8 mins

TikTok, the most downloaded app of 2020 is having its moment in the spotlight. Now the question is, how can you utilize it to the best of its capabilities?

Before we dive in, maybe you’ve taken a break from the internet for a while and are asking the question…

What’s this TikTok, and why is everyone talking about it?

Created by the Chinese Company, ByteDance, TikTok officially launched worldwide in September 2017. TikTok is a social network platform that focuses on the creation and sharing of short video content, (15 seconds up to 3 minutes) generated by users with an itch to be imaginative.

According to Sensor Tower, TikTok has been downloaded over 2.6 billion times worldwide by December 2020. By the first quarter of 2021, the app had accrued another 315 million downloads, which is the most successful quarter for an app…ever!  

The app offers an infinite number of hashtags (#) for users to explore. From the hashtags of film and sports gaining over 50 billion views each, to the downright irreverent, with hashtags like “cats in hats” earning a collosal 2.2 million views. 

Additionally, TikTok has begun applying US data privacy law appeasements in line with how other US technology giants publish government demands.

Needless to say, if you’re looking to advertise a product or generate brand awareness, TikTok is where all the eyes are right now. 

Welcome to #OlympicTok

Like many social media platforms, TikTok can be all about the now. Eurovision took advantage of the platform this year, reaching over 2 billion views through the app alone.

Now an established brand, this is the first time TikTok was able to get involved with one of the biggest events worldwide; the Olympics.   

Though broadcasters may have owned the rights to show the events, #OlympicTok brought us unique insight and entertainment through a social lens, focusing on the athletes as well as their journey and experience throughout one of the most revered sporting events.     

For example, a video of Rayssa Leal, a 13-year-old Brazilian skateboarder dancing in front of the arena in which she participated, garnered over 1 million views.

Despite Tokyo opting against in-person attendees, TikTok has allowed the audience to feel closer to the action than ever before. From glimpses of the Athlete’s Village and behind the scenes content, to personal reactions to winning a medal, TikTok has become the forefront app of the Olympics by emotionally engaging with its audience.

Be Real, Be Curious, and Be Bold

Here at Arke, we love seeing platforms like TikTok put the power to create in the hands of its users. Encouraging experimentation and engagement, TikTok is an app that puts people first.

Instead of recommending high-quality “polished” content that you might see on sites such as YouTube, TikTok is all about the rough-and-ready approach. The app isn’t seeking perfection it’s looking for personality.

Additionally, the community is a vital factor for TikTok. It doesn’t judge your content. Instead, it allows you to reach out to others and collaborate (through the feature “duets”) with other users.

TikTok is a vital app for connecting you with your audience. For more on that, explore our previous blog about unlocking TikTok’s content and engagement potential here: https://arkeagency.com/news/tiktok-unlock-its-content-engagement-potential/

How are brands getting involved?

Due to Japan still being in lockdown, many brands reigned in their marketing spend this Olympics, with key sponsors such as Toyota deciding not to air their Olympic-related advertisements on Japanese television.

However, with such a large audience online, there was no question that brands were going to see TikTok as a goldmine opportunity for promotion.

Skims, a shapewear fashion brand owned by Kim Kardashian had a range of marketing tactics ready for the Tokyo games but due to the pandemic had to market elsewhere. That’s where TikTok came in.

Skims partnered with the USA team, outfitting them with pyjamas and loungewear for the event. For athletes such as Katie Nageotte, this brand deal was welcomed with open arms as the Olympic pole-vaulter took to TikTok showing off the clothing and calling them “the comfiest thing I’ve ever worn in my life” whilst gaining 4 million views in the process.


Reply to @srynotliv I think I’m set on red, white, and blue clothes for the rest of my life 😍😭 #olympics #tokyo2020 #teamusa #gear #haul #clothes

♬ Wrestling entrance theme image – Masaru Nakajima

Originally, it might’ve felt like a loss being unable to market on the big screen, the shift to the small screen saw a variety of wins and positive marketing tactics we can take away from advertising on mobile.

The Future of TikTok Marketing

TikTok is still in the infancy of brand marketing compared to its social media competitors. We thought it would be a good idea to highlight some examples of branding techniques so you can score 10’s across the board when it comes to advertising on the platform. Such as…

Sponsored Content / Promotion / Omni-Channel Marketing

Let’s dive a little deeper into the previously mentioned Skims brand for this one. Instead of relying on large high production (and likely expensive) adverts, the clothing brand used TikTok influencers to market its products.

Why is this useful? Well firstly, it’s cheaper! Instead of spending money on media placement, Skims compensated the USA team with their clothing. Of course, there’s the risk of athletes not posting about the brand, but if you give away your product and your ROI is 4 million people seeing your merchandise in the centre of a user’s phone, we’d call that a win.

By using product placement through an influencer, Skims have applied an organic approach and saved a huge amount of money.

Additionally, asking influencers to promote your content can also be a lot cheaper than creating in-house campaigns. This strategy can be seen predominantly on platforms such as YouTube, where creators will take a few moments to thank and advertise a brand due to sponsoring the video.

Partnering with influencers also gives you the opportunity to further build your brand perception. If we look at the Skims TikTok campaign once more, their decision to endorse the USA athletes ensured that their brand was not only getting the limelight but was being promoted by some of the most successful, hard-working and ambitious women around.

By homing in on personalities reflecting your niche, and ensuring their brand is aligned with yours, you double down on the positive impact TikTok can bring to your campaign.

With this micro-influencers present a very viable option, they offer a concentrated network of followers with a dedicated interest, compared to huge influencers whose audiences likely have a variety of interests.   

Why not ask a TikTokker to make a whole video promoting your brand? Not only will your brand be at the forefront of the video, but it’s also being projected by a voice the audience is likely familiar with and trusts. A great example of this can be seen through the “Just Dance” campaign, which sponsored TikTok personality, Jelina to mimic the movements of the dance, emphasising the precision of detail the game allows.


This was fun to make!😁 #duet with @justdancegameus #JustDanceMoves #sponsored

♬ original sound – justdancegame

These techniques can be categorised under Omni-Channel Marketing, a tactic that integrates and cooperates with the various channels and organisations used to interact with consumers.

Randy Mercer, the VP of global product development at the commerce company, 1WorldSync, (the #1 largest GDSN data pool on the web) said that “We live in an omnichannel world and marketers must embrace not just the platforms they control, like e-commerce product pages or brand websites, but the platforms driven by their target consumers and influencers, as well.”

With TikTok specifically, you’re presenting your brand through influencers who are no different from those watching. It creates a synergy and trust between the brand, the influencer, and the audience.

Asides from the marketing tactics we’ve discussed here, TikTok offers a variety of advertising techniques through its platform. If you’d like to delve deeper into the ad formatting of TikTok click here: https://arkeagency.com/news/tiktok-advertising-formats-explained/

Get TikTokking!

Through TikTok, the audience can become a self-aggregating driving force for brand and product awareness.

We have a great selection of Masterclasses on this very topic created by our expert team on YouTube if you’d like to explore the rich potential the platform has to offer.

If you’re interested in exploring marketing through TikTok or want to gain further knowledge into how your brand can use social media platforms to gain more recognition, get in touch now and book a consultation meeting with our team. 


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