The Skinny on TikTok

March 11, 2022

If your brand wants to reach the lucrative Gen Z audience, then a TikTok strategy is a must. Candor breaks down how this popular platform works to your advantage.

Sick of hearing about TikTok? Better get over it, fast — this social platform preferred by Gen Z now has a whopping 1 billion monthly users, meaning Boomer- and Gen X-led brands simply can’t ignore it anymore.  

If you’ve yet to download the app (seriously, don’t be scared), you might be wondering, “What exactly is TikTok, and how can it help our marketing efforts?” 

We’re glad you asked.  

TikTok is a short-form video and social media platform. In the app, you can find just about every topic or activity imaginable cooking videos, dance routines, makeup tutorials … really, we could go on forever.  

So, what makes it different from YouTube and Instagram, two other social media giants reliant on video content?  


YouTube vs. TikTok 

While YouTube features longer-form, almost episodic material, TikTok favors creative clips 30 seconds or less. What also sets TikTok apart is its in-app recording feature and an entire library of music made by professional artists and everyday users.  


Instagram vs. TikTok 

Instagram is all about putting your best face forward just Google “Instagram vs. Reality” to see what we mean. TikTok, on the other hand, champions genuineness and charisma. This can make advertising on TikTok tricky. Brands must be willing to forgo highly polished videos to resonate with users. The goal on other social media platforms might be to stand out, but on TikTok, you just want to blend in.  

Now that you get the gist of how TikTok works, check out some strategies for success below. 


Know Your Audience 

Omnicore notes roughly 50% of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34, with 32.5% of users between 10- and 19-years-old. If your target audience doesn’t fit the ‘young adult’ demographic, TikTok might not be the best place to use your advertising dollars. That said, TikTok could be the gateway your brand needs to break through to a younger crowd! As the kids say, TikTok is more about vibes than conversions.  


Do Your Homework 

TikTok has a “feed” feature similar to Twitter and Instagram, so it’s simple for users to quickly digest current trends — like Isn’t This Easy? andHead vs. Heart.” Piggybacking on trends is the key to domination. Because success on TikTok depends on being “in the know,” brands of all sizes have an equal opportunity to go viral. 

This requires investing time on the app and exploring popular sounds, hashtags, videos and topics. It’s important your team fully understands what’s trending and brainstorms ways to insert your brand into the conversation. 

It’s also worth noting the life span of trends vary. Sometimes it takes less than two weeks for popular formats to die out. Your team must be prepared to spring into action and churn out content quickly to see results. 


An Ads Manager Like Any Other 

TikTok has its own Ads Manager for businesses and creators filled with robust targeting options and objectives. Whether your goal is to grow your following, drive traffic to your website or just gain general brand awareness, TikTok ads provide that avenue.  

TikTok also makes partnering with influencers incredibly easy. Promoting content from influencers’ pages helps brands sell their products and services with more authenticity, and users are more likely to buy a product via a third-party endorsement.  

Get Ready to Get Weird 

Take a note from Duolingo – every video your brand publishes doesn’t have to fall into traditional social media content buckets (brand awareness, education, direct sales, etc.). TikTok is all about humor, entertainment and relatability, which means being honest with your audience and getting a little weird. At the end of the day, what sticks with this audience won’t be the hard-hitting slogan it’ll be the giant green owl twerking.  

With TikTok, the world is your oyster. Creativity and authenticity are the keys to building a strong relationship with your audience. Be sure to follow the Candor TikTok for inspiration and ideas! 

Need help building an audience on TikTok? Contact Candor to get in touch with our award-winning social media team. 

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