing, made use of influencer marketing on TikTok in January 2019. Gymshark partnered with TikTok creators and created the #Gymshark challenge, getting users to workout in Gymshark attire. Videos featuring the TikTok creators supporting Gymshark apparel inspired users to join in too.

TikTok is pushing social media to a whole new direction, redefining the terrain as we speak. If brands wish to keep up with the ever-evolving younger demographic, they will have to adapt to the times, and that means getting on TikTok.


1.Influencer Marketing Hub. 37 TikTok Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind (2019)

2. App Ape Lab. Average Daily Activation Count: 43 Times A Day! Teenagers Are Addicted To “TikTok”! (2018)

3. Mediakix. 13 TikTok Statistics Marketers Need To Know: TikTok Demographics & Key Data (2019)

By Ng Li Wei @ PopCon Fest

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