The Rise of TikTok in a COVID World & What We Expect to See Post COVID

BusinessMarketing & Advertising

  • Author Imogen Micklewright-Hill
  • Published July 9, 2020
  • Word count 695

A typical university student before COVID-19 hit, Jim paid his bills as a full-time employee of Tiger Air. Unfortunately, like many others in the airline industry, he was among the first to lose his job after the pandemic began. Finding refuge in the popular TikTok app, he gained attention for his impressions and comedic videos - namely that of ‘Kath Day-Night’ from the television show Kath and Kim, along with original sketches and made-up characters like Denise from his ‘Corona-Virus-Hotline’ videos.

His knack for connecting with his audience on an emotional yet humorous and reflective level garnered him an impressive following. Skyrocketing from 0 to 135K followers in just a few months, Jim has made new strides as a next-gen influencer. A rising trend we can anticipate in 2020.

How Effective are TikTok’s Influencers?

Jim already had an established following on Instagram, 20K strong. However chatting with him, he said his TikTok following was an entirely new experience unlike anything he had ever seen. His rising fame is startling. Fans stop him for selfies and pictures when he’s out on the street and even parents will introduce their shy kids to him at shopping centres.

He’s also had a massive uptick in fan mail. An increase so big, he had to create a new email account just to host them. Whenever he’s had a moment to reply to his eager fan mail, he found that most messages were from people who wanted to let him know just how much they relate to him. Brands are now jumping at the chance to work with him and he is reviewing agents as we speak. But this begs the questions, will his new fans really consider his brand suggestions in their purchases? Yes, we believe so.

TikTok and Instagram’s advertising seem worlds apart. Brands are seeking influencers who can so discretely and naturally inject products into their content that you would never even notice, let alone suspect it was an advertisement or product placement. They want content that is straightforward and simply entertaining.

I believe the difference we are seeing with Tiktok compared to Instagram is the ability to show creativity in a way that we don’t usually get to access to. Those who show personality as opposed to just looking good in front of a camera, seem to be coming out on top as relatable and popular content creators.

TikTok During & After COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of social media apps, TikTok, of course, was among the most downloaded apps. In the first 23 days of March, TikTok’s global revenue was up by 10% and downloads were up by 12%. It’s not only the 16 to 24 demographic TikTok is known for however, older consumers are also engaging with the app, 50% of users in 2020 were actually over 34. This is good news for the longevity of TikTok, younger consumers are usually the first to adopt new technologies, but once older consumers join the market it becomes much more powerful.

TikTok’s Potential in Australia

As Jim’s case highlighted, while TikTok expands into the global market Australia is no exception. Leading 2020’s new Sydney based office is former Google executive Lee Hunter, a long-standing professional in the tech world. He has made his excitement for joining the budding Australian TikTok community known, especially in the uncertain times of COVID-19 where creators and consumers alike have found solace in the app.

This is promising news for the future of TikTok in Australia, over 90% of users engage with TikTok multiple times a day while averaging about 52 minutes a day on the app. To drive the point home, TikTok already boasts 1.6 Million Australian users, a substantial and growing number. As Lee Hunter indicated, the Australian TikTok HQ is looking to form lucrative partnerships between influencers and brands. Now is the time to begin planning how these up and coming influencers can be used to leverage a new era of Australian advertising.

The favourite accounts in The Likes Of You office? @tabithashirleyrose @samathadrew1 @theinspiredunemplyed @jimrossington

We are excited to see what other local brands joining the TikTok train. Because if they don’t, rest assured their competitors will.

Co-Founder of The Likes OF You - a Melbourne based digital marketing agency Imogen has 6+ years working across the digital marketing landscape in Australia and worldwide including digital and creative campaigns, campaigns for growth and leads, brand storytelling, Influencer and KOL campaigns and event management.

Imogen is passionate about placing Australian brands on national international platforms via correct execution and implementation of social media strategies.

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