Subscribe to industry newsletters


Search jobs

Is TikTok the next big marketing platform?

TikTok is a rapidly growing social media site. Launched in 2016, it now boasts over 500 million active users across the world.

In 2019, TikTok app downloads exceeded 1.5 billion, overtaking Instagram and Facebook to become the world’s third most downloaded non-gaming app of the year, after Whatsapp and Messenger.

Understanding Tik Tok demographics

TikTok’s user base is very specific. According to Orbelo, the platform's primary user demographic is aged between 16 and 24, with teenagers making up the majority of users.

Unlike other new social media platforms that try to overtake Facebook by targeting users from all demographics, TikTok focused on younger audiences, instead. Not only were their Customer Acquisition campaigns targeted at millennials, but they also built an app that has a millennial-friendly UX.

Thanks to its focus on the front camera, as well as on viral video content, the app has enabled millions of millennials across the globe to become TikTok stars. There’s no need for production studios or high-level equipment which are keys to success on platforms like Instagram and Youtube.

This focus on a younger audience is exactly the reason why many people were questioning if TikTok was really a valid platform to grow a business, or if the app was simply a virtual playground where teens could go to blow off some steam.

But, as time goes by, more and more people are starting to realise that the social platform isn’t just a lip-syncing site for Gen Z, but rather, it’s a rapidly expanding platform with massive marketing potential.

Considering the growing number of adult users on this relatively new app, as well as its exploding popularity, it’s safe to say that TikTok is gradually making the move away from its predominantly teen audience, and it is now becoming the place for everyone to share their ideas and build a large following.

With many well-known brands like Elf Cosmetics, Chipotle, GymShark, the NFL, and NBA now on the platform and others like Nike and Disney taking the lead in the paid advertising sphere, it’s clear that more brands should start paying attention at this point.

In fact, if you want to tap into the massive marketing potential that TikTok offers, you should already be working on your TikTok strategy.

How to market your business on TikTok

TikTok is a great marketing tool for businesses and influencers that want to build awareness, and now is the perfect time to start building a marketing campaign - before the platform becomes oversaturated with obsessive selling and advertising campaigns like other platforms (Instagram).

Having a presence on this social platform will significantly boost your reach with your target audience. Also, for high-quality content, it may make sense to use a video editing tool to polish your TikTok videos prior to publishing.

When defining your TikTok marketing strategy, use the following methods of engagement to help make your marketing campaign a success:

1. Give your audience a glimpse behind the scenes

Whether you’re a large organisation or an influencer, TikTok is an amazing channel for showcasing behind-the-scenes life. Take your followers on an intimate journey to look at the inner workings of your business. For instance, you could:

Show how products are conceived
Show brainstorming sessions for content creation
Show preparations for product launches
...and much more.

2. Leverage duets and user collaborations to increase followers

There are already many TikTok users who have earned millions of followers thanks to their ability to create unique and entertaining content. You may want to look into setting up collaborations with these types of influencers.

You can also use duets where you add a new video to existing content, with a split-screen video as the final result.

Partnering up with people who already know what type of content works best is an effective way to boost engagement and increase follower count. It also helps you avoid posting content that may not be ideal for your target audience.

3. Use hashtag challenges to boost engagement

One of the most popular ways of engaging TikTok users and to make your challenge go viral is to create or join promoted hashtags. Hashtag challenges are contents on social media that are typically based on specific topics or subjects.

For instance, if you could ask people to dance to a specific song, or create a short video promoting you or your brand in some way.

Hashtag challenges on TikTok attract millions of users and even more views. With the right challenges, you will see some serious increases in engagement and follower numbers.

4. Use branded stickers for enhanced brand awareness

Similar to Snapchat stickers, and brand emojis on Twitter, branded stickers on TikTok give users the ability to create their own stickers. Alternatively, you can import the stickers from Giphy.

By using branded stickers for your marketing campaigns, you can greatly improve your brand awareness on TikTok. The great thing about these stickers is that they don’t have to be elaborate, they just have to be fun.

Finally, once you have your marketing figured out, figure out how to make your TikTok a profitable part of your business. I’ve noticed recently that some TikTok personalities are pushing their followers to purchase online courses that they’ve made.

Pointing a TikTok following to resources like this can be wildly profitable because of the nature of the platform and how much their algorithm allows users to generate viral content.


TikTok is growing rapidly, both as a social media platform and as a marketing channel. It offers a great new opportunity for most businesses, and if you are looking for an effective way to reach your target audience, this platform is certainly worth considering.

Use the tips outlined above to grow your following, increase user engagement, and boost your business’s bottom line.

Which TikTok marketing tactic are you going to implement first? Let us know in the comments below!

About Ron Stefanski

Ron Stefanski is an internet entrepreneur and marketing professor at National Louis University who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online business. You can learn more from him by visiting You can also connect with him on YouTube or Linkedin.

    Let's do Biz