TUESDAY 25 JAN 2022 2:22 AM


Zahra Hasan, insights lead at Wilderness, poses the question on many brands’ lips as they consider embracing the social media phenomenon for communications campaigns.

If you’re not aware that TikTok recently reached 1 billion monthly users, you’re probably off grid. Not only is this impressive for any social media platform, but 61% of these users said they log on to be part of a community; they stay to consume great content and leave feeling inspired.

So, what does TikTok have that other social apps don’t? Well, its unique at converting audiences to take action. It has a fast-learning algorithm and consumers can constantly view new, relevant, and timely videos. What’s more, it has a unique target market with a quarter of users not active on any other social platform.

TikTok is shaping how consumers and brands think about social media, online connection and mobile entertainment. So, the question brands should actually be asking themselves is, “Why not TikTok?”

TikTok is a very authentic platform – arguably the most authentic one out there right now. It offers up something that platforms such as Instagram don’t: content that isn’t curated but appears unfiltered and raw. Its algorithm is also uniquely addictive and learns very quickly – and therefore you’re on the app for longer periods of time. You can really build a community in this platform – one who will genuinely stay and love your brand if you add value to them in an entertaining or informative way. It can help you reach a younger audience, specifically one that has turned away from Instagram and Facebook.

Attention is currency

TikTok users spend around 89 minutes a day on the app, compared to Instagram users who spend 53 minutes. This difference calls into question Instagram’s longstanding dominance  In addition, interestingly it’s affecting other more traditional media platforms too with 35% of TikTok users saying they spend less time watching TV since downloading the app.

Brands can capitalize on the usage and time spent on the app by users by creating content that is addictive. TikTok values consistency and quality over all else so focus on serialized content and carve out a niche for yourself – or try and fit in seamlessly into one of its many subcultures. The bingeable content drags users away from Instagram. In fact, even Reels content tends to be TikTok content reposted on the platform weeks later.

Why brands should jump on the bandwagon sooner rather than later

TikTok is number one globally for ad equity and the branded content on the app is more genuine and entertaining than any other platform. With this in mind, there are three traditional ad formats used on TikTok: Infeed takeover, which is used to grab attention the moment the user opens the app. The ad is the first video they see. The second is the Hashtag Challenge, which asks users to participate in a branded challenge, which encourages consumer engagement. The third is a Branded filter, which allows users to interact with AR effects from advertisers to use in their TikTok videos.

TikTok has a variety of different ad formats that can involve user collaboration without it being too ad focused. This is therefore changing how consumers shop. 52% of users discover products on TikTok and 92% TikTok users say that after watching a video they take actions (liking or commenting on a video, sharing with friends, following a brand or purchasing/researching a product.)

The goals you have for your brand will determine which ad format is best suited for you. It’s key to keep in your target audience front of mind, and to be aware that a good TikTok strategy may not lead to overnight results but rather a slow (but very valuable) burn. Soon consumers will be able to purchase products through links on the app, this is beneficial because it can be great in improving the ROI of TikTok ads, which currently are higher than other platforms. If brands do this in a way that doesn’t feel awkward and use Creators to help them, there’s going to be great value here.


TikTok is changing the social media game. It offers an online connection for users, through mobile entertainment and we are seeing other social apps trying to follow suit to try and keep up with TikTok’s success.

As users are spending a lot of their day on the app, brands need to get involved to increase their presence and be seen by these users. TikTok has a variety of different ad formants that brands can use to be position themselves as genuine and authentic. TikTok is changing how consumers shop, so brands need to jump in and make some noise if they want to stay ahead of their competitors.