Photo by Jonas Svidras on Unsplash
Since its early beginnings, Gary Vee has been carefully watching the TikTok app (formerly Musical.ly).
He was one of the first marketers promoting the enormous potential and relevance of TikTok for marketers, brands, and businesses on a global level.
Although most entrepreneurs still don’t understand how to use TikTok to boost their business, Gary Vee was right: The app’s growth is enormous, and those who invested into their accounts from the early days are already reaping the rewards.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a social media platform that allows users to produce and share short creative videos of 15 to 60 seconds.
Unlike the big players like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, TikTok was founded in China but spread like wildfire across the globe incredibly quickly.
So far, TikTok has more than 800 million active users worldwide. This number of users already exceed Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn.
In November 2019, TikTok hit more than 1.5 billion app downloads. One billion was a critical benchmark — that was the moment bigger companies like Facebook started to pay close attention to the video app.
Most people still believe TikTok is an app for silly videos produced by teenagers but, of course, that’s not true. Yes, the platform is dominated by a younger crowd, but that doesn’t affect its power for business purposes.
Of course, you always need to validate whether a specific platform meets your needs or no. If you are targeting women of 60 and over, TikTok might not be the best choice. But in most cases, it’s worth investing a few hours of research and figuring out whether TikTok should be part of your marketing strategy.
Why Is It So Special?
One of the significant strengths of TikTok, according to Gary Vee, is the ease of content creation.
“TikTok provides a framework that makes it easier for people to create — especially if they don’t know what else to do.” — Gary Vee
TikTok makes it incredibly easy to create and share content with the world. Unlike other platforms, like Instagram, you can create exceptional TikTok content within the app itself. You don’t need much editing skills or other tools, as the app already offers everything you need.
You can use filters, adapt the video speed, choose from various sounds, interact with your community, go live, and so much more.
TikTok is an incredibly rich platform as it enables its creators to produce highly engaging content with the least effort.
The Demographics Will Change
Remember how Facebook initially got started? It was a platform for students.
Think back to the early days of Instagram: The first users were young people uploading selfies.
So far, every social platform started by first attracting the younger demographic. These are the digitally native, receptive people and, of course, they try new trends before the older generations.
However, what happened on all these platforms is the same: Once the mums, dads, or even grandparents joined, the younger generations switched.
Just look at Facebook. You won’t find any young people actively using the platform anymore. It’s where our parents (or, in my case, even grandparents) hang out.
According to Gary Vee, the same will happen with TikTok. Once people understand how to use TikTok for business purposes, the demographics will change, and older generations will start joining the app.
Look at It as a Show
Gary Vee compares TikTok to a TV show:
“The biggest value add I can bring here is that we have to start looking at these platforms like shows, not like channels.” — Gary Vee
According to Gary, you need to use the opportunity to grow your audience on TikTok right now.
The chances are that in a few months (not to say years), the platform will become oversaturated, just as Instagram or Facebook have become.
You’ll be too late, growing an audience will be hard, and you will blame yourself.
Instead, invest now. Especially if you are targeting Gen Z, you don’t want to miss out on the crazy growth that you can experience through TikTok right now.
“There’s always this time when these platforms get so big with so much attention that there’s not enough content to fill it, LinkedIn is going through the same thing. And that creates a scenario where you can get an incredible amount of awareness and reach.” — Gary Vee
Don’t Do What Others Are Doing, Do What Brings the Most Return
Most people are afraid to step into TikTok because they don’t see many other entrepreneurs using the platform yet.
However, that’s precisely why you should go all-in. Compared to other platforms, TikTok enables you to reach a tremendous amount of users organically.
If you are one of the first content producers in your niche, your chances of growing your account are pretty good. Of course, given your content is valuable and of good quality.
Gary Vee states how each platform has a tipping point, a so-called land grab. For example, back in 2009, you could reach masses of people through Facebook organically. Nowadays, that’s close to impossible.
Especially for businesses and individuals who create content that delivers real value and educates, there’s still a massive market on TikTok. That’s precisely why Gary Vee had such an easy time to grow his account himself — he had almost no competition on the platform as nobody else was publishing business content.
“TikTok is young enough to do to Instagram what Instagram did to Facebook.” — Gary Vee
Instead of following the crowd and using the strategies that all your competitors are using, you might want to take the path that less traveled, that bears high potential.
Gary Vee has a clear message: Don’t get wrapped up in the potential lifespan of TikTok, just make use of the attention opportunity you have there right now.
Currently, you can still grow an engaged audience in a short time, and content creation is easier than ever before. You don’t need a camera, a microphone, or any additional software. All you need is your smartphone, the TikTok app, and a strong desire to serve an audience.
Even if TikTok disappears in a few years, if you’ve built an engaged audience. They will keep following you on other channels and stick with you regardless of the platform.
“Every second you wait for something to happen, understand that the underpriced attention will become more expensive.”
— Gary Vee
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