If there’s one social media platform that has disrupted the digital marketing landscape in recent years, it’s undoubtedly TikTok. The vertical video platform has taken the world by storm, and the United Kingdom is no exception. Its engaging short-form content, algorithmic discovery, and highly active user base have made TikTok an essential component in the modern marketer’s media mix. This article will delve into why TikTok should be a central part of UK companies’ marketing and commerce strategies in 2023.
Understanding TikTok’s User Engagement
The real magic of TikTok lies in its unprecedented user engagement. TikTok users are not merely scrolling through passive content; they’re actively engaging with it, generating content, sharing, commenting, and spending significant time within the app. As per recent forecasts, TikTok users will spend almost an hour per day on the platform this year. To put this into perspective, that’s equivalent to the time spent watching two full-length TV shows, or the same amount of time that Netflix users dedicate to the digital video platform.
Such high levels of engagement make TikTok a fertile ground for marketers. This offers them a rare opportunity to capture the attention of users for extended periods, facilitating deeper connections and interactions that traditional marketing channels may struggle to achieve.
TikTok: A Powerhouse of Audience Reach
As TikTok continues to surge in popularity, its user base expands accordingly. In the UK, TikTok’s reach extends across various demographics, not merely confined to the Gen Z audience that first embraced the platform. From younger, digital natives to older users looking for entertainment, TikTok’s diverse audience is a gold mine for marketers. It allows brands to segment their campaigns to target various demographics effectively, making it a versatile tool in any marketer’s arsenal.
Content That Resonates
One of the key attractions of TikTok is the platform’s emphasis on authenticity. Unlike polished, curated feeds of other social platforms, TikTok thrives on real, raw content that users can connect with. The platform’s short-form video content is consumed rapidly and shared widely, making it perfect for viral marketing campaigns.
For marketers, this demands a shift from traditional, promotional advertising to creating content that truly resonates with the audience. This could be behind-the-scenes peeks into your business, user-generated content, tutorials, or even humorous skits. The key is to create content that not only promotes your brand but also adds value to the TikTok community.
Leveraging TikTok’s Unique Features
TikTok offers a myriad of features for marketers to leverage, from hashtags and trends to duets and challenges. Brands can host hashtag challenges to engage users and generate user-created content. Duets enable brands to interact directly with users, fostering a sense of community and engagement.
Moreover, TikTok’s innovative advertising formats, like In-Feed Ads, Branded Effects, and TopView Ads, provide brands with an array of options to reach their target audience. With the platform’s advanced targeting capabilities, marketers can ensure their campaigns reach the most relevant users.
The Power of Influencer Partnerships
Influencer marketing has seen a meteoric rise on TikTok. With its algorithm that uniquely democratises content visibility, TikTok has given rise to a new breed of influencers who hold substantial sway over the platform’s users. Collaborating with these influencers can provide brands with an effective way to increase their reach, credibility, and engagement.
TikTok Shopping: The New Frontier of Social Commerce
TikTok is rapidly evolving from a platform purely for entertainment to a vital hub for social commerce. With features like Shopping Tabs and shoppable live streams, TikTok is breaking down barriers between discovery and purchase, providing brands with an integrated platform for promotion and sales.
The integration of social commerce into the TikTok experience aligns with the shift in consumer behaviour towards online shopping, making it a key consideration for UK companies’ marketing and commerce strategies.
Harnessing the Power of TikTok for Brand Awareness
One of the key strengths of TikTok lies in its ability to amplify brand awareness. Given the virality of content on the platform, even a single successful post can generate massive visibility for your brand. TikTok’s algorithm does not prioritize content based on the popularity of the creator, which means even small businesses or new brands have the opportunity to reach millions.
Moreover, TikTok ‘For You’ page personalized content delivery based on user behavior and preferences. This means that your brand’s content can reach individuals who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer, further enhancing its impact.
Creating a Community on TikTok
Unlike traditional marketing channels that are largely one-way communication, TikTok offers brands the opportunity to create and foster a community. By consistently posting engaging content, responding to comments, participating in trends and challenges, and even collaborating with other users through duets or stitches, brands can build a loyal following on the platform.
Furthermore, TikTok’s user base is not just passive consumers; they’re creators. Inviting your followers to participate in user-generated content campaigns, such as hashtag challenges or contests, can help foster a sense of belonging and engagement, turning followers into brand advocates.
TikTok as a Market Research Tool
The TikTok platform also offers marketers an invaluable source of consumer insight. By observing trending content, popular hashtags, and user interactions, businesses can gain a real-time understanding of what their target audience is interested in, their preferences, and their behaviors.
These insights can be used to inform product development, campaign strategy, content creation, and more. For example, a beauty brand might notice a trending makeup challenge and create a similar tutorial using their products. Or a food brand might spot a popular recipe and create a variation of it featuring their products.
Education and Advocacy on TikTok
Another emerging trend on TikTok is the rise of educational and advocacy content. More and more, users are turning to TikTok to learn about various topics, from cooking recipes to mental health awareness. Brands have the opportunity to position themselves as authorities in their field by creating informative and valuable content.
Moreover, brands can use TikTok to advocate for causes that align with their values. This can help create a positive brand image, resonate with socially-conscious consumers, and foster deeper connections with the audience.
Navigating Potential Challenges
While TikTok offers immense potential, it’s crucial for marketers to navigate the platform mindfully. The real-time, viral nature of TikTok means that trends and user preferences can change rapidly, requiring brands to stay flexible and adaptive. Furthermore, given the emphasis on authenticity, brands need to ensure their content feels genuine and not overly promotional.
The Future of TikTok Marketing in the UK
As we look towards the future, the importance of TikTok in the marketer’s media mix is only set to grow. With the ongoing roll-out of new features, expansion of its commerce capabilities, and a continuously growing and engaged user base, TikTok is rapidly evolving from a platform of interest to a marketing necessity.
In conclusion, in the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, staying on top of trends is critical. As TikTok continues to disrupt the status quo and redefine social media marketing, UK businesses that harness its potential will have a distinct edge in the marketplace. In the fast-paced world of TikTok, the opportunity for growth is only a ‘swipe’ away.