Since its 2016 launch as Douyin in China in 2016, short form video app TikTok has taken the world by storm. ByteDance, which founded TikTok, has retained ownership to this day. The app spread to international markets in 2017. That was the same year ByteDance acquired app Musical.ly. Musical.ly featured short form videos of people lip syncing to popular songs. Both apps were merged in 2018 to create one large online entertainment community.
TikTok as we know it today contains many elements from Muiscal.ly, including trending sounds, songs, and hashtags. With musical elements making up a large part of the platform, TikTok and Musical.ly’s combined form has become an incredibly popular social media and entertainment platform.
How TikTok earns money
TikTok now has more than 1 billion monthly users worldwide. Despite TikTok’s reputation for being popular among teens, the majority of users, at 64%, are actually older than 20. The age breakdown is as follows: 32.5% of users are 10-19 years old, 29.5% are 20-29, 16.4% are 30-39, 13.9% are 40-49 and 7.1% are 50 and over. The average user opens the app eight times and spends 52 minutes using it per day.
The app generates revenue through multiple channels. Users can buy “coins” in the app to purchase virtual content they can send to their favorite content creators as a tip to show appreciation. These virtual gifts can then be turned into real money and withdrawn by creators. However, of that real money, TikTok takes a 50% commission. The third way that TikTok makes money is by selling ads on the platform.
Much of TikTok’s success relies on its computer algorithm. The app uses this algorithm to create each user’s For You page, which recommends content to users based on videos they’ve already watched. Although videos can be up to 10 minutes long, shorter is better, with the optimum run time being 15 seconds.
TikTok is such a prominent platform, it’s important to take it into consideration for your business’s social media strategy. Consider whether your audience is on TikTok. For example, if your primary business is B2B, you’re probably okay with skipping a TikTok account. If you’re in the restaurant industry, fashion, or entertainment, TikTok can greatly help reach more of your target audience. In addition to organic content, you should consider advertising on TikTok.
Advertising on TikTok
TikTok offers a variety of ad types. Some ad types available include Spark ads, which is TikTok’s term for boosted posts, still image ads and video ads. Spark ads have a unique feature; not only can you boost your own posts, but you can boost other users’ posts as well.
TikTok offers an option for video ads in users’ regular feeds that look similar to organic video posts. They can grab someone’s attention, and they’re presented in users’ feeds in the same format as organic content. With a great ad, you can create more customers for your business.
Generally, ads for TikTok should take a similar route to organic content: The key message should be up front and center. Whether a product, service, or specific slogan, the main point should be shown within the first three seconds for best results, according to social media management platform Hootsuite.
If you’re looking for even more creative options, TikTok has ads that you can tailor to your brand even further. One such option is Brand Takeover ads. These display your brand’s content as soon as a user logs in, filling the entire screen, then become a video ad in the user’s feed. Brands can also create their own filters for users to add to their videos, which can stay up for up to 10 days in a row. Branded hashtag ads are another option. These allow brands to create their own hashtags for challenges related to their brands, allowing user-generated content to create more brand awareness. TikTok also offers top view ads, which show up as the first video posts users will see in their feeds after three seconds. That’s a lot of ad options!
Advice from professionals
If you’re not sure where to start with TikTok for your brand, AZ Media Maven can help in determining whether a TikTok account is right for your business. If TikTok is a good fit, we can help in creating content and managing the accounts and ads as well. Schedule a meeting with us today to get your brand on the right track with TikTok!
AZ Media Maven is based in Laveen, AZ, a suburban village in the greater Phoenix area. Owner Rose Tring has more than 30 years of journalism experience as an editor and writer, many of those years in business news. She created AZ Media Maven in 2012 to help other business owners succeed by effectively telling their stories through public relations and social media. Reach AZ Media Maven at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (602) 373-8371.