In less than five years, TikTok has grown into a powerful marketing tool for brands, revolutionizing the way consumers receive media.
With its initial video limit of 15 seconds, then 60 seconds, and now 3 minutes, TikTok has laid the foundations for the trend of producing short video content. So much so that even prominent social media platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube, had to come up with their own variation on creating short videos, such as Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, in order to compete directly with their pioneer – TikTok.
If you want to learn how to use TikTok as a digital marketing tool for your brand, keep reading this Bold x Collective a guide, written by our social media marketing expert team.
As a platform dominated by Gen Z and Millennials, content must be creative; this is not a platform for traditional marketing, sales tactics or aggressive advertising. Instead, take advantage of TikTok through brand awareness, often without the need to invest, keeping up with all the trendy sounds and content that can be easily found on the TikTok Discover page. Equally important, give your brand a personality through its content – whether it is educational / informative or fun / playful. As a rule, TikTok users want to be informed or entertained, not convinced.
Some fun ideas for presenting your brand on the platform include:
- Step by step video on how your product is made and / or packaged
- Take a behind-the-scenes tour of your office workplace
- Introduce yourself and your team in a fun way with modern music or action
- Explain the story behind your brand name
- One Day in the Life (Employee Edition)
For more TikTok ideas for small businesses, read this.
Examples of brands that have mastered their TikTok personality:
- Duolingo – 3.0 million followers
- Lionsgate – 3.8 million followers
- Ryanair – 1.5 million followers
- Washington Post – 1.2 million followers
- Chipotle – 1.7 million followers
Where do I start?
While it may seem daunting to try to grow your business on a new platform, TikTok is an experienced application and you don’t have to be an expert to succeed. Start by determining the competition and the landscape. See how others are performing in your industry – what has worked and what has not, and get inspired! Typically, your first video on TikTok is “enhanced” and has an increased chance of achieving high impressions. As a result, make sure your first upload is high quality and trend-following or uses popular sound to further increase your reach by using the TikTok algorithm (and potentially increase followers from the start). As the saying goes, content is king on TikTok. Even platforms with zero followers can achieve a million views.
Create content that is relevant and fun
TikTok is all about authenticity. You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money on high production videos or photos because, unlike Instagram, the aesthetics of your profile don’t matter. Using TikTok’s “Discover” page, you can easily stay up to date with current trends and work on building your brand in them in a playful way.
While Instagram is just a picture and Twitter is text, TikTok is focused on audio and video. This gives your brand the space to explore opportunities and experiment with different content without having to worry about how it matches and blends with other videos on your profile. Finally, TikTok is a very informal platform, so is its marketing. Personalize your brand, have fun and be honest to increase brand awareness and followers.
Engage for Engagement
As an interactive platform, don’t be afraid to get involved with other creators ’content – relevant to your business or not – to increase your reach. This is a common tactic of brands and organizations at TikTok to increase their exposure and has been hailed by many as a great success (such as previous examples of the brand). Commenting on the content of other users, those who scroll through the comments of that video will probably see your comment, your brand name and your profile picture. If your comment is fun or informative, users could take an extra step to view your profile and review your videos. Here comes the reproduction of high quality content, you have gained a visit to your profile, but the acquisition of a companion depends entirely on the quality and entertainment of your videos.
Collaborate with influencers
Influencer marketing has expanded in recent years and TikTok can be largely attributed to its development. With influencers on the platform reaching millions of followers and reviews, there is no doubt that collaborating with a brand can result in great exposure to your brand.
However, you don’t have to team up with high-profile influencers to increase brand awareness. As already mentioned, what makes TikTok so great for marketing unlike other platforms is that even with little or no followers, content can go viral. Try partnering with micro and / or niche influencers whose current content and tracking match your brand and demographics.
This will make influencers more open to collaboration and more likely that their followers will be interested in your products / services. While many collaborations with influencers pay off, many micro-influencers are also open to simply receiving free products to test and honestly review the brand – you don’t have to give in to have an impact marketing strategy on this platform. .
Although the content on your profile should not be focused on ads for your products or services (because it does not suit TikTok users), similar to Instagram or Facebook, TikToks allows brands to run ads on their platform. There are several different types of ads on TikTok that a brand can create, here is a breakdown:
- Native feed in feed: An ad that appears between user content. The disadvantage of this form of advertising is that users can quickly pass by it.
- Branded lenses: A filter designed by your brand for users to use when creating videos. When this is done successfully, this can be an interesting way for users to interact with the brand.
- Brand download: Before any user is seen, the content there is an ad (brand download) when the app is opened. This would be the first thing a user sees when going to TikTok.
- Sponsored Hashtag Challenge: This is an interesting form of advertising that allows brands to promote a particular hashtag challenge to users and then advertise it on the “Discover” TikTok page. An example of this would be RBC’s #RBCPodiumPose and Toyota’s #ToyotaWave challenge. However, sponsoring the TikTok Hashtag Challenge can be very expensive for smaller companies, but consider running a hashtag challenge on your profile without sponsoring!
Advertising on TikTok is still in the early stages of development and is not incredibly popular among smaller brands. If your brand has a more limited budget, turn off paid advertising and focus on your content, engagement, and collaboration with influential people.
TikTok marketing is unlike marketing for any other social media platform. The most successful way brands have grown on TikTok is authenticity, connectivity and relevance to their content, as well as interacting with other accounts, collaborating with influencers, and perhaps even running occasional ads. Finally, TikTok deals with authenticity, and its marketing is no exception.
If you need more instructions, Bold x Collective the team is always there to help. Contact us and start on your way to TikTok success! And for more information, check out our previous blogs: Everything you need to know about TikTok marketing i How do I run TikTok for my brand?