Even if you aren’t on TikTok, you must have heard about this fast-growing social media app or seen the viral dance videos from the app.

TikTok, which has more than a billion active users, is a social app that allows its users to create and share short videos. TikTok is also one of the most downloaded social media apps.

The good news, the app is no longer a preserve for the cool kids or teens looking for fame. According to recent statistics, the app’s user base is growing with more adults getting on the platform.

Brands too haven’t been left behind when it comes to embracing TikTok. Notable brands such as NBA, The Washington Post, Amazon, Gymshark, and UEFA are just a few examples of businesses showing their creative side on the platform.

So, what’s stopping you from harnessing the power of TikTok to boost organic reach and drive traffic to your business?

If you’re curious to know what is TikTok and how you can use the platform for marketing your brand, you’re in luck.

Read on, as this article has everything you need to know about TikTok marketing, and when you’re done check out our other TikTok guides:

What Is TikTok?

TikTok is a video-sharing app that allows users to create and share short 15-seconds videos. Users can also customize the videos with filters, stickers, GIFs, music, among other features. Users can further engage with the localized content by liking, sharing, or commenting on it.

TikTok was initially launched as Douyin in China in September 2016. In 2017, the app’s parent company ByteDance acquired Musical.ly and merged the two to form the international version of Douyin, currently referred to as TikTok.   

Today, TikTok still maintains the separate app Douyin for its Chinese market. However, users in other countries can download TikTok, the Douyin twin app on Google Play or the App Store.

Why Is It so Popular?

As of September 2021, TikTok had more than a billion active users. The app, which is available in more than 200 countries, is also one of the fastest-growing social networks globally.

To put the popularity of this app into perspective, consider the following:  

  • It has taken TikTok less than six years to reach its current one billion users, something that Instagram and Facebook achieved in almost a decade.  
  • The app that has been installed 3 billion times became the most installed non-game app between January and June 2021, with 383 million downloads
  • TikTok, which was launched less than a decade ago, is the sixth-largest social media platform ahead of Twitter, Telegram, Reddit, Snapchat, and Pinterest apps that have been around for much longer

So, why is TikTok so popular?

Easy video creation and sharing – TikTok has simplified the video creation and sharing process. Users only need to record a video on the app, edit the video using the app’s features and then post it for a chance to become famous.

Keep scrolling – When you open TikTok, the videos start playing one by one. This means users have to keep scrolling if they want to get entertained. This makes the app very addictive, and users often find themselves watching random videos for hours.

Variety – Another notable advantage of TikTok is that you can find just about anything on the app. The app had a vast category of videos from hobbies, humor, travel, education, fashion, dance, photography, and fitness. This provides a variety of videos for users to watch and different interests that creators can choose from.

The TikTok algorithm – One of the reasons why so many users love TikTok is the app’s discovery page, also referred to as the For You Page. This algorithm tracks the videos that a user interacts with and creates content suggestions based on these interests. The result is content that is optimized to the user’s taste. Besides, the algorithm makes it easier for content to go viral on the platform than on any other social media app.

The trends – TikTok users can’t get enough of the app’s trends and viral challenges. Any TikToker can participate in any of these challenges by creating content that aligns with the trend. Trends also increase the chances of a video going viral.

Caters for short attention spans – TikTok appeals predominantly to its younger audience because of its ability to cater to this generation’s short attention spans. Most young people are on the lookout for stimulating micro-entertainment, and TikTok fits the bill perfectly.

Tiktok communities – TikTok is more than an entertainment app as it also allows users to interact with people who share similar interests. Users on the app can join communities dedicated to the things they love. Examples of popular communities on TikTok include the pet-centric, fashion, comedy, and travel communities.

Who Uses Tiktok?

The majority of TikTok users are teens. For example, in the US, 48% of TikTok users are aged between 10 and 29. Research done in other countries further shows that Gen Zers are the major TikTok users.

However, although the app mostly appeals to the younger generation, more millennials are joining the platform. For instance, more than 20% of US TikTok users as of September 2021 were aged between 30 and 39.

TikTok is also popular with famous people. Celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Selena Gomez, Jason Derulo, Frankie Jonas, 5SOS, Snoop Dogg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Kendall Jenner have managed to stay relevant on the app.

Brands too have realized that TikTok gives them a platform to keep their audience engaged and showcase their creativity. For instance, global brands such as Nike, FIFA, Ryanair, Zara, Sony, Marvel, Calvin Klein, Nando’s, Glossier, and BMW are famous for their engaging videos on the platform.

An excellent example of a brand that has embraced TikTok with open arms is Marvel. The entertainment brand which has more than 2.7 million followers often keeps its TikTok audience on the loop with videos of trailers, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage.

What Content Can You Create for TikTok?

If you’re just starting out on TikTok, you’ll be happy to know that there are many features and ideas that content creators like you can use on the app.

We share some of the ways creators use TikTok to make content.

1. Create Videos

Engaging videos are one of the classic types of content on TikTok. Examples of videos ideas that you can use to get attention on the app include:

  • Dance videos
  • Duet videos
  • Videos of current events
  • Special occasion videos
  • Trending topic online
  • Educational videos
  • Tutorials
  • Before and after videos
  • Live videos
  • Freeze frame videos
  • Slow-motion videos
  • Playbacks

Remember to add filters, text, GIFs, emojis, stickers, popular songs, and transitions to make your videos more appealing. You can even combine multiple videos on the app to upload a longer 5 minutes video.

2. Join a Viral Trend

From the Ugly Baby challenge to the Frozen honey challenge, there is always a viral challenge on TikTok. Not forgetting the dance challenges, the likes of I Like To Move It or Cardi B’s Up dance trend.

You can take advantage of TikTok challenges which are mostly themed around a trend or a sequence of moves to create exciting content on TikTok

3. Organize a Contest

As a brand, you can organize a contest and encourage users to take part in it with the help of a popular hashtag.

For instance, you can encourage your audience to share user-generated videos of them using one of your products for a chance to win a gift hamper.

User-generated content is an excellent way for brands to get TikTok followers as it creates loyalty and trust among your audience. Such content also builds the credibility of a brand.

4. Branded Hashtag

This is where you use a branded hashtag to encourage users to create videos related to your brand or campaign.

For instance, Netflix recently used the hashtag # What’sYourPower to promote Project Power. Users were requested to share videos of their superpower using this hashtag. The campaign, which garnered more than 6.4 billion views, was a huge success.

When creating your branded challenge, remember to keep it simple and fun. Also, have a goal in mind, as this makes it easier for you to measure your success. For instance, Netflix’s goal was to encourage users to watch the movie Project Power.

Ways You Can Use TikTok for Marketing

Marketing on TikTok involves creating content that will excite your audience. If you create interesting videos, the TikTok algorithm will most likely put your content in front of many people.

Additionally, adding a bio to your TikTok profile will further help your audience understand who you are as a brand. Remember to also add a clickable link to your website and other social platforms on your bio section.

Let’s look at the different ways you can use TikTok as a marketing tool, shall we?

Use Hashtags

Hashtags help people find your content on TikTok. Hashtags also optimize your videos for the search feature on the app.

When choosing hashtags for your TikTok videos, ensure they’re relevant. To get hashtags that you can use with your video, type a general keyword related to your content on the app’s search section. You’ll get a range of related hashtags to choose from.

Remember, choosing popular TikTok hashtags makes it easier for your content to gain visibility.

As mentioned earlier, you can also launch a branded hashtag challenge and hope it goes viral.

Influencer Marketing

Just as you can partner with influencers on other social platforms, it’s also possible to use influencer marketing on TikTok.

TikTok influencers have millions of followers, and they can also help drive traffic to your brand.

Besides, influencers have experience using TikTok and know the features, tools, and trends to use to make your content go viral.

As a brand, when partnering with an influencer, ensure the person’s niche is related to yours. For instance, if your brand sells home improvement products, it wouldn’t be wise to partner with a pet influencer. The influencer’s personality should also match with your brand’s voice.

TikTok Ads

Compared to other social media apps such as Instagram and Facebook, TikTok is less saturated with ads, making it easier for your ad to get more clicks and views.

As a TikTok marketer, you can run banner or in-feed ads or even use a sponsored hashtag challenge. Other types of ads offered by TikTok include branded effects, top view ads, and brand takeover.

You can always upgrade your account to a pro account at no cost if you want to get analytics that can help you customize your ads for your target audience.


In closing, it’s no secret that TikTok has taken the world by storm. If you’re a social media marketer, it’s about time you got familiar with the app as it looks like it’s here to stay.

Hopefully, this article has given you insights on how TikTok works and ways you can use it to market your brand. So, it’s now time to get the ball rolling.

We’d love to get your feedback on the article and hear how your TikTok marketing is going. So, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

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