Digital Marketing: TikTok

Emily D'Agostino

December 13, 2020

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TikTok, which has grown exponentially since its inception in 2016, is a 2-feed video platform -- one feed consists of accounts already followed by the user while the other, the notorious "For You Page," utilizes an algorithm to select videos that the user might enjoy. This algorithm considers factors like interaction, which videos you tend to like and share, video information, the sound bytes you frequent and the hashtags you search, and lastly, your location, to curate a personalized stream of content. This algorithm organizes content in such an engaging manner that, according to Wallaroo, users open the TikTok app an estimated 8 times per day. This high level of engagement creates a perfect environment for advertising.

Influencer marketing would be preferable over general paid advertisements, which tend to be more costly, as younger generations are less likely to watch an entire ad with a skip feature. Kitmetrics reports that 89% of millennials do not trust ads anyway. This leaves influencer marketing considerable room for growth. Influencers are able to garner and engage large and loyal followings. TikTok has an international base of around 800 million users. TikTok also gives more power to micro and nano influencers who may represent a smaller niche, such as the fitness community or even one of my new favorites, the oatmeal community. The well-known creators in these smaller segments of TikTok -- whose content travels faster than on other platforms, such as Instagram, due to the employment of the algorithm -- are far less expensive to partner with than the most well-known creators like Charli D'Amelio and Addison Rae. Also, the audiences they amass tend to have very specific interests which lead to higher levels of engagement with products the creator endorses.

An example of this is Nano influencer Trace Alexander, a creator with 28.5 thousand followers, and a proud member of the aforementioned oatmeal community on TikTok (OatTok to some). Trace shares his daily, and highly aesthetically pleasing, oatmeal recipes through his account @tracesoats and his comment section is filled with users asking for tips, tricks, and above all, recommendations. Partnering with his account could be a perfect and inexpensive way for a health brand to effectively market to the next generation of oatmeal fanatics.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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