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TikTok for retailers and brands: the platform to build lasting connections

TikTok is the social network of the moment. Since its appearance in 2016, its growth has been unquestionable. It currently has 1 billion monthly active users and is the seventh most popular social network in the world. Its international expansion came about in 2018 when ByteDance, the company that developed the platform, bought, one of the most popular social networks among young people in the United States. 

Since then, the use of the platform has grown internationally. However, it was not until 2019 that the app experienced its greatest growth with the viralisation of its memes, dances and challenges. With a fresh and young format, its users share videos of up to 60 seconds with dances, and trendy songs. This is a great opportunity for retailers and brands to take advantage of a new way of communicating and connecting with consumers. 

Digital Marketing for Retailers

How to connect with TikTok’s audience?

Gen Z and Millennials

Unlike Facebook and Instagram, which have a more polarised audience, 75.6% of TikTok users are between 18 and 34 years old. Therefore, the app belongs to generation Z and millennials. However, the gender of its users shows greater parity, with 55% being female and 45% male. 

This very young audience defines the dynamics of this platform, where fun, emotional winking, usefulness and humor are what count most. But why is the platform so successful among younger users?

Codes and formats

Their formats and codes are very characteristic. In this sense, music videos and challenges have become the king of content, where singing and dancing are the most common, and where there is no room for embarrassment. The creators of TikTok understood the habits and behaviors of their audience perfectly, to offer them a unique space to share content. 

Likewise, retailers and brands wishing to advertise on TikTok and connect with users of this generation will have to adapt their content to the “codes” and trends of this platform if they want to succeed (Hashtag Challenge, branded effects,…). Most of the users of this social network are digital natives, who quickly detect conventional advertising. Therefore, adapting your content to TikTok formats will reduce this sensation on the part of your audience and increase the impact of your marketing actions.

TikTok’s algorithm

Social media algorithms are designed to make users spend as much time as possible on the platform. TikTok’s algorithm is programmed with artificial intelligence and determines what content the user will see on the ‘For You’ page. Based on the user’s previous interactions with the content, it will display related videos according to the user’s interactions, the information contained in the post’s caption, and the device’s settings. 

What content works best on TikTok?

Unlike other social networks, TikTok only allows you to publish audiovisual content. That is why the specifications of its videos are very well defined. The platform recommends that videos should have a 9:16 (vertical) format and be up to 60 seconds long. The most popular content is listed below: 

Show products in action

A very popular idea is to publish your products in action. It is a great way to connect with the user and show them the benefits of the product. It can also help build trust in your products. These videos can be fun, informative and even educational. Still, be sure to use your creativity and think outside the box.

Harness the power of Hashtags

To increase your chances of being seen, try using popular hashtags and tag your videos with these hashtags. This will make it easier for TikTok’s algorithm to recognise your content. It’s also a good idea to check your followers’ posts to see if you’ve been tagged in their videos. This will increase your chances of being featured on the ‘For You’ page.

Partner with Influencers

One of the best ways to expand your audience is to collaborate with influencers. Influencers are communities that are highly engaged with the platform. They know how to use TikTok’s features and trends, and are often willing to collaborate with brands. Through TikTok’s creator marketplace, retailers can reach out to these influencers and create a video that can be shared on the platform.

Follow the latest trends

To get more visibility for your content, you should follow the latest trends. Use the trendiest dances, the songs of the moment and look for how your business can fit into these formats to reach your potential customers. This way, you will have more chances that your videos will be shared by users and that the TikTok algorithm will give it more visibility.

Why should retailers and brands use TikTok?

In addition to being a social network, TikTok allows retailers and brands to create a more personal connection with customers. TikTok users are affluent, and are looking for authentic relationships and long-term partnerships. If you’re looking for a new way to connect with your audience, the power of TikTok is more than a great way to do it.

In turn, the app presents itself as a new tool to connect with a young audience with creative and innovative formats. It opens up a great opportunity for retailers and brands to reach an audience that is increasingly distanced from traditional communication channels. 

Unlike other platforms, TikTok is committed to authentic content and provides functionalities for creators to develop it. One of its most outstanding advantages is the ease of creating and editing videos in the most agile way. Thus, TikTok is presented as the app par excellence to connect with a digital native audience through current language, codes and formats.