TikTok Summarized: Ads, Bloggers, Audience and Promotion

You must have heard something about TikTok, maybe even used it.

What is TikTok

TikTok is an app for creating short music videos and instant messaging. The video platform has already gained popularity in China and is now growing rapidly in other countries.

As of today, TikTok claims to have more than 500 million users. They are mainly children and teenagers – 40% of the users are below 18.

App Overview

The app’s interface is very simple, comprising five sections:

  • Home: the feed of posts from the users you follow;
  • Discover: feed of popular and recommended videos;
  • Shoot Video pushbutton;
  • Notification;
  • Profile.

What is the TikTok app, interface photo

You can record a video directly in the app and, when finished, upload it or add filters, effects, AR masks or objects, music.

Subscribers on TikTok are called Fans.
The likes count is summed for all your videos and displayed in the profile.

Home page of the popular account on TikTok

Music is available in the app’s library owing to the acquisition of musical.ly in 2017.

Content on TikTok

Videos on TikTok are currently flippant and simple: in 15-second videos, users dance or lip-sync, viners shoot funny videos, video challenges enjoy popularity.

The TikTok app resembles Instagram’s or Snapchat’s Stories: vertical content, short videos, users’ reactions.

TikTok Audience Statistics, Globally and in Russia

On the average, a TikTok user spends 13 minutes a day in the app, as reported by the Mediascope survey. The app took the 4th position among messengers and social media, with only VK.com, Instagram and WhatsApp ranking higher.

Tiktok statistics of audience in the world and in Russia

In comparison, users spend 28 minutes a day on YouTube where videos are much longer.

The TikTok’s growth is mostly contributed by young users: the share of authors below 18 has increased by 40% over 2018, as reported by Brand Analytics:

Average age of TikTok audience and platform trends

 By the number of downloads, TikTok even outranked Instagram in 2018. In general, Android and iOS users downloaded the app 663 million times over the year, with only 444 million for Instagram, as reported by Sensor Tower.

Percentage of TikTok app downloads in USA compared to other apps

In January 2019, TikTok ranked third by the all-time total number of downloads for Android and iOS.

TikTok Bloggers

Thanks to the recommender, any profile can get famous on TikTok. Every video is ranked individually, so one of your videos, even if your account is not widely promoted, may get famous on TikTok and bring thousands of likes and fans.

Influencers from other platforms quickly gain popularity — Instagram and YouTube bloggers come to the platform together with their audiences.

Popular TikTok Influencers

Even celebrities have users accounts on the platform: Rita Ora, Amy Schumer, Tony Hawk and other famous influencers.

How to get famous on TikTok

The steps to success and popularity on any social media are as simple as pie:

  1. Create a TikTok account;
  2. Look at what other influencers do, what subjects and presentation attract TikTok users;
  3. Analyze what materials get recommended;
  4. Create cool content;
  5. Repeat the previous step until you get famous on TikTok and reach success.

TikTok’s Advertising Capabilities

Hashtag Challenge

Challenges are the main TikTok ads format and one of the key content categories. The platform always has some challenges going on, which anyone can join.

The mechanics are simple: popular TikTok bloggers launch a challenge to record a video with a particular track playing and post it on your profile with a hashtag.

Such video by an influencer can receive up to 500,000 views, after which it appears in the recommended feed and subscribers join the challenge.

All the videos are available by the hashtag and such campaigns may reach far beyond the expectations due to the involvement of not only influencers but their subscribers as well.

The main format of advertising on TikTok is hashtag Challenge

TikTok suggests that brands participate in Hashtag Challenges as an efficient ads format, as reported by Digiday.

Metrics: banner views and clicks, hashtag page view, user-generated video count, engagement by video (likes, comments, shares), branded music usage count (if any)

Brand Takeover

A large update appears right after opening the app. It is a picture, gif or video sized up to 2 MB.
The ad contains website link or unique hashtag.
Metrics: views, reach, clicks

Advertising on TikTok, Brand Takeover

In-Feed Native Video

The ad video appears in TikTok user’s feed among other content. The duration is up to 15 seconds, it may be accompanied by a call to action, link and hashtag.

The video opens in full screen, resembling ads in Instagram Stories. It can be skipped.

Metrics: shows, clicks, CTR, video views, 3-second views, 10-second views, average viewing time, engagement by video (likes, comments, shares)


Branded Lenses, Masks, Stickers

This ads format on TikTok resembles Snapchat and Facebook lenses. Lenses on TikTok may be created for a limited period of time (up to 10 days). Branded materials will be shown in key places throughout the app.
Formats: 2D, 3D, AR.

Tiktok ads the form of branded lenses, masks and stickers

Placement by Bloggers

TikTok already has its opinion leaders. Brands cooperate with them to launch challenges or simply place their ad campaign’s materials.

You can find Russian TikTok bloggers for ad placement on unofficial exchanges like this one.

The blogger ad market has not been established yet, so the prices are often not substantiated.


Best Videos on TikTok

If you still struggle to imagine what it is like to use the app and are not willing to download it, watch this compilation of the funniest (in the reviewer’s opinion) and best videos from TikTok. 

TikTok Cases

#inmydenim Challenge by Guess

The clothing brand launched the campaign on TikTok in September 2018. Platform’s popular bloggers posted videos showing them wearing old clothes and making fun at their image, after which they changed to a brand-new look in Guess clothes. The challenge was accepted by ordinary and popular TikTok users, so the campaign’s total reach exceeded 30 million users.

TikTok Challenge by Guess

#shareacoke by Coca-Cola

One of the first major brand cases is the Coca-Cola’s experience. The company launched a challenge on TikTok, where users made videos with a bottle of coke.

Coca-Cola have launched its challenge on TikTok