TikTok’s for-now-unregulated environment makes it popular with Gen Z and the advertisers who are trying to reach the generation, which explains why interest in TikTok marketing influencers grew by nearly 3,000% during the past year. The social video platform also recently created TikTok Ads. But the same caution remains for marketers who want to be seen on the platform: Avoid association with worldwide, viral stupidity, like the “skullbreaker challenge.”
TikTok videos with lots of engagement could be associated with marketing influencers who could help a brand. But what makes a video viral on TikTok could easily be something like the “skullbreaker challenge,” which has parents from Dubai to Detroit worried. In the “challenge,” those in the video knock the knees or legs out from under a person to get a good thwack when that person’s head hit the ground. It almost killed a sixth-grade girl in Pittsburgh.
TikTok Marketing Influencer Interest Grows
Last year, we started offering advice for marketers who wanted to work with TikTok marketing influencers, as well as to marketers who were buying TikTok Ads. We knew marketers were interested in the platform, because of its growing popularity with Gen Z.
But proof of your continued interest in TikTok comes from Google, which shows the top “marketing” search from Feb. 17, 2019, to Jan. 19, 2020, was “influencer marketing hub TikTok,” up 2.950%.
Plugging that phrase into Google, the top result is from InfluencerMarketingHub.com and it appears to be aimed at TikTok marketing influencers:
TikTok Money Calculator [Influencer Engagement & Earnings Estimator]
The TikTok Money Calculator allows you to calculate your estimated earnings from your TikTok account if you believe you are an influencer based on your engagement and number of followers. This is for the “Western” version of TikTok, not the Chinese version, Douyin.
So as TikTok — the app downloaded 1.65 billion times — continues to grow, so does the money flowing into it from marketers.
During the Super Bowl alone, influencers and brands cross-promoted not only the app itself, but their presence on it.
The Verge’s Julia Alexander writes of Chipotle’s TikTok marketing influencers on Feb. 2:
Some people, like Justin Bieber, are also hoping that people will use commercial breaks during the Super Bowl to tune into TikTok for their own advertising campaigns of sorts. Bieber alerted fans on Instagram that during commercial breaks after a team calls a time out, “TikTok stars will create content to go along with ‘Yummy,’” to promote both Chipotle and the singer’s most recent single. Some TikTok stars participating in the campaign include David Dobrik, Zach King, Greg Auerbach, and Brittany Broski.
Once TikTok Ads really got moving last year, we had a rundown in November 2019. That’s about when what InfluencerMarketingHub.com terms “more affordable” ads debuted.
TikTok Ads start at $10 per CPM (cost per 1000 views). Also, they require you to spend a minimum of $500 on a campaign. So you aren’t going to use formal TikTok ads for a cheap and cheerful viral marketing campaign.
The site’s Jan. 2, 2020, post about TikTok Ads prices, though, begins with what pioneering brands had to pay:
There was much discussion in the early days about the high cost of TikTok ads. It can cost brands $50,000 to $100,000 to take over a popular TikTok channel, for instance, and the cost of a hashtag challenge has a flat fee of $150,000 for six days, with firms spending additional dollars on promoting the challenge.
The Verge says of TikTok’s Super Bowl 2020 advertisers:
Mountain Dew created a specific effect that TikTok users can incorporate into their videos. Hyundai, which is reportedly running the first paid ad campaign on TikTok, produced a series of videos for the platform that stars Saturday Night Live’s Rachel Dratch performing the same role she does in Hyundai’s Super Bowl commercial.
And TikTok itself had a Super Bowl ad featuring a generation clearly older than Gen Z:
Regulation Talk in Europe
But don’t expect TikTok to be the Wild West much longer — at least in Europe.
U.S. marketers know the E.U. as the place where GDPR made any brand with data from E.U. citizens take a close look at its practices.
Forbes’ Isabel Togoh writes on Feb. 12 in “Britain’s Government Announces Plans To Regulate Facebook, Twitter And TikTok”:
Internet firms that allow user-generated content, including comments, will be held to account by Ofcom, the U.K.’s communications and broadcasting regulator, if they fail to tackle “online harms” such as terrorism and child sexual abuse.
What do you think, marketers?
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