The past year has seen a huge rise in the popularity of TikTok, most notably among teen audiences. In fact, in 2020 TikTok was the most used app by teens and pre-teens in the United States, and a top 5 social media platform for Young Teens (ages 13 up to 16), with 42% saying they use the platform weekly1.

This creates a huge opportunity for marketers, but TikTok is new territory to navigate, especially for brands looking to introduce products to Young Teens online. Keep reading to learn how your brand can engage with Young Teen audiences in a responsible and effective way.

What type of content resonates best with Young Teens on TikTok?

Before getting started with marketing on TikTok, it is important to understand the type of content that resonates best with your target audience on the platform. Young Teens are largely a video-first audience that loves short-form content — fortunately, TikTok was built for this, with most videos averaging around just 15-25 seconds. 

Young Teens’ favorite online video themes include music videos (a favorite of 49% of Young Teens asked), prank videos (40%), and comedy and skit videos (30%)1. This is evidenced in the type of content that goes viral with Young Teens and the emerging TikTok trends that are popular with this audience. Popular TikTok content among Young Teen audiences includes funny dances to popular music filmed with friends, snappy videos involving outfit changes or extreme makeovers, and pranks on siblings.

The key to success on TikTok is creating content in these categories that feels relatable to Young Teens. They need to want to share what they are seeing with their friends.

How can brands create relatable content for Young Teens on TikTok?

By working with trusted kids and family creators, your brand can create more relatable content that speaks directly to Young Teen audiences in an appropriate way. However, there are a few things to bear in mind when creating this content:

Firstly, Young Teens value authenticity. Consider granting the influencers you work with the creative license to develop personalized branded assets. Their own styles are the reason why they have so many followers, and it is essential that a sense of authenticity shines through in their branded content.

Secondly, Young Teens are global citizens. They want to see their own ethnicity and unique interests represented. This means that diversity is more important than ever when it comes to developing a campaign and talent list, especially when you are looking for wider reach.

Best practices for working with creators on TikTok 

To ensure your TikTok content is both safe and effective, brands must consider several best practices when working with creators on this platform:

  1. Work with safe creators. Make sure to check their profiles and past content to ensure that they not only share your brand’s values but also have a keen interest in only creating content that is safe for Young Teens. It is important to know who you are working with in this space.
  2. Get the specs right. Limit your video length — shorter is usually better, both on TikTok and for Young Teen’s consumption preferences. Make sure that you create content in a vertical format to ensure it works for the platform. TikTok content is shot vertically to ensure optimal performance on mobile, as this is where most people engage with the platform.
  3. Music and visuals can make or break a campaign. Using a trending or popular sound can help put your content in front of a huge audience. Captions are also becoming increasingly important, for accessibility as well as serving as another tool to convey your message.
  4. Understand the space. Knowing what kind of content is performing well on TikTok will help you work the latest trends into your marketing strategy. This changes frequently, so make sure you’re always up-to-date and keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s working. 

Looking for more guidance about TikTok and Young Teens?

Partnering with influencers on TikTok is an important part of any Young Teen marketing strategy. Make sure that you have the best tools and insights to support a successful and appropriate campaign. Keep an eye out for more information about Young Teens, and learn more about how SuperAwesome Creators can help you navigate this space by getting in touch below.

1Research conducted by Smarty Pants on behalf of SuperAwesome in the UK, US, and Germany n=1800, November and December 2020