ByteDance took the world by storm when it acquired Musical.ly, the leading short-form video platform in the United States, in 2017. After merging the newly acquired asset with its Chinese counterpart called Douyin, ByteDance brought forth an app that grew like wildfire—TikTok.
TikTok placed ByteDance on the map as one of the strongest technology companies as it captivated users from both the East and the West. Today, TikTok users are creating viral videos every day, strengthening the industry of influencer marketing because of its convenient nature and paving the way for underrepresented narratives to finally find their way to the surface.
But TikTok has had its own share of turmoil. According to Bloomberg, ByteDance may be worth $250 billion, a value that outranks Coca-Cola and Twitter. Now seen as one of the world’s most valuable start-ups, ByteDance founder, 38-year-old Zhang Jiming, was scrutinized from all sides. The political conflicts and accusations that TikTok, being owned by a Chinese, is a tool to spy on Western countries rose along with its popularity.
Still, the platform emerged as one of the most vital avenues for self-expression, content creation, influencer marketing, and digital marketing. Experts also say that TikTok shaped a new culture for the younger generation.
TikTok on digital marketing
Tiktok has over 1.29 billion active users monthly in over 141 countries. With its broad audience, it’s understandable why companies choose TikTok as a vital avenue for digital marketing campaigns. Retailers are turning to TikTok more and more compared to placing ads on other social media platforms to strengthen their social media strategies.
TikTok encapsulates the current trends. Hence, companies want to ride the trends while establishing a solid relationship with their customers through transparently presenting the stories behind their brands, products, and services. TikTok videos usually range between 12 seconds to 60 seconds. They provide ample time to share content, such as behind-the-scenes, production processes, and even corporate events, while still retaining the attention of viewers.
Live streaming on TikTok also proved to bring more brand awareness, and companies are realizing how such digital reach can directly translate to actual sales. Business owners are also using the platform to highlight campaigns, launch new products, and connect with younger shoppers.
With the rapid rise of TikTok, Fortune 500 companies have lessened their use of older platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to reach audiences. In fact, studies have revealed that one in 12 companies have used, are using, and plans on using TikTok as a prominent part of their digital marketing strategies. Big players such as Walmart, Chipotle, Nike, Skittles, Fenty Beauty, Pepsi, and Universal Pictures are among those who have leveraged the advertising capacity of TikTok.
Tiktok and the Generation Z
TikTok demonstrates the divide between Millennials and members of Generation Z, which comprises 60% of the number of users on the platform. Experts and analysts reveal that Millennials are wide consumers of information across social media platforms. On the other hand, people from Generation Z prefer to create content. Tiktok, with its unique algorithm and tools for content creation, provides an avenue for Generation Z members to express themselves and showcase authenticity to millions of viewers at once.
Research shows that the Generation Z “value individual identities, reject stereotypes, and practice identity expressions with pragmatism.” (Forbes, 2021) Furthermore, because TikTok allows its users to create their own content, whether using crafted templates or creating their own short videos, the platform encourages them to embrace raw narratives. Social media is often criticized for affecting people’s mental health and increasing insecurity. TikTok negates the idea as users become freer in amplifying genuine realities.
Be it for personal use or for commercial purposes, TikTok is genuinely one of the most significant breakthroughs of the 21st century. To learn more about the platform, visit its website.