TikTok continues to be a fast-growing platform. That alone may tempt you to add it to your marketing strategy.
If your customers are Gen Z, they’re on TikTok. If you have a product that appeals to the 25 and under age group, a TikTok video marketing strategy may be worth considering. On the downside is the strong connection to the Chinese government as well as regulatory efforts to ban or restrict the app in the U.S.
Originally called Music.ly, TikTok was sold by its original founders, rebranded, and relaunched as TikTok in 2017.
TikTok contains easy-to-use in-app video editing tools so that users can customize their videos with captions, filters, special effects, and a massive library of music clips. Videos can be up to 3 minutes long. As TikTok integrates with other social media platforms, content created on the app can be shared across a user’s entire social media audience.
Opportunities for Business
The TikTok algorithm uses AI to recommend videos on the user’s “for you” page based on previously viewed videos, making it easier for users to discover new content and video creators to go viral.
Getting visibility there means tapping into current trends and producing content that appeals to the audience there.
The Opportunities on TikTok
Younger generations—Millennials, Gen Z, and younger—are are drawn more towards authenticity and the human side of a brand. TikTok can be used to build connections with this younger market.
By combining entertainment, staying true to your core values, and on top of current trends, business have the potential to attract a spend-ready audience that’s looking for brands they can truly connect with.
Understand the Environment
You can jump onto the platform and just start posting videos, but getting results requires a more strategic approach.
First, you need to become comfortable with the tools, what they do, and how to use them for the best results.
You don’t need a TikTok profile to view public videos, but you do need an account if you want to post. A personal profile includes a bio, photo, name, username, and the option to integrate your YouTube and Instagram accounts. Business profiles have these same features, plus the option of adding an email address and website.
Only personal profiles can be set to “private,” meaning only the people you approve to follow you can access your content. If you have a business profile and select a private profile, you will lose all of your business account features.
The in-app camera features allow you to record real-time video to upload to the platform. You can also opt to upload a video from your camera roll. In addition, you have the option to use multiple photos to transform into a video.
With a snipping tool, video speed tool, captions, voice-over tool, filters, and visual effects, and the option to add sounds to your video, users can create and produce their own videos. Of course, professionally produced videos are going to make your brand stand out and look more professional.
TikTok allows users to cross-post videos created in the app on Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. This comes with the caveat that the video contains TikTok’s watermark.
Likes, Comments, and Shares
Like their social media counterparts, TikTok allows users to interact with content with like, sharing, and commenting options.
Music & Sounds
Perhaps one of the biggest appeals of the platform is TikTok’s extensive library of sounds users can apply to their videos. On a business account, however, you are only allowed to access a library with songs that have been approved for commercial use.
The “Duet” feature allows users to record a split-screen video in which the original video is on one side and the user’s video is on the other side.
Similar to Duets, the Stitch feature allows users to collaborate with other TikTokkers by using a piece of another video at the start of theirs. You could encourage your customers to “stitch” your videos with them using your products.
The “live” feature allows users to livestream themselves and interact with their audience in real time.
Like Stitch and Duets, the “React” feature is another way that TikTok encourages users to socialize with one another in the app. The react feature allows users to record themselves while watching a video.
TikTok has a hashtag feature so users can categorize their content and reach audiences searching those hashtags.
TikTok has an analytics dashboard with data to help you understand your reach and engagement.
Understand What Works
Once you have an account, take time to get to know the users and the content posted on TikTok.
When you first download the app, your “for your page” will have trending content posted by top creators. As you use the app and view more videos, your “for you page” will be dictated by AI and TikTok will show you videos of content tailored specifically for you.
Your “following” page will have content with only the people that you’re following. Follow accounts that are relevant to your business or your target audience and you’ll see more videos that apply to you. This, of course, plays directly into the AI that creates your “for you” page.
Eye the Competition
Take a look at how businesses in your industry use the platform to get a feel for the content, campaigns, and tags that work well.
Compare the strategies of popular personal accounts with that of businesses. Chances are you’ll find many similarities.
TikTok Plan Basics
Once you’ve taken note of what works, try to create different types of content. The best way to get familiar is to use the editing tools, try the Stitch, Duet, and Reaction features, and see what earns you the most engagement.
TikTok is all about entertainment value. Keep an eye out for trending content and put your brand’s spin on it. Don’t sell. TikTokkers will be completely turned off by this and you won’t build real connections with your audience. Authenticity and personality rules on this platform.