Should You Incorporate TikTok in to Your MedTech Social Media Marketing Strategy?
From dancing celebs to funny voice overs, it is no surprise that many assume TikTok is “just another app” designed for entertainment. But with over 800 million active monthly users worldwide, and the title of the fastest growing social media platform of 2019, the potential for using TikTok as a growth tool in your marketing strategy is endless. However, can this really apply to MedTech marketing strategies?
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a video sharing social media platform fueled by user generated content that has been dominating the app charts. While it may sound similar to a once popular video sharing app, Vine, which existed from 2013-2016, TikTok has surpassed the platform in more ways than one.
In August 2018, the app Musical.ly, a short-form video streaming app was taken over by another company called ByteDance. The two were combined and created as the new Tik Tok app. Musical.ly was widely popular and known for its wide variety of music and dialogue options that users could lip sync to and create videos with.
The now trending platform provides users with the option to post longer videos with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) filters. Many consider TikTok to be a superior platform with the capabilities of using a “music” library (audio ranking library of popular songs with easy to access data on trending song popularity), video filters (some that even let you do screenshots of text backgrounds), and longer videos (usually an average of 15 to 60 seconds long).
How do you use TikTok?
With TikTok, the more you watch, the more you’ll understand. It can take a few initial posts and “scrolling” sessions to really get to know what makes the platform unique. You can download TikTok and immediately start seeing videos that are “recommended for you” without having to create an account, making it easy to access content. When you are ready to create your own content and engage with others, then the creation of an account is necessary.
Here are a few stats you should know about TikTok:
- By February 2019, TikTok hit 1 billion downloads, beating Instagram and Facebook in app stores.
- TikTok is the third most downloaded app globally.
- There are 800 million active users monthly.
- 56% of users are male.
- The app is available in 155 countries.
- 50% of its audience are under the age of 34.
- The average TikTok user spends 52 minutes per day on the app.
How are brands using TikTok?
Brands and influencers everywhere are turning to the new popular platform to increase brand awareness, educate their audience, and reach people who might not have been included within their original target. It is also being used to build relationships with the audience, gaining trust and credibility to create an emotional connection that isn’t created through the average social media post.
Chipotle has jumped on the TikTok bandwagon, and it’s paying off. To celebrate national avocado day, Chipotle encouraged fans to participate in the #GuacDance challenge, showing off dance moves that were dedicated to avocados.
The campaign was TikTok’s highest-performing branded challenge in the U.S. The promotion resulted in Chipotle’s biggest guacamole day ever, with more than 800,000 sides of the condiment served. The quick-service chain’s avocado usage jumped 68% to 18,500 cases, or more than 420,000 pounds of the fruit, for National Avocado Day on July 31. (Mobile Marketer). The big kicker: Chipotle partnered with YouTubers to popularize the challenge but received 250,000 video submissions! I would say their return on investments was astronomical.
MedTech Audience in TikTok: does it exist?
So, what does this all mean for you? How can the MedTech Industry benefit from something like TikTok? Well, the answer to that is, absolutely! For example, many doctors have jumped on the TikTok trend, trying to educate the younger generation.
In the Orthopedic world, Dr. Brian Moss is trying to make a name for himself by embracing all of TikTok: its trends, songs, and fun filters. His page can be found here. He also has an Instagram where he posts his TikToks, all educational but lighthearted and funny.
Gynecologist Danielle Jones, whose TikTok page can be found here, loves to jump on the TikTok trends and make her viewers laugh. She answers questions about being an OBGYN, dispels common birth control myths, and even has dressed up as a Copper IUD for Halloween. This video combines the best of both worlds: a TikTok trend with audio from an a popular vine. Talk about worlds colliding!
Dr. Leslie found fame as being the “millennial doctor using TikTok to help teens stop vaping” (Yahoo Lifestyle). Her TikTok can be found here. Her page shows her day to day activities of being a doctor, delivering babies, and also informing the youth of the future how their vaping activities are impeding their future health. Her page is ever growing and at the time of this article, her page had 353k followers and 5.7m likes!
Most of the doctors that are found on TikTok are mainly educating their audience through the app about their particular field. As you can see, the hashtag #doctorsoftiktok has 3.2 million views and each day, this amount of views is growing. The large view counts on their videos are proof that the potential reach has no end! These views are more than just a simple watch, rather they have the possibility of becoming a new patient or client.
Why should MedTech companies incorporate TikTok? Why shouldn’t they?
The real question is, should MedTech companies incorporate TikTok into their social media marketing strategy? It depends. MedTech companies should incorporate TikTok if they are willing to spend time watching the app, learning the trends, and think that they can relate to the people watching their videos, Generation Z.
It depends on your marketing objectives, target audience, and the access that you have to the app (Do you have someone who can dedicate time and effort into content creation? and so on).
For example, if a MedTech organization was specifically looking to generate B2B (business to business) leads, this may not be the platform for you. But if your goal is to build credibility and brand awareness for an audience younger than the age 34, then this is the missing link to your marketing strategy. TikTok humanizes a medical profession that otherwise may seem unapproachable and out of reach.
It also pays to be a pioneer in a new social media platform. For instance, when platforms like YouTube and Instagram were first developed, people were hesitant to test it out but the people who started early gained large amounts of followers.
If you are still unsure of if TikTok is the right choice for you, here are a few things to consider:
- 46% of consumers say they are more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in a video.
- Incorporating video into your marketing plan can put a face to the brand (helping people think of you than more than just a logo).
- Who is your target audience? Who is your buyer persona?
- Do you want to educate your audience?
- What is your goal? (brand awareness, demonstrate authority in a specific area, etc.)
For smaller companies that don’t have a large following on other social media platforms, it might be better to not use TikTok at this time. TikTok involves being consistent and posting quite frequently to keep users engaged. If you can’t make the time, it would be more of a nuisance than a convenience.
For doctors who want to use TikTok for their individual specialty, we believe that having a TikTok could be a valuable asset! It will help the community learn more about specific specialties, plus having the doctors become more recognized in their field. It will take extra time to post and edit your TikToks but if you are tech savvy, and get to know the app, it’s worth it!
So, what next?
Download the app, spend a couple minutes watching videos. Either it’s for you or it’s not. Keep in mind the main users of the app are from Generation Z. According to the US Census Bureau, Gen Z outnumbers Millennials and Baby Boomers, making up 25 percent of the population. Gen Z is a large part of the population and will soon make up most of the consumers. Marketers and companies need to keep that in mind when thinking about who their audience is. We have to embrace how this generation consumes information and digital media. They might be more willing to visit a doctor they saw on TikTok than a random listing on their insurance recommendations. Gen Z is the future of consumers and as marketers we need to adapt.