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Opinion

The Top Five Mistakes You’re Making on TikTok

Fanbytes' content manager shares the common mistakes brands make on TikTok and how you can avoid them.

TikTok has attributed many different names. From being a ‘super-star making machine’ to ‘Gen Z’s favourite platform’, the most downloaded app in Q1 2019 has been a God-send for marketers looking to engage Gen Z. The likes of Guess, Chipotle, and The Washington Post activate campaigns on the platform but not all of them have successfully cracked the TikTok code. 

Fanbytes has helped brands such as Universal, Warner and more unorthodox brands such as PHE make it on TikTok so know a bit about what works and what doesn’t. Most of the time, the company sees brands making the same five crucial mistakes. 

  1. You’re guilty of repurposing content

You have to work extra hard to keep up with the digital natives so if you’re not a fresh content-creating marketing power machine, your efforts are going to fall flat. Whilst some marketers consider this ‘cost-effective’ and ’smart’, users on the platform see it as lazy and irritating. 

So, if there are no changes in the original content, user fatigue can become a real issue. It is also important to note that TikTok flags low-quality footage, which repurposed content – often from Instagram – tends to be. The culture of both TikTok and Instagram platforms vary drastically, so what works on one wouldn’t necessarily work on the other. 

2. You’re over-selling your product

Did you know that 73% of Gen Z rate experiences over products? So, if you are using in-your-face product marketing with no attention given to selling the experience, you’re not going to generate the results you want. Put simply, they don’t trust you, but they trust the experience.

If you succeed in selling the experience, they’re more likely to build an affinity with your brand. Focus less on being overproduced and more on the lifestyle benefits your product or service can offer. This will give them full reign to experience it themselves. Take MyProtein’s campaign on TikTok, for example, where influencers created a duet chain reacting to what they can achieve after their MyProtein re-workout shake. 

3. You’re taking yourself too seriously

There is one clear identifier when distinguishing TikTok from other platforms, and that is the culture. In an otherwise conscientiously curated world, TikTok’s charm derives from its values of authenticity, self-expression and its success of creating a safe space for users where they can unleash their creativity and quirkiness. 

There is only one rule on the app: don’t take yourself too seriously. Most of the time, serious or more controversial content doesn’t really sit well on TikTok. This is why it can sometimes be a challenge for brands to be candid whilst also trying to sell their product. One of the best ways for brands to gain the hearts and approval of the users on the app is to create comedic-style content. 

Viral comedy challenges dominate the platform and are mainly seen in prank videos, dance challenges, and sketches. TikTok’s short-form video style and multitude of effects really lend itself to comedic content. For example, a recent activated TikTok campaign with Ella Eyre saw influencers put their own comedic twists on the ‘tellin’ your mama’ song. The funny dance challenge was a great example of how to drive user-generated content in an engaging, fun way. 

4. You’re not leveraging influencers 

As Gen Z makes up a large percentage of the world’s consumers and the bulk of the TikTok user-base, it is vital that marketers begin to eschew traditional marketing practises and prioritise personalised brand experiences. Collaborating with impactful, relevant influencers is one way to maximise this. 

Influencers will win over a brand but why? They have access to something a brand can find hard to gain: a social community that is already warmed up. Ultimately, it is a lot harder for a brand to humanise themselves and develop a relationship with a user whereas influencers use their following to help brands tell their story in an authentic way, at scale. Brands should nurture the careers of influencers so that they can fully meet their potential and keep creating quality content for an ever-growing audience.

5. Your campaign is inaccessible 

FOMO is a feeling that TikTok users want to avoid. So, if you’ve come up with a campaign idea that is difficult to jump on, you’ll need to go straight back to the drawing board. 

If you want any chance of going viral on the app, you need to create content that is accessible, relatable and fun so that more people will join in. For example, if you create a hashtag challenge that involves users having to buy your product or go out of their way to recreate a video, fewer people will feel inclined to take part. So, use your imagination and put the idea before your product. If users enjoy your challenge, they’ll naturally associate positive feelings towards your product. 

Don’t make the same mistakes

TikTok users are a community that values authentic entertainment above everything. If you are a brand trying to make it big-time on the app, you need to create content that mirrors these values so you can become a part of the conversation. 

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