Chinese Digital Marketing

Douyin vs. TikTok: A Marketer’s Guide to Key Differences

Douyin and TikTok, both products of the same parent company, ByteDance, are two of the most popular short-video platforms in the world. While they may seem identical at first glance, there are key differences that marketers need to understand to effectively leverage these platforms.

Understanding Douyin and TikTok

Douyin, the original version of the app, is available only in China, while TikTok is its international counterpart. Despite their shared origins, these platforms have evolved to cater to their respective markets, resulting in distinct features, user demographics, and content preferences.

Accessibility and User Demographics

Douyin is accessible only in mainland China, while TikTok is available globally. This geographical divide has led to distinct user demographics. Douyin is popular among young adults between 18 and 45, with 40% residing in China’s affluent cities. TikTok, on the other hand, has a broader age demographic, with a significant user base in the 35-55 age bracket in the US.

Content Preferences

Content preferences also vary between the two platforms. On Douyin, educational content reigns supreme, with videos offering tips and skills for personal growth. TikTok, conversely, is more art-based, with a focus on music, dance, and narrative videos.

E-Commerce Functions and Features

Live Streaming Function

Live streaming is a prominent feature on Douyin, often used for product promotions. On TikTok, live streaming is less popular and is typically used for user interaction rather than product promotion.

In-app Purchase Function

Douyin’s in-app store is a defining feature, allowing users to make purchases directly within the app. TikTok does not currently offer this feature.

Key Opinion Leader (KOL) Advertising

KOL advertising is prevalent on both platforms, but the approach differs. On Douyin, KOLs often have sponsorships with multiple brands and feature products on their “product recommendation” page. On TikTok, influencers can only mention sponsored products in their bio with an attached link.

Developing a Marketing Strategy for Douyin and TikTok

Localise Your Content

To engage users on Douyin and TikTok, brands need to tailor their marketing strategy for each platform. This involves understanding the unique standards, preferences, and demographics associated with each app.

Use All Features Effectively

Brands should utilise all available features on each platform, including custom stickers, hashtag challenges, paid advertisements, and KOL advertising.

Digital Crew: Your Partner in Success

Navigating the complexities of Douyin and TikTok can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Digital Crew, a Chinese marketing agency with over 10 years of experience in the Chinese market, can provide the expertise and guidance you need. Contact us today to learn more!

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