Since TikTok was launched, it has evolved from a video creation platform for users to express their creativity to an advertising and marketing haven. Hence, this post will guide you on using TikTok for Business to promote your brand and grow an audience on the social media marketing platform that has taken the world by storm.
Is Your Audience on TikTok?
TikTok is the newest trend in social media with more than 1.5 billion downloads on the App Store and Google Play and more than 500 million active monthly users. The platform consists of 15- and 60-second user-recorded videos that allow for in-app editing and integration with the other major social players.
The largest demographic of TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 24. But if you think TikTok is just a fad for Generation Z, think again. Since its inception in 2018, TikTok has evolved from a video-creation app solely meant for users to express their creativity to a marketing and advertising haven.
You’ve likely seen the ways brands use Instagram to engage with consumers through posts, stories, live videos, and IGTV. TikTok allows brands to engage with users through video, only in shorter, bite-sized clips. In the last 12 months, brands have created accounts on the platform to explore and engage with consumers.
On Tiktok, you can find everyone from influencers and celebrities to politicians and the average Joe.
The allure of TikTok for businesses is the sheer number of active users on the platform. It’s still unclear exactly how the algorithm works but it seems to be much easier for your video content to go viral on TikTok than on other social media platforms.
If your business is ready to try TikTok, here are five types of content to get you started.
1. Create Your Own Content on TikTok
Even if your brand isn’t well-known, you can still effectively use TikTok for marketing. It all starts with planning great content and using the following best practices.
Be authentic: Most social media users don’t have access to expensive camera equipment or production budgets. They create content with their phones and their time, which is authentic to who they are. Take the same approach with your own content. By revealing your brand’s true personality, users will feel connected to you and relate to you, which builds trust.
Use the two magic ingredients: The two ingredients that generally lead to TikTok content going viral are pets and children. Because the platform’s demographic is younger, there’s more interest in watching humorous and entertaining videos with children and animals. If your office has a mascot or office pet, include it in your content. And consider having one of your team member’s kids teach you a hashtag challenge dance and film it.
Add your own spin: You don’t have to struggle to come up with new and unique content ideas for TikTok. The platform is based around community engagement and hashtags so all you have to do is find existing content and make it your own.
Take part in hashtag challenges or trending dances and songs. If there’s a trend in your niche about having a productive morning routine, show your own. Your unique brand story and personality will differentiate you from others in the same category. Look at what’s already successful on the app and put your own spin on it.
Before you start creating content, get a feel for TikTok’s unique style. It’s not a formal or uber-professional platform; it’s a space for users and brands to experiment with trends, act silly and playful, and show another side of themselves. Tap the magnifying glass button in the bottom menu to open the Discover page where you can see the top trending videos and hashtags. Explore the videos to see how other users make their content.
2. Curate and Share User-Generated Content on TikTok
While TikTok’s nature is fun, playful, and casual, it takes some real thought and creativity to produce content that delivers on that premise. Brands especially need to plan their content to get the best return on their efforts.
Nike has taken an interesting approach to TikTok. Rather than posting public video content of their own, they’re cashing in on user-generated content (UGC). If you look at their TikTok profile, you’ll see that their account is private and you have to request access to view the content.
Search the hashtag #nike to see the real marketing magic. More than 929 million users have viewed the hashtag and millions of TikTok posts include it. As you scroll down, you’ll see videos and GIFs of users wearing their Nikes, painting their Nikes, dancing in their Nikes, and more. This UGC is free advertising for the brand.
3. Advertise on TikTok
Like other social media platforms, TikTok is moving toward a monetized future where brands can pay to have their ads shown to users. The following are four ways TikTok allows you to pay for ads from within the app.
These ads appear in the user’s feed before they see any other user content. They’re linkable to the advertiser’s landing page and are exclusive to different categories. Basically, only one ad can show in that slot for the specific category per day.
These video ads play between user content. They can be between 9 and 15 seconds long and include buttons. However, users can skip or scroll past these ads.
Design a TikTok filter related to your business. Users can select the lens when choosing a filter for their video and it’s live for 10 days. The lens is automatically included in the top 10 trending list and it comes in 2D and 3D. TikTok is currently working on an AR version.
4. Develop Influencer-Created Content on TikTok
Like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, your brand can use influencer marketing to expand your reach. Influencers on TikTok have varying numbers of followers, and therefore, varying degrees of influence. Generally, the more followers an influencer has, the more expensive they are to work with. However, the ROI has the potential to be tremendous.
As a brand, you can approach relevant TikTok influencers and propose a working relationship with them but it’s important to be strategic about whom you partner with. If your brand sells beauty accessories, working with a video game influencer isn’t the best fit. Find influencers who work within your niche and whose personalities align with your brand’s values.
For a certain level of pay, TikTok influencers might:
- Talk about your product in a TikTok video
- Post about it in the video description
- Link to your brand in the description
You’ve seen how successful influencer marketing is on other social platforms, and TikTok is no different. Like other influential platforms, you need to be smart about the contracts you propose and sign, and which influencers you work with.
5. Make the Most Out of Hashtag Challenges
Hashtag challenges let brands create bespoke challenges and invite the user community to create content around the TikTok challenge. Brands that use this ad format have exclusive access to the hashtag, which isn’t the case on other social media platforms. Hashtag challenges run for six days.
To fully understand what TikTok is, it’s important to know about its predecessors. Vine was a video recording and sharing app that allowed users to create short videos that play on loop. Musical.ly was similar, except it allowed users to add special effects and was commonly used for lip-syncing popular songs and sound bites. In 2018, the creators of a similar Chinese app called Douyin purchased Musical.ly. They combined these two apps into TikTok and entered the Western market.
TikTok is here and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. So get familiar with the app and have some fun!