How to Create a Successful TikTok Marketing Strategy

TikTok may well be the fastest growing social media platform in the world. As of January 2022, TikTok has one billion active monthly users.
TikTok influencer
The Rise of TikTok

TikTok may well be the fastest growing social media platform in the world. As of January 2022, TikTok has one billion active monthly users, with these individuals spending more than 850 minutes per month on the app. In both 2020 and 2021, TikTok was furthermore the most popular app downloaded globally. 

So what does all this mean for your business? Essentially, if you don’t have a presence on TikTok, you could be missing out on reaching a much wider audience. Marketers tend to like using TikTok not simply because it is a rising social media trend, but because it allows for collaboration and creativity. 

What is TikTok?

In case you missed the emergence of this global phenomenon, TikTok is the “destination for short-form mobile video.” Users can upload a short video, up to 15 seconds long (though you can connect up to four clips together, making a 60 second video), which will often incorporate things like music and humour to engage and entertain. There are a few common themes with TikTok videos, such as lip synching, animal videos, tutorials, and dancing, but there are no hard and fast rules. 

TikTok is probably most popular amongst teenagers, who tend to be good at picking up new technology quickly and easily. That’s not to say that Millennials and Baby Boomers don’t use TikTok though – as the number of app downloads can attest, it’s a multigenerational platform. Older generations are simply more likely to use TikTok for different reasons, and their posts can be self-deprecating about their knowledge of the app.


TikTok Content

As mentioned above, users can basically post whatever they want on TikTok. But it’s important to note that the audience on TikTok appreciates genuine, not manufactured, content. They like to know that the poster is showing their real personality, as this makes the videos more relatable. 

In terms of marketing, big corporations have recognised the value of TikTok as a way to engage with their audience. Many businesses therefore partner with successful TikTok influencers, asking these individuals to create user-generated content. Organisations that have employed this strategy include Nike, Sony, Calvin Klein and FIFA.

In recent years, more and more celebrities have started using TikTok too, often as a way to stay relevant and engage with a younger audience. During the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Snoop Dogg and Reese Witherspoon all used TikTok to remain in the spotlight.

TikTok marketing

How Can Marketers Use TikTok?

TikTok is a fantastic platform from which marketers can reach a younger audience. It’s an incredibly creative environment, and many internet memes these days originate on TikTok. Influencer marketing isn’t a new idea, and various businesses have taken advantage of the success of TikTok influencers, working with them to increase their own brand awareness.

One of the best things about TikTok is that it doesn’t require a huge budget. Even if the video quality is low, users will still engage with it if the content is enjoyable to watch. Many TikTok videos that have gone viral were filmed using a smartphone, in a bedroom, kitchen or garden.

Overall, TikTok levels the playing field for marketers. Because of how the algorithms work, you have just as high a chance of producing a viral video with no followers as you would if your account was followed by millions. This is in direct contrast to social media platforms like YouTube or Instagram. As long as your content appeals to an audience, you should get high engagement rates.


Creating a TikTok Marketing Strategy

In terms of creating a marketing strategy for TikTok, if you’re unfamiliar with the medium, you can’t assume that it works in the same way as other social media platforms. You have to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Each platform, from Facebook to Twitter, has unique features, trends, and user behaviours. We’ve outlined a few tips below to help you get started.

Get Familiar With TikTok

It’s next to impossible to guess the upcoming trends on TikTok, as they can be completely random. But by getting to grips with the platform, you’re much more likely to understand how trends start, as well as how to use the app to its full potential. 

Using TikTok extensively should also give you a good idea of how the hashtags work. It’s essential to use hashtags effectively so that you can take advantage of TikTok’s unique algorithm. And if you want to find out more about this algorithm, Hootsuite have created a handy guide explaining how it works.

Collaborate With Influencers

If you’ve used influencers before, or even done a little bit of research on them, you’ll know that the success rate of these individuals can be incredibly high. So by using an influencer on TikTok, who will already have a following and fully understand how the app works, you can instantly gain brand recognition.

And if you’re not sure where to start, TikTok has its own Creator Marketplace, which allows businesses and influencers to connect. You can find like minded people who are passionate about your brand or products to represent your business. 

Run TikTok Ads 

Because TikTok is still a relatively new social platform, it hasn’t yet become saturated with paid advertisements. This means that TikTok ads can be an affordable way to generate clicks and impressions.

Through the app, you can target certain ages, locations, and demographics, as well as users who have viewed similar content to yours. You can also sign up to TikTok for Business, which allows you to run self-serve ad campaigns.

Set a Hashtag Challenge 

One particular way of advertising on TikTok is through a hashtag challenge. You would sponsor a particular hashtag, such as McDonald’s use of #bigmactiktok, and encourage users to fulfil a challenge. In the case of McDonald’s, fans had to record themselves dancing to their preferred Big Mac chant genre, and then use the hashtag to have a chance of winning prizes.