BlogHeikki Pieniniemi 17.02.2022

10 Questions And Answers About TikTok 

Expertise growth Marketing development Digital marketing Marketing communications Brand Content marketing Social media

TikTok became the world’s most popular web service in 2021 – beating even Google. We convened three of our specialists to discuss TikTok’s appeal and opportunities for marketers. Mikko Wivolin masters creative content and influencer marketing, Saaramaria Somppi is a researcher and interpreter of the human mind, and Maria Karttunen knows how to tame social media for business use

1. Why did TikTok become the number one favorite in the online world in three years? 

Mikko: There was clearly an even greater need for short, video-format content, “video is a new image”. For creators, TikTok is a very motivating platform, content is easy to create directly in the app, and even strangers can gain a large audience for their content. TikTok is spreading a lot of trends and nowadays it is also influencing the music business a lot – these have also contributed to its popularity. 

Saaramaria: I agree with Mikko that TikTok responds to the need. Many consumers today have the concentration of goldfish, i.e. the patience to concentrate on long content is scarce. TikTok’s short videos are perfect for such consumers: especially since content can be skipped quickly and easily if it fails to generate enough interest within a couple of seconds. 

Maria: In addition, TikTok‘s  for you page algorithm serves up content that interests you very strongly, it’s easy to find interesting content. TikTok is also a social channel, although it focuses more on entertainment rather than user interaction. As Mikko mentioned, music and trends also have a big impact. 

2. How many TikTok users are there now in Finland and how does the number compare to other online services? 

Maria: According to figures reported by TikTok, the monthly number of users in Finland is 1.3 million. An average of 4.5 million videos are created and the app is opened an average of 19 times a day. Every day, 80+ minutes are spent on TikTok. The user base is 57% female and 43% male. 17% of users are over 35 years old, with an emphasis of 59% on 18-24 year olds. 

Saaramaria: According to data from Dagmar’s Digital Media survey, young people in particular have embraced TikTok: 60% of 16-24-year-olds use TikTok monthly and 40% daily. The monthly usage of Snapchat in this age group is at the same level as TikTok’s. However, Snap is clearly used more even on a daily basis, while TikTok is used a little more occasionally. 

While 16- to 24-year-olds use Instagram more commonly than TikTok, people spend up to a few minutes more time on TikTok each day than Instagram. Young people spend more time on YouTube and Snapchat than on different social media services – so they really enjoy watching TikTok’s video content! 

3. Does TikTok have other users besides dancing teens? 

ikko: Of course! Dances are still a part of TikTok but only one part of everything else. TikTok also has even more content for an older audience, such as videos related to cleaning and housekeeping. 

Maria: Absolutely. More and more content produced by teens is coming across. For example, tips for cooking, repairing or even maintaining a car. Not forgetting the humorous content. 

Saaramaria: TikTok use has clearly increased even among older age groups – for example, 10% of 45-54-year-olds use TikTok monthly and the number seems to continue growing. 

4. What kind of paid advertising opportunities does TikTok offer? 

Maria: You can do booking-based and auction-based advertising on TikTok. There are many ad formats, but naturally the focus is on vertical video. The visibility of organic content, such as content produced by an influencer, can be boosted with advertising and thus reach a wider range of users. TikTok is suitable for both branding and tactical activities and offers diverse opportunities for e.g. e-commerce advertisers. 

Mikko: In addition to paid advertising, TikTok has also started to engage in commercial collaborations with influencers. We woke up to this when TikTok arrived in Finland a bit slowly, but nowadays influencer collaborations are already commonplace on TikTok. 

As with all social media platforms, TikTok needs to make content that fits the channel. More traditional product images can serve as ads on Instagram, but on TikTok, influencer collaborations need to pay more attention to the entertaining nature of the content. Of course, it’s good to try to be entertaining whenever possible on Instagram, but on the other hand, a more fun and relaxed style is not suitable for all brands and products. That’s why it’s always important to think about channel choices based on your brand and target audience. 

5. What other opportunities does a marketer have on TikTok? 

Mikko: Many big brands invest in community management on TikTok and comment on regular videos. Examples include Duolingo and Tinder, whose funny comments occasionally appear in the comment boxes of videos. Duolingo is also a good example of catching trends and being “awake”, e.g. Céline Dion trend and stupid mental health trend. Honorable mention also  for Ryanair and Lionsgate TikTok accounts; both make platform-appropriate, entertaining, even self-ironic content. 

Maria: It is possible to get wide visibility on the platform organically without advertising, as long as the content works. Brands get closer to the consumer by making well-made content. Popular content formats include behind-the-scenes videos. Also, catching current trends is the key to success on TikTok. 

6. If a brand is considering opening its own TikTok account, what should you consider? 

Mikko: On TikTok, it’s important to be natural. “Advertising” should be avoided, it will be noticed immediately. TikTok should be like a fish in water i.e. act according to the genre. Casually, self-ironically and entertainingly. Brand content should have the same energy as regular content. 

Saaramaria: Like Mikko said, in the channel way. Overly promotional implementations are easily skipped, and the content must be interesting from the very first seconds. Young people can also be critical of advertisements if they notice flaws or underestimation of young people. Authenticity and honesty are valued, which is also true in many other social media channels and e.g. social media channels. in influencer marketing. 

Maria: Before opening an account, it’s important to define your strategy and goals. What we want to achieve and who the content is aimed at. You should be present on the channel and reserve enough resources to tackle current phenomena. 

7. Voisiko TikTok toimia rekrykanavana? 

Mikko: What not! A good example is the Finnish Tax Administration

8. How is success measured on TikTok? 

Saaramaria: Little has been done on TikTok to measure attention value or otherwise the success of advertising through traditional research. But I don’t see any reason why noticing and responding to Tiktok content can’t be investigated alongside other measurements, for example as a natural part of campaign research. 

Maria: Brand lift research on the platform is not yet possible in the Finnish market, but hopefully we will get it here soon. Campaign research can be used to measure more strategic goals, and advertising metrics can be used to measure success with metrics directly available on the platform, such as watch time, directing to websites and conversions, such as online store purchases. 

9. Give an example of successful Finnish TikTok content or the creation of a phenomenon. 

Maria: There are several TikTok influencers in Finland who have gained an international audience of millions. For example,  
@hpc_official or Hydraulic Press Channel, @jennifererica aka Jennifer Käld, @sariaalto and @dianarantamaki.  
JJ’s BBQ Restaurant in Salo @jjsbbqfi gets tens, if not hundreds of thousands of views for its videos, and people have travelled to the place to eat hours away by car. TikTok seems to be a popular channel for small business owners – videos are made from the manufacture of products all the way to the packaging of orders. 

And I wish I could say that the Finnish @aurikatariina has been among the first to create the #cleantok phenomenon with its cleaning videos. He has six million followers and has also received a lot of international media attention. 

The latest Finnish TikTok phenomenon is the popular (and unpopular) rum rusine buns. Restaurateur @laurikaivoluoto was able to bring them to the lips of a large number of people in cooperation with @hrakauppias, which documents the shopkeeper’s everyday life  . Both have taken over TikTok in their own way and reach hundreds of thousands of pairs of eyes with their content. This is also a great example of cooperation between brands/influencers! 

Mikko: Maria already listed a very good list of popular Finnish TikTok accounts. Therapist Ville is also a great example of how you can do more than just trends, dances and humorous content on TikTok. There is room on TikTok for all kinds of experts and a wide variety of accounts. Of the Finnish organisations, I could mention, for example, the Tax Administration and Närpes Vegetable

10. A new food delivery service, Tiktok Kitchen, will open in the United States during the spring. Is this just the beginning of brand extensions? Where could TikTok expand naturally next? 

Maria: Shopping directly on social media platforms and collaboration between online stores and brands is growing in popularity. TikTok has already had a partnership with Shopify in the pilot phase in the US, UK, and Canadian markets  ; it allows you to shop directly in the app. Enlargement is bound to take place in this area. 

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