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Social networking sites are the media for interaction. Their true strength lies in their community engagement potential. Every few years a new platform reshapes the way we interact in this shared media space. And the time for TikTok marketing has come.
New platforms seek to capture the zeitgeist of our time. TikTok is no exception. So, we’re diving into the top 5 TikTok marketing tips for consumer brands to help you win over the new generation of consumers.
How TikTok is Winning the Social Media Game
TikTok is extremely popular with young people who tend to love bright lights, loud music, and intensity. The platform is an eclectic mix of micro-video content, comedy skits, lip-syncing, dancing, and music.
Digital natives are addicted to TikTok for a reason. As Delilah Joseph, a teenager herself, explains “there’s a dancing/wannabe-funny side… a dark humor side, and Amish side… There’s a place for everyone”.
To young people, the platform feels authentic, with users posting practically anything that comes to mind. Sharing only the perfect aspects of life creates a divide.
Some videos on TikTok are plain weird, others are boring, others are hilarious. What sets the platform apart is that most videos are not planned- with users sharing them without expecting much.
TikTok is part of a larger trend for authenticity, inclusion, and creativity that younger generations embrace. For digital marketers, the platform offers an opportunity to be part of culture creation. Brands can serve as cultural resources by adopting authentic and consistent behaviors.
From dance and music to photography, travel, hobbies, and fitness, all categories are gaining user attention. Each category offers an opportunity for exposure- and businesses that can leverage short-form video for their brand messaging will be early winners.
The relatively low competition offers a huge opportunity to engage with users at a low cost. The best part is that there are plenty of good ways to sell your brand. To name a few – collaborating with influencers, starting a branded channel, and using unique hashtags.
1. Start a Brand Channel and Post Trendy Content
Have a branded channel on TikTok. That will allow you to experiment with different forms of content. You can use the app’s editing tools, soundbites, effects, and built-in filters to create engaging and authentic content.
Trending content categories to focus on are diary/vlog, pets, movie & TV, video games, and comedy. Growth categories not to miss include news & events, sports news, photography, and music.
News media are already catching up. E-news, for example, has gained an astonishing 1.5 million followers on TikTok.
You gotta fake fake fake fake fake it, til you make it.
With millions of people forced to stay home, cooking-related content has gained in popularity. Look at Lynja’s cooking channel- an entertaining and extremely popular – 4.9 million followers.
Caramel Marshmellow Cookies my guy
The platform’s camping, nature, livestock, and poultry also got a huge boost as many feel the need to connect with nature. (TikTok for Business).
Lilly Van Brooklyn‘s TikTok profile is one of the top fashion profiles on the platform.
Vlogger and filmmaker Sawyer Hartman (Later)- a vlogger and filmmaker explains: “Address people’s fears and concerns right off the bat. And then… solve the problem”.
Tell a story is a way to create an emotional connection with customers. Whether you are trying to sell frozen food, beauty, or fashion accessories, you need to humanize your business.
Storytelling helps you develop true authenticity. Participation, understanding, and receptivity build trust.
But it is not just every story that builds emotional connection and trust.
Susan Gunelius- CEO of KeySplash Creative, explains: “Boring stories won’t attract and retain readers, but stories brimming with personality can,” (Neilpatel).
And what a better way to show your brand’s personality than share its origin story- like Selva Negra- a sustainable fashion brand does this wonderfully in their “Within Reach” brand video.
The story you tell should be inspired by all the people contributing to your company’s growth and success.
Look at Patagonia- part of the brand’s mission is to contribute to the preservation of natural resources and the implementation of fair-trade practices. A mission they continuously invest in and inspire people to join them.
5. Use the Right Hashtags for Better TikTok Marketing
Hashtags are easier for users to discover content and help brands to get found on TikTok. The three main types that you can use are branded, topic-based, and hashtag challenges.
TikTok Marketing & Branded and Challenges Hashtags
Here are a couple of successful examples of branded hashtag challenges to get you inspired.
The Tonight Show, for example, had a huge success with their #tumbleweedchallenge, where participants had to drop on the ground and roll like a tumbleweed when western music plays. Over 38 million recreations- funny and entertaining way to engage the audience.
Jimmy takes the TumbleweedChallenge! Show us your best tumbleweed!
Guess’s hashtag, in particular, managed to reach a 14,3% engagement rate in just 6 days and continues to grow user-generated content and views.
Branded hashtags are associated with a certain brand and can be as simple as the name of your product, campaign, tagline, or company name. Use words or phrases that create brand awareness by inspiring consumers to get your company involved in conversations.
TikTok Marketing & Topic-Based Hashtags
Topic-based hashtags categorize content around specific topics and improve discoverability.
To the 🐝 🐝 🐝 #fyp
Hashtag challenges, inspire users to participate in creative projects or dance contests or challenge them to create their own version of a song or dance.
Among the most recreated TikTok challenges are those popularized by TikTok star Charli D’Amelio- “The Box”, dances created for Megan The Stallion “Savage” tune, and Benee ft Gus Dapporton’s “Supalonely”.
These challenges are one of the top TikTok marketing tools that businesses can use to boost brand awareness. Combine the technique with other formats such as branded effects, brand takeover ads, TopView Ads, and In-feed Ads and experiment with your TikTok content.
Hashtags are a bit of a mystery for brands, and there is a good reason why. It is not entirely clear how the platform’s algorithm works. One thing is certain, however-using unique hashtags help brands to drive more eyes to their content and attract more followers. That’s why if you are looking to gain more attention but are unsure where to start, you can go through hashtags by category. Include health, friendship, dance, motivational, and general TikTok hashtags.
Marketing on TikTok is a great way for brands to reach new audiences and promote products. In addition, the platform offers a range of ads options to increase brand awareness. Some are including brand takeover, biddable ads, and hashtag challenges.
If you are thinking about adding TikTok to your social media marketing mix, there are plenty of other ways to utilize it for marketing. Post trendy content, use unique hashtags, collaborate with influencers, research your audience, and tell a good story to prompt engagement and showcase your brand.
While TikTok has a way to go before it catches with other social media channels, it is getting harder for businesses to ignore it. With nearly 690 million global active users and an increasingly diversified audience, having a presence on TikTok is an option worth considering.
The platform is still uncharted territory for most businesses, but the earlier you start creating TikTok content- the less competition you will face. TikTok is also an opportunity to show your creative side, reach Gen Zs where they are, and connect with wider audiences at a relatively low cost.
For brands, this is also a great opportunity to connect with consumers in more enjoyable and exciting ways.