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If by now you haven't caught up with the power of TikTok, you've missed quite a bit. TikTok’s user growth in the Netherlands last year was 34% (source: newcom). Did you know that 67% of global TikTok users over 18 are 25 years or older? In fact, the platform is expected to grow strongly among people in their 20s, 30s and 40s by 2023. This presents opportunities! 


First, back to the basics. What is TikTok? TikTok is a social media platform based on short video content. TikTok works entirely on an algorithm based on like and comment behavior. The videos you like, you are going to see more of. It will also show you content that people with similar profiles comment on and like.  Through this algorithm,  several communities are created on TikTok. Do you like books? Then you'll probably end up on BookTok. And do you like simple dances and trends? Yes, you will mainly get dances and trends on your ForYou Page.


Organic content on TikTok

Even without paid advertising, you can still persuade and influence many people on TikTok. A great example of this is the company Duolingo. Duolingo is a language education app. It is known for its mascot: a big green owl. What do they do on TikTok? Really pull out all the stops - their content is unhinged. From twerking to declaring love to Dua Lipa, Duolingo goes along with all the trends. In this massive green suit. Duolingo also often leaves comments on trends and videos from other creators and companies. So Duolingo has a lot of presence in a way that appeals very much to Gen Z, without specifically advertising its app.

@duolingo go get that man and have an emily in paris summer? #fyp #languagelearning #duolingo ♬ Lovely Day Austin Millz Remix - Austin Millz


And does that work? Absolutely. Since using the green mascot, many people have started downloading the app again. Duolingo had a 62% growth in DAU (Daily Active Users) by 2022 and a big growth in revenue, as more people switched to a premium account.



Such success as Duolingo is only possible when you have the time and resources to do this as a company. Large companies like Duolingo, as well as RyanAir, KLM and are investing in their likability on TikTok. By playing with how 'liked' they are found, they try to win over customers.

Don't make ads, make TikToks!

How organic content works on TikTok is important to understand because this can also make your ads succeed or flop. TikTok is much less open to slick video ads that you also see on Instagram and Pinterest. If your content is not "sharable" then it will perform less. Let your ad be TikTok content by tapping into trends, such as "3 ways to style this clothing item" with clothes from your store.


TikTok advertising is still fairly new in the Netherlands, which is why it is not yet widely used. Because of this, you have a lot less competition than on Meta, so you can reach your target group cheaper.  We do see a shift starting, so be quick! Do you want to know more? Business of Apps has done extensive research on TikTok and it's benchmarks - which gives valuable insights.


Can TikTok convert?

Several companies have done content testing and with that show that you can definitely bring in conversions with TikTok ads, provided you apply the right content strategy! Several small businesses have grown through their TikTok strategy, organically and/or through ads.

So although TikTok may seem especially interesting for awareness and consideration stages, you can achieve a lot with the right strategy. It's just a lot harder and will take more time than other social media platforms like Instagram.


Are you thinking TikTok might still suit your business, but you don't know how to get started? Have a conversation with our specialists via a marketing strategy session!