ikTok and TikTok marketing is taking over social media. Even if you have never used it or know what it is, you’ve still probably heard the name. A massive part of its popularity is due to its reach amongst younger users with 41% of its audience between 16 and 24 years of age The perfect demographic for those people looking to make a name for themselves in the music industry. And this has proved to be true in a very big way for those artists who have been able to harness the power of TikTok marketing to launch their own stardom.
Lil Nas X
Much like TikTok itself, even if you don’t think you know his music, you have almost certainly heard his name. And it is very unlikely that your ears were not assailed by his Old Town Road tune at some point in 2019.
Lil Nas X is now a global superstar but many people may not realize that a huge part of this success is due to TikTok marketing.
Lil Nas X is the first to admit it:
“I SHOULD MAYBE BE PAYING TIKTOK. THEY REALLY BOOSTED THE SONG. IT WAS GETTING TO THE POINT THAT IT WAS ALMOST STAGNANT. WHEN TIKTOK HIT IT, ALMOST EVERY DAY SINCE THAT, THE STREAMS HAVE BEEN UP. I CREDIT THEM A LOT.”Lil Nas X
So according to the man himself, a song that was tuning stagnant was transformed by the power of TikTok marketing into a worldwide hit that broke streaming records previously held by Drake.
Not bad for an app that didn’t even exist in its current form until 2018.
The BoyBoy West Coast
One of the cute things about TikTok is that its viral breakouts are often caused by users latching onto a previously obscure video and then mimicking it.
Lil Nas X as a cross between a rapper and country singer is a good example of how unique artists can end up becoming celebrated and elevated through the power of TikTok marketing.
Another funny example is Santa Barbara rapper The BoyBoy West Coast. His idiosyncratic video of himself lipsyncing to his song was unique, to say the least. So unique that it went viral when many within the TikTok community wanted to present their take on his work. Now some artists may take offense at basically becoming meme fodder, but those artists who thrive are those that celebrate their TikTok marketing fame.
“THE DRINK STILL IN MY CUP CHALLENGE, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THAT? THEY’RE JUST LIKE DRESSING UP LIKE ME AND THEY’RE FUCKING SINGING AND SHIT… I THINK IT’S PRETTY FUCKING FUNNY.”The Boyboy West Coast
The TikTok tributes made him laugh. The YouTube hits he got from it almost certainly made him smile.
Supa Dupa Humble
TikTok marketing is so powerful and yet still so community-based that even artists blowing up on there might not even know about it.
This was true for New York rapper Supa Dupa Humble who happened to find out that his song “Stepping” had its own #idontknow challenge.
Supa Dupa embraced this fact and reached out to TikTok and found out his song had 500,000 tribute videos on the platform. TikTok marketing then helped him officially add his original version to the platform and his success grew even more from there.
The rappers gaining huge viral success via TikTok marketing are clearly somewhat removed from the old gangster rap sound. But these smart guys and gals are fully attuned to the social media zeitgeist and recognize the huge opportunities it can bring them when embraced.
As Supa Dupa says himself:
“MY ULTIMATE GOAL WHEN CREATING A SONG IS FOR IT TO EVENTUALLY GET THE ‘MEME TREATMENT. NOW THAT I UNDERSTAND HOW MEMES CAN POSITIVELY AFFECT MUSIC, IT’S AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN MY CREATIVE PROCESS.”Supa Dupa Humble