TikTok for HE/FE – worthwhile tactic?
Comparing TikTok to other social media
TikTok has become wildly popular in the past 2 years. The rise in users of the short-form video app has made it one of the most popular social platforms among teens and Gen Z.
TikTok has a global reach and how it can be used to target people related to education e.g. potential students. We asked our TikTok champion, Lloyd John to summarise the TikTok opportunity and tell us what all the excitement is about!
Pause & Rewind
Rewinding last year, TikTok has found a remarkable amount of success in 2019, since its release in the UK market in 2018. It’s no surprise TikTok has become one of the biggest social media platforms out there. It may look like it’s all lip syncs and dancing but the TikTok platform has quite literally become a valued source of attraction for the under 25s.
Similar to other social media distributors, the platform is used to create and post short videos to followers and anyone who has downloaded the app via the Google Play or App Store. It was initially launched in China as ‘Douyin’ in September 2016. However, in 2017, the app was launched outside of China by ByteDance, which is when TikTok was formed. It is now available in 155 countries and is the leading social media platform for short-form mobile video.
Comparing TikTok to other social media
TikTok currently has has 800 million active users worldwide according to Wallaroo, with 400 million of those active daily users from China who use the Chinese version, Douyin.
In 2019, it was ranked as the most downloaded app in Apple’s App Store with more than 33 million downloads, overtaking platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. 41% of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24 and according to 2018 data is more favorable with male users (55.6%) than females (44.4%).
The platform has several benefits that users can take advantage of which will allow them to communicate with fellow users and organisations to reach new audiences. Users have the ability to creatively and authentically connect with audiences around the world and construct a culturally relevant brand and through maintaining engagement with users who are constantly interacting with the latest trends and movements within the platform.
Educational marketers would find the platform effective for those who have a younger target audience aiming mostly at international countries or region such as China and Hong Kong. Statistics have shown that China is the biggest user of the platform. Recent studies have shown that 43% of TikTok’s new users are from India, therefore marketers aiming to get this reach from afar, now have the chance to get exposed through simply using TikTok.
An increasing number of users are spending more time on TikTok than other platforms. A user can spend up to 52 minutes on the platform compared to Snapchat at 49.5 minutes, which is slightly behind Facebook at 58.5 minutes. 90% of users use the platform multiple times throughout the day with more than 1 billion videos viewed daily.
Number of monthly & daily users
The latest figures show that TikTok has over 800 million active users and in November, it was reported that there were 680 million monthly users. The number of users is expected to rise significantly throughout 2020.
Behavior comparison between the UK and Chinese users
Social media trends vary in each country with some trends captivating the whole world such as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Trends in the UK are different to the trends that users are interested in China. For example, in China knowledge-based content is very popular and less so in the UK.
Geographical targeting within the app
When advertising on TikTok, the targeting capabilities vary. Advertisers have the opportunity to target their desired audience based on Gender, Age, Geo, OS, Environment, Device and Interest.
Being able to define your audience through the above targeting capabilities is a great way to place your message to your desired target.
Education programme in India
During October 2019, China’s TikTok launched an education program in India, one of its most popular markets. Everything from Mathematics to learning a new language such as English is featured on the platform, as well as tips on health and mental health awareness. The launch comes as an extension of the existing #EduTok campaign, one of the most active hashtags in India which has generated more than 48 billion views.
India represents the second largest user base behind China, accumulating more than 120 million monthly users. These numbers are challenging platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp for the most used.
To compete with TikTok’s growing dominance, both YouTube and Google released learning programs last year to boost their own educational content. TikTok intend on providing more than just offering entertaining content and enter the growing eLearning space, which is expected to grow to nearly $2 billion by 2021.
TikTok trends for marketers
TikTok’s content has deemed everyone as an influencer, unlike Instagram’s clear distinction of those with influence, this platform works by promoting the most creative type of content, regardless of their number of followers. Users with 500 followers have grown to 50,000 in one week. Therefore, for educational marketers it’s important to create content that will give your audiences the chance to ‘show off’. This is the content that users want to engage and are currently engaging with.
From a range of advertising techniques, including banners, hashtags, challenge pages and an entire brand takeover, marketers have a variety of options to engage with their audience.
Hashtags are effective in helping to build viral trends. These hashtags are what encourages the user to reopen the app throughout the day. TikTok has this episodic nature that will have people following a popular hashtag for days, so it’s beneficial for brands to adapt to emerging trends and provide daily content.
TikTok advertising is relatively new in the UK and in the process of being implemented. Keep a look out for our new eguide on the platform.
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