TikTok’s advantage as a marketing tool

We all have memories (fond or otherwise) of 2020, when TikTok rose to fame alongside other platforms such as Houseparty and Zoom – while we were all stuck at home and phone usage increased.

Impressive growth and reach

While the popularity of some platforms has come and gone, with 656 million downloads, TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2021 and it has now been the most downloaded app three years on the run. TikTok is also the most engaging app, with an average user session of 10.85 minutes, which is three times longer than someone generally spends on Instagram[1]. It has extensive reach within the UK, reaching 40.4% of the UK population over 18 – which is almost 22m people.

This makes the platform ideal for marketing products and services, as its user base and reach is increasing year on year, opening up new opportunities all the time. TikTok offers a unique marketing platform for businesses who want to build brand awareness and generate sales, and it is becoming increasingly popular. It’s the only social media app outside of Meta to reach three billion downloads in 2021[2].

A video-focused advertising platform

In many ways the app is geared towards a marketing function, with its video format and time limits ensuring that videos aren’t too long. The average video watch time on Meta is three seconds, so it’s vital to get your message across within that time – but TikTok reports that the optimum time of video content is between 21-34 seconds, as this length gains a 1.6% lift in impressions[3], giving brands more time to have their message land with consumers.

TikTok has investigated how ads on the platform are received and found that 43% of users felt that advertising blends with regular TikTok content, and 52% say they find new products on the app. This may be due to a range of factors such as the TikTok algorithm that determines who sees what ads, the optimum length of video or their unique integrated shopping system, which operates as an infinite loop rather than a funnel.

TikTok’s unique approach

Consumers see the product on the app, buy it through the TikTok shop (partnered with Shopify) and then make a video, review, or tutorial on the product, which in turn remarkets the product to a ‘lookalike audience’ through their followers. One in four people posted about a product and one in five made a tutorial video. This has led to TikTok becoming a successful marketing app, challenging many industry norms.

TikTok recently reported that advertisers gained a higher lift in brand awareness, message association, brand favourability and purchase intent (in pink) than the industry benchmarks (in grey) seen across other established social media platforms.

(TikTok, 2022)

This success was supported by marketers, who stated that TikTok’s marketing effectiveness for reaching business goals rose by 24%, while Facebook and Instagram both had a decrease in effectiveness of marketing from 2020-2021, by 25% and 40% respectively. TikTok was also the app with the top grossing consumer spend of $2.5 billion in 2021.

Success stories

Last minute.com and an online travel retailer recently used TikTok to target Gen Z and millennials and achieved an impressive campaign CTR of 18%[4]. The finance sector has seen a massive increase of use on TikTok with a 93,000% increase in the use of #NFT. With 1.9 billion videos focused on crypto currency[5] as well as extensive personal finance video content, any business sector can gain a foothold in the app.

Hayfield – a UK property developer – uses TikTok to market its show homes. The account has already accrued 130,000 likes, with its top performing video receiving 900,000 views. They believe that the content ‘adds substance and personality to their customer relationships’.

With a background of impressive growth figures, a focus on short-form video content and increasing opportunities for advertisers, TikTok appears to be here to stay. To find out more about opportunities for growth on the platform, contact Space & Time today.



[1] Hootsuite Blog, 2022. Available at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/tiktok-stats/

[2] Hootsuite Blog, 2022. Available at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/tiktok-stats/

[3] Hootsuite Blog, 2022. Available at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/tiktok-stats/

[4] TikTok, 2022: https://www.business-tiktok.com/gofulltiktok2/?attr_source=google&attr_medium=search-br-ad&attr_adgroup_id=128713109203&attr_term=tiktok%20marketing&no_parent_redirect=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIofLsqJ6b-AIVSYxoCR1TvQdCEAAYASAAEgLMJvD_BwE

[5] Hootsuite Blog, 2022. Available at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/tiktok-stats/