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Use TikTok In 2021 To Market & Move Product



TikTok has arrived. The social media platform now has 700 million active monthly users and over 2 billion downloads from the app store. (It took Instagram 6 years to get to these numbers, by the way.) It’s time to think about marketing on TikTok. The app has been extremely popular with teens creating lip sync videos, but their base users grew significantly older during COVID. This has made their target audience far more pleasing to brands. 70% of TikTok users label themselves as Gen Z, and if we've learned anything, they love candy.

Candy stores worldwide quickly sell out of any specialty candy that has gone viral on the video platform that shares 60-sec videos. When Jaden Sprinz, a 22-year-old TikTok star, posted a TikTok video about Fruity's Ju-C Jelly Bags from California-based Din-Don Foods Corp, the video exploded on TikTok. The gummy candy is meant to be open and slurped, but Sprinz used his fang-like teeth to bite the candy to prove to his fans that his teeth were natural. The jelly flew out of his mouth while filming and surprised Sprinz.

The rest is history.

The video did well for Sprinz, and he posted more with the candy on the social networking channel. It was a simple formula: tension before the bite, then the explosion, and finally the reaction. His fans were quickly asking what candy he was using and where to get them to post their own TikTok videos performing the same act.

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Candy stores loved it.

The candy flew off their shelves. Din Don Foods couldn't keep up with the demand, and the candy was on backorder for months. At one point, a bag of Fruity Ju-C Jellys was going for as much as $100.00 USD on eBay. Fruity Ju-S Jellys weren't the only viral candy on TikTok. Other sweets like Toxic Slime Lickers and Planet Gummi experience the same explosive demand in their products.

How does this happen?

When you combine a novel experience, curiosity, and social currency into a single event that is simple to execute, you have the perfect recipe for virality. Psychologists believe that content like this may release dopamine into the watcher's brain. In contrast, others claim that it's a combination of excitement, surprise, and nostalgia that set these treats on fire.


TikTok’s short videos and the ease with which users share content create the perfect opportunity to target people who will spread your message. Seth Godin refers to these types of influencers as Sneezers. He further divides this type of influencer into two categories: Promiscuous Sneezers and Powerful Sneezers. The ability of these influencers to share your marketing message increases with the level of exposure they have to your target audience.

Whatever it is, candy stores love when this happens, at least until customer service has to repeatedly inform new customers that the candy is still out of stock.

Does your marketing strategy include TikTok?

More and more market research points to the conclusion that you should. Using TikTok and a robust search engine strategy, you may just hit a winner in this category. Of course, attempting to "make something viral" is a fool's errand, but you can't deny that if you are selling candy, you should be on TikTok.

Take Candy Me Up, for example. This San Diego-based candy retailer used TikTok to increase her online business when the world avoided brick-and-mortar stores during the global pandemic. In fact, the candy retailer asserts that TikTok saved her business. To combat lagging in-store sales, the owner and her brother began filming themselves inside their candy-filled isles and posting the videos on TikTok. They even joined in on the Jelly Fruit challenge. Kids ate it up, and she ended up selling ten pallets of the Ju-C Jelly candies.

Yes, you read that right – 10 pallets.

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Their early streams of frolicking through their gummy-filled store resonated with kids. So much so that they opened an online candy business in addition to their store. Candy Me Up is now approaching one million followers on TikTok, and they have had several videos from their store go viral. Nema Causey, the store's owner, claims she has not had the same success on Instagram or Twitter, but that is a lesson in knowing where your customers are. Social media campaigns do not work if you are not properly targeting your audience, and more importantly, where your audience hangs out.

Kids are on TikTok; they are not on Twitter in the same numbers. Time is precious, so pick your efforts wisely. By adequately understanding your customer's avatar (who they are to the core), you can effectively create content that they will engage with. Then you can target the right social networking platform with this content.

Otherwise, you are wasting your time as well as your money.

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The Gen Z shopper has illustrated a solid allegiance to short-form video in place of television and even streaming. In addition, marketing research shows that they use social media platforms to engage and connect with friends, and it is also their go-to activity when they want to avoid stress and relax. It only makes sense they went to TikTok in droves.

As our world begins to open up and we venture back to restaurants and the homes of our friends and loves ones, will this trend continue? The amount of food, candies, and beverages that went viral on TikTok during the pandemic is nothing short of astonishing. Even vegan candy has created a niche on the popular app. As all of us stayed home, improved our cooking skills, started baking, we shared all of this online.

The experimenting may slow as we wander outside, but I believe TikTok has us hooked. If you have a product that speaks to a younger demographic, you must seriously consider your TikTok marketing strategy. It's no longer "that app for kids," so grab your Ju-C, your toxic Slime licker, or whatever candy tickles your sweet tooth and start posting!