By Mary Keane-Dawson, Group CEO of TAKUMI.

2020: the year of TikTok. The social media platform has experienced astronomical growth in the last six months, and earlier this year was crowned most downloaded app worldwide – with 315 million downloads to its name in Q1 alone.

Since then, TikTok has gone from strength to strength. In May, the business appointed Kevin Mayer, Disney’s former head of streaming, as CEO.

More recently, it was announced that the app would be launching a new platform. TikTok for Business provides solutions for brands and their ad campaigns, allowing marketers to reach a large and highly engaged user audience.

A hotbed for creativity, TikTok is running with the momentum it has amassed in 2020 and has plans to truly disrupt the market.

TikTok for Business: brand impact

Housing a number of vital tips and tricks to help brands reach the app’s incredibly engaged audience of 800 million users worldwide, TikTok for Business is an invaluable resource that will open new doors for marketers to better understand the platform.

Arguably most useful for marketers are the business guides on best practice for publishing promotional content on the app.

This offers brands a unique opportunity to really get to grips with TikTok, to spark creativity for their own campaigns and to optimise their ad content across the platform. This is especially helpful for brands which are less familiar with the app as an avenue for marketing or those who want to adopt a test-and-learn approach with their ad sets.

TikTok has also launched its new AR Brand Effects and Partner Programme. This gives marketers access to branded special effects – a variety of innovative visual elements including brand logos or products in user’s videos, in addition to 2D, 3D and AR effects.

As marketers become more familiar with these new app functions, the quality of their ads will reach new heights, and brands will have access to features which will ultimately elevate their content above that of their competitors. It’s likely users will get more out of the consumer journey, by not only experiencing more exciting and targeted adverts, but also greater transparency in sponsored content.

TikTok for Business: TikTok impact

When considering the different social media platforms out there, TikTok is relatively new in comparison with legacy platforms such as YouTube and Instagram. Our recent whitepaper found consumer and marketer trust is earned over time and TikTok for Business will certainly act as a stepping stone towards greater trust.

Our research shows that developing trust will be paramount to TikTok’s progression. Looking at influencers on the platform for example, 15% of consumers currently trust TikTok compared to YouTube influencers who are trusted by 28% of consumers. Unsurprisingly, this is reflected in marketing efficacy, with 27% of consumers having been influenced to purchase a product as a result of influencers on YouTube, compared with 15% on TikTok.

TikTok for Business will help to bridge this trust gap, and there are positive early signs for TikTok’s potential evolution in the marketing space. The next generation of consumers have familiarised themselves with sponsored content across the app, with 35% of 16-24-year-olds in Germany and the UK admitting they’ve been influenced to purchase a product or service as a result of influencers across the platform.

Influencers are noting a shift too in the emergence of more brand partnerships on TikTok, something actress, presenter and digital creator Amber Doig-Thorne has acknowledged: “In the last 12 months, I have had roughly as many brand partnerships on TikTok, as I have on Instagram and YouTube, and these TikTok brand partnerships are becoming more and more regular. I think that this trend will continue.”

Following astronomical success in the first half of 2020, there’s no doubt TikTok will continue to grow and evolve as a platform in the coming months and beyond. TikTok for Business is an important milestone of many for the app, which will help shape the platform’s future success.

Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash