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ikTok’s meteoric rise to fame, fueled in large part by shelter-in-place orders that swept the country and the world after the coronavirus pandemic, is something of a miracle. Users are still flocking to the platform by the millions. A recent study even predicted that it could soon join the ranks of Facebook and YouTube with over 1 billion users in 2021 (that’s right, close to 1/7 of the world’s population).  

While marketers may have been a bit wary to throw their creative weight behind the platform, it’s something most are heavily investing resources in as campaign after campaign has seen massive results. 

So, how can your brand market on TikTok? 

Let’s get started. 

Wait … What’s TikTok? 

TikTok is a video-based app that has been downloaded over 2.5 billion times since its creation in 2017 and is on track to surpass 1 billion users by 2021. TikTok was first popularized because of its internalized music library, allowing users to lip-synch along to their favorite songs. Now, there are a plethora of diverse videos posted to the app, and marketers have hopped on the opportunity to add their brand’s content to users’ feeds. 

Disproving TikTok Assumptions 

For those who’ve heard about TikTok but aren’t marketing on the app, odds are, they’re turned off because of a few misconceptions. Hold up. Let’s take a look at why these misconceptions should not stop you from using TikTok as a marketing tool. 

1. TikTok is just for kids

While much of TikTok’s audience are teenagers, the app’s demographics are beginning to shift. Three times the amount of adult users downloaded the app in 2020 compared to previous years. Older audiences aren’t sticking around for TikTok dances either; they are finding their niche and engaging with brands and influencers that interest them. 

2. Sophisticated brands don’t see success on TikTok

If your brand is in the luxury business, you may be thinking that TikTok isn’t the right platform for you. But that assumption is wildly incorrect. Brands like Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Saint Laurent all have successful accounts who post a wide array of content. Some of these high-end fashion houses have even used TikTok Live to reveal new seasonal collections in lieu of in-person shows. 

The Stage

So, your brand is now wanting to plan and execute a TikTok marketing campaign. But before you start the show, here are some things you should know about the stage. 

The Algorithm 

The main stage of TikTok is the “For You” page. This page allows users to scroll through an endless stream of videos that have been specifically curated and suggested for each individual user. How do these videos pop-up? The TikTok algorithm. 

This algorithm places videos on a user’s For You page according to the user’s TikTok interactions (who they follow, what videos they like, and what hashtags and audio they commonly encounter). Knowing this, you should use your brand’s TikTok account strategically so your branded videos will pop up on your target audience’s For You page. 

Content Library 

If the For You page is the main stage, the content library is backstage. TikTok has an extensive and internalized library of music, audio and interactive filters that make videos more engaging and more likely to appear on a user’s For You page. 

The Show

What types of videos do people want to see on TikTok? There are hours upon hours of short video clips uploaded to the platform, but here are the types of videos that are the most popular on TikTok and examples of brands that successfully created their own. 

Funny Videos 

If laughter is the best medicine, TikTok is the whole dang pharmacy. Videos posted for humorous effect are abundant on TikTok. Every type of humor — from irony to sarcasm to goofiness to parody — can be found on the app. The most hilarious content receives millions of post engagements, becomes a meme and spreads throughout other social platforms as well. 

When creating branded content for TikTok, think about how your brand can incorporate comedy.  It will not only make for more appealing entertainment but also cause followers to grow more comfortable with your brand. 

Here are a few examples to get you started:

@chipotle

Like if you have a parent that can’t pronounce chipotle @jason.hackett #chipotle #fyp

♬ original sound - Chipotle


@spikeball

Quarantine day 7. This is going really well. Staying really active #fyp

♬ original sound - Spikeball Inc.


Inspirational Videos 

Inspirational videos are also popular on TikTok. The most common inspirational videos revolve around motivational monologues and heartfelt stories. If you think inspirational videos are more your brand's speed, determine the audience you are trying to reach and the message that will resonate with that audience the most. Because TikTok users value community, inspirational videos should foster a sense of community and support. Remember to be authentic and stay true to your brand voice. 

‍‍


DIY videos 

Last but not least, DIY videos have seen massive success on TikTok. Whether it's a video instructing a viewer how to exercise, cook a meal, do their makeup, or complete a home-project, TikTok houses a multitude of accounts that want to show viewers how it’s done. 

When posting DIY videos for your brand, make them entertaining, creative, and original. Utilize TikTok’s music or filter library when creating your brand’s DIY videos to make them more engaging. 

@foodnetwork

Food Network agrees... the viral egg sandwich lives up to the hype. #fyp #foryoupage #eggsandwhich #minitutorials #snackbreak #learnfromme

♬ Rise and Shine - Tiagz

@kajabeauty

Don’t worry, we won’t tell how you get the perfect wing everytime 😉 Get Wink Stamp @sephora 🛍 ##kbeauty ##eyeliner ##sephora ##beautyhacks ##stepbystep

♬ how would they know bad girls club - Chris Gleason

Attracting An Audience 

So now that you’ve planned out your videos, it’s time to attract an audience to watch them. Like any marketing campaign, your brand should identify its target audiences and set goals and objectives for the campaign. After that, take note of these TikTok-specific tips to enhance your TikTok marketing strategy. 

Use Hashtags 

Using popular hashtags is an easy way to attract an audience. Adding hashtags to your captions automatically places your videos in a library of related content that users are able to browse, and it can lead them to your brand’s account. Hashtags can help increase brand awareness and can also help you discover potential customers. 

Partner with Influencers 

TikTok’s influencer-game is strong. Utilizing TikTok’s vast network of successful influencers can drastically increase ROI. Influencers can guide your brand when it comes to content creation because they are experts in trends, challenges and maximizing user engagement. Influencers should be your TikTok campaign’s secret weapon. 

@lindseywheeler1

Which one was your favorite style 1,2,3 or 4? All Aussie curls hair products ✨ #Curlscheck #sponsored

♬ #CurlsCheck - Aussie


@addisonre

Make a dance to help those in need! Check out @skechers for more info #danceformasks #sponsored

♬ Skechers by DripReport Tyga Remix - rapidsongs


Keep up with Trends and Challenges 

It seems like a new TikTok trend or challenge emerges everyday, and it’s important to be in-the-know about as many of them as you can. Being knowledgeable about trending and popular content gives your brand a leg-up on TikTok. Identifying trends and completing challenges early can help your brand be more relevant and engaging. As long as the trend hasn’t already been beat into the ground, your brand’s challenge or trend video has the potential to go viral.  

@nba

👏 Nailed it‼️ @phoenixsuns #bottledropchallenge

♬ sonido original - zapeando


Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, start your own challenge like Crocs!


@crocs

The #ThousandDollarCrocs challenge starts today. We can’t wait to see what you guys come up with! @adamw

♬ original sound - Crocs


Promote on Other Platforms

Promoting your brand’s TikTok videos on other social media platforms such as Instagram, Youtube, or Twitter, is a great way to attract an audience and promote your brand. If your brand already has a solid following on either of these platforms, post some of your TikTok content on your brand’s other accounts to increase reach. 


Conclusion

There's a lot to think about when working on your TikTok marketing strategy, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Remember that you can always look to other brands for inspiration and don't forget to check our website for the latest updates and trends on TikTok.

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