TikTok is on everyone’s lips – currently more than ever. The Chinese app is growing steadily and more and more people are producing creative videos on the smart video platform.

For many people, it’s mainly “embarrassing lipsync videos” for which the Chinese platform is best known. The appeal and popularity of the app remain a bit incomprehensible to them at first. This is not entirely justified, because the app has many different video formats and the lip sync and dance performances are certainly only a part of the spectrum. And despite this skepticism, the app’s importance in the social media landscape is simply undeniable.

Here you can learn more about the app itself and of course the attractive possibilities it offers for influencer marketing.

What exactly is TikTok?


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Although TikTok is currently experiencing a boom and has become the first of its kind, this video platform is by no means a brand new app.

Bytedance, the company behind TikTok, launched a lipsync app called “Douyin” in China in 2016. A year later, in 2017 to be precise, the company bought the app Musical.ly, also from China, along with its 90 million registered users. The following year, Musical.ly and TikTok merged into a single app under the catchy name TikTok. The successful app currently has around 500 million users from 150 countries.

In February 2019, the Chinese app broke through the billion download mark. Of these downloads, 663 million were carried out in 2018. Quite remarkable, especially if you compare this with the download figures of Facebook (711 million) and Instagram (444 million).

The marketing strategy and the special structure of the app seem to be a well-functioning recipe for success. The structure promotes the development of trends and challenges that attract young people in particular.

The videos have a length of 10 to 60 seconds and are usually simply called “Tiktoks”. They have long since ceased to be found only on the platform itself, but are enthusiastically and eagerly shared via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Focus on creative production

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The special thing about TikTok is certainly the numerous editing options. These make the production and later sharing of smart, creative and entertaining short videos easy and agile. Although the tools are amazingly simple, they encourage creativity and new trends, new challenges and new memes are constantly emerging. Through the simple and straightforward form of sharing via the platform itself and other social media channels, the TikToks then spread like wildfire.

The special thing about the platform is its structure, which clearly distinguishes it from other social media. As soon as you open the app, it becomes immediately clear that everything revolves around videos. This is because the videos on TikTok can be seen on the entire screen in portrait format and not, as is the case with Instagram or Facebook, squeezed into a square format between the headline, user name and comments. The video captions and navigation bar are displayed over the video. So the content of the app is the focus of attention from the very beginning.

Another striking feature is that no login is required to browse the app. You can view everything just like that. But if you want to follow a special account and save TikToks, you have to open an account. You will simply be asked for an email or the Google account. It really couldn’t be easier.

The feed from TikTok is also very simple and consists of a simple vertical wipe gallery. This is available in two versions: “For you” and “Follow me”. In the “For You” feed, you can see content from different users, which is selected by an algorithm. An important factor here is for example the locality, so you get much less international content than for example with Instagram. In the “Follow Me” feed you will get the latest posts of the accounts you follow, i.e. you have subscribed to, so to speak.

This wiping gallery has quite a potential for addiction. The user gets an almost endless number of funny and entertaining video snippets and doesn’t have to read long articles or look at huge holiday pictures of friends like on Facebook. If you find a video boring, you just keep on wiping.

The app’s algorithm makes it possible for any video to become a real hit, regardless of the poster’s popularity and number of followers.

Integrated and creative video production


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A huge plus point of the app is for sure that the videos can be edited in the Zapp itself. On YouTube, for example, the videos are elaborately edited on the computer and only then uploaded. TikTok integrates content production as an integral part of the app and offers numerous attractive editing tools.

The Lipsync function is very popular, since this is exactly where TikTok originated. The user can select a snippet of music from the app’s database without having to import it laboriously. The audio track can then be listened to while recording to synchronously film lip movements and even smart dance movements. The video does not need to be cut and edited, because the user can simply film section by section to add humorous accents with Jumpcuts. There are also different speed levels and special effects, such as AR filters and distortion.

And, of course, funny skits and scenes can be accompanied by audio tracks from well-known movie scenes.

In any case, the spice is in the brevity and the videos should be really short. Anyway, it won’t last longer than 60 seconds.

Rapid development of trends and “challenges

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The selection of attractive editing options directly on the app naturally encourages creativity and every day new trends, jokes and above all challenges (hashtags) are created. These are not tests of courage, but typically a certain format which is to be imitated. A good example is the “Dancing Cloths Challenge”, where TikTok users are asked to make clothes dance on the floor. At Gamescom there was also a Cosplay Challenge from the Chip editorial team.

Another popular feature is the duet function, where two videos can be placed next to each other. This is often used as an “answer” to the video of another user and is very entertaining.

TikTok not yet flooded with brands and content marketing

So far, TikTok has not been inundated with influencers, famous actors and brands, unlike Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. So you’ll mainly find videos of “normal” users, and a few popular “TikTokers” who share moments from their everyday life and don’t try to present themselves as a brand.

So this currently offers a great and innovative way to open up TikTok for advertising. After all, TikTok has 500 million users. Football clubs such as FC Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona, for example, are already present on TikTok. Also well-known names like Netflix, BuzzFeed, and Playstation have recently started to open accounts on TikTok.

Advertising offer “Hashtag-Challenges”

An attractive option is certainly the challenges and the “trend ability” of the site to create advertising with content. Through the “Hashtag Challenges”, TikTok offers customers to use stickers and filters to encourage users to post content related to a specific product. This undoubtedly increases awareness of a product or brand. A very good and vivid example of such an advertising campaign is the campaign staged by “Guess”, which was the first partnership of this kind for TikTok in the USA. Users were asked to film themselves in jeans using the #InMyDenim hashtag.

The current campaign “Clean Snap Challenge” by TikTok in cooperation with the organisation Wings of the Ocean was also innovative. Here a dirty and cluttered place was to be filmed and then flicked. With a jumpcut the dirty place should be transformed into a clean place.

Conclusion TikTok for Social Media Marketing

TikTok is wonderfully creative and entertaining. Moreover, the video platform is very easy to use and versatile. TikTok is ideal for online marketing because of its trendy nature and the very popular challenges (hashtags). Since TikTok relative marketing is new territory, the platform can be integrated very innovatively into the online marketing concept and is certainly a very interesting option.

We at Adfluencer.de know how the video platform can be cleverly integrated into the online marketing strategy and we are happy to help you!