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TikTok, a social short video sharing application from Chinese technology titans ByteDance has already been in Thailand for a full year. The application has made waves in Thailand with an astonishing 1 in 7 people having downloaded the application. TikTok in Thailand is also ranked in the top 3 of countries with the highest growths in South East Asia. This growth was an exponential one with the number of users growing over 100% in the past year. The success and growth of TikTok in Thailand can be attributed to the market readiness of Thailand’s market, with a higher than regional average mobile internet usage.

Year 2020 will mark TikTok’s 2nd year in Thailand. On the 24th of February, the Thai management team has released and announced their company’s vision for expanding TikTok’s business in Thailand. This news is especially important to marketers looking to expand their businesses in Thailand. TikTok’s exponential growth could potentially propel them as the most popular social media platform of choice in Thailand

Building an Ecosystem for TikTok to Achieve Sustainable Growth

TikTok Thailand’s head of Marketing, Mr Pakorn Wattanachaloemwutikon has set his sights on helping create a strong ecosystem for TikTok in order for the company to sustain its strong growth. To accomplish this, he has set out three strategies:

TikTok’s Head of Marketing, Pakorn Wattanachaloemwutikon

1. Content Diversification

TikTok intends to reach out and target the needs of users of all age groups rather than to focus on specifically the age group that they are popular with. They plan to create a wider variety of content while maintaining its short video content style. The focus here is on having a wide variety of content and interests so that more people will be engaged by the platform. This implies that TikTok will very likely become a platform that marketers can use to target not just the youths, but also people of other age groups.

” TikTok will very likely become a platform that marketers can use to target not just the youths, but also people of other age groups. “

2. Monetization

TikTok are also looking at developing models for revenue generation through various formats of advertising on their platform. This is a step worth looking out for as a digital marketer especially when you’re looking to penetrate the Thailand market as this opens up opportunities for you to advertise on this platform. The ultimate goal for TikTok’s part would be to create a new dimension and platform for digital marketing in Thailand.

3. Brand Building

This strategy refers to creating and developing TikTok as a secure platform that gains consumer confidence through the creation of Digital Wellbeing. Digital Wellbeing allows parents for young children to set controls and permissions as to what kinds of content they are allowed to consumer as well as how long they are permitted to use it. These brand safety implementations can only help TikTok be seen by the public as a family-oriented and socially responsible corporation. Making it more reasons for you to advertise on this platform.

Thailand’s TikTok Usage

Thailand consumers are known to spend large amounts of time on the internet. TikTok’s statistics has shown that Thailand TikTok users average about 35 minutes a day using TikTok. The figure is higher than the global average . In addition to this, TikTok has also revealed that Thai people average 4 uses of TikTok a day with 2 peak times. The peak times are before bed and during lunch hours.

Similar Growth in Gen Y and Gen Z

Ms. Laksamichong , Content Development and Campaign Manager

Content development and campaign manager for TikTok, Ms. Laksamichong has shared interesting insights about the demographic of TikTok users in Thailandd. Currently, the bulk of TikTok users are of similar age groups. The 2 age groups of Gen Z (people aged 17-22 years) and Gen Y (people aged 22-38 years), have roughly similar numbers in terms of users and are the ones who use TikTok the most. From this we can see alignment with the earlier mentioned strategy of targeting more than just one age group through content variety. What is interesting is that the majority of users in Thailand are women, totaling for 75% of its users and 25% are men.

Georgraphy-wise, Thailand’s TikTok users mostly live in Bangkok. Other major cities that have a good volume of TikTok users include: Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Nakhon Ratchasima.

Popular Content Types

80% of users in TikTok are also classified as students, young adults and pupils, which also mean that they are considered “future spending users”. This makes them a very attractive group to target when it comes to trying to build your company’s branding on the TikTok app platform. The type of content that appeals to them are therefore content that must look stylish and modern. According to TikTok, the 5 most popular content genres are:

  1. Talent – Where people showcase what they can do with the app or any form of talent to wow and amaze people
  2. Comedy – Short videos meant to make people laugh, much like what Vine used to be
  3. Food, Drink and Travel – These are videos that show people going to exotic places or eating and cooking videos
  4. Basic Dance – Dances that are relatively easy to learn and follow
  5. Beauty and Fashion – Content relevant to fashion trends, fashion styles or even reviews.

With these content types in mind, marketers are more able to make decisions with regard to the type of content that they want to introduce to help advertise and expose their product. TikTok has also announced its intent to support existing campaigns such as “Keep Fit” and “TikTok Tutor”, both educational and informative programs aimed at bettering the lives of its users.

TikTok’s Plans on Focusing to Monetize the App

In 2020, Mr. Thanaphon Apasitthanan, Director of Revenue Development declared that TikTok’s plan for generating revenue this year will be based on increasing advertising sales.

Right now on TikTok’s platform, there are 5 different types of advertising space namely:

  • Brand Takeover

A short video that users will see immediately when they open TikTok’s app

  •  TopView

An advertising video that lasts 60 seconds longer than a normal one

  • In-Feed Ads

Ads that will be displayed and played to users as they scroll through their video feed

  • Hashtag Challenge

A unique way to engage and advertise to viewers by creating challenges to incentivize and engage viewers into creating viral videos for your campaign

  • Branded Effect

This one is interesting. TikTok uses AI technology to detect user’s behavior and patterns when using the app, to create various effects along the users’ journey. The main point of this is to make it such that the advertising will seem subtle and seamless, making it non disruptive for the users.