In the past decade, social media has taken marketing to dizzying heights. With millions of people glued to their devices, social media apps have provided brands with a sea of eyes to market their products and services to. TikTok is the latest app to make a splash, frothing with so much online activity it’d be crazy for marketers to ignore it. Here are some TikTok marketing tactics you need to know.
What is TikTok?
Before we delve into the marketing aspect of it all, what is TikTok? Remember Twitter’s micro-video platform Vine? Well, TikTok is loosely based on that same concept.
It is a Chinese owned platform that was formerly known as Musical.ly before being acquired by ByteDance. In China, it was originally called Douyin before being rebranded as TikTok prior to the international rollout.
The platform allows users to create 15-second snippets of video. Some savvy users combine these videos to come up with creative content that keeps their followers hooked. And not only this, but anyone can get followers these days with sites like EarthWeb. It doesn’t matter what you are using the app for, you can gain recognition online by buying your followers or your views. This helps people to take you more seriously.
As the third most downloaded app in 2019, TikTok is a hub of user-generated content and engagement. It’s free and laid-back nature has attracted a lot of youth. In the U.S alone, 60 percent of the active monthly users are aged 16 to 24 years.
Since the vast majority of its users are young, you might be pondering whether it’s worth it to set up an account for your business. If you recall correctly, one of our top 10 marketing predictions for 2020 was that Gen Z is going to start earning and spending this year. You can also read my top shared TikTok article over at Agorapulse.
It’s prudent, therefore, to identify with them and market to them.
What tactics can you incorporate in your TikTok marketing strategy?
There are different ways you can market your wares through the various social media channels. Here is a handful of tactics that you can use to find success with the TikTok app in particular.
#1 Creating hashtag challenges
Let’s start with something that you might be very familiar with. Hashtags are usually utilized by brands to create a buzz about their products and services on various social media channels.
You can try out a similar tactic with TikTok.
Hashtag challenges enable your followers to interact with your brand and send waves about it throughout the virtual world.
For example, take a look at what retail company Kroger did. Although not necessarily a brand that the youth identify with, it leveraged TikTok’s hashtag challenge feature to increase brand awareness and increase sales of back-to-school staples.
Through their #TransformUrDorm campaign, Kroger challenged students to post videos showing makeovers of their dorm rooms. The videos garnered an impressive 470 million views.
Additionally, Kroger made the campaign shoppable by creating a dedicated hashtag page where users could buy its products.
#2 Taking over the entire platform
Sounds implausible, right? At first glance, probably. However, TikTok enables your brand to hog all the attention.
If your brand signs up for a brand takeover, you can display a full page 3-second image or 5-second GIF whenever users open their TikTok app during the time period of time that your campaign runs.
In many instances, this image or GIF has a link that redirects to your website or TikTok account, encouraging conversions.
For example, Netflix took over to promote its documentary on Taylor Swift’s tour.
The brand takeover is a great way to ensure that you deliver your brand to millions of pairs of eyeballs throughout the day.
#3 Partnering with influencers
Just like on other social media platforms, influencers have considerable pulling power when it comes to advocating for your brand on TikTok.
As we stated earlier, a sizeable chunk of TikTok users is young. They, therefore, look up to a number of people in various spheres of life for inspiration. Engage influencers who lineup with your brand values and aesthetic but also appeal to your target audience.
Influencers drive the initial stages of your other facets of TikTok marketing. For example, if you’re pushing a hashtag, notable influencers can give it enough juice so that it balloons and trends, creating buzz for your brand. Influencer hashtags can redirect potential shoppers to your account. If your account has a shopping feature, you can also consider using tools to automate your TikTok account safely for a secure payment system.
Take luxury fashion brand Calvin Klein, for instance. The marketing team created the #MyCalvins campaign. In order to get it to gain traction, it engaged celebrity figures who are considerably popular with modern day youth like Kendal Jenner, A$AP Rocky and Shawn Mendes.
#4 Making use of the branded lens and effects
Owing to the young demographic that uses TikTok, there is a significant fun and quirky quality that is associated with the content on the platform. Like visual content platforms Instagram and Snapchat, this translates into several filters, lenses and visual effects.
TikTok takes this further by offering brands the opportunity to make labeled lenses and effects. This provides users with an interactive way to engage with the brand by creating content that has brand-specific 2D, 3D, and Augmented Reality effects.
These branded lenses can also be integrated into an overall strategy that includes the aforementioned hashtag challenges. For example, these are branded makeup effects. The dropdown menu shows Chanel as well as M.A.C.
#5 Leveraging in-feed native ads
TikTok gives you the ability to seamlessly craft your ad and place it within the native feed of your targeted users.
These videos last from 5 to 15 seconds and you can incorporate music as well as call to action links and buttons that direct your audience to your website.
These ads show up within the normal feed as your users are scrolling through. This kind of ad that isn’t forced or in your face allows your audience to engage with you. It also makes them more ready to accept any other message you might have in the future through hashtag challenges or otherwise.
This ad for the OopsCam app shows up naturally in one’s feed. It features a CTA button that redirects users to where they can download the app.
So, is TikTok for you?
Any app that beats out Facebook and Instagram when it comes to download numbers is too large a market to leave by the wayside. Social media is a constantly evolving space. And as a marketing tool, you can’t afford to ignore it as we enter the new decade.
Even though Tiktok is largely a youth-driven platform, you need to remember that those who adopted it today will continue using it and eventually fall into the demographic you’re targeting. It’s, therefore, prudent to integrate it into your marketing strategy as soon as possible in order to capture this market while they are still young and grow with them into their adulthood.
And only 4 percent of marketers so far use TikTok as part of their marketing strategy. This is, therefore, an opportunity for you to get in on the ground floor before there’s too much noise in the playing field.
Want to get in on the TikTok action and make your brand soar to the next level? Let’s talk about how I can help you leverage the power of TikTok marketing.