It’s 2022. Irish businesses need to be on TikTok

Richard Lawton18th July 2022 - Richard Lawton

It’s 2022. Irish businesses need to be on TikTok

In 2022, Irish businesses really should be on TikTok. Can the average Irish brand leverage TikTok for business? Of course, but you’ll need to be creative, authentic and ideally fun. More on that later.

Smart brands understand the value of building a presence on a social platform while still in its early growth stages and taking that first mover advantage against their competitors. Think Facebook in the mid-2,000’s, that time is now for TikTok.

While some people still view TikTok as a social media platform that solely caters to its generally younger audience, that would be a misinformed view about who actually uses TikTok today.

If your brand has not yet engaged with TikTok, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

Seinfeld clip showing man shouting Serenity now

But we’re on Facebook and Instagram already!

So you should be. According to Facebook’s own Ad data, businesses can reach 2.7 M people on Facebook and 2.6M on Instagram in Ireland.

The Facebook Ads system is also one of the most effective and rewarding platforms a business can engage. It’s targeting capabilities and mass of collected data points are hard to beat.

While Paid Search Ads (Google & Bing) are as exact as a surgeon’s knife for dialling into real user intent to convert by engaging your services or buying your product, Facebook is like the Swiss army knife of marketing tools. Facebook delivers many ways to engage and convert your audience.

As long as you take advantage of Facebook’s new tracking methods to help combat visibility losses from Apple’s Privacy initiatives, it will serve your business well when properly invested in, managed and optimised.

Though Facebook usage in Ireland is dropping, Facebook & Instagram are still the most popular platforms for users in Ireland and most businesses should definitely maintain a presence there. TikTok is catching up fast though and is a serious contender for the Social throne.

TikTok user demographics in Ireland

We decided to look at the TikTok Irish user demographics to get a gauge of who exactly is using it in Ireland.

TikTok is now used by 2.25MLN Irish people, which shows rapid growth in the Irish market. That places it 3rd in usage behind Facebook and Instagram.

This means that your brand’s messaging could in theory reach 1 in 3 people in Ireland if using TikTok both organically and its paid advertising features.

While growing rapidly, data sourced from TikTok’s Ads Manager platform shows the Irish TikTok user demographic breakdown as of July 2022 as below:

Irish TikTok User Demographics Ireland Infographic

Is 2022 a good time to join TikTok?

2022 is definitely a good time to join TikTok, the sooner the better. TikTok is now 6 years old. Social platform years are almost like dog years so by those standards it’s quite a mature platform.

Since launching in 2016, TikTok has grown rapidly. The App has been downloaded globally more than 2 billion times. According to Cloudflare, in 2021 tiktok.com was the most popular domain for users, beating even google.com for visitors.

There can be no argument, TikTok is here to stay.

Lake in the shape of an upwards tending arrow in the middle of a forrest representing organic growth on TikTok

Organic growth on TikTok

When Social platforms first launch, there’s a period where they’re trying to gain as many users and as much content as possible before monetising the service with Ads. During this time, organic reach will be extended as your content will be pushed out by the platform to keep users engaged. That’s a golden time to join and invest in building a presence on a platform (if you believe it has a genuine future of course).

While that initial stage has passed as paid Ads are now available on TikTok and the organic reach is not as strong as it initially was, it’s still extremely strong. The engagement rates on TikTok are much higher than on other Social Platforms and are likely to stay that way until the platform gets more crowded. Basically, it’s like Facebook used to be when you could reach your audience for free!

Smart brands are on TikTok already and doubling down both on organic content and paid Ads but there’s plenty of growth to be achieved for businesses only just getting started on TikTok in 2022.

TikTok is being used by younger audiences as a Search Engine

TikTok is not only taking some of Facebook’s audiences but even Google is feeling a little bit of a pinch though not a substantial threat. As mentioned above, tiktok.com was the most visited domain in 2021, usurping Google. This is no small feat.

Prabhakar Raghavan (Google senior vice president) told a recent Tech conference that:

“something like almost 40% of young people when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search, they go to TikTok or Instagram.”

While these local search terms from people looking for lunch spots only make up a very small portion of user Search volumes, Google is adjusting its platform to appeal to younger users to defend their dominance of Search terms with a local intent to convert. However, Google remains the number one platform to dial into real user intent to convert into a customer across many industries.

The reality is that TikTok will never take over from Google for user journeys that require real research, price and service level comparison. It’s an interesting development in the world of Search Marketing though and something businesses serving local customers should be keeping in mind.

As global users become less and less patient, they’re seeking more visual ways to learn rather than reading blog content. Younger users use TikTok’s search facility to find the guides they want in a short easy to understand video format.

Mental health advice is unsurprisingly a popular topic on TikTok and often a go-to source for younger users as is legal and medical advice for users of all ages. TikTok content can be excellent for delivering a concise visual answer to those “how to” questions we all have.

Despite the lack of the same veracity to the information available on TikTok when compared to Google results, this looks like a trend that will continue. To help SEO your brand’s TikTok content to be discovered in TikTok search results, be sure to use the auto-captions over your videos and relevant hashtags.

Irish TikTok user making video content with a smartphone and light ring

Won’t I have to dance to create engaging content on TikTok?

No. While dance crazes certainly helped get TikTok to where it is today, the variety of content on it today is truly quite astounding. Users are on TikTok to learn, discover and also shop!

What’s important on TikTok is that your video content is creative, authentic and of course either helpful, visually engaging or funny. It’s not a place for any boring straightforward marketing creatives that have a strong sales approach. The users there will certainly let you know in the comments (if you leave them on) if they don’t like it. Your TikTok content needs to be made for TikTok.

One aspect of TikTok content is that it’s very much focused on trends and challenges. Keeping up on what your audience is engaging with and the topics they’re talking about will help make your content more relevant. TikTok encourages users to take on their content challenges. Targeting those challenges and using the memes and hashtags that your audience use will help you connect with the right people.

Some brands may initially struggle to conceive of what they might share but there are plenty of great examples and ideas out there to take a lead form.

What types of businesses can benefit from TikTok?

Pretty much any business that’s prepared to invest in producing fun and engaging video content will benefit from being on TikTok. Remember that needn’t be an expensive undertaking, all that’s needed is a bit of creativity, basic video editing skills, time and a smartphone.

If a brand is producing high-quality content around an area people want to gain knowledge in, they’ll quickly gather a following. From Lawyers to Doctors, there’s no shortage of smart professional service brands taking advantage of the free organic reach by producing helpful and engaging video content for their audiences.

More and more, Social platforms are places where people shop. Ecommerce brands will especially benefit from engaging with TikTok. Just take a look at #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt and you’ll see users posting about the influence TikTok had on their latest purchase.

The potential for eCommerce brands to benefit from user-generated content (UGC) is huge on TikTok. Getting your products into the hands of your target audience and delighting them can see your product go viral.

There’s also a plethora of tools and features built into the platform that will let you engage directly with your audience. These include Q & A’s and Live streams to answer buyer questions and demonstrate your product’s benefits, driving sales in real-time.

Live Shopping has conversion rates 10 times higher than other eCommerce placements and formats. It’s set to be a major trend in eCommerce going forward and TikTok really delivers here.

Partnering with relevant Influencers that have already amassed a strong engaged following can provide a shortcut to getting the exposure a brand needs with its target audience. It’s crucial to ensure good alignment here between audience and brand though, otherwise, it can lead to wasted spending. A good place to start with finding the right influencer to partner with is TikTok’s Creator Marketplace.

Another very interesting offering for brands is TikTok’s Branded Mission. Essentially brands can crowdsource their creative needs to TikTok creators. Content creators supply their proposed TikTok creative for your brand which you can then choose to place media spend behind if you like what you see. This could prove to be an excellent option for brands struggling with their own creative production for the platform.

There’s a lot that can be achieved organically on the platform with the right resources put into producing content. However, it’s when brands add paid media to the mix that the numbers can really start to get interesting.

Rocket ship leaving the group of other rockets representing first mover advantage with Paid Ads on TikTok

Paid Ads on TikTok & first mover advantage

TikTok released its self-serve Ads platform in July 2020 and is very capable of delivering results for brands across many verticals. All the usual options are there that we’ve come to expect from a modern Ads platform making it suitable for driving on-site Conversions or App Installs as needed.

While large volumes of performance data are thin on the ground and of course it depends on each vertical, creative strength, the offer and many other factors including the friction of their user journeys, TikTok Ads can be a very strong option.

Media buying on TikTok is still relatively cheap when compared to Facebook & Instagram. As with any Ad placement costs, supply and demand dictates pricing. TikTok still has a lot of supply of Ad space with less demand than on Facebook’s dwindling supply as not as many marketers are taking advantage of TikTok yet.

This presents yet another area of opportunity, as well as organic growth with TikTok, where there still remains a first mover advantage for businesses that act soon and start their TikTok journey both organic and paid.

If you’d like to take advantage of this exceptional marketing channel, talk with us today!

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Richard Lawton
Richard Lawton

Richie is strong advocate of combining performance marketing with data analytics to deliver ROI at Friday. He's a former stockbroker who fell in love with the power of digital marketing & data science.

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