Blog post

Should you be using TikTok for marketing?

Date of post

19 April 2022

Post author

Read time

15 mins

The chances are you can’t go on any social media platform now without seeing a video that originated on Tiktok or reading something about the latest TikTok trend or star. Over the last few years, TikTok has gone from strength to strength, promoting influencers and brands alike. 

But is it worth jumping on TikTok just because it’s the hottest new social media platform? While not every brand is going to find its home on the app, you may be surprised at just how many product and service types are succeeding. 

From window cleaners to financial services, chiropractors to restaurants, as the audience on TikTok has grown, so too have the opportunities for companies from all industries to get noticed and raise brand awareness. 

So should you be on TikTok? Here are some reasons why including the platform in your digital marketing strategy could pay off. 

TikTok post engagement rates beat other social media platforms

Engagement is key to success on social media. It helps improve your reach and shows you what content is resonating with your audience. Engagement can also help with budget and resource allocation, as you want to ensure that time and money are being spent on the platform that gets you the best results.

The average engagement on social media platforms in 2021 versus 2020

Not only does TikTok deliver a higher engagement rate than Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, but the gap between it and other platforms is increasing. In 2021, the average engagement rate on TikTok stood at 5.96%. The next platform was Instagram, with an average engagement rate of just 0.83%.

On top of this, TikTok’s average engagement rate has seen increases year on year, rising from 5.11% in 2020. In comparison, engagement rates for the other platforms actually decreased in 2021 compared to 2020, suggesting that TikTok is drawing Facebook, Instagram and Twitter audiences away from their previous go-to platform. 

Not only does this mean that TikTok could help you engage your audience more, but these stats also give you a great benchmark to work toward. If you’re seeing engagement on TikTok fall below 5.96%, it is a sign that you need to look at your strategy. 

People spend more time on TikTok

Not only do people engage more with posts on TikTok, but they also tend to spend more time on the app than on other social media platforms. In 2020, the average hours per month that people spent on TikTok reached 21.5 and we wouldn’t be surprised if this climbed higher in 2021. 

Should you be using TikTok for marketing?, time spent on tiktok

While people are still spending a lot of time on Facebook (an average of 17.7 hours a month in 2020), TikTok still comes out on top, especially when you also factor in the increased engagement rates. 

When it comes to Gen Z, TikTok is undoubtedly at the top of the pile when it comes to social media. In fact, weekly reach among 12 to 17-year-olds saw a 13% increase in 2021 compared to the previous year while weekly Instagram use among the generation fell by 4%. 

This means that there is a better chance of your posts on the platform reaching people, as the longer they spend on the app, the better the algorithm can target them with relevant content. 

TikTok influences purchases more than other platforms

Not only is Tiktok getting people on its app for longer and encouraging post engagement, but it has also been found to be powerful in terms of encouraging purchases – especially among younger generations.

Should you be using TikTok for marketing?, tiktok purchases

Some 39% of Gen Zers say that TikTok would get them to buy a new product after learning about it. In fact, they are more likely to purchase after seeing a product on TikTok than they are after seeing a display in-store (38%), seeing a product advertised on Instagram (23%) or viewing digital ads on websites (19%). 

Only friend or family recommendations (59%) and seeing a friend or family member using a product (54%) are more likely to encourage a purchase compared to TikTok. 

The influence that TikTok has when it comes to purchases has helped many small brands go viral and increase their businesses, with multiple success stories over the last few years. With the level of trust being shown when it comes to product recommendations on the platform, brands could see good ROI from their investment in TikTok. 

More brands are investing in TikTok

With these great results being seen on TikTok, it’s not surprising that more marketers are looking to increase their investment in the platform. Some 84% of marketers are expecting to increase their TikTok investment this year, which is the largest increase seen across any social media platform. 

Should you be using TikTok for marketing?, tiktok investment

The result is that TikTok’s ad revenue is expected to triple this year to $11.64 billion from $3.88 billion in 2021. While more than half of this is expected to come from the US, TikTok is still growing in the UK, making it a key part of social media marketing and overall digital marketing strategies

TikTok’s global ad revenue is expected to hit $23.58 billion by 2024, bringing it incredibly close to YouTube’s $23.65 billion. This suggests that the future of social media is being led by video, meaning an investment in TikTok now is likely to pay off. 

Getting started on TikTok as a brand

So if TikTok is the place to be, how do you get started on the platform? While creating a professional/business account is a good first step, it is also a good idea to get to know the platform. 

Understand the platform

Have a scroll, check out the trends, find out who the big names are and see what other brands in your industry are doing on the app. Understanding what to expect, what filters, sounds and effects there are and how the algorithm works will set you up for success while also giving you some great ideas for videos. 

Set goals and objectives

As with any marketing strategy, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve on TikTok. Are you building brand awareness or driving purchases? How is TikTok going to help you accomplish your overall business goals? And, most importantly, how are you going to measure success?

Test, test, test

When it comes to creating content for TikTok, testing what works for your brand is always the best idea. Just because certain videos have worked for a competitor doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to work for you. Try a few things and keep your strategy agile so you can react to trends as they happen rather than a month or more down the line. 

Create a calendar

Creating a content calendar for your TikTok activity will help ensure you’re publishing regular posts but will also allow you to build off past success. Whether it’s specific hashtags that have worked or a particular video format, creating a plan will allow you to keep track of all of your posts and mimic those that got good results. 

Engage with your audience

Success on Tiktok isn’t just about the videos you post though, you also need to engage with your audience. Respond to comments, try interactive live streams, comment on other accounts and listen to the Tiktok community to ensure your strategy is as optimised as possible. 

Track your success

As with any type of marketing, looking at the data on TikTok is important. You need to track analytics to see how your performance is changing and to better target your audience. This helps you plan your future posts and adjust your strategy as you get to grips with the platform. 

Look at advertising

With TikTok encouraging purchases, it is a prime platform for advertising. Looking into the different advertising options available and doing some tests could help you improve ROI from the platform while boosting your organic performance. 

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