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8 reasons why your tourism brand should be on TikTok

By April 14, 2023 Stories
TikTok Views

Reading time: 4 min

We’d bet our morning coffee that either you’re addicted, or you know someone who is addicted to the app that’s taken social media by storm -TikTok. After all, it’s been the most downloaded app in 2020, 2021 and 2022 consecutively and 2023 doesn’t look any different.

On TikTok, travel and tourism are both well-loved interests (#traveltiktok saw over 57 million posts and views in the last month alone) – but despite travel content being one of the apps biggest pools of content, destination marketing organisations and the tourism industry are only just starting to realise the massive potential TikTok holds and are lagging behind other industries to embrace the platform.

With less competition and more audience share, TikTok is your opportunity to stand out. Tossing up whether to create an account yourself? Read on for 8 reasons why your destination or tourism business should be on TikTok.

TikTok is a direct line to reach the most valuable audiences of the future

TikTok provides a direct pathway to reach one of the most valuable audiences of the future aka Gen Z. Compared to other (older) generations, Gen Z is less receptive to traditional advertising; in fact, 69% of them find it disruptive. But never fear, the post-pandemic digital shift has created new opportunities to capture their attention like exhibit A; TikTok.

With over one billion active monthly users (60% of these are Gen Zers), TikTok offers a targeted way to engage with your current, if not, future customer. Wanting to stay ahead of the trend curve? Here’s our prediction for the top social media trends of 2023.

Big results don’t require a big investment

As prices for out-of-home advertising, TV, and Facebook continue to rise, TikTok’s Ad Platform provides new space to advertise, without the intense competition of other platforms.

With less competition for ad space, TikTok’s paid ad service offers a more affordable and highly targeted opportunity to reach your desired audience.

TikTok’s ad platform includes both managed campaigns through TikTok Ads Manager and simple boosting options to amplify your organic content. But remember, TikTok values authenticity, so there’s no need to break the bank on a high-budget production. Instead, a simple iPhone video can perform just as well (or even better) than a highly polished advertisement.

TikTok Investment

TikTok’s user base is still growing… rapidly

TikTok has emerged as the most downloaded app of 2022 with a staggering 672 million downloads – and then some. As a viral sensation, TikTok has fostered plenty of attention on other social media platforms, news outlets, and through word of mouth. What does this mean for your tourism business? The potential audience for showcasing your destination or experience is expanding rapidly. With more reach comes more recognition, and partnered with an effective content strategy, you can expect increased visitation and sales.

TikTok rewards authenticity

TikTok has flipped content production on its head by shifting away from highly scripted, polished footage and instead rewards creators who post more authentic videos. In a world where face-to-face interactions are limited, there’s more value placed on relatability and personal connections which TikTok creators can play a role in providing.

TikTok offers an opportunity to showcase the human side of your brand, rather than a distant corporate entity. Jumping on trends is a great way to boost engagement, meaning it’s time to take out your iPhone camera and shoot trends, face-to-camera content, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business. Showcasing the personalities of your staff, interesting facts, and in-the-moment thrills of your tourism offering are all effective strategies on TikTok. Remember, authenticity reigns supreme, so skip the filters and embrace the raw and real.

TikTok Authenticity

TikTok is a high engagement app

TikTok is a platform that allows for genuine engagement between creators and viewers. When you post content, you not only give but receive feedback, questions, comments, and enquiries via the comment section. Studies in 2023 have shown that TikTok has the highest engagement rate (ER) of all social media apps, with 5.1% of viewers engaging with content on average. To put it into perspective, Instagram posts average an ER of 0.6%. For travel content, the engagement rate on TikTok is even higher at 5.23%, and the watch-through rate sits at an impressive 16.23%.

As a travel business, this means that you are more likely to receive feedback from your audience and you’ll have more opportunities to establish personal connections with those watching. Additionally, the share feature on TikTok is heavily used by viewers, so your content is more likely to be passed from friend to friend, increasing its reach.

Your content isn’t lost in the noise

In the wacky world of TikTok, both broad reach and precise targeting are achievable. Case studies have shown that brands have achieved optimal results by focusing on specific groups of consumers by using TikTok’s hashtag filtering system. If you pick the right hashtags, you can catch the attention of an engaged audience, instead of getting lost in the noise.

TikTok users spend most of their time scrolling through the “For You” page, which showcases a curated feed of videos from creators they might not follow, but that TikTok’s algorithm predicts they will enjoy, based on their interests and past interactions. By labelling your content with hashtags, you’re getting the algorithm to work for you, so your content is served to people who have shown interest in similar content before.

TikTok Collaboration

Collaboration is encouraged

While the term “TikTok influencer” may sometimes elicit eye-rolls, these content creators can be a DMO’s best friend. They’ve already done the hard work of building a consumer base, testing the algorithm to determine what content performs best, and honing their filming and editing skills. Travel influencers are easy to find, and studies have shown that 49% of Gen Z adults and 50% of millennials follow at least one travel influencer on social media.

The best tourism businesses put out their own content, but also work with influencers to let them show off the magic of their experiences in their own creative way.

Collaboration is key, and TikTok understands this. TikTok has their own creator marketplace that makes it easy to connect with influencers, manage campaigns, and monitor performance. TikTok is also constantly introducing new features that encourage collaboration, with the latest being the option to boost another creator’s content, pushing their work out to a larger audience. Need a refresh on working with digital influencers? Check out our top tips here.

Your content can go viral … actually

Want to reap the rewards of your content going #viral? It’s time to start posting on today’s virality machine. To put it simply, TikTok’s algorithm can turn a simple video into a viral sensation in mere hours thanks to the platform’s ability to quickly share content. For tourism businesses, this potential can be a game-changer, translating into increased bookings, visits, and ultimately revenue. Our recommendation? Start following trends, making authentic videos and pair with trending sounds. Simple, right?

Of course, if you get stuck, you can always contact our team. We’ve been packaging TikTok videos for a number of clients and the proof is in their watch rates.

By Luke Crowley

Luke loves managing content just as much as he loves getting on the sporting field. He has been able to apply his business studies from the University of Queensland to the workplace originally as an intern, and now as a team member at Media Mortar. Growing up in a large family, Luke is well practiced at organisation. He enjoys employing creativity in content planning, researching and delving into the relationship between a person’s actions and a well-formed marketing campaign. Luke is a big fan of ‘market research’ and you will often find him chasing an authentic experience of the destinations and experiences he promotes.