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Here’s why TikTok is the Next Big Marketing Idea in Sri Lanka

By Shonel Perera

As a stubborn millenial I was quite against downloading TikTok as I didn’t want to be a stereotypical GenZer. However, after my friend taught me how to “Dougie”, I eventually did. I have now become an avid follower and user of TikTok, just not in the conventional sense. While I don’t create content, I follow a lot of it. I consume art, dance, animal, DIYs and many more and fortunately happen to be close to most of the users across Sri Lanka and a few outside. The beauty in the app lies within the endless possibilities and opportunities for every single individual. I have often found Instagram and Facebook to, while globally large in users, lack overall equality in participation. This is where TikTok’s opportunities overtake those apps to find itself on top of the Kingdom.

However, many large advertising firms and industries are hesitant to take a step forward using TikTok based on the assumptions that,
1. All TikTok users are GenZ
2. There’s no place for their businesses on TikTok
3. TikTok is just another social media platform out there

All understandable assumptions, but all wrong.

TikTok is actually a great place to advertise and right now looks to be the present and future of digital marketing.

A global misconception is that most of the users on TikTok fall between the ages of 16-24. However, they only accumulate to 41% of it which shows that 59% of the users from the Millenial, GenX, and even Baby Boomer generations. (My 69 year old Grandma is one of them – Hi Grandma!)
Moreover, TikTok gives all users equal opportunity to create and promote their campaigns with minimum to no cost. This makes it a great app for Sri Lanka especially as it promotes across consumers on social media in the rural sectors which often go untapped or untouched due to the unawareness of “how” to use certain apps for higher outcome. TikTok in Sri Lanka has seen users with creative talents and ideas come from rural communities giving them an opportunity to elevate their skills.

Another popular mode of advertising and campaigning on TikTok is the “hashtag challenge”, possibly the most popular and convenient form of campaigning on TikTok. This allows every user on the app to get involved and take part in videos using a certain hashtag that goes viral. While most hashtag challenges are modes of popularizing existing trends, businesses have made smart moves to incorporate this strategy in corporate campaigns, advertising strategies and marketing methods. These types of content also bridge the gap between everyday individuals and corporations / firms creating awareness among businesses that aren’t inclined on social media.

Influencer Marketing – the most common form of digital marketing in Sri Lanka has been going on for years and has seen a large number of influencers on the rise. Facebook and Instagram especially has seen a number of them drowned out due to the high number of inviduals on the rise. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. However, TikTok is still on open season. Given the fact that TikTok in Sri Lanka elevated to a high number of users only early this year (during the Lockdown time period).

Use of influencers on TikTok has a higher potential of engagement in business campaigns, which is what one should be looking for in an Influencer – maximum results of engagement.

Many reports show that while there are around 200 – 300 individuals on Instagram with over 10K followers in Sri Lanka, engagement is seeminly low with many influencers having an engagement of less than 2%. TikTok has more users but less influencers which paves a solid base for Influencers to gain better engagement.

A brilliant example of influencers capitalizing early on in their careers is Charlie D’Amelio and Addison Rae. Charlie is the reigning “Queen of TikTok” and claimed the title at a young age of 17 forging many business partnerships very early on, which goes to show that regardless of age, business campaigns can be carried out successfully with influencers on TikTok, as it provides high engagement.
TikTok is a wonderful way for businesses and Content Creators to stay ahead of the marketing curve and turn the tables in your favor. TikTok is still on the rise with new users, new campaign ideas, and new business marketing strategies coming in everyday. Stay ahead, show off your brand, get creative and start advertising on TikTok.

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