What is TikTok?

There is a popular social media app in China, known as Douyub, which was launched in September 2016 by Chinese technology company ByteDance. In the beginning, it was a platform characterized similarly to Instagram, namely for sharing videos that users share with each other. In November 2017, ByteDance bought Musical.ly, which allowed users to upload short 15-second videos with different backgrounds, songs or filters.

The most popular feature of Musical.ly was lip-syncing to the lyrics of a song chosen by the user (called karaoke). After buying the company at a cost of $800 million, the developers ported popular features from musical.ly to TikTok and took them up several levels. The biggest attraction of this app is its sophisticated algorithm, which detects the user’s tastes quite quickly and then shows them only the videos they are interested in.

Why is TikTok so popular right now?

In 2018, when ByteDance began applying innovation to TikTok, it kicked off an era and rapid rise in popularity. But the question is, why are users able to spend hours on TikTok and videos on this social network reach multiples higher numbers than on others? There are several reasons for this:

1. Scrolling keeps dopamine levels high in the brain

The big advantage of TikTok is its principle of operation. A user who is currently scrolling on TikTok can toggle through an infinite number of videos by sliding a finger across the screen from bottom to top. If the user is not interested in the video that is currently playing, they switch to it with a simple finger movement. Every video that appeals or entertains him will bring a dose of dopamine to the brain, and thus these neurotransmitters want more and more. It works similarly to the principle of a slot machine. It is very easy to get lost in the endless supply of videos for a time that the user is not aware of.

2. Shortened human attention span and short videos

In today’s digital age, it is very difficult to keep the attention of a customer or user for more than a few seconds. The large amount of advertisements and information contribute to the fact that our attention spans are shrinking year by year. That’s why short videos on TikTok are an ideal tool for keeping the user’s attention. If he’s not interested in one video within a few seconds, he’ll switch to the next one. However, there is a negative side to this trend. Students in schools or lectures can concentrate fully for much shorter periods of time than was the case a few years ago.

3. An easy way to become famous

Thanks to the algorithm that TikTok uses, the video you publish is more likely to be seen by a lot of people. This allows even unknown creators the opportunity to become well-known quite quickly. It all depends on the number of impressions or likes on your video. If it catches on shortly after release and people start liking it, your video can get thousands of views without you being a well-known creator beforehand.

Of course, care must be taken with the sound and video quality. However, it is scientifically proven that if you had a worse camera than a microphone, the viewer would stay with your video longer than if it were the other way around. Good sound is essential.

4. Quickly enter new trends on TikTok

The TikTok app has also become famous thanks to the many TikTok trends that have emerged on this social network. Dance trends, pranks, science facts and much more have been and are regularly created on TikTok. It is from this social network that trends are transferred to others (Instagram, Facebook). This also helps creators become more popular and gain a huge number of new followers.

5. An algorithm that immediately knows what you like

The algorithm determines which videos will be displayed on your homepage. TikTok will show you videos and accounts based on which videos you comment on and like, which accounts you follow or hide. It also senses what content you yourself add to TikTok. Unlike the algorithms of other social networks, TikTok excels in a variety of videos on the topics you are interested in.

Basic TikTok functions and their use

As with any social network, there are features on TikTok that make this app usable and unique. In general, TikTok is designed to be as easy to use as possible, with the aim of making it usable by a wide target group. The basic functions on TikTok include:

  • Home – Displays the two categories in which videos are displayed as soon as the app is turned on. The first one is called ,,for you”. This category also shows videos from users you don’t follow, and the algorithm recommends videos from different creators. The second category at the top of the screen is “stalkers”. In this category you can watch videos from the accounts you follow.
  • Discover – This service displays the most popular trends, hashtags or tags of trending creators when clicked.
  • Create Video – Used to create your own tick-tock. The user can apply different filters, songs and trends.
  • Profile – This field redirects you to your personal profile on TikTok. You’ll see how many people are following you, how many people are following you, and even the reach of your videos.
  • Inbox – If you have friends on TikTok, you can send messages to each other and also your favourite TikToks.

What is the primary target audience on TikTok?

This is an interesting question for a lot of marketers, social media managers and people who are thinking about adding their content to TikTok. Currently, TikTok already has more than a billion active users and will become the most downloaded app in the world by 2021. Up to 50% of the global audience is under the age of 34. The idea that TikTok is only used by children is no longer valid. Up to a quarter of users are between 45 and 64 years old. Of course, it’s important to consider whether trending communications are appropriate for your products and adhere to your brand’s Tone of Voice before you go promoting them on TikTok.

TikTok is a natural choice for the younger generation, as they are much closer to a video format where they don’t need to read lengthy statuses. Communicating with the younger generation appears to be more difficult and they are much more resistant to traditional advertising than generations before. That is why it is important to look for creative ways.

TikTok is a tempting marketing channel for 2023

There are several reasons why TikTok is still a lucrative place to promote your brand. In addition to the large number of users, there is high engagement, relatively low competition and a large number of users on this social network. In addition, TikTok marketing is still being used as a tool for organic content distribution.Positive perception of ads in the minds of consumers

Positive perception of ads in the minds of consumers

TikTok encourages creative thinking from brands because you never know when you might go viral. The rate of purchasing a product after seeing an organic ad on TikTok is many times higher because the customer doesn’t feel pressure and often it doesn’t even feel like an ad. Moreover, this shift is also perceived positively by the customers themselves, as the advertisement appeals to them with authenticity and raises their credibility towards the promoting brand.

High user engagement

When you think about it, it makes sense that users show more engagement when they are shown a lot of content they like and are searching for. Up to 35% of users confirmed that they watch less TV or other video content since they started using TikTok. At the same time, the like button is used to go back to your video in the library of saved videos. TikTok currently has one of the highest engagement rates of any social network.The price of promotion is zero

The price of promotion is zero

In Slovakia, TikTok still functions mainly as an organic content distribution tool. You don’t have to count on the cost of paid support yet. The entire platform is tailored to work on mobile, so the only investments are hardware and your time. TikTok as a platform offers its creators multiple features ranging from music, AR filters, editing tools and free video editing. For more sophisticated strategies, of course, expect to pay a price for working with influencers.

Relatively low competition

Many brands, especially in Slovakia, don’t see the advantage in creating content on TikTok, which represents an opportunity for competitors to be first on this social network and gather followers before everyone is there in a few months or years. The success of the video is tied to elements such as the use of popular sounds, hashtags, or movies or by engaging in various challenges.

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