This article has been contributed by Laura Zamfir.
TikTok is not only on the rise, it’s here to stay. Every month, millions of people around the world are scrambling to download the app from their app store.
It’s a new social media giant that’s wholly dedicated to video content. And the app has come at the most opportune time. Soon 82% of all web traffic will gravitate towards videos.
Although TikTok isn’t the numero uno social media platform at present, it’s the most downloaded app of 2020.
It has a large user base which is predominantly young. Plus, statistics show that each user spends at least 46 minutes on the app every day. This gives a new and exciting opportunity for brands to target young people, who are the chief spenders, consumers and influencers of tomorrow.
Aside from its natural appeal to brands and marketers, TikTok provides a self-service ad platform, creator marketplace, and other facilities to promote one’s brand.
Have we convinced you to take TikTok seriously? If you’re planning to include the platform in your video marketing strategy, read on to find 5 ways to maximize your brand’s impact.
1. Try Your Hand at TikTok Original Content
Most brands want to make videos that can be used across multiple social media platforms. Alas! TikTok is a unique platform that’s based on viral content.
But rest assured, TikTok original videos could become your best video marketing strategy, if you manage to make them fun and lighthearted.
Videos can be up to 15 seconds long, which is an ideal duration for crisp content with a succinct message. (The platform does extend video length to 60 seconds if certain conditions are met.)
Brands that are not sure where to start can leverage the trend culture. Find topics that everyone is interested in and making videos on at the moment.
How To Make Trending TikTok Videos in 8 Steps
- Visit the Discovery page to find the latest trends and hashtags.
- Pick one or more that could help you market your product or service.
- Make your video version of the topic/hashtag/trend.
- Add a subtle marketing message by including elements of your product or service.
- Make the video silly, quirky or funny.
- Add filters if you think that will help your video go viral.
- Add relevant hashtags to the post.
- Upload the video and watch it go viral.
Brands can include industry secrets, tips, tricks and how-to videos to gain exposure on the platform.
Wipe It Down Challenge
During the anti-germ COVID times, the #WipeItDown challenge has become a popular one. TikTok challenges video creators to wipe their mirror to the ‘Wipe It Down’ song. They show a different version of themselves on the third wipe and revert to the original for the fourth and fifth.
Fashion brands could leverage this challenge by partnering with an appropriate influencer who wears their clothing during the third wipe. A cosmetics brand could present a polished looking version of a celebrity during the third wipe versus the user without makeup on the other wipes.
Once you have finalized your idea, always make the video authentic and professional. Unedited videos recorded using a smart device works for normal users. But brands must add quality and professionalism to their videos.
There are plenty of firms out there who are ready to help brands convert their ideas into engaging TikTok videos from the initial idea through to the finished product.
Alternatively, brands can record videos themselves with their employees as the stars and use video editing services to edit and polish the content to make them professional.
2. Use Fun and Entertaining Content to Win Hearts
Brands have other opportunities to focus exclusively on the design, features and functions of the products. The same goes for services as well.
TikTok has a reputation for being the platform of the young. Young adults (42%) and teens (27%) make up over two-thirds of its user base. Additionally, it has managed to carve a niche for itself as a major player in providing fun and entertaining content.
A casual scan of the videos on the social media platform shows that TikTokers prefer lighthearted content. Brands won’t make much of an impact on the audience by giving them boring product demos and testimonial videos.
So, brands planning to give greater exposure to their products and services must adhere to the unwritten rules of the platform. Showcase products and services in a fun and entertaining way to attract and engage more people.
Gymshark: Promoting Products Indirectly
Gymshark has taken a creative approach to showcase its gym and workout clothes. Instead of posting videos of their workout wear, Gymshark focuses heavily on educational and emotional content.
Everyone wants to stay healthy. Most people fail because they don’t know what to do and/or how to stay the course. Gymshark publishes a lot of videos that address these pain points.
Its target audience is fitness enthusiasts. Hence, workout videos, boxing training and flexibility tests attract plenty of views.
From fat to fab is an unattainable journey to many. They lose interest midway. A brand that addresses this issue can make relationships for life. Gymshark emotionally engages its audience by posting motivational, inspirational and fitness journey videos.
NBA: Diversify the Content
NBA has a mass following in the United States. In fact, there are umpteen television channels dedicated to the sole coverage of everything related to basketball.
Even so, the basketball league has more than 6.5 million followers on TikTok. It has managed to garner a large following. It has kept them engaged by a wide range of content.
NBA’s TikTok videos not only celebrate the brand; they also celebrate the sport and the triumph of the human spirit.
In addition to slam dunk and trick shot clips with peppy music in the background, the audience gets to see the lighter side of the sport and league with sports bloopers and half-time antics.
NBA also shows the emotional side of the sport and sportspersons to develop a deeper connection with the viewers. RJ Barrett’s reaction after being drafted helps showcase his emotional journey.
3. Piggyback on User Generated Content to Improve Engagement
TikTok’s phenomenal growth can be attributed to its ability to induce viewers to become content creators. The Hashtag Challenge feature has played a big role in this endeavor.
Over 35% of users have tried hashtag challenges and more than 16% of all TikTok videos are associated with hashtag challenges.
For those not familiar with TikTok, many of the hashtag challenge tasks will appear odd and silly. But, these tasks generate hundreds and thousands of responses and millions of views.
The TikTok Hashtag Challenge is one of the most popular features of the platform. Many brands have been effectively using it since its introduction.
Apart from promoting a product or service, the hashtag challenge also gives customers a voice, an opportunity to express their views and emotions. Perhaps the biggest benefit is the connection that develops between the brand and its customer.
Moreover, each video uploaded with the challenge hashtag has a chain reaction that can lead to more responses.
GUESS: In My Denim Challenge
The fashion giant GUESS partnered with influencers to launch its first hashtag challenge on TikTok. The challenge #InMyDenim showed popular TikTokers flaunting their new denim outfits. The brand also encouraged other TikTok users to hop on the challenge.
Teaming up with influencers is an excellent strategy. At least 40 TikTok influencers have more than 10 million followers.
Through these influencers, brands can reach millions of users. Moreover, watching influencers partake in a task makes their followers only too happy to record and share their own experience.
Chipotle: Lid Flip Challenge
Another brand that’s crushing the hashtag game is Chipotle. The brand’s #ChipotleLidFlip challenge has so far accumulated more than a billion views and hundreds and thousands of mentions.
The hashtag task is simple. Users have to demonstrate their ability to flip the lid and make it rest on the Chipotle bowl. The campaign was initially launched to promote the Chipotle Cinco de Mayo free delivery deal.
Hashtag challenges involve many subtle marketing strategies. This campaign encouraged millions of users to buy Chipotle products to partake in the challenge. Plus, the brand was betting on the multiplier effect to reach a wider audience.
Users now associate the Chipotle brand with qualities such as fun and entertaining. This paves the way for deeper engagement between the brand and customers in the future.
A great many things can be achieved by brands if they manage to combine fun, engagement and their product.
The hashtag challenge feature does exactly that. It gets customers excited about a product or service.
4. Team Up With Suitable Influencers and Celebrities
Looking at the GUESS and Chipotle campaigns, it’s fairly clear that partnering with influencers works. On TikTok, influencers with considerable fan followings can amplify a brand’s reach and impact on customers.
But on social media platforms you can find an influencer at every other turn. Brands wanting to make a mark and extend their reach on the platform must team up with relevant influencers. The person you choose must be right for the company, its goals, budget and campaign.
TikTok makes it easy for brands to connect with relevant influencers, via the Creator Marketplace. This feature allows brands to search and connect with over 1,000 influencers on the platform.
The portal has filters for brands to find TikTok stars based on location, audience demographics, topics, followers and more.
Calvin Klein: My Calvins Challenge
Luxury fashion brand, Calvin Klein, partnered with top fashion influencers and celebrities to showcase their favorite clothes in the #MyCalvins challenge.
The brand aimed to leverage the popularity of celebrities to give its products a wider exposure.
During the campaign, TikTok users got to see Shawn Mendes expressing what it feels like hearing the crowd sing back. He shared his thoughts wearing Calvin Klein.
Celebrities who would appeal and connect with a younger demographic were chosen for the challenge, including Kendall Jenner and ASAP Rocky.
Crocs: Thousand Dollar Crocs Challenge
The footwear brand Crocs has posted a wide range of videos. But none have had an impact as great as the #ThousandDollarCrocs videos.
The hashtag challenge was an instant hit, thanks to the involvement of Post Malone. The hashtag challenge became a huge success.
The challenge itself was simple yet creative. The brand asked users to share their looks wearing Crocs as if they paid $1000 for them.
The brand saw an 18% increase in its followers due to the #ThousandDollarCrocs challenge.
5. Promoting Business Using TikTok Ads
Creating viral content is easier said than done. Even the best of influencers can’t guarantee the success of your videos.
Moreover, organic marketing strategies take time to yield results. Sometimes the idea behind a video might go out of vogue before it even reaches most of your target audience.
However, TikTok has introduced its advertising platform to cut delays and increase reach for brands.
Big brands like Disney and Nike have money to splurge for advertisements on all social media platforms. Small businesses have to think twice before opting for paid marketing.
The cost of advertising on TikTok can vary based on the campaign, goals and various other factors. That said, keep in mind there is a minimum investment of $500 to start an ad campaign on the platform.
If you can allot a special budget for TikTok Advertising, then go ahead and create an ads account.
How To Set Up A TikTok Ad Campaign in 6 Steps
- Once you have created an ad account, go to the dashboard and start a new ad campaign.
- Next, select the primary goal from the options provided (app install, traffic or conversions).
- Now choose your budget. You can select either a daily or total budget for the campaign (both fields do not accept a value less than $500).
- Decide where to place the ads, enter your website URL and up to 20 keywords.
- Fill in the target audience section. Here you define your market using parameters such as gender, age, location, interests, language, etc.
- Once the campaign details are entered you can start designing the ad.
Video Creation Kit and TikTok Ad Types
TikTok has made it easy to design ads. It also allows ads of various types and layouts, including image-based ads and vertical, horizontal and square ads.
Brands that are not yet ready to outsource video creation can use the TikTok Video Creation Kit. This portal provides image and video templates that can be customized to make ads. Brands also get to choose from 300+ free background music files.
At present, TikTok has the following ad types:
- Hashtag Challenges: Brands join hands with the TikTok team to roll out sponsored hashtag challenges. Challenges encourages users to share video content relevant to the defined hashtag. This type of ad generally runs for six days.
- In-Feed Ads: These advertisements appear as part of your video feed or at the bottom of an organic video. The in-feed ads can be effectively used in link-building efforts. Brands can insert links in ads that will lead the viewer to the profile page, landing page or website.
- Brand Takeovers: Users see brand takeover ads on opening the TikTok app. The ad takes the user to another video, profile page or an external page. Brand takeovers cost more than in-feed ads. TikTok allows only one brand takeover advertiser per day.
As you can see, TikTok can fit very well into the video marketing strategies of brands targeting younger audiences. The platform provides plenty of opportunities for brands to market their products or services, both directly and indirectly.
This social media platform is all about customer engagement. The more brands connect with the customer, the better their conversion rates.
We have already seen how brands are making use of TikTok in fun, creative and entertaining ways. TikTok Advertising also provides brands with a speedy route to reach their target audience.
Given TikTok is still a growing social media platform and is poised to become the leader of the pack shortly, brands will position themselves well by starting to use the platform sooner rather than later.