“Should we be on TikTok?” Brands and companies in all industries are asking themselves this question as the platform continues to grow. TikTok is available in more than 150 countries, has over 1 billion users, and has been downloaded at least 200 million times in the US alone, according to Wallaroo Media.

For many marketers, it is a breeze to try it out.

“It’s almost imperative that brands are involved because now is the time to capture that organic growth,” said Aliza Licht, founder and president of consulting firm Leave Your Mark. “TikTok is ripe for inclusion.”

What sets TikTok apart from other social media platforms is its general virality, according to marketers. TikTok has a knack for connecting people through discovery with common interests as it is based not on who you know or follow, but on the content. With it, users with small followers can often get views in the hundreds of thousands to millions. User Anna DeCarlo, for example, has a modest 9,000 TikTok fan base and received nearly 115,000 views on a video showing her shoe closet.

@ 4nna20

My shoe collection is my baby and that’s not even half of it – if someone wants to see the rest lmk # fyp #fashion #shoecollection #demonia

♬ Space Girl – Frances forever

It’s not all about singing and dancing either, which is a common misconception. Content is created in different categories – including fashion, a breakout level that brands can benefit from.

In 2020, the app could be credited for many of the biggest style trends for home orders – whether it was the Nike Air Force 1s explosion or tie-dye tracksuits – and the fashion category continues to grow on the platform and, according to a report by Statista, will receive a whopping 17.5 billion views as of June 2020.

“Fashion is unique in the sense that it is so dynamic and culturally connected that everyone has the opportunity to indulge in it,” said Matt Cleary, director of retail & dining at TikTok’s Global Business Solutions, told FN. “Fashion is one such opportunity for TikTok to be a force in itself, but also a huge channel for brands to either reinvent themselves or to build new relationships.”

An estimated 60% of TikTok users are Gen Zers, a key demographic for brands looking to target younger audiences. In addition, TikTok users are aging – with more millennials using the platform.

In addition to brand building, the question that arises for many companies is: Is there a sales opportunity? And the numbers show that users have an appetite for shopping: the popular #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, for example, currently has 1.9 billion views and offers a variety of trending products purchased, including everything from Walmart sneakers to Aerie leggings.

@ karinamflores1

#omg #fyp #sneakers #walmart 🤎🤍🤎🤍🤎

♬ La Maria – Anuel AA and Ozuna

The case for Instagram

While TikTok is a rapidly growing platform with new content, Instagram remains the primary tool for social media marketing. For example, at the end of 2020, 96% of brand campaigns included Instagram influencers, compared to 6.8% TikTok influencers, as reported by the Influencer Marketing Hub.

Kyle Hjelmeseth, founder of G & B. Digital Management stated that influencers stick with Instagram because it’s so well established.

“Influencer talent is so ingrained in Instagram that brands are spending money there. So there is little incentive for Instagrammers to switch to TikTok, ”he said. “They are beautiful Manufacturing a amount of Money. And Instagram now have roll [videos], sÖ we can well do the equal Thing while to keep to Your Vein Audience.”

On the brand side, Instagram remains a safe investment: companies have already built relationships and know how it works.

“The credibility is still there,” explained Gil Eyal, founder of the influencer marketing database HYPR. “If you want to build a brand reputation and surround it with people who are thought leaders in fashion, you will likely do better in a place like Instagram. Every photo is carefully examined before it is published and your brand is seen the way you want it to be. If you’re looking for visibility and people are talking about your brand and want to give up control, then because of the nature of the platform, TikTok is a much better place. “

In fact, TikTok has many advantages. Current data from the influencer marketing platform Upfluence showed a much higher value Engagement rates on TikTok, where micro-influencers had engagement rates of 17.96% compared to 3.86% on Instagram.

Eyal said, “It depends on your audience, but if all things are the same, there’s no question that TikTok is way better than Instagram right now [when it comes to engagement]. Facebook and Instagram have simply implemented algorithms that limit your viewership in order to get people to pay for extra exposure. “

However, Licht added that Instagram is still tremendously important from a performance marketing standpoint. “When we say it’s the # 1 platform, it’s because it drives sales,” she said. “Organic contributions are hard, but payable. So if you’re an ecommerce brand, don’t give up on Facebook and Instagram. “

Find a balance

Even though Instagram is a successful platform for brands, the goal, according to experts, is to diversify your audience. Hence, TikTok should be part of the plan.

They suggest brands create their own account on the platform and use organic posts as a testing ground to see what resonates. Next, tap on TikTok Creator to achieve specific goals, such as: B. a product launch.

One way that TikTok attracts brands and influencers is through the Creator Marketplace, which helps with this Establish direct collaborations and partnerships between brands and developers.

“Creators are the lifeblood of our platform,” said Cleary. “When we think about how brands can participate, we generally refer to creators, either as a muse or a tool that brands can use. They are platform natives; You know exactly what works. They know their content goes very viral if they lean on what makes them different and authentic, and we want to make sure brands use them for that. “

Licht also advised TikTok newbies to research small hashtags and not be so careful with content. “It’s okay to make mistakes,” she said. “It’s okay not to know how to use it. It’s an initiation by fire and you have to test things. “

However, experts said businesses need to realize that Instagram or YouTube content on TikTok does not translate well. For example, repurposing content and cutting a fashion campaign video or runway clip in 30 seconds will not connect to TikTokers.

“We want our brands to create TikToks, not ads,” Cleary said. “They need to be comfortable dismantling, testing, sourcing, and listening to their traditional guard rails. The best brands, they listen to their fans already talking about them on the platform and then lean on these trends. “

For marketers, the success of TikTok doesn’t mean the end of Instagram. But they warn that Instagram fatigue is out there and consumer expectations are changing.

“It creates a competitive environment for other platforms to attract and nurture developers. So far this has been less of a concern, ”said Eric Dahan, CEO of Open Influence. “Instagram offers a greater sense of comfort. [but] TikTok forces platforms to think about how to do justice to their influencers [and] Audience.”