Are you considering TikTok marketing for your brand?
TikTok’s growth over the past couple of years has been nothing short of extraordinary. It has gone from a niche app for lip syncing to songs, to becoming arguably the internet’s most influential platform. And with the meteoric growth of TikTok, which has over 1 Billion active users, comes a wealth of new opportunities for marketers to grow and showcase their brand to untapped audiences.
But how do you market well on a platform that is built with the consumer in mind, and has only recently become somewhat friendly to advertising? Check out our top tips below.
Formerly known as Musical.ly, TikTok is the popular video-based social media platform that is currently taking the world by storm. A free social media platform where creators can express themselves and share content with over 1 Billion users, TikTok has evolved into a space where brands and influencers can also grow their following and raise brand awareness.
What makes TikTok unique to other social media platforms, is its discovery algorithm that provides each video with the chance to go viral, no matter how many followers the creator has. As such, you can rise to fame within hours and scale your social presence overnight.
TikTok marketing is the method of using various strategies on the social media platform to promote your brand, services or products to TikTok users. This could be through using popular hashtags, following the current trends or collaborating with TikTok influencers, for instance.
TkTok is one of the best social platforms to share your content, product or services with new audiences, since the algorithm prioritises videos from creators you do not follow.
The TikTok interface is also designed to keep you on the app for longer. Not to mention, the more you watch, the more data TikTok collects, enabling it to serve you relevant content and keep you watching for even longer! This means your content will reach a targeted audience, who are likely to be interested in your brand, too.
TikTok includes features, like links in bio, which makes it suitable for brands to market and sell on the platform.
Brands can use TikTok to market their services and products to a wide demographic across the world, however the largest share of users in the UK is aged 18-24 – roughly 43%! This is followed by 25-34 year olds (32%), 35-44 year olds (13%) and the remainder are 45+. And, with over 1 Billion users, that’s a lot of people!
As a brand, it is crucial that you create a TikTok business account. The difference between a TikTok business account and a regular account is that a business account gives you access to business tools, such as ads and analytics. They also get the option to create ecommerce stores, use third-party tools to schedule content and add website links to their profile.
Here’s how to create a business account on TikTok:
Having created your new business account, here are just a few TikTok marketing tactics you can employ to kick-start your social promotion…
Hashtags are king on TikTok. Used primarily as a method of searching trends and algorithm manipulation, hashtags can put your videos in front of tens of millions of viewers. This enables you to reach audiences you’d never have been able to target beforehand.
It’s important to hit the right hashtags with your video, and ideally use a good mix of micro hashtags and macro hashtags.
For example, if you’re posting a TikTok parodying something or someone, it can be good to use the hashtags #funny and #satire. However, these hashtags are incredibly broad – #funny has 2.2 trillion views in total. So, the problem is that these views are inflated by #funny being the most common hashtag on the platform. The top video when searching #funny organically has 59.8m views, and 4.5m likes. It’s good to be in that broad hashtag, but the chances of your video being found organically via hashtag search are incredibly small.
For those starting out or seeking to grow their audience organically, it’s better to use a mix of micro hashtags as well. For example, if you’re posting a video about your pet, it would be good to use a hashtag that is specific to their breed, such as #siberianhusky or #greyhound. These hashtags might be smaller in terms of overall views, but you’re far more likely to be found on these rather than if you just used #dog. The people searching for #greyhound are more likely to be fans of that breed as well, meaning that they are more likely to engage with your content as opposed to just scrolling past.
One good example we found of using both micro and macro hashtags is by user @fahadeff. Fahad posts videos about his work in retail (specifically, Sainsburys) to a relatively modest audience of 3,700 followers. However, his videos routinely reach many times that number of viewers, due to his excellent hashtag etiquette – the video featured in the screenshot below has nearly 500,000 views and 36,800 likes, through a use of high-volume hashtags (#fyp and #foryoupage), as well as smaller, but more refined, hashtags (#retailtiktok, #managerproblems, #retailbelike).
While you may want to carry your unique brand voice over to TikTok, it may not always work as well in practice.
TikTok is a platform built for meteoric growth via trending topics and styles. By going against the curve on this, you might be able to maintain your brand voice, but you’re unlikely to see much growth. And if you do, it will be stunted compared to your potential growth if you were to take part in trending topics. Don’t be afraid to follow the crowd when it comes to creating TikTok content.
Doing your own market research by scrolling through your own For You Page is a great start, but due to TikTok’s algorithm setup (TikTok uses a user-led algorithm where your For You Page is curated mainly based on what you have watched and engaged with the most), you’ll be stuck in a trend echo-chamber.
To get a more even feel of what’s trending more generally and could be good content to focus on, try the following:
Music is a massive part of the platform, and TikTok is responsible for the growth and popularity of songs both old and new, due to the easy sharing options and near-limitless options that music can have when creating content. Spotify has an official, regularly updated playlist specifically for songs that are popular right now on TikTok, and more recently has added in a rule that by searching ‘TikTok Songs’, you can find songs that have been popular in the past that you may not have otherwise been able to find.
By not utilising music, you’re missing out on incredible amounts of potential growth. Studies led by MRC Data found that when a brand uses well-known or popular songs in their TikTok videos, 68% of users find that brand more memorable, and 62% say they’re more curious to learn more about the brand.
By keeping track of trending songs and genres, you can join in on the hottest trends, often before they get too big to make an impact in. Plus you get to update your own playlists, so it’s a win-win!
TikTok is a very open-ended platform, and with enough faith and time, almost anything can take off and rack up the views. Yet, you’ll find it a lot easier starting out by sticking to the ‘META’ (Not the company that used to be Facebook – we’re talking about the Most Efficient Tactics Available).
The meta include:
If you’re actively promoting your product on TikTok, as opposed to just posting videos to go viral and get people to know about your name, then working with influencers is a great way to boost your reach. While there can be an up-front cost of anywhere from free samples of your product, to large amounts of money, there is a budget and level for everyone with TikTok influencer marketing.
Similar to hashtag and effect usage, striking the right balance between micro and macro is vital. You may be able to work with an influencer that has 250,000 followers, or an influencer with 2,500 followers. Depending on their engagement and retention rate, the smaller influencer may be a lot better for your brand – and cheaper, too! We recommend using sites such as SocialBlade to aggregate these engagement and follower retention rates and make the best decision for your budget and strategy.
If you want your followers to engage with you regularly, they need to feel that they’re talking to a human! According to data from the Harris Institute, 63% of consumers nowadays expect personalisation and a ‘human’ voice behind the brands they use nowadays. Social media is a massive part of that, and the speed by which you can interact with your audience on the platforms is a massive boon. Companies such as Innocent Drinks, Ryanair, and Duolingo have mastered this art, and have seen a lot of organic growth as a result, and an increased brand share in their respective markets since transitioning to a ‘human voice’ on what would otherwise be a very impersonal and corporate brand page.
While quality on TikTok is massively important, quantity is just as vital. You could make the best cake in the world, but if you only make it once and only show it to 10 people, you won’t be getting any calls from Bake-Off anytime soon. Consistency is key. If a post doesn’t land well, don’t be disheartened – review it. Does it have a short watch time? Perhaps, it was too long. Does it have low engagement? Perhaps, the camera was shaky, the sound was tinny or the trend simply isn’t big anymore. There’s no secret formula to making it big on TikTok – trial and error is the only way.
TikTok comes with a host of effects that allow you to jazz up your posts. From green screen effects and filters that give you perfect freckles, to minigames that you can play for your viewers. The possibilities are literally endless, as TikTok allows creators to upload their own. This means there are thousands of effects uploaded daily that could be the next big thing – to keep up on these, there’s nothing like scrolling through your For You Page.
Similar to using trending sounds, jumping on a trending effect puts you in that effect’s ‘videos’ tab, which users can access with a single press. While this still brings up the ‘micro vs macro’ argument we broke down earlier, for growing your audience, you can’t go too far wrong with the effect of the week.
While following trends and being up to date with the latest sounds and effects is vital, as a brand it is also important to nurture your own voice. ‘What do you want to do on the platform, and why are you on it?’ should be a question you ask yourself when building your initial TikTok marketing strategy.
If your company has a service offering, it would be a good idea to showcase your knowledge through your videos. 60-second tips and tricks, common mistakes to avoid, and what events mean for the industry are a great place to start.
If your company sells a physical product, TikTok Shopping is your best friend. You can feature the product in all of your videos, and you would do well to talk about things like why your product is so good, what it brings to the table, and answering any questions that are asked about it, both on and off TikTok.
These may not get 100,000 likes and 3,000,000 views like your funny dog video, but growing your brand name and showing the world what you do is invaluable, especially with the potential reach of TikTok’s audience – it’s growing by 650,000 every day on average. To put that into perspective, Athens has 637,798 people living in it!
For those of you looking for a more traditional, Paid Media outlook to TikTok marketing, then the TikTok Ads platform could be a perfect fit.
In the past year, TikTok has embraced its role as one of the most influential social media platforms in the world, and their paid social advertising opportunities have come on leaps and bounds in the last few months.
However, marketing via paid boosting on TikTok requires a different approach to more traditional platforms. With the ease of scrolling that we mentioned earlier, you need to be crafty, and make your adverts look like regular posts.
Social media marketing on TikTok doesn’t need to be difficult or time consuming for you! Get in touch with our social media team to see how we can help your business expand on the internet’s fastest growing platform.