Why TikTok might kill Instagram…and how to cash in on the biggest marketing opportunity of 2019

You might have heard of TikTok.

But, you probably don’t realize just how fast it’s becoming the one social media of choice.

In this article I’m going to try to convince you to take a serious look at TikTok.

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EXHIBIT A: Daily app installs

Green line is TikTok. Red line is Instagram. The graph is showing daily rank for iOS apps in the US. The daily rank is influenced by how many downloads you get. More new users = higher rank. The timeline is approximately last 6 months. Notice that in May 2019 TikTok was way down.

By August 2019 TikTok had a higher rank in the US than Instagram and it stayed at the top. That means TikTok is getting more daily users than Instagram, on iOS, in the US!!!

This fact alone doesn’t mean it’s going to take down Instagram tomorrow, but very few people realize how quickly is TikTok coming. Even most of my fellow marketing / tech / startup friends have no idea.

It’s not just acquisition. According to AppTopia, the retention is also insanely good.

The Chinese company that bought TikTok said they have more than a billion monthly active users. Yup, with a “b”. 100mil of those billion are from the US. (I don’t think these numbers have been confirmed by non-TikTok sources)

EXHIBIT B: “It’s for kids”

The main claim by “professionals” against TikTok is the very young age of the current audience. Yes, most users are teens and pre-teens. Very young. But this is a social network. The first-adaptors will obviously be young. Same thing happened with Instagram and Snapchat. (Facebook launched on a college campus so the audience was a bit older at first, but their second market was high schools).

If you have a product that can ethically target younger audiences it’s a dream come true. If you don’t, this might still be a great opportunity for brand awareness of future buyers.

As the platforms grows and if it survives, the audience will also get older. It happens with every single platform. The only question is how long can TikTok stick around and can it really become a “household app” like Insta.

EXHIBIT C: “Facebook will just copy them”

Snapchat was the first to come out with the Stories format. Short, vertical videos documenting one’s life. When it worked, Facebook / Instagram simply copy-pasted the same exact thing. It worked. People stayed on FB / IG instead of jumping over to Snap.

That’s not going to work with TikTok. FB / IG / Snap is about the people tell their stories. Influencers gain following and become “Insta-famous”. The algorithms reward people who get a lot of attention with…more attention.

TikTok on the other hand is all about the creative side. Anyone can (and most do) tie music with performance to create addictive videos. The algorithms reward creative videos, not the individuals / influencers.

It’s normal on TikTok to see someone get a million views on a video that went mini-viral, only to get next to 0 views on their next video. TikTok is fundementally different in the way people user the app. You can copy the features, but people just wont use it the same way on Instagram or Snap. TikTok is all about the music in the background.

The users who normally wouldn’t be comfortable creating content on other platforms are creating tons of content on TikTok. Resulting in massive engagement.

EXHIBIT C: The advertising cost

Now the most important part. Why should you, as a marketer / startup founder / CEO, give a shit.

As of now (October, 2019), the self-serve advertising platform is in Beta and not open to everyone.

I’ve been trying to run campaigns on TikTok for a few weeks now, but I couldn’t create an account and gain access. After many LinkedIn messages to employees, I finally got on-boarded.

Considering how new the advertising platform is, it’s actually pretty well developed in terms of the available features. If you want to run ads in the US for example, you have all the basic targeting you would want: age, gender, OS, interests, etc. (They even have an option to target by estimated price of the users’ device, but this didn’t work properly, I kept getting an error).

First look at TikTok’s ads manager

Everything I say here should be taken with a grain of salt, because I just started advertising on TikTok and I’m new to the platform but the early numbers are very promising.

All important numbers like CPM (Cost per thousand impressions) and CPA (cost per acquisition) are significantly lower than I see on any other platform. I’m talking a fraction of the cost I get on IG, FB and Snap.

Because of the detailed targeting available, these are not just “useless users”. These are high quality users that end up converting to buyers at similar rates as Facebook or Instagram.

So what’s next…

TikTok might do to Instagram what Instagram did to Facebook. Or it might die in 6 months and become the next Vine. I don’t know. Nobody knows. The point is, TikTok is the only platform in the world that has a shot of becoming the next Instagram.

Even if it dies, your can carry your brand equity with you. Some brands and influencers nailed Vine. When Vine collapsed, they carried those users and attention on to other platforms. If you’re really good, you can also play the short-term game and take advantage of the discount right now.

I’d recommend for everyone to go on TikTok, create an account and learn the platform. Become part of it. Post organic content and watch as you get thousands of free, organic impressions…currently not possible anywhere else.

If you can (and want to), try to get an ad-account and run some ads. It’s worth a try.

Shameless plug: I have just launched a new course that’s all about Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketing. I cover this conversions-hack in there in detail. If you want to get the course on Udemy, here’s a massive discount only for the readers of this blog. I have a 30-day, money-back guarantee so you can go through the entire course and get your investment back if you don’t find it valuable.. Click here to get the 94% discount on the course.

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