TikTok is among the world’s trendiest social platforms today, which is why many marketers are hopping in to get brands active there and attract more customers.
If you’re new to the app but don’t want to lag behind your competitors on the platform, follow these TikTok marketing beginner tips:
1. Create interactive, impactful videos.
TikTok’s primary users are the younger generations, so it’s crucial that you make your videos fun, exciting, and interactive.
Part of what makes TikTok attractive is that you don’t need highly polished videos to send your message across. Instead, focus on quirky, authentic content. Have fun and experiment with different types of posts, checking in your analytics which types of videos compel the most audience members to engage with you, both on and off the platform. Create impactful videos to introduce your products, deepen TikTokers’ understanding of your brand, and help them better connect with you. You can even post life hacks or other educational content.
You can produce your TikTok content in two ways. One, filming straight from the app, and two uploading a pre-made video. To film from the app, click on the “+” button, allow TikTok to access your camera and microphone, set up your filters, beauty effects, speed, and timer, long press on the red button to start recording, and select a song to go with your video.
After filming, press the red check to proceed to the editing section. Adjust your volume, music, etc., select one of the frames as your cover (or thumbnail), and add additional special effects.
To create videos elsewhere for later posting, you can use reliable social media content creation tools such as Boosted by Lightricks. This app is available for web, iOS or Android. The free version works great, albeit with access to limited templates, so you can start experimenting with typography-enhanced production clips on TikTok with a few designs before deciding later whether or not to invest in an upgrade.
Select from among Boosted’s library of beautiful, high-quality templates, ranging from industry-related ones to occasions, abstract themes, etc.:
Here’s how the video creation section looks like:
Everything here is customization-friendly, from the color scheme of the stock footage to the fonts, and you can even mix in your own visuals. Boosted also allows you to customize templates, font styles, music, color schemes, duration and add your logo. It also has free libraries of music, video clips, and stock images that you can incorporate into your content.
After creating and customizing your video, it’s easy to download it to your phone and post it on the TikTok app.
2. Leverage user-generated content.
Entice your TikTok audiences, who are mostly from Generation Z, to interact with your products in their videos.
These youngsters love getting immersed in a social experience, so involving them amplifies their engagement with your brand and your exposure on the platform.
Take Chinese restaurant Haidilao, which included a do-it-yourself (DIY) option on their menu. Customers who selected it can make their unique, off-menu dish in the restaurant, film their experience, and upload it on Douyin (China’s native version of TikTok).
This spurred more than 15,000 people to request the DIY menu option, 2,000 users to upload their videos, and 50 million views.
Leverage TikTok’s appeal for greater user involvement to promote your brand and spread it like wildfire – virtually, that is.
3. Maximize TikTok’s advertising formats.
If you read up on beginner video marketing guides, you’ll see how far advertising goes in getting audiences to discover your brand. Most social platforms offer advertising features that you can take advantage of. TikTok offers six ad types:
- Brand takeovers. Once your audiences open TikTok, this full-screen ad shows up instantly and dominates the wall before other user-generated content appears. Brand takeover ads can be GIFs running for three to five seconds, or three-second images or videos. TikTok features only a single brand for the day, making this ad type pricey.
- In-feed native content. This vertical video ad appears (seemingly) organic at the “For You” section in between other user-generated content pieces – similar to Instagram and Snapchat story ads. A “For You” TikTok page is the platform’s recommendation feed personalized for every user. Lasting for up to 60 seconds, this ad lets you include CTA buttons for downloading your app, buying your products, or visiting your website.
- Top-view ads. Top-view ads appear as the first in-feed post after three seconds. They are also full-screen ads that can autoplay as long-form videos for up to 60 seconds with sound and custom links.
- Branded hashtag challenges. If you struggle with making your hashtag challenge go viral organically, use sponsored hashtags instead. Lead TikTokers who click on the hashtag to a landing page on the app with your logo, website link, and the challenge description.
- Branded effects. Create tailor-made sharable filters, special effects, and stickers on TikTok — like you would with Snapchat’s branded lenses. Invite your audience to create content with your sponsored effects and win a prize, be featured in your shoutouts, etc.
Digital Business Lab has created this handy guide that explains which format is best suited for various marketing outcomes:
Maximize also TikTok’s precise targeting features to reach your intended audiences and its analytics tools to monitor user reactions and improve your ads’ performance.
4. Consider how TikTok’s algorithm works.
Although TikTok’s algorithm isn’t fully disclosed, you can learn, observe and glean insights into how your videos can land on the “For You” section.
For one, TikTok takes into account each of your videos’ interactions rather than your general profile performance. So, for instance, even if you only have a few followers, your video can still earn a million views.
TikTok also looks at indicators such as rewatches, likes, shares, comments, and video completions, and usually shows content to TikTokers in the same geo-location as yours.
Using trending sounds and hashtags also raises your content’s discoverability. Plus, if, for example, these sounds and hashtags used in your old videos suddenly become famous, your previous content can still go viral.
Boosted offers some additional high-value tips for ensuring that your content surfaces in people’s For You feeds.
5. Partner with influencers on TikTok.
With a massive following and audience engagement, TikTok influencers can showcase your products and skyrocket your potential customer reach.
TikTok influencers have also been proven to drive superior ad recall performance, even compared to mainstream TV personalities.
Examples of the most popular TikTok influencers for different fields of interests include:
- Entertainment: Zach King with virtual magic tricks; Rebecca Zamolo focusing on cosplay, comedy, and sneak-peaks of her Game Master challenges on YouTube.
- Sports/Fitness. Cassey Ho for easy-to-do nutrition and exercise tips, fitness challenges, and myth-busting information; Demi Bagby for stunts, parkours, and other incredible must-not-try-at-home exercise feats.
- Fashion. Wisdom Kaye, named by Vogue as the “Best-Dressed Guy on Tiktok;” Anna OBrien, chief content creator of the Glitters and Lazers TikTok channel, for fun, humorous clothing haul videos.
When choosing the best influencer for your business, consider creators’ similarities with your brand. Study the relevance of their topics and alignment of their videos with your messages, values, brand tone and language.
Observe their level of engagement – i.e., their likes, views, comments and shares. The last one is crucial since it implies how the content delighted people enough to help it spread.
Evaluate also their activity and success on other social networking sites and promotional campaigns for various brands. Finally, consider your budget. Keep in mind that the most popular TikTok influencers can have costly fees.
Despite being a beginner at TikTok marketing, you can learn its ins and outs and grow your brand’s exposure on the platform over time. Remember to continue experimenting, keep an eye on your analytics, and work to engage your target TikTokers effectively.