Marta Peral Ribeiro

Marta Peral Ribeiro
– Communication Consultant –

15 seconds of fame: TikToks brands

TikTok’s here to stay. Not only is it the social network that has grown the most in a short period of time, but it also covers such a large audience that many marketers have already realized the advantages of communicating on this platform.

Marta Peral Ribeiro
– Communication Consultant –

15 seconds of fame: TikToks brands

TikTok’s here to stay. Not only is it the social network that has grown the most in a short period of time, but it also covers such a large audience that many marketers have already realized the advantages of communicating on this platform.

One thing is certain: those who go to TikTok may not immediately understand its concept, but quickly realize that it is fun.

This short-lived video-based social network was born in China, initially called Douyin and became known worldwide as TikTok in 2017. It is present in more than 150 countries and has more than 500 million active accounts.

At a national level, we know that:

But what is the reason for the success of this App? Who is on this social network and what is their behavior? What’s moving big companies to invest in it?

It all starts with the environment in which the platform is positioned and how it resonates with the people, by their way of thinking, interacting, and entertaining themselves.

The Audience

This App represents the young culture in the digital age, which hereby finds a source of content that reflects the needs of their generation. And that was especially true during the social isolation we went through.

A good part of TikTok’s success is due to the Generation Z (young people between the ages of 16 and 24), because they consume and share more videos than any other generation – even though it is not the only age group that uses the platform.

But it must not be disregarded: despite the informal atmosphere of the TikTok community, the contents must be authentic, positive, and aligned with a purpose.

And let us keep this in mind: in a few years’ time, these young people will be the next consumers who will choose which products and services to buy.

In any case, even if it is made up of a younger audience, the TikTok community includes other age groups.

How TikTok works

The platform is based on videos of 15-seconds, which can be integrated until they reach a total of 60 seconds, to which you can add music.

Users interact with videos via the feed, being able to ‘like’, comment and share content with other users, either through messages or other social networks. Or they can simply scroll through the videos along the feed.

Key points

Creativity, Innovation and Happiness

It is a unique platform, with new elements, whose purpose is to “inspire creativity and bring happiness”.


The contents are usually simple and genuinely communicated, without filters.

Compared to the required level of video, image, or sound editing on other platforms, TikTok is certainly lighter in that respect.


The audience is approached directly by the creators, eye to eye, having a sense of connection, with the community.


Shared challenges are part of the App’s dynamic culture, providing fun and entertainment to users.


Viral content is generated (songs, choreographies, challenges) reaching a global scale instantly, thus dictating trends to a vast audience.

What does all this mean for brands?

This App represents a huge potential for many companies, especially at the B2C level:

  • It has an undeniable popularity, which continues to increase.
  • In addition to having many users, each of them spends a lot of time on the App daily.
  • Its contents, 100% video, allow new marketing potential, (re)positioning products and services in a dynamic way and communicating directly with the community.
  • As it is a relatively recent social network, competition is still low.
  • Organic reach is higher at this stage because there are more people consuming content than content being created, which means that whatever there is to see will be shown to those who are active.
  • It enriches the dialogue that already exists with your community.
  • It is not essential to already have notoriety on other social networks – although it can make it easier. That is, you can create an account on TikTok and get exponential growth uniquely through this App.

image with phrase dont make ads. make tiktoks

This is how TikTok Business is born in July this year, which offers marketing resources and whose motto is: “Don’t Make ads, Make TikToks.” The challenge to brands is launched, as expectations are now higher.

For whom and for what

The Entertainment, Fashion, Beauty, Sports and Food sectors are the ones that have experienced the most success on TikTok.

A study of users from the UK and US between the age of 16 and 64 shows their motivations for using the App, which are mostly for entertainment:

Percentage of reasons users use tiktok

So regardless of the industry, TikTok is a platform used primarily for entertainment. Brands should use it for the genuine objective of connecting with their audience, in a light and fun way, and not for selling.

Where to start?

For those familiar with social media, posting a video to TikTok is intuitive: just click the ‘More’ button on the main page of the account.

Then it’s a matter of customizing the videos by exploring the video editing options. You can set up effects, video speed, hashtags, and experience augmented reality.

There are a few factors to consider when creating content:

Clear Message – The first 3 seconds of video should get straight to the point to immediately capture the users’ attention.

Frequency – It is important to publish with a certain rhythm because the algorithm will rely on the activity and present the content to more users.

Full screen – As a Mobile App, vertically shot videos have a 25% higher display rate of 6 seconds. That is, the idea is to occupy as much screen space as possible, and thus enhance visibility.

Music – Adding music to content is undoubtedly important, especially if it’s a song associated with a trend, because it goes viral and thus increases the likelihood of being seen.

Hashtags – Choose 3 to 6 hashtags relevant to the content. The algorithm presents users with content related to their interests, and hashtags make the process easier. And when a user searches for a particular topic, they filter it through hashtags – so keep your persona in mind. The same goes for video captions.

Sharing on other channels – While content created for other social networks is not for TikTok, we can redirect a lot of the content created in TikTok to other networks.

Dialogue – Interact with the community in a genuine way, asking questions that add value and generate dialogue. If you can get external contributions, all the better (e.g. comments from professionals in the field).

More action and less talk – Generation Z has an activist spirit, so they want to see their mission translated into concrete actions.

Partnerships – Brands can team up with other creators to create more dynamic marketing campaigns.

Inspiration– Is a section of TikTok Business where you can learn about advertising strategies that have resulted for other brands. The search can be done by industry, types of ads and country, and furthermore you get to know the objective, solution, and results of these campaigns.

Discover how we help brands like yours achieve marketing success. We hope you wil be one of them soon!

Types of ads


Duration: up to 60 seconds
Image orientation: vertical
Type of Image: video
Screen proportion: 9:16
Sound: with sound

This is the format that most easily captures the user’s attention because they work immediately as storytelling.

Example: Telecommunications – Vodafone X

Vodafone mobile have a fee for students in Ireland (equivalent to Yorn in the domestic market) that offers free and exclusive access to an online learning platform. In this campaign, which took place in the middle of the pandemic, Vodafone X provides access to the so-called teaching platform to anyone. The result? In one day, the ad generated more than 1.7 million impressions, more than 350,000 clicks and led thousands of young people across Ireland to the landing page of the teaching platform.

Brand Takeovers

Duration: 3-5 seconds
Image orientation: vertical
Image type: static or video
Screen proportion: 9:16
Sound: no sound

They can be a still image or a video without sound, with a strong visual impact.

Example: Fashion/Footwear – Vans

To drive traffic to the online store, Vans created this short video that reveals its fun personality.


In-feed Videos

Duration: 15- 60 seconds
Image orientation: vertical
Image type: video
Screen proportion: 9:16
Sound: with sound

It appears in the users’ “For you” feed. In turn, they may like, comment, share, follow, or record a video with the same song.

Example: Car – MINI

For the launch of the new MINI Electric Hatch in Australia and New Zealand, Mini created a campaign bringing the concept of fun and electric mobility to this new audience. The ad was viewed more than 1.2 million times during the campaign period, which generated an engagement of 4.6% and a CTR of 1.24%.


Hashtag Challenges

Through the hashtag challenges brands directly invite the community to create content related to the theme of a campaign that has a particular hashtag. You can power this action with sponsored hashtags (Hashtag Plus).

Example: Food and Drink – Lion

The Lion brand has launched the challenge #GetYourLionOut to promote its cereals. With a simple song that includes the word Lion and energetic movements, the morning routine was recreated – as cereals are a common breakfast option for young people.

Lion not only gained awareness, but also 25,000 new followers and the video had over 40 million views


Brand Effects

Filters, special effects, stickers that make the ad more fun visually.

Example: Food and Drink – Halls

Halls, known for the sweets that relieve the symptoms of a cold, has created a simple ad with an effect that conveys the revitalizing action felt when tasting a Halls sweet.

With the combination of a hashtag challenge, the video gained 17 million views, 14,000 videos created in response and brand awareness increased by 61%.

You can also analyze all the details about the formats available for video made available by the platform.

TikTok Analytics

You can also measure the success of your campaign through TikTok Analytics by simply upgrading your profile to professional.

This way you can learn more about your followers, which content has the highest interaction rate, the time of day they interacted the most, which is the geographic territory of the followers and the gender.

All this allows you to understand your target audience as well and how to engage it.

analises do tiktok



TikTok undoubtedly requires a different approach to what is used in other networks.  It therefore requires an adjustment in communication to reach the community without compromising the brand identity. Otherwise you run the risk of creating a campaign through meaningless challenges and choreographies.

For that same reason, it represents an incredible opportunity for brands to position themselves on this platform whose popularity increases day by day, raising the bar in terms of creativity and humor.

After all, the success of brands depends largely on their ability to adapt, namely meeting their audience wherever they are.