TikTok – brands gateway to the younger target audience
Insights | Sep 2020

TikTok is the popular app which lately has been filling the headlines all over the world. This popular app has 800 million active users and has been downloaded over 2 billion times on the App Store and Google Play. The likelihood that you have heard about this app is therefore very high but still many are not totally sure what it is all about. Many businesses are putting special attention to TikTok as the platform is growing very rapidly and especially popular for the target audience millennials to boomers, however, many brands still have not cracked the code on how to utilize the platform.

WHAT IS TIKTOK?

TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, is a video-sharing social networking service platform which create short music, lip-sync, dance, comedy and talent videos of 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds. It is easy to make videos on TikTok because it gives you extensive selections and tools from sounds, popular song slips to short moments from TV shows.

MADE IN CHINA

TikTok is developed and owned by the Beijing based tech company ByteDance. The app was first time launched to the market in 2016 on the Chinese market. In China, the app has a different name and called Douyin(抖音). Later in 2017, TikTok was available in most markets outside of China. It is the first Chinese owned app to reach a success among end-users on a global level. One milestone was in November 2018 when TikTok became the first China-owned app to reach No.1 in the US Apple App store and the second most downloaded app overall the same month.

WHY IS TIKTOK SO POPULAR?

On TikTok, people are free.

In China, the slogan of TikTok is “Record Beautiful Life”. Everyone can share the moment of his/her life on TikTok with the support of easy editing function, various music selection and beauty camera. No matter the content is funny, strange, or scaring, people are free to share them on TikTok and record the moment you like.

HOW TO UTILIZE TIKTOK AS A BRANDING TOOL?

To target the Chinese customers, many brands have setup official accounts on TikTok’s Chinese version Douyin already. A wide range of different industries have established themselves from car, mobile, cosmetics to food and luxury hoping to utilize the platform to reach out to the Chinese target audience via Douyin.

Huawei is one of the brands which have official account on Douyin, and they are ranked on the top of popularity in the mobile section. The content focus on how to use their product to make videos and pictures which have received high view rate.

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In the car category, Lincoln ranks top which is aligned with the brand’s new strategy to appeal to the younger generation. Lincoln has leveraged on the TV drama which they have sponsored, the content focus on reediting TV drama series which focus on the Lincoln vehicles. Other car brands like BMW and Volkswagen have done similar tactics as Lincoln on Douyin.

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Cosmetic brands are also quite active on Douyin such as Lancôme, Shisedo, Estée Laude as well as Dior and YSL have joined the competition. Lancôme’s content has received a high amount of views and likes with their new brand ambassador Dongyu Zhou as well many contents from KOLs.

A key strategy for many brands has been to win over the younger generation to make the future win. This has been regarded as the bible for many brands marketing strategy these days. As TikTok is one of the top platforms for reaching this audience, TikTok has now become important marketing channel that is difficult to ignore. How to win the competition of marketing within the younger generation? As brand and marketer, we should be deep enough to think and brave enough to try.

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