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2019 will be the year of TikTok

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I don’t usually make this sort of assumptions, but I believe 2019 will be the year of TikTok.

With marketing budgets being already split, I think local brands will only activate on this platform when their agencies will have the courage to activate there. Currently, Brand Managers and agency creatives are still learning how to create content suitable for TikTok and make the best out of this platform.

I expect FMCG and clothing brands to take the lead in this. But I know for sure that with creativity almost any brand could use TikTok. In 2020 marketing budgets and influencer marketing campaigns will definitely focus on this platform, as it is growing at a fast pace.

Owner Bytedance has claimed TikTok has 500 million users worldwide, which positions the company to compete with more established social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube. In 2018, TikTok was one of the most downloaded apps in the world.

The only top five app (ranked by downloads) that isn’t owned by Facebook

 

A brief history of the platform & some stats

If you are over the age of 18 and feel lost already, let me give you some context. TikTok is the newest hot player in the social media platform mix. It was originally launched in China, in 2014 under the name Musical.ly.

You’ve probably heard of the last one. It was dominated by preteens lip-syncing and creating choreographies. Last August, Musical.ly was bought by ByteDance, who merged the app with its own app, TikTok. ByteDance had launched Douyin in September 2016 and had named it TikTok when entering the international market one year later (they still keep the original name in their home country). The relaunch of Musical.ly made the app a sharing social networking app which has become a global phenomenon among younger consumers.

The 15 seconds video sharing app was downloaded more than 1 billion times worldwide both in the App Store and Google Play (including its regional variations), according to Sensor Tower. They believe approximately 663 million installs occurred in 2018 and that 25% of downloads were made in India.

Monthly active users of the app have grown from 100 million to more than 130 million in the past three months. Other sources find that there are over 500 million active users monthly.

The most successful account (outside China) is owned by two German identical twins, Lisa and Lina. They have over 32,7M followers.

https://m.tiktok.com/h5/share/usr/9205496.html

 

You should install it too! If not to keep up with the teens, the world and trends, just to have a laugh. I’ve caught myself spend tens of minutes on the app before going to bed. I find it similar to Vine, because most of the sketches catch me off-guard. TikTok empowers everyone to be a creator, making video editing incredibly simple.

TikTok in Romania – how does the local market look

We don’t have the stats yet, but it is assumed there were over 176k TikTok accounts created in Romania. Other marketers assume there are 300k to 500k accounts. Content uploaded here varies from dance moves to singing or acting, from makeup tutorials to drawing or painting. The most appreciated type of content are the challenges, this is where the creative minds outreach other accounts.

For now, brands are not active on TikTok. So let’s take a look at the most popular accounts based in Romania. If you know or manage any brand which has a local presence on TikTok, don’t hesitate to brag about it below this article! We’d be happy to find that brand activate on this new cool platform – even if it’s just beta testing for now.

If you want to get started on TikTok, here are some accounts to inspire you

Dania

The most popular Romanian creator on TikTok is Dania, a 17-year-old girl who shares videos of her drawings, paintings and challenges. Dania is the first Romanian user to gather over 1.8M followers on the platform.

https://m.tiktok.com/h5/share/usr/23267090.html 

 

Andra Gogan is the second Romanian user to gather over 1M followers on TikTok. She was active on Musical.ly long before we took a glimpse to these platforms. Content wise, she uploads challenges, dancing moves, funny sketches and personal videos to engage with her audience.

https://m.tiktok.com/h5/share/usr/90589081520246784.html

Bibi

The same goes for Bibi, who uses the video sharing app to promote her music & creates several slice of life stories (her daily life, with music, to go with the platform’s content). She gathered 291k followers.

http://vm.tiktok.com/eCoxg6/

Alisa Gaspar

Another girl, another sketch account. Alisa has over 295k followers and she’s in to do business. In fact, most of the accounts I found to be big in Romania have provided contact information for partnerships. If you manage a brand’s online presence and what to get on TikTok, contacting these local influencers could be the first step to do so.

http://vm.tiktok.com/eXBUJS/

Diana Condurache

Part of 5Gang, Diana has 115k followers on TikTok. Here, she uploads funny moments and sketches or just daily activities with background music.

http://vm.tiktok.com/eXkkWa/

 

INNA has over 85k followers and is popular on the platform for challenges created based on her songs. She uses the platform to stay in touch with her audience and promote her music.

http://vm.tiktok.com/eXLEEd/

What could brands do on TikTok

There is huge potential here. Here are 3 examples of brands taking advantage of TikTok’s uniqueness!

Sony – Escape Room

Sony teamed with TikTok on ‘Escape Room’ influencer campaign. They used 30 influencers from 17 different countries to promote the thriller movie with the same name. All teamed up to solve puzzles that unlocked escape rooms like the ones showed in the movie they promoted.

Guess – In my denim

#InMyDenim is reportedly the first promoted hashtag challenge in the USA. Guess challenged users to post videos of their looks using this hashtag and pushed this message to the audience using influencers.

NFLPA: 3D Animated stickers

3D augmented reality stickers of NFL players are now on TikTok. The NFLPA licensed stickers were created in partnership with SportsManias. These stickers are free and are meant to bring fans’ favourite players right into their screens.

Watch and learn or test and see! If you’re creative enough, you can do almost anything on TikTok. Keep in mind that the platform is currently being used by youngsters and kids (starting with the 7-8-year olds) & you have to be careful to protect the brand’s values and positioning strategy when choosing each platform.

And remember TikTok is not perfect and it has his dark side as many social media apps have. Teens bullying and harassing one another are the main reason you should be mindful when promoting your brand here. Motherboard found a community of people asking kids for nudes which doesn’t make it a safe space and could drag your brand’s image through the mud.

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