August 25, 2020

Is Tik Tok the future of branded content? 

Nope, not the 2009 banger by Kesha. Tik Tok has become a behemoth of online content in a short time. The app has over 1 billion users worldwide. A staggering amount for an app hitting the market in 2018 and has birthed an internet subculture. So what are the fundamentals of Tik Tok and, is it the future of branded content? 

The simple answer is no. However, it will be important in the shaping of the future. To understand why this is, you must first understand Tik Tok. 

Tik Tok is a reskinned version of which was bought out by the Chinese company ByteDance (this is important later). It used to create and share short videos between 3 and 15 seconds, mainly lip syncing, comedy, dance and talent showcased during these short time frames. Mostly the videos are presented in a vertical format.

And most of its users are Gen Z or Millennials. 

Tik Tok is a prime platform for brands who want to engage and communicate with younger demographics and is becoming an increasingly more popular space to target branded content. Brands like Guess, the NBA, Gymshark, Fortnite and Levis have all been using Tik Tok to spread brand awareness and engage with their fans by sharing funny moments of inviting them to participate in viral challenges. 

If you want to talk to people in these demographics, Tik Tok is one to consider and is becoming an interesting space for branded content. The content doesn’t have to just live on Tik Tok. It is free to migrate to other platforms. German Doner Kebab has learnt this and maximises their reach by making content for Tik Tok but also sharing it on IGTV in a longer form. 

However, long-form content is still king, especially in the podcasting and documentary space. If your content is engaging, it warrants a longer video. In a time when we have more free time and are starved for content, people are looking out for longer content. We expect this to be a big trend if the coronavirus pandemic continues. 

But Tik Tok can be used as an excellent supporting material to this longer content. A trailer linking to the longer content? A challenge which is connected? A lip sync trend using the song from the longer film? The possibilities for creativity on this platform as a supporting material are endless. Could that be the future of branded content? Yes! 

Another use of Tik Tok and it’s short-form content is being able to direct short and snappy messages to its audience or building quick brand awareness. 

But at the time of writing, this short form media might need to find a new home. Tik Tok has till the 15th of September to make a deal with Microsoft, otherwise, the Trump administration is threatening to ban it due to privacy concerns and tension between the US and China. 

Even if Tik Tok is banned, in the US, there will be a western competitor coming out of the shadows to take the displaced users of Tik Tok.

In conclusion, whatever form micro length content takes over the next year it will be used a lot more heavily in branded content whether it is supporting longer-form content or just getting short communications out to a more engaged audience. 

That’s goodbye for now, but if you have been inspired and created something awesome, please tweet it at @Rubber_Republic. We wanna see what you got! 

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