TikTok which originated from China aka Douyin, is a Chinese video-sharing social networking platform. It is used to make and share a variety of short videos in many genres; dance, comedy, education and makeup tutorials etc. The videos have a duration of 3 to 60 seconds.
TikTok finally came out with an international version in 2018 and though it was low in initial download numbers, it soon caught up worldwide and became 9th in the ranks of social networking sites. As of 2020, it has 689 million active users worldwide.
The mission statement of TikTok is to capture and present creativity, knowledge and precious life moments to the world from the mobile phone directly. As such, it empowers and enables everyone to be a content creator; sharing their interests, passion and creativity through their videos.
Its user-friendly functions combined with this unique feature; makes it more of an entertainment platform, enabling easy content creation and shareability. Anyone can be a content creator and because the time duration of videos is short, consumption is crazy high; making it a force not to be reckoned with whilst competing against social media giants like Youtube, Facebook and Instagram.
So what can TikTok do for businesses? The largest demographic of TikTok users is between the ages of 16 to 24 but is not limited to only Gen Z as there are users from other age groups using TikTok actively. Because it is mostly an entertainment and visual platform, certain industries would benefit greatly like fitness, makeup, skincare, dance, baking and filmmaking etc.
Now let’s look at 5 tips to get you started in using TikTok for business:
This is a mandatory and fundamentally important prior work that every business needs to run through before planning, writing and creating the type of content suitable for their target audience. Like all other social media channels, you need to do some research on trending topics or on what your competitors are doing so you know the types of topics or themes to use for your videos. To be prepared is half the victory – Miguel de Cervantes.
2. Fun content
Tiktok’s main attraction is fun and creativity so in order to attract viewers and followers, you need to create fun videos. Its mission encourages people to create and share content with their mobile devices because creating your content is so easy and the least expensive. It also comes across as authentic when you use your mobile phone, making people feel connected to you as you build their trust with your branding.
If you watch enough videos, you would notice some of the highly popular videos consist of pets or children so if you have a pet or child, you can try creating videos with them as your cast. You will be surprised at how viral these videos are! Nothing complex, just do a simple theme and weave your branding into the videos – this is what you call the TikTok magic!
3. TikTok influencers
According to Statista, there were over 106 thousand TikTok influencers worldwide in 2020, up from 16.4 thousand in 2018 and 35.5 thousand in 2019. Shein was the most active brand on TikTok in 2020, working with 4.32 thousand influencers. You can work with influencers to widen your reach and engagement on the platform. It also depends on the modus operandi of your business or your target market.
If your business includes the Chinese market, you can work with Chinese influencers to promote your branding as TikTok originated from there and they have many influencers who can easily help you spike brand awareness and conversion rates.
4. Use hashtags
Another way to promote your business is to launch a hashtag challenge. A hashtag challenge is when you encourage TikTok users to create or recreate content and add your branded hashtag to it.
Eg. The brand, Guess, was one of the first companies to launch a hashtag challenge. They encouraged users to film themselves wearing Guess’ new denim line with the hashtag, #InMyDenim. That was how the hashtag challenge trend started because it not only promotes your branding, but it also drives user interaction and engagement.
5. Advertising with TikTok
Similar to Facebook, TikTok offers a few ad formats, including:
- Infeed Native Content: This type of ad is similar to Instagram story ads and supports multiple features like website clicks or app downloads. They play between user content; are between 9 to 15 seconds long and include buttons.
- Brand Takeovers: The brands’ one day of monopolizing TikTok by creating images, videos or GIFs (Graphics Interchange Formats) with embedded links to landing pages or hashtag challenges. Only one ad can feature in that slot for the specific category per day.
- Sponsored Hashtag Challenges: Hashtag challenges are a sure fire traffic-driving strategy so your business can pay to sponsor a hashtag challenge and obtain a custom banner across the Discover page so millions of users can see and join in, viewing the challenges with your branding promoted in the background.
In summary, if your business is targeting a younger audience or if it is more to the beauty, fun or fitness genres; using TikTok as one of your marketing channels will definitely make sense. Practice makes perfect and personality is one huge X-factor in TikTok success. Combined with fun interactive content and marketing strategies, you are going to ace that TikTok game!