If you haven't caught on yet- No, TikTok is not just for fancy dances or catchy jingles that are used in Applebee's commercials.
TikTok is changing the media world as we know it.
And no I didn't forget to include "social" in front of media. Its changing everything. From the way we interact with brands, the way companies are choosing to spend their advertising, how consumers are engaging with content, how people are getting connected with one-another- it's all changing thanks to TikTok.
One thing that has resonated with me as a user and creator on TikTok is the organic-nature of the content, and how it well it relates to my specific interests. The TikTok "algorithm" is incredibly powerful in keeping users engaged on their platform. If you have a TikTok, you know what I mean. It can literally be hard sometimes to swipe up and close the app.
I've had a few videos go pretty viral on TikTok since I started making content on it back in May of this year. I've even had some new subscribers to the blog thanks to some of the videos. (Shout-out anyone here coming from my TikTok crowd!)
What makes TikTok so different from a creator point of view is that it doesn't matter how many followers you have to have a video get a lot of views or likes. My most viewed video has almost 650,000 views, and when I posted it I had 350 followers. I gained 2,000 followers from that video alone! Check it out below:
So how does the algorithm work?
From my understanding, the holy algorithm of TikTok is ever-changing. However there are some consistent principles that seem to guide it in determining the type of content you receive and how certain videos pop in views.
One primarily principle of the algorithm is the "test-subjects" of TikTok videos once they are posted. When a video is posted, it's sent out to a very small group of users that have an interest in the subject matter of the video. (The subject matter of the video is determined by the hashtags that you use, the captions, and even the audio subtitles.) If this initial test group of users has a high % of watch time on the video, the video is then sent to a LARGER group of users to watch. If the video is again highly viewed for a long duration of time, it continues to be brought into larger groups of people. This process is how your videos show up on your "For You" page.
What is additionally interesting is that videos can continuously be put in front of test groups even weeks after the video was initially posted.
Two weeks ago I had posted a video talking about some of the major trends going on in the recruitment industry. The video had roughly 100 views on it after the first day it was posted. I had roughly 2,000 followers at the time, so I actually viewed that video as a total dud.
Flash forward a week, that same video randomly just popped for 1,000 views in an hour. Then two hours later it was at 10,000. Another hour went by and it had grown to 50,000 views in a matter of 3 hours.
Before I knew it, I had 1,500 new followers from that single video alone, it's currently been seen by over 160,000 people. I had over 400 people comment on it asking for recruitment advice, I had people DM'ing me their resumes, and even had dozens of people finding me on LinkedIn to connect. All from one TikTok video that took me 5 minutes to make.
The algorithm is what makes TikTok's growth and popularity so unique. It is why the platform is currently the single BEST place to build an audience, and have the largest organic reach of content.
The Creator Economy will be fueled by TikTok
I am very bullish on the creator economy, and the idea of individual people creating brands around themselves in the future, and this type of digital infrastructure is going to be what catapults so many careers into creating digital content.
The creator economy is described as class of businesses built by more than 50 million content creators, curators, social media influencers, bloggers, and videographers that use social media and online platforms to assist them with their growth and monetization.
The Creator Economy is currently valued at $104.2 billion and increasing daily - my prediction is that the valuation for the total creator economy will pass $1 Trillion by the end of this decade.
As businesses continue to shift their marketing focus to mobile platforms, and eventually even the Metaverse, the beneficiaries will be the individual content creators that have built niche audiences of their specific interests.
Think of it like this- if the BonkerBeat one day has a 100,000 followers that are all interested in the same "niche" such as business, investing, entrepreneurship, etc, and a company comes along that wants to market or advertise to this exact type of demographic, what will they choose to market to their audience? TV ads? How many millennials even have cable anymore? They want to spend their marketing budgets on platforms that are connected to their consumers. Money follows the eyeballs.
Let's use the example of my video with 650,000 views on the real estate market. If a real estate company had decided to sponsor that video, whether it be a logo in the corner of the video or even have me reference the real estate company, that video had a reach of 650,000 people, who all had some degree of interest in real estate. If that real estate company paid me say $1,500 for that sponsored post, (hypothetical) that would cost them .$002 cents per view. (Literally 1/5 of one cent)
Curious what 650,000 sets of eyeballs would cost you? Check them out below:
So... maybe $1,500 for a sponsored 650,000 viewed video is a little low. My price is 1/4 of the price of the traditional advertising platforms like Local TV or even more modern platforms like YouTube or Hulu. At $115,000 for a 30 second national ad, that would be 100x more expensive than ridin' with the Beat for some ad spend.
The writing is on the wall to me when it comes to the creator economy and TikTok. There is no other platform out there growing faster than TikTok, and there's no better platform to grow an audience. Individual creators will hold the keys to the gates of specific demographics that brands will wish to communicate with.
And that's a good thing.
I've spoken a lot this year about the Rise of the Individual. I believe we are still in the VERY early innings of this movement, and there will be more positive changes to society thanks to it. As millions of Americans have left their jobs over the last few months, they have been able to establish a better understanding for the leverage they have on larger corporations and establishments.
Over the last 50 years, the largest institutions in the world have been able to leverage their centralized authority and size to capture astronomical profits and valuations, while the majority of the contributors to the bottom line did not receive equitable returns as they relate to their contribution.
The rise of the individual will allow for those that wish to build a life around their own interests or passions more easily. There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur or creator in history. The technology that has been built over the last 20 years has brought us to a turning point that will undoubtedly change the way we look at life, career, and business.
Follow me on TikTok! @thebonkerbeat