by Nouman Ali
Year after year, a new social media platform enters the competitive digital realm and takes the world by a storm. What started with Facebook and Twitter, was soon joined by Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp who have dominated the market ever since. Now, we have TikTok.
TikTok has been all the rage the past year, with content creators and influencers from around the world sharing their videos with their audiences and gaining popularity. It’s quickly become one of the most effective ways to tap into the Gen-Z demographic.
What Is TikTok?
The app was initially recognized by the name Musical.ly and was later taken over by a Beijing-based company and re-introduced as TikTok. It focuses on short, personalized video creation and allows its users to share and edit videos.
Since its release, it has garnered a massive following and has around 800 million active users worldwide. The users are mostly focused on self-expression as they re-enact short comedic clips, skits, lip-sync to music, and other popular trends on the app.
Naturally, the TikTok trend leans more towards the younger generation and influencers are harnessing this tool to promote their brands and climb the social ladder. Essentially, TikTok users can shoot videos up to 15 seconds long or they can merge videos to create a 60 seconds video.
But it’s not just the Gen-Z audience who are jumping on board the trend. International brands, artists, and celebrities are also acknowledging the app to reach out to their fans and build a community.
Given its exponential growth and popularity, it’s certainly going to be a hot platform for years to come. The engagement it receives is especially worth mentioning since the average user spends 52 minutes on the app every day. This makes it an ideal tool for influencers who want to promote their brand by sharing content on the platform; just ask any digital marketing agency.
Whether you’re starting out or you’re an experienced content creator, it’s still fun to just assess and take a look at what other users are doing to get the most engagement. This is the best way you can learn to stand out on a platform that is already saturated.
Many brands are considering the opportunities presented by this platform in influencing cultures and relevant conversations, and want to leverage the tool to boost their brand awareness. It’s one of the fastest-growing platforms and holds countless benefits for influencers looking to market their brands.
Here we will discuss the ways in which you can use TikTok to effectively market your brand.
Drive User Generated Content
One of the best ways to help your brand gain exposure of the TikTok environment is by encouraging users to share content with your product or service. Basically, the videos they create will incorporate your brand into their videos which will help spread the brand’s message. Your aim should be to entice and motivate TikTok users to test out your products and review them in their videos.
By utilizing user-generated content, you can actually get a leg up on other competitor brands. This is because consumers look for authenticity online, and USG provides social proof of your brand which builds a great deal of credibility. Today’s audience loves to talk about their experience and relationship with a brand; hence it gives them a voice.
When you allow customers to use their voice to participate in the marketing of your brand, it opens a channel for communication between the brand and the customer. Additionally, allowing customers to speak their minds on their platforms can generate a sense of brand loyalty which also makes them feel validated.
Brands can share the spotlight with some of their best advocates which will expand their social reach and make their presence memorable. All in all, it’ll provide direct insight into how well your products and services are performing so you can improve your tactics accordingly.
Host Hashtag Challenges
Hashtag challenges are a widely-popular part of the TikTok platform that several brands have used to promote their deals and offers. Brands provide a sponsored hashtag that consists of a link that directs users to a page of rules and instructions featuring the challenge.
Users who participate in the challenge must follow the rules and post a video with the hashtag and submit their entries. This is an excellent way for businesses to reach and inspire audiences to engage with their brands while also offering them some value in return.
This could be in the form of free product delivery, free sample or package, etc. This sponsored tool allows brands to measure the success of their campaigns through insights such as clicks, banner views, user-generated content, etc.
For instance, in September 2018, Guess became the first brand in the USA to partner with TikTok, and the first enterprise to launch a fashion campaign through the app.
How it worked was – whenever a TikTok user in the United Stated opened their app, they were automatically directed to Guess’ “InMyDenim” hashtag challenge. Since then, Guess was able to unlock an even larger audience amongst both the millennials and generation Z.
These campaigns inspire users to share their individual experiences on the challenges shared by various brands, influencers, and personalities and have been an effective method for building customer relationships with brands.
Present Your Services in a Unique Way
We’re aware that the app’s primary audience is the youngsters; it’s important to consider how you can make your content more engaging and exciting. Part of TikTok’s appeal is that brands don’t require high-quality or polished content to deliver a message.
Your main priority should be originality since that’s what the general audience prefers. This means that you should also pay close attention to the kind of content that influences users the most and stimulates them to engage with or buy a product.
Brands can share a wide range of content that celebrates their business and offers some entertainment for the audience in a fun, impactful way. It helps fans and consumers to have a deeper understanding and connection with the brand. Similarly, brands can post educational content or tips and hacks that can be useful to followers in their daily activities.
By adding value to their lives, brands can greatly inspire prospective buyers to purchase their products. Therefore, focus on what interests your target demographic and work to appeal to their interests. The right content will take your TikTok campaign to extraordinary places.
Partner with Relevant Influencers
TikTok has bred a whole new generation of influencers with massive followings that leave some of the most popular movie stars behind.
They are considered the people pleasers of the social platform and are widely adored by their followers to the point where their fans will do just about anything they say. So, when brands collaborate with a popular influencer to endorse their products, their audiences jump on board immediately.
The number one rule is to select the right influencer for your brand and ensure that your target audience uses TikTok. You can narrow down your search by looking up popular influencers on TikTok so they already have an established following who will take notice of the content they share about your brand.
Next, you can have a brainstorming session with your influencers to come up with a creative strategy that helps intrigue their audiences and inspires them to check out your brand and products.
Influencer marketing is a prevalent marketing technique utilized by businesses on TikTok, especially since companies can gain valuable insights from the metrics gathered. This helps in measuring the success of the campaigns and whether or not the audience is reacting positively to the content posted.
Brand Takeover Ads
Big names such as Apple Music, Nike, Fenty Beauty, and Grubhub have harnessed TikTok’s virality to promote their products using unique and memorable campaigns.
Its advanced targeting features, when used efficiently, can help brands tap into the most worthwhile pools of customers. It comes with its measurement tool that allows companies to monitor the performance of campaigns and analyze reports to track user reactions.
The brand takeover is a full-screen ad that appears on the screen when a user opens the TikTok app for the first time. It can be in the form of a short video, GIF, or photo.
These ads are normally linked back to a brand’s profile page or a hashtag contest and they’re exclusive to different categories every day. Keep in mind that TikTok only allows a single brand to take over an individual category each day.
As you can tell, there are copious amounts of opportunities for everyone and it’s up to you on how you utilize the app’s resources to reach your audience. Before you deep-dive into the depths of TikTok marketing it’s recommended that you spend some time watching videos to see the kind of content that appeals to viewers.
It’s a platform that thrives on originality so the more innovative you get with your ideas, the better. Showcase your brand’s lighter side with a creative flair and you’ll notice significant growth in audience engagement.