In November 2019, Dante Moeller was a typical Aussie school boy finishing year 10 of high school.
Four months later, he has an online following of more than 650,000, accrued more than 20 million likes and is watched by hundreds of thousands of teens everyday.
How? There’s a simple answer.
With 1.5 million Australians using the short-form video app every month, a large portion of whom are aged under 20, it’s not surprising we’re seeing more and more young people rising to TikTok stardom.
Young TikTokers like Dante Moeller have felt the viral power of TikTok first hand.
What was previously a tool to chat with friends and family, his phone has now become a means to reach hundreds of thousands of young Australians in a few clicks, with his humorous challenges and lip synching.
“I don’t really know what to say, like, damn..the growth in the past few months has been crazy, I can’t really put it into words.” Moeller said.
“I’m so thankful for all the support, and I’m keen to see where this takes me.” Moeller said.
But Dante’s not alone in his rapid rise online.
TikTok’s focus on viral content and trends means that more than ever before, online creators have the chance for their content to be seen by millions of people.
Unlike some influencer marketing, reaching people on TikTok isn’t about supermodel looks or living an aspirational lifestyle.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
It’s content which is relatable, authentic and humorous that’s grabbing the attention of millions on the platform.
And that’s provided a platform for people like single mother of two Nat Alise, whose TikTok content has earned her more than 883,000 followers and 47 million likes – and counting.
Nat’s light-hearted family-friendly videos of her playing with her kids are loved by audiences, gaining hundreds of thousands of views and thousands more comments.
How are brands responding?
TikTokers like Nat and Dante are changing the way major brands can reach youth audiences in Australia, according to youth talent and events agency Amplify director Alex Reid.
“The rapid growth of young TikTok stars is transforming the influencer landscape,” Reid said.
“Some of our TikTok talent are seeing consistent engagement of more than 50%, something rarely seen on other social platforms. And that’s really exciting for brands.” Reid said.
The platform has made it much easier for young people to quickly gain hundreds of thousands of followers.
And brands are recognising this unprecedented opportunity to connect with young audiences.
Gaming giant EA and Samsung are among some of the companies connecting with young TikTok influencers to reach young eyes.
EA recently worked with Nat Alise to promote the Sims 4 on Tiktok, reaching hundreds of thousands of users and achieving an engagement rate of almost 30%.
As with any marketing to Gen Z or Gen Alpha, ensuring content is authentic and on-brand is key to getting meaningful engagement.
“It’s all well and good to pay for an ad on TikTok, but the real value is finding and working with a creator that not only knows and uses your brand, but loves it.” Reid said.