At first glance, TikTok – the popular video sharing platform – seems like a waste of time, irrelevant for brands, and only useful if you’re into trending dance moves.
But before you dismiss TikTok as a business / marketing tool, consider these facts:
- TikTok Users Spend Nearly 500 Minutes Per Month the App
- 23% of US Internet Users Have Used or Seen Videos on TikTok
- 2nd Most Popular Free Apps Download in 2019
- Highest Social Media Engagement Rates Per Post
- 800 Million Active Users Worldwide
It’s no wonder TikTok has peaked the interest of marketers across the world. Yet the platform is still in its relative infancy and offers plenty of opportunities for building brands, regardless of budget.
Here are three effective ways for your brand to use TikTok (plus examples).
1. Drive organic traffic with 15-second educational videos.
Much like Instagram seven years ago, TikTok isn’t yet saturated with content. Businesses have an opportunity to grow their following organically and get more eyes on their brand.
The approach is simple (and doesn’t involve dancing). Your business can upload quick, educational videos that provide value to the viewer.
Maybe your video provides a fun peek at business operations. Or perhaps you show the answer to a common problem in your industry. The key is to create snappy videos that combine information with entertainment.
To get started, create a TikTok account for your business. Connect this account with other social media platforms (e.g. Instagram) that your business uses. TikTok followers then have other channels to learn more about your business.
Research trending TikTok videos and brainstorm potential ideas that match your brand and niche. There are ways to get creative with video content ideas. Consider using time-lapse, creating a poll, adding effects, or including a trending TikTok song within your video.
The recommended length for TikTok videos is 15-seconds. You can stitch together 60-second videos, but 15-seconds forces you to be concise and pack value in one small snippet.
Check out the following TikTok videos that educate viewers in around 15-seconds:
Notice how these TikTokers turned complicated topics into quick, digestible snippets. Shoot your own brand videos with your iPhone if you like. Your videos don’t have to be professional, but focus on generating quality content.
Once you’ve filmed your video, you can either save to post later or upload immediately. Even if you don’t have any TikTok followers, TikTok’s algorithm automatically places content in different user feeds. This placement is based on content that people have already expressed interest in (e.g. home improvement tips).
Try to be strategic with hashtags. Viewers can search hashtags on TikTok to find the types of videos they want to see. It’s also easy to repurpose videos – TikTok gives you the option to share your video on Instagram and Facebook to expand your reach.
Another tip? Post consistently (check out these best times to post) You increase your chances of going viral the more you post. It’s possible to attract thousands of eyes on your product or service without paying a dime.
2. Invest in TikTok paid advertising.
TikTok paid advertising offers an opportunity to increase your brand awareness and generate more video impressions.
A recent addition to the TikTok site, TikTok Business provides a variety of ad options to generate more impressions and increase your brand’s awareness.
- In-feed videos. In-feed ads pop up in a TikTok user’s video feed.
- Brand takeovers. A brand takeover is a full-screen ad that pops up when a user opens the TikTok app.
- Hashtag challenges. Your brand creates a paid hashtag challenge that encourages viewer participation.
- Branded AR content. Your brand comes in the form of stickers, lenses, etc. that TikTok users can include in their own videos.
- Sponsored influencer packages. Your brand is partnered with an influential TikTok user to create sponsored content.
Ad prices range from $10 per 1000 views to over $150,000 for more elaborate campaigns. For example, for $50,000 to $100,000, your brand can take over a popular TikTok channel.
Recent examples: Ireland bank AIB’s in-feed and TopView ads received 5.3 million views and 687K clicks. The Moss Ball Pets Paid Influencer Campaigns received 4.6 million views and a 22.76% engagement rate.
TikTok Business is still young, but that makes it the perfect platform to experiment with advertisements now before it becomes overloaded with ads (see Facebook/Instagram).
If you have the marketing budget, add TikTok ads to your social media advertising strategy and choose the type that’s most affordable to your business.
To get started with TikTok Business, create an ad account.
If your brand is approved, you’ll be prompted to finish the sign-up process. You’re then ready to create TikTok ads.
The dashboard view allows you to create a campaign, choose your ad type, set your budget for each ad, target a specific audience, and more.
Once your ads are posted, you can measure ad performance (e.g. impressions, clicks, and conversions) within the dashboard to determine what’s working and what’s not.
3. Create a paid or organic hashtag challenge.
A TikTok hashtag challenge creates user-generated content and generates buzz around your brand. It also gives you the option to experiment with both paid and organic platform initiatives.
An organic hashtag challenge means that you simply create a hashtag through your business account and encourage viewers to participate by posting a video of themselves engaging with your product.
For example, if you sell pens, you might ask viewers to creatively use your pen product and post a video with your branded hashtag, #ScribblePenChallenge.
A paid hashtag challenge works much the same way, except that the challenge is considered an ad. The cost of a hashtag challenge? $150,000 for six days. Not exactly cheap. But if your challenge goes viral, you could see millions of views and thousands of clicks!
Here are a couple of paid hashtag challenge examples and their results.
- Seven’s #7SEVENMOOD Challenge: 214 million+ views
- Chipotle’s #ChipotleLidFlip Challenge: 230 million+ views
Before getting started with an organic or paid advertising challenge, determine a clear campaign goal. What do you want to accomplish with the hashtag challenge?
Do you want to generate leads for a particular service? Increase overall brand awareness? Be specific on the target goal so you can measure the challenge’s success.
Next, research competitor hashtag challenges. Get an idea of what type of content engages users. To get hashtag ideas, visit the Discover tab and scroll through trending videos. You can even follow related hashtags such as #salestips to stay up to date on trends.
Ensure that your selected hashtag matches your brand and messaging.
If you have the budget, consider collaborating with TikTok influencers (like Chipotle did) for your hashtag challenge. Work with them through a paid advertisement to promote the challenge and increase your outreach.
TikTok: More than a dancing platform
What started as a platform for dancing teens has now become a significant marketing opportunity for businesses to learn, share content, and grow. And according to Wyzowl, 86% of people desire to see more videos from brands.
Benefit from jumping on TikTok now before the platform becomes saturated (no dancing videos necessary).