TikTok has rapidly become one of the most popular social media platforms, with over a billion active users worldwide. As businesses increasingly seek to reach new audiences, TikTok has emerged as a key platform to include in their marketing strategy. This article will explore the best practices for using TikTok in your business marketing strategy and how to create engaging content that resonates with your target audience.
Understanding the TikTok Platform and its Potential for Business Marketing
TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with their followers. The app provides a variety of sounds, songs, editing tools, FX and AR features, and opportunities to remix and reuse videos made by other creators.
Initially perceived as a platform primarily for teens, Gen Z, and late Millennials, TikTok is now attracting an increasingly broad audience. In 2022, almost 40% of TikTok users were over 30, and 31.5% of Americans aged 40-59 use the app at least occasionally. This expanding user base has made TikTok a more versatile space for business owners to connect with potential customers.
Retailers have recognised the platform’s potential and collaborated with TikTok influencers to create viral recommendations. This approach has proven effective, with 49% of users admitting to purchasing a product after seeing it promoted on TikTok. Users on TikTok are 1.7 times more likely to discover a product and 1.5 times more likely to make an immediate purchase after seeing it on the platform.
To make the most of TikTok, businesses must leverage its unique features. The app’s algorithm employs machine learning to deliver content most relevant to the user’s interests. As such, businesses must learn to create engaging and relevant content that resonates with the uniquely picky and ever-changing audience to maximise their success on the platform.
Defining Your Target Audience…
To ensure that your TikTok content is effective, define your target audience first. Without a clear understanding of who you’re trying to reach, you may end up with plenty of engagement but little to no impact on your business’s bottom line. Creating content that resonates with your audience is crucial to achieving your marketing goals.
Keeping track of industry hashtags and influencer profiles and following general trends can give you a sense of the content people want to see from brands like yours.
Additionally, social listening tools can be invaluable in identifying your target audience. They allow you to monitor conversations and trends on social media to gain valuable insights that can help you refine your messaging, create more targeted campaigns, and even identify new opportunities for product development.
At SentiOne, we offer SentiOne Listen, an AI-powered social listening platform that introduced TikTok tracking last year. With its sentiment analysis feature, you can also identify the prevailing sentiment around your brand, products, and services.
…and Creating Content that Resonates with Them
When developing content for TikTok, it’s essential to consider the platform’s distinctive style. Although your brand’s overall messaging should remain consistent across all channels, TikTok’s content usually differs significantly from content you’d publish elsewhere.
TikTok is famous for its brief and snappy videos, so it’s critical to create visually captivating and easy-to-digest content. Utilise text overlays and captions to convey your message, and don’t hesitate to experiment with your content.
Be Honest. Or, at least, Entertaining
TikTok’s user base wants to see the genuine side of brands and creators. They are interested in the story behind the brand, its values, employees, and mission. Authenticity is crucial, and showing the truth behind the business is an excellent way to capture attention.
TikTok encourages brands to create “TikToks” rather than “ads.” The platform is an opportunity to experiment and explore. Popular branded content is often evocative and communicates with intuition and emotion rather than straightforward sales messages.
Try Learning Through Play
On TikTok, it’s best to create content that is both entertaining and informative. Research shows that positive emotions elicit the best response on TikTok, with comedic content being particularly popular.
TikTok users are also eager to learn new things, with a stunning 84% percentage using the platform for educational purposes. You can take advantage of this trend by using your account to share valuable tips and fun facts related to your industry.
Before releasing actual promotional material, build your credibility by providing valuable content. You can upload videos that demonstrate how your brand’s products or services solve problems or add value to customers’ lives.
Spicing Up Your Marketing Strategy with TikTok’s Unique Features
It’s crucial to strike a balance between promotion and authenticity when marketing on TikTok, especially when targeting the younger generation who have a strong aversion to traditional ads. Fortunately, TikTok offers several features that businesses can leverage to boost their marketing strategy while also appealing to their audience’s interests and preferences.
1. Use Hashtags, But Wisely
Using hashtags on TikTok is essential for increasing the visibility of your content and reaching a wider audience. Hashtags help users find content related to specific topics or interests, so incorporating relevant hashtags into your video’s caption can help your content appear in search results for those topics.
While using popular hashtags may seem like a good idea, it’s important to keep in mind that your videos can easily get lost among the sea of content that already exists. Instead, try using less popular, niche hashtags that are still relevant to your content. By doing so, your videos are more likely to stand out and be discovered by the users most interested in your offer.
To find the most suitable hashtags for your videos, consider researching your competitors to see what hashtags they’re using, or using a free online hashtag finder tool. Some hashtags may also come with challenges, effects, and trends that you can participate in, which can help your content gain traction.
Keep in mind that TikTok is not Instagram and overusing hashtags can harm the effectiveness of your videos. Aim to use around three to five relevant hashtags per video and avoid ones not specific to your content.
2. Utilise TikTok Trends to Boost Your Brand
Incorporating TikTok trends into your marketing strategy can help you increase engagement with your audience and gain more visibility on the platform. TikTok trends come in the form of challenges, popular hashtags, filters, audio, and concepts replicated by users. By tapping into these trends and putting your spin on them, you can leverage the power of the platform’s algorithms to expand your reach.
However, it’s important to be cautious not to appear as though you’re simply jumping on a bandwagon without any real connection to the concept. Instead, strive to create content that is both unique and entertaining, while staying true to your brand’s messaging.
It’s also important to keep a close eye on TikTok trends as they can change rapidly. Staying up-to-date with the latest challenges and trends is essential for keeping your content fresh and relevant.
Remember, when creating content for TikTok trends, aim to post your videos just before peak popularity. This will help you stay ahead of the curve and make your content more authentic and in tune with the conversations happening on the platform.
3. Comment and Encourage Comments
When you take the time to comment on other users’ videos, it can lead to building relationships with potential customers and increasing your brand visibility.
Keep in mind that comments are ranked by the number of likes they receive, so it’s important to put some thought into the things you write. Avoid leaving generic comments such as “nice video”. Instead, try to add value to the conversation by sharing your thoughts or asking questions that encourage engagement.
Encouraging comments on your posts is also important. You can do this by adding a call-to-action in your videos or the caption, such as asking for feedback or encouraging viewers to share their own experiences. Responding to comments on your posts is equally important, as it shows that you are actively listening to your audience and value their input.
4. Post Consistently
Consistency is key when it comes to building a following on TikTok. Regular posting is rewarded by the algorithm, which favours accounts that are active and engage with their audience. In fact, according to TikTok, it’s recommended to post at least 1–3 times per day to increase visibility and attract new followers.
While it’s important to post often, it’s also crucial to maintain the quality of your content. TikTok recommends creating short, raw videos between 21 and 34 seconds that capture your brand’s unique voice and style.
5. The Sound is King
Sound is crucial on TikTok, and brands can benefit greatly by incorporating trending audio and sound into their content. Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok encourages sound-on engagement, meaning the right sound can make or break a video.
TikTok offers a vast library of sounds and music for your videos, including popular songs, film quotes, memes and monologues. Using these trending sounds in your content allows you to connect with your audience by joining in on the conversations and trends happening on the platform.
Brands can also create their own sounds to further establish their identity on the platform. One great example of a brand creating its own sound is e.l.f. Cosmetics, who collaborated with Grammy-winning producer iLL WAYNO and featured Holla FyeSixWun to create their original hit “Eyes, Lips, Face.”
This approach allows your brand to stand out and create a deeper connection with your audience, making your content more memorable and shareable. It doesn’t necessarily mean you should learn how to write grammy-tier songs. Even a simple question or statement can become a unique sound that other TikTokers can stitch, duet, or repurpose.
6. Stitch, Duet, or Repurpose – Use User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful tool for building a community around your brand and engaging with your followers. 79% of people believe that UGC impacted their purchasing decisions.
On TikTok, users can interact with their favourite creators and videos through the Stitch and Duet features. Duets play videos side-by-side, while Stitches show the original clip followed by the user’s recording. Duets are great for real-time reactions and collaborations, while Stitches are ideal for elaborating on a topic or continuing a discussion.
Smart brands encourage engagement and interaction with their content via Duet or Stitch features. For example, Netflix used the Stitch feature to promote their documentary, “Tinder Swindler,” by asking people to share their wildest love experiences with the hashtag #wildthingsforlove.
Finally, brands can use the Duet or Stitch features to engage in conversations with other creators, including customers and industry leaders. By doing so, brands can increase their presence and reach on the platform while participating in meaningful discussions.
7. Use TikTok Ads
TikTok ads are a great way to reach a large audience, but they can be more expensive than ads on other social media platforms. However, they have gained positive traction, and research shows they can be worth the investment.
TikTok Ads Manager offers advanced targeting options and analytics, making it easy to configure your settings to your marketing objectives, budget, and target audience.
There are several types of TikTok ads, including:
- TopView Ads: These ads appear once a day when a user opens the TikTok app for the first time and can be up to 60 seconds long. They are perfect for advertising products or services that require a more prolonged focus.
- In-Feed Ads: These ads appear as the fourth video users see when they scroll through their “For You” feed. In-Feed ads are indistinguishable from organic content, and users can engage with these ads by liking, commenting, sharing, and following the ad’s CTA. TikTok has a bidding system for in-feed ads, and the platform offers advanced targeting options, tracking, and analytics.
- Brand Takeovers: These ads are full-screen and appear as the first content users see when they open the TikTok app. Brand takeover ads are either a 3-second image or a 3- to 5-second GIF. Because of how “invasive” these ads are, they work. Brand takeovers on TikTok are exclusive to each category once a day, and the starting cost is around $50,000 per day.
There are also Branded Hashtags and Branded Effects ads that businesses can use to inspire user-generated content and increase brand awareness.
Collaborating with Influencers for Brand Awareness
Influencer marketing might be the most effective form of marketing on TikTok since it eliminates the negative implications of ads and the need to build a specific audience for your company account.
To ensure the best outcome, partner with TikTok influencers who appeal to your target customer niches. Choosing influencers with relevant audiences is more crucial than going for those with the largest followings.
TikTok has launched the Creator Marketplace, a tool that simplifies the collaboration with creators by allowing brands to search for relevant creators, connect with them directly, and track and analyse their campaign results in one place.
Trust The Creators or: How You’ll Learn to Stop Worrying and Love TikTok
The key to successful creator partnerships on TikTok is to provide flexible prompts that allow creators to showcase their creativity while interacting with your product in a way that feels authentic to them and your brand. This approach enables creators to produce content that resonates with their audience while promoting your product.
For example, KFC wanted to generate mass awareness and demand for their new chicken sandwich on TikTok. They collaborated with Lili Hayes, an internet sensation known for her quirky and humorous videos. Rather than providing Hayes with a strict script, KFC gave her the flexibility to showcase the chicken sandwich in a way that felt natural and authentic to her.
Hayes created a boisterous commercial impersonating Colonel Sanders that quickly gained attention on TikTok. The commercial was later remixed by DJ Dillon Francis and TikTok user Lubalin, resulting in a series of seemingly crazy videos that managed to amass over 221 million views.
Once again, you should take note of the platform’s mantra. Don’t make Ads. Make TikToks. (And don’t be scared to go wild in the process!)
Measuring Success and Optimising Your TikTok Marketing Strategy
To ensure the success of your TikTok marketing strategy, it is crucial to measure your performance and optimise it over time. TikTok’s analytics tools offer a range of metrics to track your performance, such as follower count, likes, comments, and shares. You can also measure weekly and monthly growth, total video play time, and insights about your audience. Analysing this data can help you refine your strategy and create more engaging content that resonates with your target audience.
In addition to using TikTok’s analytics tools, it’s important to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your TikTok marketing efforts. Some common KPIs include views, engagement rate, follower growth, and click-through rate. By regularly monitoring these metrics, you can evaluate whether you’re meeting your goals and make data-driven decisions to optimise your TikTok marketing strategy.
Take Your TikTok Marketing Game To The Next Level
Marketers can stay ahead of the competition by utilising AI-powered tools for customer engagement.
With AI social listening, you can monitor conversations and interpret mentions of your brand to understand your audience’s needs and expectations better.
By incorporating these futuristic tools into your social media strategy you can create a more personalised and engaging experience for your customers on TikTok. To learn more about these tools, check out our Social Media Strategy Guide and take advantage of the opportunity to boost your TikTok engagement.
SentiOne offers AI-powered tools dedicated to marketing, PR and customer service.
SentiOne Listen is an online monitoring package utilising cutting-edge intent and sentiment analysis NLU (Natural Language Understanding) algorithms. It provides complex audience insights, anomaly detection, custom automated reporting systems and so much more.
Over 1600 brands worldwide have trusted SentiOne’s AI solutions, so book a demo today to see how it can improve your social media presence and engagement.