Marketing Tips / Social Media Marketing

Marketing On TikTok

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Do you have a TikTok marketing strategy – and if not, should you?

TikTok is the latest social media app to blow up, with over a billion downloads since its launch in 2017. With that many users, it makes sense to develop a TikTok marketing strategy. But first…

What exactly is TikTok?

TikTok was born when Bytedance purchased Chinese lip-syncing app Musical.ly and merged the two apps.

When you open the app, you’re immediately presented with a full screen feed of vertical videos. Each one no longer than 15 second, users can access a suite of editing tools and an expansive music library to help make their videos as engaging and funny as possible.

On paper, TikTok doesn’t sound too different to its predecessors. Users make and upload video content, can follow each other, like and comment on content, and search for themes via hashtags. Here’s where things start to get a little different: when watching a video, users can respond with a video to the same soundtrack, resulting in surges of variations on any one piece of content. In short, it’s the perfect condition for memes and viral content to be created.

How to use TikTok in your marketing strategy

TikTok, perhaps more than other forms of social media, encourages people to produce content, not just mindlessly consume it. The videos are funny and often self-deprecating. If you’re incorporating TikTok into your marketing strategy, think about how you can best use this level of interactivity and participation to your advantage.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Challenges/Hashtag campaigns. Make sure it’s challenging, and flexible enough for people to express their creativity.
  • A duet is essentially when you can create a video and leave it open ended, inviting people to complete it. Again, the key is leaving room for people’s creativity in how they respond.
  • Influencers. As with all other platforms, TikTok has its own influencers available to help you promote yourself.
  • Don’t be pushy. People love TikTok because it’s not been flooded by brands yet. If you’re going to venture there, be artistic and authentic, this is not the place for the hard sell.
  • Focus on building a community. Take the time to create fun, engaging content that focuses on creating relationships with the users, and you’ll be accessing a whole new top-of-funnel user base.

How to advertise on TikTok

TikTok has only very recently allowed ads on the platform. And when we say recently, we mean July this year recently.

At the moment, there are four advertising formats available, and as each has specific measurements to look at.

1. In-Feed Videos

How they work: These ads slot in to a user’s home feed, appearing much like an Instagram story. Content must be in vertical video format, and be 9-15 seconds long. These videos are support website clicks or app downloads, and can easily be skipped by users.

How to measure them: Businesses can collect metrics such as clicks, play duration, shares, comments, impressions, and click-through rate.

2. 2D Branded Lenses

How they work: Much like a Snapchat or Instagram filters, brands can upload creative filters for users to include in their own content.

3. Branded Home Screen Takeovers

How they work: One brand per day can ‘take over’ TikTok’s home page. Brands can embed either internal links (to hashtags and challenges) or external links (to websites and landing pages). The content can comprise images, videos, and GIFs.

How to measure them: Impressions, unique reach, and clicks.

4. Sponsored Hashtag Challenges

How they work: Remember the viral ice bucket challenge? TikTok is a platform primed and ready for viral challenges. Promoting a hashtag allows brands to include a link that takes users to the main page (where the instructions of the challenge can be found).

How to measure them: Clicks, banner views, video interaction, and user-generated video responses.

Final Thoughts

While you’re weighing up the pros and cons of committing resources to TikTok, don’t forget to consider the following: 

  • Is your target market using TikTok? Remember the audience is mostly between 16-24 years old.
  • Do you have (or are you willing to commit) the resources needed to a whole new type of content? TikTok content is very platform-specific, and repackaging your Instagram or Facebook content won’t work.

TikTok is a fast paced, irreverent platform. If you’re going to dive in, do it with abandon, and enjoy yourself.

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