Is the time right for TikTok marketing?
For those who consider the realm of social media marketing as being limited to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, there is another platform whose potential is quickly being appreciated: TikTok, a Chinese-developed app that has become a phenomenon across 150 countries. And while TikTok has become the next important channel for many B2C campaigns, marketing experts are watching its ongoing evolution to determine whether B2B promotions will soon find a place in its digital orbit.
TikTok began its life in China in September 2016 as Douyin, an app that enabled users to create music and lip-sync videos running between three and 15 seconds and looping videos running between three and 60 seconds. The app was developed by ByteDance, a Beijing-headquartered company, and provided exclusively within China. Douyin was wildly popular and racked up more than 100 million users within its first year.
However, Douyin was subject to Chinese censorship restrictions on content, so ByteDance created TikTok as an international edition of the app and made it available beginning September 2017. Two months later, ByteDance acquired the Chinese app Music.ly for $1 billion, merging its user base with TikTok.
“To understand TikTok’s unprecedented growth, the app had around 500 million users in May 2019,” said Emad AbouElgheit, associate professor of marketing at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU). “That is nearly one fifth of users on the giant Facebook, but only in three years compared to Facebook’s 15 years of growth.”
TikTok has become particularly popular with younger audiences. The market research agency GlobalWebIndex reported that 41% of TikTok users belonged to Generation Z, the next demographic youth wave following the Millennials. For those who recall their youth rather than flaunt it, viewing TikTok content can be a little disconcerting.
“One look at the platform and you’ll immediately feel old,” joked Jaime Urteaga, founder and CEO at Digital Chair Inc. in White Plains. “I’ve spent a few hours on it over the years and each time it’s been the same experience. It has very Vine-like video clips – many are funny, cute, entertaining, or sexual, and probably 95% and more are by creators who are about age 15 to 18 years old.” ….[Read More]
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