The industry needs to take Tik Tok influencer marketing seriously

Tik Tok might be all the rage for content creators right now, explains David Krupp, but it's also an under-rated platform for brands looking to build strong influencer relationships and achieve true cut-through.

Tik Tok is the newest kid on the social media block and is hurtling towards us faster than many would realise. It’s the fastest growing social media platform in the world today, and a platform Gen Z is obsessing over. And while it may still be new to most marketers’ repertoires, it’s already becoming a platform that deserves our attention as a way to leverage influencers for promotion.

For the unversed, Tik Tok is an app which allows users to upload short 15 to 30-second videos for others to watch. Like Instagram and Facebook, it’s presented as a long scrolling stream of content, and, like Instagram, users follow their friends and other influencers. But a major difference is that Tik Tok has a large audio library which forms the backdrop of most videos, such as those showcasing lip synching and dancing.

Another major function of Tik Tok is ‘challenges’, where users replicate content created by others. A good example of this is the bottle-cap challenge, which started on Tik Tok and has since generated an incredible 1.5bn views. All of which points to why we need to be taking influencer marketing on the platform seriously.


The 1.5m Australians using the app every month open Tik Tok eight times a day, nearly three times as much as they open Instagram and more than four times as much as they open Snapchat. Australian influencers are also some of the biggest on Tik Tok, with the likes of Ricky Chainz (@thechainzfamily), DubSmashKing (@ianz95) and Rifenstine (@rifenstine) all accruing well over 1.5m fans. And the scariest part? They only launched their profiles over the past 12 months.

The platform has genuine momentum and it’s the brands which start building relationships with influencers now that will reap the rewards as the platform builds its local audience; it’s a very effective platform for brands. Product placement, unboxings, live streaming and branded challenges (especially) are all very easy to execute and can be very powerful. Michael Kors ran a branded challenge asking users to share videos of themselves walking a catwalk wearing its products. Amazingly, a total of 30,000 users did just that. Tik Tok users are always looking for new ideas for content and smart brands have the chance to inspire it. Users choosing to create content that aligns with your brand is the holy grail of influencer marketing and it’s almost as if Tik Tok is set up to do just this.

There are also very few Australian brands currently using Tik Tok influencers. While brands like Superdry and Samsung are starting to test the waters, the lack of ad clutter means brands have the opportunity to deliver campaigns that will generate cut-through. We don’t need to look far back in history to learn that brands that leverage influencers on new platforms can become household names very quickly: Kylie Cosmetics (make up), Daniel Wellington (watches), Away (luggage). It is my view that the brands that recognise this white space now will be the brands that will prosper as the platform continues its incredible growth.

Australian Tik Tok influencers are hungry to succeed. Given it is quite difficult to crossover from being an Instagram (the most popular platform in Australia for sponsored content) influencer to a Tik Tok influencer, Tik Tok influencers are new to working with brands. This translates into them being very hungry to succeed, and eager to impress. They will likely never be as accessible as they are now.

While the platform is new to this country, it’s already becoming hard to ignore. With mouth-watering numbers, highly-effective integration opportunities, a lack of brands tapping into the platform and influencers willing to go the extra mile, working with local Tik Tok influencers is an enormous opportunity for Australian brands.

David Krupp is the digital partnerships manager at IMG Engage

Join the Mumbrella Masterclass: Tik Tok for Marketers in Sydney on November 19 or in Melbourne on November 21 to discover what Tik Tok marketing is, where it fits into the social landscape and how marketers and their agencies can capitalise on it. Purchase your tickets here.


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