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Tik Tok as a Video Marketing Tool: Fad or Trend?

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“We don’t spark trends, we set them on fire” - TikTok

If you’re anything like me, then you’ve probably steered well away from the cringey world of Tik Tok. I always associated it with people making a fool out of themselves and never gave much thought to it. 

Now, after reading countless articles, stumbling across Gary Vee’s video on Tik Tok marketing, and spending 30 hours straight on this platform trying to figure out why everyone’s going nuts over it, I’ve come to the conclusion that Tik Tok currently is the next big platform in the social media world. 

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If you’re targeting late Millennials and Generation Z as your target audience (and why shouldn’t you be - after all, by next year they’re expected to account for 40% of all customers), then you should have been on Tik Tok yesterday. 

So what exactly is Tik Tok?

Short answer - it’s an app that allows users to create entertaining videos on the go and share it with everyone else. 

Launched in 2016 as Douyin in China, it quickly gained a ton of popularity and was introduced outside of China the next year as ByteDance. To capture the massive US market, they acquired the very popular and the rest is history.

After the top 4 social media giants, Tik Tok ranks number 5, and while it’s similar to the 4 apps in several ways, it calls itself an entertainment app first and foremost, and not a lifestyle app. Out of all the other apps, it’s also the easiest to use and create content - hence the massive number of content creators on this app. 

An interesting trend that would delight marketers is that Tik Tok users love commenting on other videos with videos of their own. With sky-high engagement levels on this app, this is user-generated content on a whole different level. 

Let’s discuss some numbers and more reasons why as a marketer or a brand owner, you should be keeping an eye on this new-ish platform. 

Tik Tok has 500 million active users worldwide.

It was the most downloaded app in Apple’s iOS app-store and the third most downloaded app in Google Playstore (just behind WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019. 


So it’s definitely getting super-popular super-fast among the masses.

Is Tik Tok the right marketing platform for you?

“If I was working for GE or Allstate or AT&T, I wouldn’t recommend advertising on the platform. But if you’re Taco Bell, Burger King or Adidas, there’s an opportunity there.” 

  • Benjamin Stops, strategist at Rauxa

If your target audience is aged between 16 to 24 years old, then definitely. 41 percent of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24, and interestingly enough, Tik Tok has more male users than female - 55.6 percent of users are male and 44.4 percent of users are female.

Users are addicted to Tik Tok

90% users watch Tik Tok videos multiple times a day. 

And what do they do on Tik Tok? 68 percent of TikTok users watch someone else’s video and 55 percent upload their own videos. 

Hashtag challenges are all the rage on Tik Tok

Brands, influencers, and even random folks - everyone’s creating video content based around hashtags, because they see great traction on Tik Tok. 

  • The #RaindropChallenge has over 685.7 million views on TikTok.

  • Jimmy Fallon’s #TumbleweedChallege created 8,000 videos with over 9 million views in seven days

  • There are more than 5 million #InMyFeelings challenge videos on TikTok compared to1.7 million on Instagram.


Influencers on Tik Tok are doing pretty well for themselves

TikTok influencers with 2.5 million followers or more charge around $500-800 per post compared to $100 for every 10,000 followers on Instagram. 

Tik Tok is also attracting a lot of advertising dollars

According to Adweek, individual hashtag challenges cost brands $150,000 for six days with promotion. TikTok is further advising advertisers to budget an additional $100,000 to $200,000 to promote the hashtag challenge on the platform. 

These are massive numbers, but Tik Tok is cashing on their crazy popularity and the millions of users it has managed to attract and engage. 

Brands winning on Tik Tok

It’s pretty clear that Tik Tok is going pretty strong right now in the social media marketing and video marketing world. From teens and tweens, to brand owners and even lawyers (yes, lawyers are on it too, shocking isn’t it), everyone’s jumping on this bandwagon to see if they can get a slice of this overnight popularity. 

Let’s take a look at how brands are using this platform to generate leads and attract their target audience.


Just like it’s solid presence on all other social media channels, Sephora has a verified Tik Tok account and uses it to create entertaining make-up videos. Since makeup videos are popular across all social channels, it’s no wonder that they do really well on Tik Tok, as well. 

Sephora also encourages followers to create their own Tic Tok videos using their official hashtag.


Sephora also encourages followers to create their own TiK Tok videos using their official hashtag.


Chipotle is a boss at creating quirky, fun content. Their Tik Tok video content is no different. Early this year, they partnered with influencer David Dobrik and created a hashtag campaign #ChipotleLidFlip, challenging users to flip a chipotle container and land it correctly.

The result? 100,000 submissions (and increasing) and over 230 millions views. 


McDonald’s decided to run a Tik Tok user-generated campaign around the hashtag #BigMacTikTokChallenge, asking users to win a whole lot of money by creating videos of them singing and dancing to McDonald’s chant. 

And what about ordinary service providers?

Interestingly enough, you’ll also find lawyers, sheriffs, and real estate agents trying to woo this young audience through quirky Tik Tok content. They’re garnering hundreds of thousands of views and becoming overnight superstars. 

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Tik Tok on the route to unparalleled success?

It seems so. 

“That’s what’s unique about the app and Gen Z. They’re not just passive consumers anymore. They want to see things in an authentic way, and leaning into that by reacting immediately. They aren’t just watching. They’re creating in response. You’re turning them into brand ambassadors without even doing any influencer marketing.”

Stefan Heinrich, Director of Tik Tok U.S. Marketing

So, ready to start making videos on Tik Tok?

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