Your brand has a social presence on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat – the list goes on. To market successfully on these social apps, you need a paid media program, influencer marketing – this list too can go on. But the steps are easy enough to follow if you want to sell products and attract new brand followers.
Recently, either your teenage son or daughter, or a Gen Zer, informed you about the new social app TikTok. However, the steps to creating a strong marketing program on TikTok is less clear. The video app hasn’t been around long enough for prescribed marketing efforts to be created.
In 2017, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance bought its predecessor musical.ly for around $1 billion. Since then, the app has attracted over 717 million global, active users.
The platform lets users create 15-second or 60-second videos that often feature silly dancing, lip-synching, odd challenges, and most often, pets.
It’s an app that isn’t curated like Instagram; the algorithm builds up content it assumes you’re interested in seeing, rather than carefully following your clicks and likes to serve you content. There’s no “perfect” grid aesthetic and the design can often feel chaotic in the way it serves vertical videos to the viewer.
With this quick and cluttered design, coupled with the fact it’s an app that doesn’t take itself seriously, your marketing tactics must not invade, but rather blend into the quirky space.
Using TikTok’s burgeoning ad program, here are some tips on how you can begin incorporating TikTok into your marketing plan:
1. Hashtag Generator
There are countless hashtags to explore on the “Discover” page of the app. There are hashtags dedicated to holidays, animals, dancing, and strange challenges. (link to an article).
Panera Bread recently sponsored #AfterMyCoffee. While the company isn’t trying to sell you anything directly, the challenge allows users to create a video with the hashtag, then they can show the video to their local Panera Bread shop and enjoy unlimited cups of coffee through a new coffee subscription. The hashtag has generated over 2.2 billion views and also includes music that users can lip-synch to.
2. Partner with Influencers
New York Fashion Week recently invited a few popular video creators from the app to come showcase content from the runway. While these TikToker’s were not part of the high-fashion elite, NYFW wanted to show a more playful side to their brand that would entice the younger generation‘s interest on the app. NYFW understood that if they wanted to give a new perspective, they couldn’t be the ones to generate the content and have it remain believable.
3. Focus on Brand Awareness
While scrolling through the countless videos, sometimes you’ll encounter an #ad. The best ad videos are ones that fit in seamlessly. These successful ads incorporate music, silly editing, and stay away from overselling. Your brand must embrace the strange world of TikTok, so ads with paid celebs or that make it obvious they are trying to sell you something, are swiped through. Gen Zers’ satirical nature doesn’t put up with the art of selling, they want something unique, impressionable, and personal.
There you have it, the top three ways your brand can use TikTok. Now all you need to do is decide if the platform is a fit for your brand. And if you need help deciding or you’re on the fence and could use an objective view, feel free to drop us a line.