TikTok was first introduced to the public in 2016. However, it wasn’t until around 2019 that any true marketing was done on the app. Since its release, TikTok had steadily creased in downloads and usage until 2020, when its popularity soared. Most of the estimated users on the platform are Millennials and Generation Z. However, particularly within the past year, users of different ages and generations gravitated to the app. Now, it’s home to one of the largest, most diverse communities in the world.
When Did Branding on the App Begin?
Three years after its release, in 2019, brands began to advertise on the platform. The number of brands on TikTok increased, however they have all struggled to validate the effects of ROI from the app’s algorithm. Major corporations such as Walmart and franchises like Chipotle joined in on TikTok’s advertising element. Walmart created the #DealDropDance and #SavingShuffle while Chipotle introduced #GuacDance in honor of National Avocado Day. Those hashtag challenges generated billions of views and were believed to have impacted both business’s revenue in 2020. Unfortunately, there was no way to accurately prove that those challenges played an official role in that increase.
How Do Brands Prove ROI on TikTok?
While there is still no one method of proving ROI, there are several things to take note of in order to determine ROI on the app.
- Pay attention to engagement.
Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok values three main features to pay attention to—views, shares, and the For You page. The For You page is the most used feature on the app, but the number of times a video is viewed as well as if it’s shared are also important with TikTok’s algorithm.
- Look at personal website traffic.
Many website builders have options to view insights from other platforms. For example, WordPress displays the number of visitors as well as where they came from (i.e. social media, an internet search, etc). There are also a few external trafficking sites and apps that can go further into the insights for TikTok directly, though these may be harder to find.
- Use a comparing strategy to find out what works and what doesn’t.
Compare content, engagement, and more between the brand’s accounts across different platforms. Social media platforms may have different criteria but knowing what works and what doesn’t is a significant part of growing a brand’s presence on any platform. Taking something that is effective from one platform and applying it to TikTok may help the brand gain traction. On the other hand, it may not be a good fit for the platform, which is something that would be learned either from the experience or prematurely by looking at the analytics and content.
The Next Step
Awareness is a key mentality to have for brands when it comes to marketing, social media, and ROI. Taking risks is something that can be useful as well, but only after the proper amount of research and consideration. In regards to ROI on TikTok, the app is continuously evolving so there is sure to be a more concrete way of proving ROI in the near future.