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TikTok: The New Kid on the Agri-Marketing Block

10.30.20Jeff Hoffelt

If you follow the news or are the parent of a teenager, you’ve heard of TikTok. The fastest-growing social media app is popular with the Gen Z crowd for dance videos and trends, and not so popular with President Trump who unsuccessfully attempted to ban the app in the U.S.

TikTok is here to stay. That’s good news for the 85 million active users in the U.S. alone and the marketers who are successfully engaging with them. As the most downloaded app in 2019 – and again in 2020 – TikTok has taken the social media world by storm. The app has more active users than Twitter and LinkedIn, and higher engagement rates than Facebook and Instagram.

Is TikTok worth considering in 2021 agri-marketing plans? You may be surprised by the answer.

TikTok basics

TikTok is growing faster than its platform counterparts because it is built differently. The model is showing a 20% engagement rate compared to 5% on Facebook; and an average of 45 minutes spent on TikTok per day.

  1. Short clips: The app started as a 5-15 second video platform and has since expanded its video cap to 60 seconds. The short videos offer speedy snippets and an entertaining reprieve, while other platforms have started moving toward longer video content.
  2. Auto-play: Videos automatically play – with the sound on – when a user opens the app. This immediately immerses a user into a video, grabbing full screen attention. Videos then play consecutively to keep a user locked in.
  3. Sound on: Over 90% of TikTok videos are watched with the sound on. This is a complete flip from video view statistics on other platforms. TikTok users are fully focused on the app content. Other platform users tend to scroll sound off.
  4. On-trend music: TikTok creators have access to a library of copyrighted music and sound clips to accompany their videos. With roots as, TikTok has agreements with artists for music use. This allows the platform to stay on or ahead of trend while other platforms are limited to royalty-free tunes.
  5. Cross-platform sharing: Users can share content easily onto other platforms. TikTok videos often go viral because they are posted onto Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. This differentiator – plus TikTok ads on these platforms – helped move users to the platform.
  6. The algorithm: The TikTok algorithm serves content on your ‘For You Page’ based on what you watch versus who you follow. On most other platforms, your newsfeed includes people and brands you’ve actively followed. If you watch a lot of dance videos, you’ll see more dance videos. Love dogs? Your stream will be filled with dogs. This keeps users engaged and also creates an easier organic win strategy for brands.
Not just for the younger crowd

Let’s get the elephant out of the room: TikTok isn’t just for teenagers. Sure, TikTok is popular with the Gen Z crowd, but did you expect 58% of TikTok users to be between ages 18-34? Another 15% are over age 35. And, more than one-third of all users report having a household income of more than $100,000/year. That’s a mature audience with buying power that can be reached through the app.

Agriculture and TikTok

Agriculture content is popular on TikTok with tech-savvy farmers being early platform adaptors. Case points: this fun Wisconsin Jersey calf video that has 1.2 million views, this trending Texas show cattle clip or this Pennsylvania equipment dealer who empowers their team to film fun clips.

These clips excelled because the creators tapped into timely trends and added relevant hashtags. Agriculture hashtags perform well with millions, even billions of views. That’s an opportunity to generate interest and visibility for your brand with an engaged, pre-qualified audience.

Very few agriculture companies have tapped into the platform yet, but take a look at KwikTrip, Chipotle or #gotmilk? for early brand success.

Can you advertise on TikTok?

Like any social platform’s history, TikTok’s advertising capabilities are evolving. Paid opportunities first opened to key partner brands, with brand takeovers at $50,000 per day, an $80,000 price tag for branded AR filters and hashtag challenges coming in at $150,000 per week. ?

Don’t let that scare you. TikTok recently launched a new ads manager interface, similar to other social platforms – with campaigns starting at $500. On-platform targeting is limited, so it’s best to target based on your owned data (website visitors, app downloaders, email list or a lookalike audience of those).

Campaigns now start at $50 per day for 10 days, making a promoted TikTok video a nice test and learn before diving in.  The benchmark CPM is $10 – very comparable to Facebook’s $11.20 average.

TikTok into 2021

The agriculture audience is there, the user age is right and paid opportunities are now within reach. Could TikTok be the next big agri-marketing platform? Should you shift your Facebook or LinkedIn plans and move to TikTok? Not quite yet.

But TikTok is worth considering for a pilot or test and learn in 2021. Think about activating popular TikTok influencers in your category or running a $500 video promotion to test the water. Based on those results, you may find TikTok to be a successful addition to your 2021 marketing toolkit.

Think marketing on TikTok might be a fit for your business? Want to chat through how the platform may work for you? Let’s talk today.
Jeff Hoffelt
Jeff Hoffelt
Vice President