TikTok logo on iphone

When TikTok was first rising in popularity, a lot of people brushed it off as an app for young, Gen Z kids to share short dance and lip-syncing videos. Over the past 2 years, it has grown into one of the most popular social media apps, with a wide range of users. 

As the potential audience grows, many business owners often wonder if TikTok is an app they need to be on. There are plenty of considerations when answering this question and we’ve done all the research so business owners can make an informed decision.

What is TikTok?

TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2021, with 656 million downloads and has been downloaded more than 3 billion times globally. The app calls itself the leading destination for short-form mobile videos with a mission to inspire creativity and bring joy. While 15 second videos were the norm in it’s early days, you can now make videos up to 5 minutes long!

Content discovery is at the heart of TikTok and users are met with an endless stream on the  “for you” page as soon as they open the app. It engages users right away and the algorithm really gets to know your interests so you see the most relevant content right away. 

tiktok appstore screenshots

TikTok App Store Screenshots (Global Uploads)

The lure of the “for you” page has users spending an average of 52 minutes on the app per day and opening the app approximately 8 times per day. Since the “for you” page is an endless stream, it’s very easy to spend a lot more than 52 minutes on the app per day!

Who Uses TikTok?

Worldwide, Generation Z is still the largest portion of users on the app and it has now surpassed Instagram as the most used app in this age group. However, we are seeing more millennials and older generations on the app. 

TikTok Users by Age

U.S.-based TikTok users by age (TikTok Statistics from Wallaroo Media).

In addition, the TikTok user base skews female: 57% female and 43% male. So, it’s an important channel to consider if your brand is hoping to reach younger female audiences. You could be missing out on some valuable exposure!

Why Should Marketers & Business Owners Care About TikTok?

Content creators and brands on TikTok have developed niche communities where users can find content relevant to their specific interests. Some of the more popular communities include:

  • #BookTok
  • #CleanTok
  • #FinTok
  • #StockTok
  • #MomTok
  • #PlantTok

If your brand sells products or services that relate to these communities, there is value in creating videos to increase your exposure. 

While these communities can help you increase your brand’s awareness, the most important aspect of TikTok for brands is that it’s the top app for consumer spend.

  • Users spent $2.3 billion dollars in the app and $1 billion YoY. 
  • 67% of users say TikTok inspires them to shop. 
  • 37% of users feel the urge to immediately purchase a product once they see it on TikTok.
  • Find more TikTok Stats from Hootsuite and Influencer Marketing Hub

Users feel a deeper connection to brands when they interact with their content. There is even a hashtag… #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. TikTok can highly influence individuals to purchase a product or service. 

For example, a viral video that showed a man skateboarding and drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice led to 15 billion media impressions for the 90 year old brand and increased sales as people rushed out to buy the drink to reproduce the video themselves. 

TikTok offers brands a new way to interact with their audience through social media by allowing them to use your audio – great for musicians – and create Stitch/duet videos. Further, the app allows you to show off your brand’s personality and the people behind your business, which increases trust in your brand. 

TikTok Stitch and Duet

TikTok Duet and Stitch (Brands Using TikTok Stitch and TikTok Duet for Marketing)

How Can Marketers & Business Owners Leverage TikTok?

A strong social media presence is an important piece to any marketing strategy. Consumers are actively using social media to interact with brands and TikTok is allowing them to do this in such a way that they feel more connected to the people behind the business. 

There are three main ways that brands can use TikTok to interact with their audience – organically, through paid TikTok ads, and through content creator partnerships. 

Organic TikTok Videos

The first thing you’ll want to do is create a channel for your brand and start putting out some videos. Some ideas include “a day in the life of…” or a simple “how-to” video on your product. 

TikTok allows you to get creative and share your product/service and mission in a unique, fun way. Take  Duolingo’s TikTok presence as an example. Not all of the videos relate to learning a new language, but they certainly get people talking about the brand! 

Paid TikTok Ads

TikTok advertising’s set-up is similar to that of Facebook or Pinterest. You’ll choose your objective, audience, and placements then upload your creative. There is an option to choose “Automated Creative Optimization” or to upload your own video. Hootsuite has developed an in-depth guide to using TikTok ads.

When uploading your creative, the aspect ratio must be either 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9, but vertical videos with a 9:16 ratio perform best. No fancy video equipment is needed, which can be a big plus! However, creating content can still be a barrier for a lot of brands. A lot of platforms popping up to help fill this gap, including:

You can expect to spend a bit more on TikTok advertising than Facebook ads, with the recommended daily spend at $50 USD. With this type of investment, you might see results like the Australian beauty business Synth Labs Intl.. They used video ads with an average cost per click of $0.32 and achieved the following results:

Synth Labs TikTok Success Story

Synth Labs Intl., TikTok for Business (Synth Labs TikTok Success Story)

Content Creator Partnerships

Another option for businesses is to work with content creators to promote your product on their page. Find someone who fits with your product category and who has an audience interested in buying what you offer.

Insense can help connect brands with creators. Whitelisting opportunity helps as well! We’ve seen tons of these ads while exploring TikTok ourselves – some even from local Vancouver brands like Evo and Vessi. 

Penningtons has leveraged this strategy with the Canadian content creator Alicia McCarvell

So Should Marketers Download TikTok?

As with all advertising platforms, it depends on the target audience. There is a lot of potential with TikTok and it is continuing to grow. If your brand’s target audience is on TikTok, then it could be extremely beneficial to get on the platform too and make connections with potential customers or clients.

For both marketers and business owners, it’s good to stay on top of trends! So download the app and take a look around.


If you like to keep your screen time low and interact with humans in real life… be warned, it can be a time suck!

And as always, if you are looking for help incorporating Social Media Marketing in your Strategy, let us know in the form below, and we can help. You can also learn more about our internet marketing services