TikTok: Promoting a Brand in Under 60 Seconds

  • Apr 22, 2020

TikTok came out of what felt like thin air back in 2018 and has quickly become one of the most downloaded apps in the world. It began as a moderately successful video sharing app in China called Douyin, but when the company bought out the now-defunct Musical.ly app in 2018, it migrated all its non-Chinese users to a new combined TikTok platform. Since then, TikTok has become an insanely popular short-form video app, especially among the younger Generation Z.

So, What is TikTok?

To put it simply, TikTok is an app where users can create vertical videos that are between 15 and 60 seconds in length before looping to restart. Videos incorporate music samples, filters, cuts, and transitions, allowing users to make the most of the short format. Like most other social media platforms, TikTok features a personalized discover page and home feed, and the app’s algorithm gives users specific content that they enjoy such as music, sports, beauty, etc.

Who Uses TikTok?

This video from user @purrrrentice shows a person at a tradeshow receiving promotional necklaces with little rubber chickens.

For this app, Gen Z runs the show. Younger audiences (ages 13 – 22) make up the majority of TikTok users. Older generations (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials) typically use social media as a means of staying up-to-date with friends and family, exploring interests, and communicating through messages. Gen Zers use apps like TikTok as a medium for entertainment, confessionals, and humor rather than conventional communication. Users on TikTok embrace content that is slightly weird, ephemeral, and off-the-cuff.

TikTok has over 800 million monthly active users, putting the app just behind Instagram’s 1 billion active users. TikTok’s growth is expected to accelerate as 2020 continues, making it an ideal platform for brand marketing.

How Can Brands Make the Most of TikTok?

Unboxing video of promotional chocolates from Hidden Valley Ranch by user @dunnfamilyfun.

For companies in the promotional products industry, the key to TikTok success is going to be catching Gen Z’s attention. The easiest (and most cost effective) way to do this is simple: create your brand’s own channel and upload videos relevant to your business. Since TikTok videos are short, they’re a great format for highlighting hot and interesting products, targeting markets like colleges and schools, and making funny promo product memes.

Here are a few ideas for fun TikTok content for your brand’s new page:

  • Unboxing videos
  • Show your products in action
  • Customer reactions to receiving products
  • For apparel, a “fashion show” of your wearables with interesting transitions
  • Unconventional uses for popular products
  • Have your team members attempt a dance challenge

TikTok is a wildly popular app, especially among teens and young adults. For companies trying to reach these demographics, TikTok is a great place to market your company with short, fun videos. By keeping your content authentic to your brand and interesting to watch, you’ll be on your way to scoring tons of views and hopefully, increased business.

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