Key TikTok Background to Statistics You Should Know For Your 2022 Social Media Marketing

Key TikTok Background to Statistics You Should Know For Your 2022 Social Media Marketing

TikTok App Popularity

Back in 2020, TikTok hit their key milestone of achieving 2 billion global app downloads, according to court filings this social media superstar published. ,  So if you are checking out how many downloads they have had by via Google Play, don’t be fooled by the lower number; that’s only half the story.  The TikTok app also ranked for the highest number of downloads in 2020, marking a key growth spurt. 

Instagram is often viewed as a key competitor to TikTok.  Any marketers wondering about whether Instagram’s ‘Reels’ is a worthy competitor, well, it wasn’t looking like that according to Hootsuite’s 2021 social media report

Last year, TikTok had the 7th most used social media platform, compared to the others,   in the billion plus user echelon (respectively, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and WeChat), say Hootsuite.

That being said, the relatively lower user numbers is because TikTok is not available in China… China has a counterpart acceptable to the Chinese leadership.  If it were not for the political sanctioning, it would be in the billion user category.  This is where Instagram benefits relative to TikTok.

TikTok Versus Competitors

YouTube and other channels, like Instagram are now vying for the video lover’s attention and taking some lessons from TikTok’s rapid rise in popularity.  Right now, while the behemoth, YouTube, doesn’t really threaten TikTok’s positioning, it does dominate the video infotainment niche, with 2.2 billion active users every month.  Interestingly, however, there is a noticeable growing trend in popularity of ‘Shorts’ here now; popularity of YouTube Shorts, relative to TikTok and Instagram Reels and  Instagram Stories are worth keeping an eye on in 2022.  Snapchat also launched its own ‘spotlight’ feed, another cause for uncertainty when choosing between video platforms, you might say.

The trouble with social media is that they evolve quickly and each content host keeps an eye on competitors to see where they might attract a portion of that market, so when relative newcomers offer a popular product, the competition will also move in.  The key is to watch the demographics of each platform’s audiences and match to your own targets.

TikTok Advertising Stats 2022

Who Are The TikTok Ticklers?

It’s fair to say that the audiences on this platform tend to be younger and given the popularity of dance and music related content, together with social activism, there is a fair number of hip and trendy types!  It’s probably no surprise to you that Hootsuite report that searches on YouTube for both “Tik Tok” and “TikTok” searches combined happen to be the third biggest search on that channel!  (Maybe you have already noticed how many ads pop up promoting TikTok on YouTube; well, that’s why).

As we said earlier, whichever platform you are planning to integrate into your social media marketing campaigns, be sure to check out availability of platforms in the geographical regions you want to target.  Geopolitics can put a block on some channels for advertising.

In terms of audience reach around the world, it’s worth remembering that TikTok isn’t available to everybody.  Unless users have a VPN, people in China and India potential TikTok watchers have been excluded.  Instagram ‘Reels’ began running in India shortly after TikTok was banned there. 

That being said, with users in more than 200 countries, chances are TikTok offers a big enough audience for any advertiser looking for a huge stage.   We recommend checking out which countries have put a block on platform access, when you are setting up your targeting to avoid wasting vital planning time. 

However, if research by Morning Consult in the U.S. is anything to go by, a ban does wonders for jumps in numbers of rebels and subversives, who get curious about what the fuss is about.   One in four younger people among their U.S. interviewees said that a ban would make them more likely to check that out.

Big Numbers Mean Big Returns on Ad Investment

In the U.S., there were around 100 million active users of TikTok per month in 2020, according to TikTok’s court filings; to be exact, the figure was 91.9 million Americans in June of that year, but we have no doubt that over a year of lockdown has helped them cross over that line by now.  During the pandemic, 50 million Americans were on the app every day, most of those being under the age of 30.  That’s pretty mind-blowing when you realise this relative social media newcomer only debuted there in 2018.  

Between January 2018 and June 2020 U.S. users were increasing by a whopping 800%; looking at the bigger picture, 89% of Americans are familiar with the TikTok brand, even if they aren’t active users.   That growth will have continued among younger generations seeking alternative stories and entertainment to their parents’ generation.  While the pandemic is now easing, there are still problems this year in the U.S.A., so we wait to see if young people start to get out more to socialise, which social media is not always enough of a substitute for.

The reputation for TikTok being ‘hip’ in America, (and perhaps by extension, in the West generally), was demonstrated by the Pew Research Center , who claim that last year 48% of adults, between 18-29-years-old in the U.S. used TikTok.  Among the 30-49-year-old age group, this fell to 20%, then falling further for boomers, at 14% for 50-64-year-olds and 4% for 65’s and overs.  It will be interesting to see how the cards fall here, because the instant consumption and succinct messaging that TikTok offers might not suit all age groups, especially for older generations maybe less physically able to mimic the dance moves!

What’s All The Noise About?

O.K. So if you are still somewhat bemused about why TikTok and just what a momentous channel TikTok is, here’s a little taster of one of our favourite TikTok videos to get a feel for what you as an advertiser can do. Enjoy! 

Pretty great, hey?  That kind of branding could be grabbing the attention of younger viewers who can become incredibly loyal customers, if you get your marketing tone right!

So grab Apple or Android users, or both?  Well, probably the latter, but remember, there is also an element of which geographical and socio-economic groups you want to reach.  Apple devices are a premium brand, with prohibitive pricing for some audiences. 

To give you a snapshot of the huge audience of Android users globally, they have been shown to spend over 13 hours per month on the TikTok app (13.3 to be exact), according to AppAnnie.   That’s a few hours per week, per user – of which there are, as we said, fast growing numbers of young people and Americans, particularly. Comparatively, in terms of time spent on social media apps, TikTok ranks fourth, by Hootsuite’s 2021 analysis.  That’s a consumer force to be reckoned with.

Needless to say, given the rapidly changing social media landscape, we are watching the trends and will bring you up to date as the researchers publish on this phenomenon this year.  However, the take away here is that video shorts as an ad format is certainly affordable and TikTok is a fun creative channel to test out some strategies with a forgiving audience.

We might not be GenZers here at AdsRunner, but we know a real runner when we see it and the proof of TitTok’s power you have now seen for yourself!

So, let’s now get into the how to of TikTok advertising.

How to Advertise on TikTok

Remembering that this is a generally young audience, there is something about enjoying enthusiasm, fun and energy among TikTok audiences that you can play with in your TikTok marketing campaigns.  Entertainment, inspiration and fun certainly seem to be the biggest draw to this channel, a 2020 survey by GlobalWebIndex found and which still applies in 2022. 

Posting and sharing content were the second most popular habits on TikTok; users want to share content that they think will be appreciated by their family and friends.  Sharing smiles or shocking stuff is a good starting point when advertising on TikTok. 

This research said that keeping up with news came third among reasons given for spending time here.  That too offers opportunities for testing material and formats, reviewing what gets shared most for ‘going viral’.  Entertainment and education value as main TikTok’s attractions, in terms of reasons for tuning in offer fairly easy in-roads to your market.

Younger generations increasingly seek immediacy and relevance to what they value in information they browse and consume, regardless of how involved the topic.  So, for instance, posts tagged #BlackLivesMatter, a significant political subject, have had over 26 billion views; whether shared, or not, this is a thoughtful audience.   There is a level of engagement and activism here that has perhaps not touched young peoples’ lives in the same way in the past, pre-social media. 

TikTok is a great vehicle for engaging minds on topical subjects, which explains why brands use social campaigns as hooks in their TikTok advertising, to build connections and open sophisticated methods of  branding.  When advertising has what is termed ‘social utility’, i.e.  positively changing lives, this speaks to ideals that audiences have, to say nothing of generating loyalty among staff, all companies’ key brand advocates.

Spend Time Researching Your Target Audiences

Advertising on TikTok controversially, however, needs to be carefully thought through in terms of possible unintended outcomes. Prior research with interest groups prior to launching such a TikTok marketing strategy is recommended.  For instance, accusations of cultural appropriation by white, TikTok advertisers, perhaps unintentionally exploiting material published by Black influencers on the platform, without acknowledging sources, for instance, is a no-no.

As we always maintain: “Video remains one of the most powerful medium for sharing messages, infotainment and fun.”  TikTok and YouTube are leaders among video advertising channels, so working out your video marketing strategies demands real research into your demographics.  You need to have a detailed picture of your ideal customer’s profile, in terms of tastes, habits, buying behaviours, as well as all the socio-economic and geographic groupings.  Working out the relation your message has to target groups will help you prioritise ad spending between video channels.

Hootsuite’s digital report is a good start.  Here’s how they rank the top social media channels, in terms of relative time spent viewing apps:

  1. Facebook
  2. WhatsApp
  3. Instagram
  4. TikTok

YouTube, surprisingly did not feature in the top ten social apps, but led in terms of time spent on video streaming channels.  None of the above social channels featured in Hootsuite’s top ten, But YouTube Go and YouTube Kids did.

So, we recommend you either do your research here before investing your marketing budget, or outsource your TikTok marketing strategy until your own teams learn the intracacies of marketing dynamically and profitably on TikTok.   Of course, with over 1 billion active users globally, you cannot really go far wrong. 

Don’t mistakenly assume that because the majority of TikTok video viewers are young, they are not a significant consumer force.  Remember, they are a generation who are inspired to aspire by the influencers they watch.  As young people build their careers and businesses, your company could be speaking their language, through music, social messaging, dance and techniques which influencers are already using to build their own empires.  Learn from them and adapt to your brand authentically.

Watching what works for them is a good starting point, so long as your voice rings true and you are not ‘borrowing’ too much from others; young audiences will see through superficiality.  With over half an hour screen time over a one day period, according to emarketer, TikTok viewers learn quickly who comes across as the genuine article, so your presentations need to learn from the best and blend with the best of your own marketing campaigns to date for successful, hot TikTok advertising. 


Sam Nouri
Sam Nouri
Hi! I'm Sam Nouri, the founder of AdsRunner. I've been working as a full-funnel digital marketer for nearly a decade, and have managed millions in ad spend for my clients. My aim is to help businesses scale and hit their growth milestones one at a time using innovative advertising methods and proven digital marketing strategies across all digital channels.
Sam Nouri
Sam Nouri
Hi! I'm Sam Nouri, the founder of AdsRunner. I've been working as a full-funnel digital marketer for nearly a decade, and have managed millions in ad spend for my clients. My aim is to help businesses scale and hit their growth milestones one at a time using innovative advertising methods and proven digital marketing strategies across all digital channels.