In three years, TikTok has amassed over 500 million downloads on the Play Store and over 800 million in the Apple Store. Like other social media platforms, TikTok plays directly to that human need for expression. One could argue that it may appear to be a more appropriate platform for expression in the form of video than Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. This may have to do Musica.ly’s acquisition but also with the platform being a video-first approach. Using the app to create and share video is more instinctive than the choice of still images, text or video that more established social media platforms offer.
Like all other social platforms, TikTok has created an engagement-based algorithm. While we don’t have the specifics of how that all rhythm functions, here’s a breakdown of how some believe it works to keep users engaged and content flowing.
What TikTok means for your online business
All marketers understand the opportunity that new platforms present. In this case, brands with target audiences between 16- and 24-years-old have the opportunity to engage and promote their services and products.
Like all content marketing channels, there will come a time where TikTok becomes saturated. Advertising costs will increase and as the platform evolves to cater to its audience, algorithms will change too. However, brands have the opportunity to get creative and test ideas to figure out with the audiences.
How to Capitalise on TikTok Now
Wondering how to make your mark on TikTok? Here are a few ways to capitalise on this video-sharing platform:
Repurpose your video content for TikTok
If you already have videos for other platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, you can easily repurpose your content for TikTok. It’s as simple as editing your content and uploading it to the platform. As the content is mobile-based, you can get away video already published with aspect ratio settings for Instagram and Facebook.
Inject your product into everyday life
TikTok users thrive on user-generated content which is an uncomfortable transition for brands. Brands are more inclined to create and publish polished ads, and this could present a challenge.
TikTok’s audience is looking for entertainment and the ability to engage, where ads are often one-way communication tools. Does this mean that paid ads on TikTok won’t work? There isn’t data to support an answer to that question today.
What we do know is that whether you’re selling fitness programs or sports equipment, organic, user-generated content performs well and has the ability to back-up tons of views and engagement.
Take Spikeball. It’s the product of volleyball and foursquare. A high-paced and physically challenging game, Spikeball took to TikTok to offer users unique ways to express a product. They produce some entertaining videos that position the product in seemingly everyday situations, like trying to fry an egg. While a crazy showcase, viewers can’t help but wonder if it really is possible to use the Spikeball net to land an egg in a frying pan.
Create a Community challenge
Community challenges are a great way for brands to encourage user engagement. Brands record a video and release it along with a hashtag. Guess pulled it off perfectly with their #InMyDenim hashtag. The challenge involves users producing videos of themselves in their Guess clothing.
Challenges empower TikTokers to record their own content and get in on a trend. For brands, trends mean virality and potentially more eyes on your product, something every marketer could with more of.
Work with TikTok Influencers
The best way to approach challenges is to partner with influencers. Influencer marketing is set to grow to a $10 billion industry in 2020, making it a smart and easy route to market for brands.
Influencers also automatically position brands in front of large and targeted captive audiences. For example, Chipotle partnered with David Dobrik to create the #ChipotleLidFlip challenge. The brand generated more than 100,000 submissions and 230 million views.
TikTok has a hashtag system, however, hashtags have a 140 character limit. They must also be in your video captions for each video caption. Video captions should also include the entire video description and all hashtags you’re targeting.
Tips on working with influencers
Working with influencers can be an almost hairy experience. While there are tons of great candidates out there, there’s no escaping the fact that bots and fake influencer followers exist.
If you plan on working with influencers, here are three tips to steer you in the right direction:
Save time by investing in software. You could always locate influencers through a manual web search, but there’s a good chance that you don’t have time to waste. Using a platform like Upfluence, Neoreach and Influencer, make it easy to find identity and work with the right people. They also include features designed to streamline campaign management and tracking takes the hassle out of identifying and screening candidates.
Get specific. Base your campaigns on specific deliverables for your product or solution. Influencer marketing can become slightly hazy, especially when brands rely too heavily on influencers for creative concepts and rollout. Instead, develop complete briefs and detail what to deliver and manage each engagement as a project.
Measure your success. Influencer marketing is a new territory for many brands, making it hard to establish the kind of results to expect. Base yours on campaigns and focus on engagement metrics. For example, TikTok offers a link embed solution, making it easy to track clicks and traffic to your landing page of choice.
Although TikTok introduced their paid ads recently, it’s still in Beta and you’ll need to submit an application to gain access to the ads platform. Here are quick pointers on TikTok’s ad platform.
To date, you can choose from one of three ad objectives: Traffic, Conversions, and App Install.
You’re able to set a monthly and daily ad budget, however, it cannot be less than $500.
Ads can appear in-between regular content or on sister apps BussVideo, news Republic and TopBuzz.
Advertisers can input URLs, display names, images, and categories. There is an option to include up to 20 keywords to describe your OTT app or website when matching your products with the right audience.
The targeting section helps you define your audience. You’re able to pick locations, age, gender, languages, interests, devices, connection types, and OS versions. It’s hard to get an idea of the average ad cost today and how it compares to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and others. One this is certain, it’s still largely an untapped ad platform.
Learn more about TikTok before committing
Video is undoubtedly low-hanging fruit for brands, but they have to execute strategically. Today, that means examining new platforms, like TikTok, to reach large audiences. TikTok has experienced massive growth but is different from other platforms. Its video-first model is also driven by user-generated content, something brands will grapple with as they find their feet in the video-sharing app. Take the time to learn a little more about TikTok before committing resources. Research, plan content and create an engaging journey your audience can follow to help grow your brand.