This is an excerpt from a story originally published in Startup Nation.
With 672 million app store hits, TikTok was 2022’s most downloaded social media platform. And while the average TikTok user spends around 95 minutes a day on the app, only 18% of marketers use it. With such a growing audience — and relatively sparse competition — the platform’s marketing potential is clearly there.
To start with, TikTok has surpassed Instagram as the app fave among the Gen Z cohort. Plus, 55% of TikTok users buy a product once they see a brand on the site. While younger audiences tend to gravitate more toward the platform, it doesn’t mean older ones aren’t there, too. About 45% of U.S. users are Millennials, and 38% represent Gen X. Approximately 25% are between the ages of 50 and 59.
For startups and growing businesses, all those compelling stats make TikTok a platform to watch. Brands can reach and engage with audiences while also capitalizing on the app’s trends. We’ll dig into some of the more notable ones below and discuss how startups can take advantage of them.
Ads Can Automatically Match Audience Interests
Compared to other social platforms, TikTok is a horse of a different color. The content is video-based and leans toward the creative, eccentric side. Yes, the app is known for its dance challenges and trendy music. But it does share some similarities with the more straightforward platforms like Facebook.
One similarity is that brands can target audiences based on their interests. If snowboarding captivates a specific segment, an outdoor clothing company’s ad will likely resonate. In similar fashion, personal finance apps will probably perform well with an audience that’s into budgeting and saving. Yet where TikTok stands out is with its user-based algorithm.
Thanks to this algorithm, TikTok users automatically see ads that relate to the videos they watch. So if someone views a bunch of shorts about budgeting, they’re more likely to see ads for apps like Envie. With its digitized version of the 100-envelope challenge, the app turns setting aside money for a rainy day into a game. By engaging with Envie’s ad, personal finance enthusiasts learn about a unique but fun way to save.
The best part about the user-based algorithm is the automation behind it. Social media managers don’t have to spend as much time thinking about how they’ll reach TikTok audiences. As long as the ad content appeals to something market segments gravitate toward, they’ll probably see it. And more exposure to a brand increases the chances people will eventually try its products.
TikTok Marketing Trends for Startups
Reaching viable audiences is part of any startup’s business plan. It helps generate the leads and conversions every company needs for healthy profits. Even so, building brand awareness in an age of information overload can be challenging.
Social media marketing is often essential for brands, but breaking through the noise takes more than conventional tactics. Trends on unique and growing platforms like TikTok are chances to attract attention. With less competition and highly targeted engaging ads, startups can seize TikTok’s marketing opportunities.