Using TikTok to Promote Your Business
If you aren’t yet familiar with TikTok, it’s time to buckle up and hop on the bandwagon. Since its initial release in 2016, the video sharing platform has now over 2 billion downloads and 800 million active users, making it one of the most popular apps among content creators and brands that are looking to grow their audience, increase engagement, and reach millions of people.
While TikTok isn’t the best platform for all types of businesses, we’ve found that it’s an awesome space for creative brands to highlight the less curated version of themselves and drive traffic to their websites. With a strong social strategy, TikTok can help you build a niche community, and tap into a younger audience.
1: GETTING COMFORTABLE WITH TIKTOK
If creating video content is something out of your comfort zone, diving straight into TikTok for your business might come with a steep learning curve — and the last thing you want to do is join a video sharing platform and have no idea what you’re doing. It’s a good idea to first create a personal profile to explore the app (check out the Discovery tab and follow trending hashtags to get a glimpse of what other businesses are doing!). Once you’ve studied the type of content that works best, and how other businesses interact with audiences on the platform, your business will be able to seamlessly fit into the culture.
2: CHOOSE YOUR NICHE
Just like any other social media platform, users on TikTok gravitate toward unique accounts that appeal to their interests, and the algorithm reflects that. As the name implies, the For You Page curates content based on the preferences and activity history of individual users — that means no two For You Pages will be exactly the same. Choosing a niche topic to focus your content on is a great step to attracting your business’s ideal audience on TikTok.
Take a look at Femtech company Clue for example. Being a brand that focuses on menstrual health among other social missions supporting LGBTQIA+ communities, their content puts a fun twist on feminine healthcare. In doing so, their videos attract thousands of viewers who look for information on sensitive healthcare issues that are presented in a digestible and creative way.
3: CREATE TIKTOK CHALLENGES
The one thing that TikTok is known for is its ability to transform the average user into a viral hit overnight — and launching hashtag challenges is a great way to go viral. These challenges encourage TikTok users to create or recreate content using your branded hashtag, and can help your brand to fast-track its growth and reach millions of users!
Take for instance the #dalgonacoffee trend. Remember when that exploded during quarantine?
While the drink itself isn’t new, the social media phenomenon first took off in South Korea with Korean Youtuber 자도르J’adore’s launch of the “quarantine coffee challenge”. The trend quickly spread to other social media platforms in March 2020 and became one of the biggest TikTok trends at the time, with the hashtag #dalgonacoffee accumulating over 100 million views as of April 2020.
As with the “quarantine coffee challenge”, there’s an opportunity to cross-promote hashtag challenges across various social media platforms like Youtube and Instagram to drive users to join in on the fun. Doing so can help leverage your business’s audiences elsewhere and invite them to be a part of your TikTok community.
3: PARTNER WITH TIKTOK INFLUENCERS
TikTok has a reputation for being popular with Generation Z users, with internal data revealing its largest age demographic of 42% being young adults — that is, users ranging between the ages of 18 to 24. If your business’s ideal demographic falls within the popular age ranges of TikTok’s user base, then partnering with TikTok influencers is a great way of connecting with them.
Take for example Chipotle’s partnership with influencer David Dobrik. The marketing campaign for the #ChipotleLidFlip challenge encourages users to participate using their burrito bowls and has since received more 100,000 submissions and 230 million views.
Running a successful influencer campaign involves a lot (and we do mean a lot) of research. It’s absolutely essential to find the right influencer for your business, preferably one whose audience matches your ideal!
3: PARTNER WITH TIKTOK INFLUENCERS
While TikTok ads aren’t as popular as those of Facebook or Instagram, they’re a great opportunity for brands looking to widen their reach. Similar to Facebook Ad Manager, TikTok’s advertising platform tools automate the process of creating, delivering, and optimizing your ads. TikTok offers a variety of different ad options to choose from:
- In-Feed Ads: These are ads similar to Instagram Story ads, and appear in between user videos on the For You Page. You can include multiple call-to-actions and have it run from anywhere between 9 to 15 seconds. In-Feed Ads should be full screen and enticing enough to capture users’ attention in the first 2 to 3 seconds!
- Brand Takeover: These ads appear upon opening the app — presenting a full screen video to your targeted audience, and can also appear on the For You Page as still images, GIFS, or videos. This type of ad is highly effective and is one of the best options for delivering mass awareness and driving direct sales, however it comes at a high cost.
- TopView: These new ads build on Brand Takeovers, however unlike them, TopView ads appear as the first in-feed post at the top of the For You Page.
- Branded Hashtag Challenge: Remember how we mentioned Hashtag Challenges earlier? Well, this type of ad allows you to show up on TikTok’s Discover banner — this is a great way to bring awareness to a new campaign, but it can cost you quite a bit.
- Branded Effects: Similar to Snapchat’s branded lenses, this ad allows brands to design their own custom filter on the app. Branded Effects can be live for up to 10 days at a time and are a creative way to encourage users to directly interact with your brand!
So, does TikTok make a little more sense to you now? If your business caters to a younger target audience, TikTok is the perfect place to capture their attention. But when it comes to using TikTok to promote your business, remember these three Es: users want to be entertained, educated, and engaged!