Younger people are taking to untraditional marketing more than ever before and this is seen highly in the TikTok universe. The fun and informal app platform has skyrocketed in popularity within the past year. While many Americans were locked away in quarantine, they found the catchy songs, trending dances, and creative tie-dye and coffee recipes on their “for you page” being spread and copied thousands of times. The intrigue with TikTok seems to lay in the opportunity for creativity and unique takes on trending themes following audios and of course, influencers. While the app seems like all fun and games, TikTok has mastered an algorithm and concept so different from any current social media powerhouse that it has become the go-to place for content and apparently, influence.
What does this mean for businesses looking to dive into the TikTok game? The good news for businesses is while the app appears very informal, there is possibly more room for growth and exposure than Instagram or Facebook due to the extreme levels of engagement. The reason why the mobile app has reached such high levels of engagement is most likely because of the algorithmic properties of the for you page or “FYP”.
The FYP is the main feed for TikTok users and contains trending or relevant content to your personal profile that is not contingent on who you are following; this opens a whole new scope of possibilities for outreach to users because they can have no prior knowledge or even connection to you or your profile and still be exposed to your content. Understanding the inner workings of this feed will be vital in developing any marketing strategy based on or involving TikTok.
When it comes to promoting my brand, how do I do it? Here are some standard rules to follow and consider when bringing your brand to TikTok:
1. Become familiar with the trending themes and hashtags. This is the first step in accessing the TikTok world as well as the most basic and important thing to do. Factors such as audio choice and filters added to your videos have leverage on the for you page, but the most important aspect to increase your chances of landing on the feed of the most amount of users will be hashtags. A marketing tactic that is not necessarily new, but TikTok culture definitely has a focus on the use of hashtags. With such a saturated forum of content, the strategic choice hashtags combined with a buzzing trendy audio and theme will surely encourage the algorithm to get you in front of a vast audience.
2. Make sure your content is organic and reflects your brand. While high levels of engagement are a great thing for a social media platform, it can also mean that it’s oversaturated. The best way to combat this is simply by making sure your content has a unique twist on it that showcases your brands personality despite following the trends. The opportunity here lies in the fact that the content on TikTok is meant to be more creative and usually humorous compared to the static content often seen by businesses on Instagram. A good practice to ensure you are being organic and true to yourself (or should I say, your brand) while allowing it a more open voice is to keep style and personality consistent across all platforms. This will will also prove to be beneficial when recycling content to Instagram or twitter.
3. Take advantage of influencers and launch collab-campaigns. Instagram may be the home for most influencers, but they are alive and well on TikTok and ready to spice up their personal content with collaborations. The benefit of collaborating with an influencer seems obvious, but it may be an even better, more strategic move when it comes to TikTok based on the properties of the FYP. It can arguably be a challenging task to land a spot on the right users’ feeds, just ask all of the millennials and gen x’ers battling with the younger generations to learn the latest dances and lingo. Influencers already have the likes and engagement of users to draw them back and back again, so not hitch a ride on their content and gain that exposure?
4. Use basic advertising on the app. As a more traditional option, advertising is still impactful on the widely used app. Although TikTok may not display a multitude of advertisements, there are ways to secure spots to ensure outreach. The app always opens with a main advertisement lasting a few seconds that usually incorporates high-profile TikTokers. This along with brand takeovers of the app and branded lenses that can be utilized and spread by users are great ways to have acknowledgement throughout the app.
5. Creating a personal hashtag tied with a challenge. Often times, challenges on the app involve dancing and while that may not have anything to do with your company, it is a great way to spread a Hashtag linked to a campaign showcasing your brand. After being an avid user, you will notice that a lot of people attach hashtags that have a high trending rate to videos that may not have anything to do with said hashtag; while this isn’t usually the goal of starting a campaign hashtag, it is just more proof of the opportunity for exposure when trends are caught on to throughout the TikTok world.
At first glance, TikTok can seem intimidating and nearly impossible to break through to, but with a basic understanding of the culture and becoming adjusted to the type of content that catches users interest, anyone can be successful on this platform. For businesses, following these five basic ways to promote your brand will surely provide an opportunity to not only a new audience, but a new way to show the world who and what your brand is.
Daniel James Consulting is a Full-Service Business Consulting Firm based in New York that designs solutions tailored specifically to the needs of your business in order to ensure you achieve continued success by designing, developing and implementing plans, metrics and platforms, be it a one-man operation, non-profit, startup or large organization. Our packaged solutions or a la carte selections include Website Design, Marketing & Advertising, Search Engine Positioning, and Graphic Design. Business Management Solutions are also available for companies of all sizes.For more information please visit: www.danieljamesconsulting.com