Using TikTok to market your business
In the age of social media, it’s easier than ever to engage and attract new customers to your business. One of the most popular apps for the new age of social media marketing is TikTok, a global platform launched in 2016 by Zhang Yimin. The platform has been growing at a rapid rate for a few years, boasting more than 600 million users worldwide – and it’s still growing. The rise of using TikTok has been swift and staggering, generating hundreds of millions of new users every year since its inception. So how can you make the app work for you?
Know your audience
It’s important to know the type of content typically generated within TikTok. The app is tailored and used primarily by younger demographics, teens and young adults who are wary of advertisements and unwilling to be sold to directly. Instead of selling your product directly on the app, it’s important to demonstrate the product in action in a fun and memorable way; using TikTok is all about engagement and community, the more active and trend-conscious your marketing strategy, the more willing people will be to buy in. Before you begin using the app, it’s important to know your key demographics and the type of customers you’re trying to attract. While using TikTok is made up of primarily younger audiences, the app is slowly growing in popularity with older generations.
Create the right content
There are a few rules of thumb for using TikTok as a marketing device. First, your videos don’t have to be polished and well-produced. The vast majority of TikTok videos are filmed on smartphones directly, with no lighting setup or complex production methods. Making a simple and energetic video will generate more interest than a highly thought out, impeccably crafted sales pitch. Keep it plain and fun, demonstrate your product without actively begging users to purchase it.
The more natural and friendly your videos, the more likely users are to interact with them and view your brand as a trendy, must-have product. The two most popular objects on the app at the moment are animals and children. Of course, trends are always changing, so be sure to keep on top of shifting audiences and demands. Those companies which using TikTok know not only to hold their current audiences captive but adapt to garner a wider audience every week.
Participate in challenges
For more in-depth strategies, consider working with an influencer or creating a hashtag challenge. Working with an “influencer” is as simple and straightforward as it sounds. There are many popular figures on the app who garner millions of views each day, each catering to a specific demographic and audience. A quick search will bring you the top influencers currently on the platform, though the list is growing every day. Choosing the right influencer and partnering with them will guarantee an increase and views and…well, influence.
Hashtag challenges are another simple way to garner views and followers, though they require a tad more creativity. Originated by Guess jeans, hashtag challenges are simply an encouragement for users to make videos branded with your uniquely chosen hashtag. Again, the key to these “challenges” is creativity. Encourage users to make videos with your product in a way which feels organic and entertaining. The best ideas are open ended and allow for a multitude of videoed interpretations. Create a challenge that lets users think outside the box. Challenges and influencers are both important choices for expanding the reach of your company and more easily branching out to segments of your audience who you would’ve never reached without outside help.
Invest in TikTok ads
Lastly, using TikTok has recently introduced more traditional ads to their platform. These come in four main forms, the simplest being a unique set of popular hashtags to use instead of inventing your own. Again, these are not as creative or potentially viral, but they’re certainly popular in their own right. You can also utilize ads inside feeds that feel organic and are visible each time the app is opened. These are similar to Snapchat and Instagram in that they can be linked back to your brand and boast multiple avenues to drive clicks and sales. A strategy exclusive to using TikTok is “Brand Takeovers.” Brands can “takeover” the platform for a day, generating videos and GIFs of their own with links embedded to their website or other landing page.
The final and easiest form of direct advertising on the platform is a “branded lens.” Augmented reality (altering an image in real time, within the camera) is popular right now on many social media sights. Brands can create their own augmented filters to be used and shared by users. Again, the more organic and the sillier the idea, the more likely it is be shared. Be outrageous and creative to ensure viewership and interaction. No matter the TikTok ad you choose, you’ll want to make sure your investments are translating into direct sales or encouraging profits in another concrete and tangible way.
Track and analyze results
Using TikTok is a process of both generation and regeneration. When you finish with one campaign, you should have several more in your back pocket to keep momentum and avoid keeping your fans waiting. The site is fast paced and although it won’t be possible to please everyone at once, there are certainly metrics you can use to gauge the effectiveness of your current and past campaigns. Firstly, direct sales generated from using TikTok views is always helpful to tell you how many potential viewers are being converted to concrete, paying customers.
Beyond the views and engagement your posts are generating through comments, you should find out how popular your brand is on the platform and invest a few resources into creating a synergistic content strategy across multiple platforms. Your TikTok videos, those with better production quality and effective content, can be used and shared on other platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to truly branch out and cast a wide net for multiple demographics and customer types.
No matter which method you choose, there are a multitude of ways to advertise on TikTok, a platform which is growing by the hundreds of millions a year and boasts the demographics perfect for buying products and ideas from a plethora of brands. Creating hashtag challenges, recruiting influencers, and targeting your content to the right demographics and audience segments are the most popular way to expand your brand, but the options are limitless on a platform which rewards creative thinking like using TikTok.