The social media platform TikTok has over 800 million monthly active users and over 1.6 billion video views per day. TikTok was founded in 2016, and since then has skyrocketed in popularity. Many businesses are hesitant to jump onto emerging social media platforms for several reasons. Some worry that the platform is just a passing trend and will soon fall into obscurity. Some businesses are unsure of what their activity on the platform should look like.
For example, Instagram is an image-based platform, so many businesses will choose not to have an Instagram profile if their business doesn’t generate much image-based content. For example, an insurance company might decide that it would have trouble growing their Instagram account. However, these worries are often unfounded. Just featuring images of your employees and workplace events can be enough to grow a following and let your customers into your world.
Knowing when, if, and how to start generating content on a new platform can be daunting even for the most experienced of marketers. If you get it wrong, then your reputation can be harmed more than if you didn’t engage with the platform at all. But if you get it right…then you could successfully break into new markets and significantly increase your revenue. Today we’re going to look at why you should include TikTok in your marketing strategy. Let’s take a look.
The largest demographic of TikTok users are people between the ages of 16 and 24. If this is a key demographic for your business, or you’re hoping to attract more sales from younger consumers, then you should be on TikTok.
It’s essentially impossible to convince the demographic you’re targeting that you know what they want if you won’t engage with the spaces, they hang out in. If you want to sell to more 16 to 24-year-olds, but solely use Facebook for marketing, then you may struggle to meet your goal. Of course, teens still use Facebook, but recent data has revealed that teens increasingly prefer YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok over Facebook. Around 51% of US teens aged 13-17 use Facebook, but only 10% of teens say they use Facebook most often (compared to other social media platforms).
No one is 100% clear on how the TikTok algorithm works, but it appears that it’s easier to go viral on TikTok than on other social media platforms. This may be to do with how advertising works on TikTok – users are shown ads in the exact same way they are shown other content. It may also be to do with how short the videos are on TikTok and the fact that people are comfortable giving away a few seconds to watch new content. On TikTok, you are generally shown videos based on other videos you have liked, or very popular videos.
This differs from YouTube in the sense that people on YouTube are less likely to browse and continually watch new videos by people they don’t already know. YouTube videos tend to be much longer than TikTok videos, which means people are less likely to invest the time watching the video unless they are convinced, they will enjoy it first. The barrier to convincing someone to try new content is higher. With TikTok, the barrier is much lower because at most you’ll probably lose 30 seconds of your time if you end up not liking the video.
With more people willing to invest time in your videos, you have a higher potential to go viral. Now, of course, the content of your video still has to be viral-worthy, but that’s nothing new. No matter where you post, you need to know how to connect with your audience.
Gone are the days where companies fought over who is the most professional and the most corporate. In the past, it was often thought that the more professional your company seemed, the higher its status. Today, people don’t want ‘cold’ corporate style marketing. They want to feel like real people are working at the businesses they buy from. They want to know what companies stand for and what their company culture is. They want to peak at the inside.
We are increasingly seeing consumers care about the experience of the employees within the company. For example, several news stories have leaked over recent years about the intense working conditions at the gaming publisher, Naughty Dog. It has been alleged that Naughty Dog developers would have to work 16-hour days and often had their pay withheld from them while they were working on upcoming games. These allegations have caused Naughty Dog’s reputation to take a hit and even some consumers vow to not buy their new games until they see better behaviour from the company.
With TikTok, you can give consumers an insight into your company culture. You can create funny videos of employees having fun. You can show off what’s great about your company. If consumers think that your company is a great place to work, then they’ll also think it’s a great company to support.
There are several ways to advertise your brand of products on TikTok:
Advertising is largely about experimenting and finding out what works. You’ll find that some things work much better than other things. The only way to find out is to experiment.
The users on TikTok are highly engaged. They like to comment on the videos they see, and they tend to give their full attention to videos. Video and sound are equally important on TikTok, so you won’t get people using the app without both watching the video and having their sound turned on. Whereas with YouTube, some users treat YouTube like a podcast. They will play the video but only to listen to the audio. Sometimes it’s the other way around. They might watch gameplay footage or sports video but with the sound turned off. When you cut out one element of the viewing experience, engagement naturally drops.
Being authentic is extremely important on TikTok. There are areas of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube where being a little more polished and professional works. There’s plenty of Instagram accounts with picture-perfect shots that don’t align with reality but paint a picture of a beautiful and pristine setting that the company wants to get across.
TikTok is more tailored towards “being real”. You are incentivized to be authentic, and let your lighter side come across. These are the videos that do the best on TikTok. And it also helps disguise an ad video. Of course, you don’t want to mislead your customers, but you want them to enjoy watching one of your ads. When ads are mixed with user content, users get savvy at spotting which videos are ads, and which are not. If your video has a very TV-ad vibe to it, then the user will immediately scroll past it and move on.
Remember that people are not on TikTok for you or any other business. It’s not a hub for businesses to connect with customers. It’s a user-driven content creation platform. It’s for users and by users. Some businesses make the mistake of thinking users are on platforms to see their content, and this assumption drives the types of content they create.
People are on TikTok to watch entertaining videos, so create entertaining videos! Failing to engage with the platform in the same way that the users do is a huge mistake and can even harm your reputation. Consider YouTube. YouTube started as a place where your average person could create content and view content. It was a way for anyone to compete with the big publishing networks on a platform where people actually wanted user-made content. Today, we’re increasingly seeing corporate companies take to YouTube to post their shows. This has mixed success. Some users are happy to watch clips from the shows they like while browsing YouTube, even if that’s not why they aren’t on the platform. Others find this type of takeover extremely annoying. The companies who do the best on YouTube are the ones who create original content for the platform and don’t post that content elsewhere.
TikTok is about fun, so have fun with it and don’t take yourself too seriously! If you run a tech business, you can upload short clips explaining fun tech facts. If you run a dog grooming business, upload videos of you playing with the dogs. Your videos should be about showing off your personality, leaving users with something to remember, and keeping them coming back for more. Stay away from videos that are just promoting your products because this isn’t what users find fun.
Engage with the community by getting involved in hashtags challenges. If you see something fun taking TikTok by storm, then don’t just stand back and watch it happen, get involved!
Like with other social media platforms, there are plenty of influencers on TikTok. You can connect with these influencers to develop content for them to spread to their followers. The influencer can feature your product or website in their video and help give you a boost.
It’s important to only work with influencers that are influential in your industry. Don’t just go for the numbers. There’s little point picking an influencer with 20,000 followers to promote your makeup product if they primarily make content about cars and driving. You’d be better off going with an influencer with only a few thousand followers, but who has followers that are highly engaged with content around makeup.
Your bio is your chance to communicate to people exactly what you’re all about. You only have 80 characters to play with, so it’s important to be concise. Again, you shouldn’t be too serious here. It’s expected that you should be more playful than you would on other platforms and maybe even sacrifice a few character spaces to emojis.
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