TikTok Marketing: How to Target Mature Users

If there’s one thing that popular culture has told us repeatedly over the years, it’s that teens are trendsetters. Yes, they can be moody know-it-all, but let’s not forget we were like them once!

And as they go, the rest of us tend to follow. Think of rock ‘n’ roll. Now universally loved by people of all ages, it was famously despised by anyone over the age of 21. Think of Facebook – everyone’s granny is on that now.

As cynical as we are of teens and adolescents, they’re not so bad. And it’s on us to admit that sometimes they know what’s up. Case in point: TikTok. What was once the exclusive domain of young people, is now amusing everyone.

Since the pandemic, we’ve seen Tik Tok users increase in all age demographics. And just like rock ‘n’ roll and Facebook, we’re all finally starting to catch up. So let’s not waste any more time; let’s get marketing to these new users!

Who’s Laughing Now?

Tik Tok was always popular before the outbreak of Covid, but under months of intense lockdowns, it grew massively. To date, it’s been downloaded more than 2 billion times, with over 1 billion video views daily, and 689 active monthly users!

But who’s laughing now? As before, the bulk of Tik Tokers are young, with 25% of users being teens and half of total global users being under 34. However, in the last 18 months, the number of adult users has grown 5.5 times!

These new mature users are not just passive observers either, boasting an engagement rate of up to 17.99%! They’re out there making original content. For a glimpse into what they’re posting, Tiktok revealed that the following hashtags have so far received the following views:

  • #family – 67 billion views
  • #momsoftiktok – 44 billion views
  • #dad – 25 billion views
  • #momlife – 20 billion views
  • #familytime – 8 billion views
  • #parenting – 4 billion views

How is that for precedent? And one of the miracles of this new demographic is that it’s connecting older and younger generations in ways never thought possible.

What Makes TikTok so Powerful?

All forms of social media and content platforms are explicitly designed to keep you scrolling, while assignments and hobbies grow dusty.

How many times have you ended up looking up a movie trailer on Youtube and ended up watching Chicken Tikka Masala recipes 45 minutes later, wondering what happened? Well, that’s nothing, because nobody is better at keeping you scrolling than TikTok. It’s a trap.

For older viewers, as with Vine, the short length of the videos seemed to insult their intelligence. Young people have no concentration, they’d cry. But just because something is long doesn’t guarantee quality.

The thing is, what TikTok detractors commonly complain about – the short length of its content – is what makes it so powerful. The joy is so easy and quick that when the next video auto-plays, you want that feeling again and again. And because of their length, you can replay your favourite on a loop until you’re only giggling with laughter, as opposed to hysterically crying.

And here’s a small comment before we move on. Even if you don’t have Tik Tok, you’re almost certainly going to see them anyway. The best of Tik Tok gets posted on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter too. So you’ve seen them, you already watch them, at this point it’s inescapable.

Now let’s talk about style. The charm of Tik Toks is that real people make them. They usually have catchy songs or voiceovers. They’re short. They’re amateur(ish). And they feel authentic. It’s designed to be imitable. It’s this accessibility that allows trends to spread like wildfires.

How to Target Mature Users

This platform had an estimated revenue of $1 billion in 2020. And we’ve established that TikTok is a strong marketing tool, developing a mature audience. So how do we reach and engage them? Let’s start by looking at the kind of content they watch.

  • Home Appliances (59%)
  • Snack Products (55%)
  • Business (51%)
  • Cars (41%)
  • Grocery Products (35%)

Straight away, you want to start making content that offers product recommendations, tips, and tricks. For example, Cooking with Shereen is a cook-from-scratch channel by a stay at home mum Shereen who does pay product placements.

What’s noticeable about older Tik Tokers is they are more family orientated. For younger users, they are the sole main characters of their content. This recalls what we said earlier that in the depths of the Covid outbreak, young people and older people connected on Tik Tok, forever changing the dynamic of the platform.

Grandmothers want to get everyone involved. As in life, older clan members want to get everyone together, and teens want to wallow in their rooms, such is the way with Tik Tok. You’ll see that the content that appeals to mature users depicts families spending time together. The most popular of which are younger members of the family teaching the elders the hottest dance crazes.

Some big names have already jumped in with both feet. Take Apple Music and ESPN, for example. Apple has forged ahead with a new campaign updating music from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s with modern beats, bringing old and young generations together. ESPN has reached back in time, too, showing regular highlights from vintage sports events.

This is one way for brands to make their own channels and produce their own content, which is of value and relevance in and of itself.

The elderly stars of Tik Tok represent a wholesome and loveable subsection of Tik Tok stars that rallies against a shallow wave of content that overwhelms user timelines. A great example is pete_from_the_street who answers young people’s letters and questions and issues sage wisdom from the heart.

When one thinks of influencers, one thinks of happy young people. But elderly influencers are very much a thing! Paid promotion is a hollow promotion, but it’s a classic advertising technique that works. It doesn’t fit so snugly with the Tik Tok aesthetic, though.

Happily enough, it’s easy to find an appropriate influencer thanks to the new agencies that manage them popping up such as IMA and Imagency. If you are concentrating on local markets, then checking out a platform Spacehuntr might be more effective thanks to their emphasis on localised expertise.

If not an influencer, then, of course, there are the old fashioned planted adverts. Just like TV and newspapers, the content you see on Tik Tok is broken up by commercial advertising.

But here’s the thing, Tik Tok is a platform where the users themselves make and choose the content that’s powerful. They’ll be able to smell a phoney a mile away. So follow their lead, and respect that you’re in their world.

So if you can create a campaign or trend where users create content via a copycat or a reaction video, you can get some genuine traction. But viral content is easier said than done, right?

Wrapping up

If there’s a conclusion to draw here, there is an emerging demographic to market —Bravo for us with things to sell. And yes, there is something intrinsic and eternal about Tik Tok, but there is also restless energy to it, as it constantly changes with the next trend.

What does that remind you of? Well, marketing itself, of course, is constantly changing! The very best marketers know there is always something new to learn, and the tide is never the same twice.

So what is relevant today might not be relevant tomorrow. So, if you have any magic ideas on TikTok marketing to mature users, we’d love to hear about them!