In 2022, TikTok reached over a billion users, and it surpassing Instagram in 2021 in terms of weekly usage among U.S. Gen Z youth. While U.S. government organizations have expressed concern about the parent company ByteDance, Ltd., and its Chinese ownership, TikTok’s engagement can not be ignored by marketers. 

We’ve outlined three considerations to help marketing leaders win on TikTok. 

(1) Do you have a Gen Z audience?

While TikTok is not only a Gen Z platform, if you have a target audience in the 25 and under age category, you should have a plan for TikTok. In the advent of Apple’s iOS 14.5 update, brands are now looking to diversify advertising and creative investments outside of Meta to tap into new audiences. 

According to Sensor Tower, TikTok’s users spend an average of 96 minutes a day on the app — nearly twice as much as their time on Facebook and Instagram. The brands that acted first on Facebook, Instagram, Google and YouTube grew their followings exponentially, and TikTok is no different. 

(2) Can you produce high quality short form video at scale? 

When it comes to growing on TikTok, being an entertainer is key. Consumers evaluate brands based on their ability to deliver value first in an authentic way. Dance videos, viral pranks, adorable pets, beauty tutorials, 60-second recipes, and education videos are all examples of ways to play. Defining your overall content for TikTok is step one. 

Step two is figuring out content production, which requires investment. On average, leading brands are posting organically ~20 times a month on TikTok and are tapping into different

trending TikTok themes and hashtags. TikTok requires either in-house content production, partnering with influencers and content creators, or both. 

The core benefit of TikTok is that you can create viral organic content that can attract millions of eyeballs to your brand. Instagram and YouTube are pure pay-to-play channels at this point. TikTok is a different video content first model, and is why Instagram has released ‘Reels’ and YouTube has released ‘Shorts’ to combat TikTok’s growth. 

(3) TikTok is investing in eCommerce.

In 2022, TikTok was projected to do over $10 billion in advertising according to CEO Shou Zi Chew, up 150% from 2021. TikTok ad revenue this year is expected to eclipse that of rivals like Twitter and Snapchat, while Meta has posted a second consecutive quarterly revenue drop, and Youtube reported its first decline in ad revenue in years. 

TikTok leverages a website pixel and uses only last-click measurement with a one-day attribution window on ad views, which likely under-estimates true attribution. Most walled-garden platforms like Meta, take a more generous attribution approach for conversion tracking. 

TikTok allows advertisers to target users in a similar way to Meta including broad, age, gender, location, interests, using existing customer lists, etc. TikTok also offers Spark Ads, which enables you to leverage organic TikTok posts in your advertising, similiar to boosted posts on Instagram. Users are also using TikTok search features to find things they might have once Googled for. 

In addition, creator content tagged with #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt is seeing exponential year-over-year growth which showcases that users are using the platform to influence purchasing decisions. TikTok has also just launched TikTok Shop, where users can now make purchases directly through the app. 

Tik Tik Tok 

While many CMOs have a robust strategy for TikTok, too many remain on the sidelines. In order to avoid falling behind in 2023, all CMOs must include TikTok on their strategic roadmap.

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