TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. Over the last few years, it’s gone from being relatively unknown to commanding a massive global presence, today with over 100 million active users in the U.S. alone — this makes it a fantastic tool for marketers.
The app’s simple premise of allowing users to share catchy short videos with the world has become enormously popular. TikTok’s active user growth has surpassed that of Snapchat globally, rivaling the social media giant.
With this rapid growth, TikTok is constantly evolving as a platform for advertising. While this is exciting for marketers, it also brings challenges. How can brands new to TikTok leverage the platform’s popularity to connect with their target audience?
In this article, we’ll show you why you should be considering TikTok as an advertising channel and how to get the best results possible with it.
Why advertise on TikTok?
TikTok has a number of advantages other social media platforms can’t quite match. Let’s look at a few of the major selling points of TikTok for growing your brand.
The social platform offers unmatched user engagement.
Connecting with your audience and building strong relationships is crucial to brands, however it isn’t easy to do. TikTok harnesses the power to connect with your audience through authentic and raw short-form videos in a way that makes ads feel less like an ad and more like a gift to the audience. Forget about the heavily produced videos you see in other ad formats — TikTok wants you to make TikToks, not ads. This also means less money needs to be spent on production.
It gets even better when looking at the behavior of TikTik users. On average, TikTok users spend 413 seconds on the app per session according to App Annie data — that’s more than on Snapchat, Pinterest, or Facebook. This makes it far more likely that users will see your ad, in-view, full screen, and sound on. It’s a much more effective way to connect than just dropping ads in your audience’s static feed.
TikTok has a unique demographic reach.
TikTok’s user base is like no other. According to the same App Annie data, 49% of TikTok’s users are not on Instagram and 32% are not on Snapchat. For brands, this means TikTok is an opportunity to reach millions of potential customers who aren’t targeted by your current social media outreach.
5 Tips for TikTok Marketing
So, how do we get started with TikTok marketing? The first step is to set up an account for your business, which you can learn how to do here.
Next, it’s time to start connecting with your audience and making an impact on TikTok.
Here are TikTok tips for doing that as effectively as possible:
1. Get Your Verified Badge
You should aim to get verified on TikTok as soon as possible. This has a couple of major advantages: it prevents others from using your brand name and also shows all users of the platform that you’re the real deal.
It’s also important to make sure that your account is a business/pro account so you can access all the features you need to grow your brand. Finally, add your website and contact email to your profile, and create an engaging bio that quickly sums up who you are and what you do.
2. Create Organic Videos
It’s important to build your content organically before you start paying for ads. This is because customers will likely head straight to your profile after viewing an ad, and if all they see is a brand new profile with no content, you look unprofessional and have missed an opportunity to connect with that customer.
On top of that, creating your own content from the start will help you get comfortable with TikTok, the culture of the platform, and what kinds of videos tend to succeed. The organic engagement process also helps identify the type of audience you’re reaching and who is most likely to engage.
In the beginning, you’re still figuring out how your brand voice fits into the TikTok ecosystem and how you’re going to connect with users via advertising. The best approach here is to simply have fun and play around! Don’t get too caught up in strict guidelines and rules — just focus on communicating your brand’s values and experiment with different ways to do so.
San Diego Zoo’s TikTok page is a great example of this — they’ve mastered the art of creating fun and engaging content without losing their identity.
3. Use TikTok Managed Services
TikTok Managed Services are paid ad types managed directly through the platform. These ads will help your brand align with the platform’s native look and feel. Here are some examples of Managed Services tactics:
Launch a Hashtag Challenge
One powerful way to engage with the TikTok community is through hashtags, specifically with a Branded Hashtag Challenge. This is a brand-sponsored hashtag that your followers can use to get involved in a trend.
For example, GUESS created the #InMyDenim challenge where users could show off how they wear their jeans. This campaign resulted in more than 40 million views (and counting) to the GUESS account. Hashtag challenges like this are a powerful way to grow your brand and presence by working with your followers.
100% Share of Voice Tactics
100% SOV means you buy up all the available impressions for your target audience, radically reducing the competition. The two Managed Services that achieve 100% SOV are:
TopView — where your ad shows up as a first-in-feed video impression that mimics the native TikTok experience
Brand Takeover — where your ads are the first thing a user sees when opening the app
Branded Hashtag Challenge
As discussed previously, the branded hashtag challenge is a highly effective Managed Services tactic for engagement on a large scale.
This involves enhancing real-world video content with branded augmented reality elements. Branded Effects give more potential for brands to add interactive elements to a campaign.
Managed Services can be a great way to massively grow your TikTok reach and make a splash on the platform. It’s worth noting that these tactics don’t come cheap, and can range from $150,000 to $500,000.
If you’re new or your budget won’t stretch to this, don’t worry. Simply focus on building up your organic presence and use in-feed video ads via self-service, as these have no price minimums.
4. Be Your Own TikTok Influencer
If you don’t have the funds to invest in highly expensive tactics, you can still achieve success growing your brand on TikTok. By creating your own content and using ads wisely, you can make real progress on TikTok with relatively little financial investment.
As we mentioned, creating organic videos is an important step in building up your profile. But to really see the benefits, you need to go beyond and ensure native and organic interaction with your audience. Here’s how:
- Use in-feed ads to show up on your followers’ radar.
- Use natively embedded videos within the For You Page to engage your users. Unlike Managed Services, these videos don’t have a budget minimum, making them a great middle-ground option between purely organic content and expensive Managed Services campaigns.
- More basic ads shouldn’t be seen as an inferior option, and high-quality, professional ads don’t always translate into better performance. Test out native and organic-looking ads too, and you might be surprised by how well they do.
The important concept here is to act as your own influencer. You can access a lot of TikTok’s benefits and make impressive progress by just doing the fundamentals well. You don’t always need the most expensive and high-end tactics to see success.
Master Your TikTok Marketing Strategy
TikTok is quickly becoming a social media staple, and marketers should be paying close attention to how they can use it to grow their brand and engage with their followers in a meaningful way.
By combining solid organic content with compelling ads and TikTok’s other paid services, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of connecting with your audience and making a serious impact.
Find out more about how Booyah Advertising’s experts can help you get the most out of your TikTok marketing efforts.