TikTok recently passed 1 billion monthly users. That’s a huge audience you could be missing out on, especially if you create video content. And like other social media platforms, TikTok has plenty of resources for organisations to get their content out there. They launched their Ads Manager, a customisable ad platform, in 2020, which is designed to help businesses of all sizes advertise their brand on TikTok.
When it comes to companies advertising on TikTok, while there is some competition, compared to some of the more established social channels, it’s pretty low. But if you’re new to TikTok, you may not know how to best use it to your advantage. So let’s start with the basics – what is TikTok, and how does it work?
How Does TikTok Work?
The basic idea behind TikTok is that users can upload short videos they’ve filmed themselves. A video that’s recorded in the app can be up to 15 seconds long, though you’re able to connect up to four clips together, making a 60 second video. If you want to post longer videos, as long as they’re no more than 287.6MB in size (500MB for ads), you can upload them into the app.
Generally, the content is of someone dancing, lip-synching, or acting out a quick sketch. And for anyone thinking that TikTok sounds like a reincarnation of Vine, you’re probably not far from the truth.
There are a number of editing and customisation tools available in the app, with users able to access filters, effects, sound bites, and a whole library of songs. A user can also reply to another video, using the ‘duet’ option, which creates a split-screen showing both videos at once.
In terms of engagement, most videos are discovered via trending hashtags, though people can also follow hashtags, as well as other accounts. Users can show their appreciation for a video using ‘hearts’, which are essentially ‘likes’ on other platforms, and comment directly.
Why Use TikTok Marketing?
The obvious benefit of using TikTok in your business marketing strategy is the potential reach. In 2020, TikTok was the most downloaded app across the globe, with downloads reaching 850 million. And as already mentioned, the platform has over a billion users a month. Why wouldn’t you create a TikTok account for your business?
Some companies are concerned about targeting the right audience. There is a common misconception that TikTok users could all be categorised as ‘young’, and that if you’re a business marketing to an older demographic, it’s not worth using the platform to advertise. And while almost half of US users are under 30, according to Statista, 42% of users are aged between 30 and 49. So no matter your target demographic, TikTok can be a great tool for your business.
Creating Content for TikTok Marketing
If you do decide to create TikTok content, to reach a wider audience, the first step is to decide on your topic. Many businesses employ the same approach they use for blog posts – what sort of content does your audience want? Do they have a shared interest, or a problem that needs solving? Once you have a few ideas in mind, you can plan out the videos – just remember they can’t be too long!
Next, you need to upload your content – the simplest way to do this is via the app. When you open up the app, you’ll see a ‘plus’ sign, which allows you to record videos, with options to try out certain features and animations. Once you’re happy with the recording, you can add additional effects through the ‘post-production’ area.
Now comes the scary bit – actually uploading your content. You can choose the ‘cover’ of your video, which is the still that people will see when scrolling through videos on the app. Make sure you choose an image that will entice people to watch the video! It’s also essential that you add some hashtags. These are how the majority of people will come across your content, so include hashtags that sum up the theme of your video, as well as your overall brand. Then, simply click ‘post’.
One of the clever things about TikTok is that it allows you to automatically share your content across other social media platforms too. This feature not only saves you time creating content for your other social channels, it also lets your followers know you’re on TikTok. In regards to the latter, if your followers interact directly with your TikTok videos, that can mean the platform’s algorithms will consider your content relevant, and may recommend it to other users.
Using TikTok Ads
Like any other social media platform, you’re unlikely to see significant results on TikTok without spending money on ads. The process itself is simple – you just need to follow the below steps:
- Create a TikTok Ads Manager Account
- Choose your goal – this could be anything from reach to website traffic and sales
- Decide how much you’re willing to spend, and determine your target audience
- Create your ad content, then publish your ads
The main benefit of TikTok ads is that they allow you to reach your target audience incredibly quickly, without needing to build an audience yourself. Even if you don’t have a large following, if you spend on ads, and you’re using the right hashtags, you can reach a lot of people via their feed.
Work With Influencers and Collaborators on TikTok
According to a recent survey, 90% of respondents believe that influencer marketing is an effective form of marketing. It can be one of the fastest ways to see results on social media, though only if you work with an influencer whose interests and ideals align with those of your business. To help you find such influencers, TikTok has developed a ‘creator marketplace’, where you can see key metrics for each influencer, and decide if they’d be a good fit.
Another way to build up a following on TikTok is to partner with other users. Simply search for content similar to yours on TikTok, and reach out to people you think you may be able to partner with. You may have to make quite a few requests before you find a collaborator, but as your following grows organically, the higher the likelihood that someone will agree to work with your business.
TikTok Marketing Analytics
Regardless of the platform you’re using, you need to be looking at the analytics, to help guide your marketing strategy moving forward. To see your TikTok analytics, you’ll need to upgrade to a ‘pro’ account, which doesn’t cost anything. Then simply select a category, and check out the analytics dashboard you’re presented with.
With this data, you can determine which ads are working well, and which aren’t performing as well as you’d hoped. You can then run A/B testing to find ways to improve your strategy. Just make sure you only test one thing at a time – otherwise you won’t know which change made the difference!