At the beginning of 2019, TikTok was largely unknown. Many marketers dismissed it as the latest Gen Z fad, with many business owners opting not to invest resources in the “fleeting app.” Well, fast forward a few years later and TikTok’s success isn’t just record-breaking, it is impossible for marketers to ignore. TikTok became the most visited site in 2021, with more page views than Google. Since the start of 2018, no app has had more downloads than TikTok and its growth still shows no signs of slowing down. The 2020 lockdown contributed to TikTok’s highest influx of new users, causing the app to be seen as more than just an app for teenagers and kids. Today, 62% of TikTok users are under 30, while 11% are over 50 years-old.

The app’s unprecedented growth and massive cultural influence has cemented its status as one of the top three largest social media networks in the world. TikTok’s roots are in community, creativity, and collaboration. The result? A platform tailor made for authentic, captivating influencer marketing—with a massive, highly engaged audience. In other words, if your brand isn’t on TikTok already, you’re actively missing out on a promising marketing opportunity.

Still questioning if your brand should be on TikTok? Consider your business objectives and view TikTok as a way to personify your brand. Any brand that can visually demonstrate product value or valuable information can build a greater connection with consumers on TikTok.

Why your brand should be on TikTok (yesterday)

1. TikTok is a search engine

TikTok is more than a platform with a powerful algorithm—users are utilizing it for search in the same vein as giants like Google and YouTube. Users can browse tags that interest them, save inspirational and informative content, and scroll through a “For You” page that’s custom made to match their interests. TikTok’s algorithm is impeccably accurate.When a user first makes an account, their For You page is a blank slate. From there, TikTok maps out their interests based on which content they interact with. Liking a video, commenting on it, dueting it, or simply watching it all the way through is enough to tell TikTok, “I like this, show me more.” In effect, users end up seeing the exact type of content that appeals to them. This means advertising dollars are rarely wasted on TikTok, because ads are only shown to viewers who are likely to be interested in them.

2. Nearly 1 out of 3 TikTok users are parents

29% of TikTok users are parents with children between 6-18 years old, and many of them operate as parent content creators themselves.
And whose opinion does a parent trust more than another parent? Last year, TikTok played a role in 81% of back-to-school purchases among US-based users. In addition to product recommendations, parents look to TikTok to inspire their personal style, home renovations, meal prep, and DIY projects. At this point, it’s not even a question of whether brands should consider TikTok as a viable marketing channel. The evidence is impossible to dismiss.

3. TikTok’s full-service commerce solution shortens customers’ buying  journeys 

Digitally native consumers like Gen Z and Millennials require platform sophistication that highlights convenience and personalization. Social Native brand advisor Mike Janover, the VP of Global Digital & Direct Marketing at Gap Inc speaks to consumers high expectations that are pushing the envelope for a lot of retailers. He says, “It’s not about leveraging social platforms and driving traffic back to your own destinations, it’s about creating shopping experiences and native cart execution on the transaction inside the platform.” With features like Live Shopping and TikTok’s built in e-commerce functions, users can make purchases directly on TikTok without ever navigating to another site.

4. TikTok users are primed for product education

TikTok’s greatest strength is that it fosters a sense of community– A community that members rely on for hacks, reviews, and product recommendations. Just consider some of the top shopping tags on TikTok: #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has over 17B views, while #AmazonFinds has 24B, and #MustHaves has nearly 5B views. Product recommendations are such a big part of the TikTok ecosystem and are a beneficial content format for creators and e-com brands alike. Creators provide engaged viewers with the trusted and authentic recommendations they seek while e-commerce brands grow product education, gain awareness, and humanize brand values.

Let’s not forget the fact that product recommendations also have such a proven history of virality, that some creators will intentionally gatekeep products to avoid their favorite product selling out of stores everywhere. Any brand can partner with TikTok creators who educate community members about quality products and boost their value. E-com brands who aren’t tapping into this eager-to-share creator community are losing revenue and missing out on reaching engaged viewers (with high purchase intent).

5. Reach Gen Z where they are

Instead of narrowing in on Millennial shopping trends, it’s high time for brands to give more attention to the rising buying power of Gen Z. Older Gen Z consumers are now in their mid-twenties, and 74% of Gen Z spends their free time online. One of the proven ways for brands to cut through the ad clutter and engage Gen Z is by partnering with influencers they have already built trusted relationships with, or everyday creators who they can easily relate to. A whopping 85% of consumers say they find user-generated content (UGC) more influential than brand-created content. With TikTok, influencer ads are handpicked for viewers who already respect the opinions of the content creators producing them.

6. Proven success, TikTok drives sales

When a product goes viral on TikTok, expect it to sell out in a matter of days. While not every ad goes viral, numerous brands have proven TikTok to be an effective platform for sales. Products have flown off the shelves because of a TikTok trend or influencer post. These posts come across as helpful rather than pushy, which is what modern day consumers demand.

Just take Harvey’s. The Canadian QSR brand wanted to capture user attention on TikTok. Partnering with Social Native creators, Harvey’s TikTok campaign drove a 37% growth in app downloads. If that’s not a compelling reason for brands to be on TikTok, we don’t know what is.

7. Brands avoiding the adoption of mobile-first video will not survive

Thanks to the non-stop visual stimulation provided by smartphones and tablets, and the unlimited volume of entertaining content, our purchase behavior and demand for consumption is changing. TikTok’s short, snack-able video format supports our 1.7 second attention spans, enticing us to make purchases we weren’t even thinking about before opening the app. 64% of consumers make an immediate purchase after watching branded social videos, while 79% of the people say a video ad has convinced them to buy a product or software.

Mobile optimized vertical video is unequivocally the future of marketing, and TikTok is leading the way. The average person is estimated to spend 100 minutes every day watching videos online, and videos are projected to make up at least 82% of consumer internet traffic. That’s 15 times more traffic than just five years ago. Shoppable video is already starting to show higher conversion and click-through rates than those of display ads, and the shift is likely to accelerate.

8. Brands are still shaping longterm content strategies

Trying TikTok is also a low-risk endeavor. A long list of brands on TikTok have found success through paid UGC, without posting regularly themselves. It’s easy to test the waters without diving in head first. A recent study showed that 30% of brands advertising on TikTok have posted less than 100 videos, yet they’re still finding major success on the platform.

Don’t have a full-fledged content creation strategy? Don’t sweat it. There are thousands of content creators with loyal followings who can handle that part for you. Plus, since TikTok is a relatively new platform, all brands are still in the experimental stage. It’s the perfect time to make the jump.

Not sure if TikTok is serious enough for your brand? It’s not serious, and that’s the point.

To succeed on TikTok is to take a creative, light-hearted, and often-times humorous approach to advertising. As a community-based platform, the brands that resonate are the ones that embrace creators and join in on the fun. To get started, follow the latest trends, create eye-catching content, and interact with your audience in a real way.

Need inspiration? See how Social Native has helped brands like Savage X Fenty, Crocs, Cetaphil, & Imperfect Foods win on TikTok with creators.

Why brands choose Social Native:

  • Social Native offers an all-in-one e-commerce content solution that allows brands to unlock high-quality social content to power e-commerce, build consumer trust, and drive revenue. From the selection process of the most qualified creators around the world to the final creative deliverables – brands get authentic, customized content fast.
  • As an official TikTok marketing partner, we pair brands with our global creator network to create authentic content optimized to drive performance on TikTok. We have insights into performance, and best platform practices.
  • Over 1,500 top brands trust us to automate UGC across e-commerce, driving users from discovery to purchase. All content is enabled via our proprietary technology from AI image recognition, rights management, to 9:16 vertical video shoppable galleries.
Want to learn more about marketing on TikTok? Talk to our experts!