Your Brand Should Be on TikTok — Here’s Why

By Lindsey Garrant / September 30, 2020 / Advertising, Social Media Blog Archives

If you haven’t heard of TikTok, you may be living under a rock.

TikTok, a video-based social media app, has exploded in popularity over the past year because of its highly visual content and personalized algorithm.

TikTok users can create videos between 15 and 60 seconds long using various songs, quotes, and audio effects. Users have been creating and re-creating viral dances, engaging in creative challenges, and lip syncing to their favorite songs.

So, what does that have to do with businesses marketing themselves on the platform?

With over 500 million users, TikTok yields unprecedented power for brands to market themselves to its userbase. The majority of TikTok users are from Generation Z, but users of all ages have taken a liking to the app.

The app is popular because of its usability, relatability, and viral content that has infiltrated social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

TikTok is separated into two tabs: “Following” and “For You.”

The For You tab is similar to the Instagram “Explore” page, where users find videos recommended for them based on TikTok’s algorithm.

The algorithm uses factors like user interactions, accounts followed, and comments to find content each user might enjoy.

TikTok is similar to Instagram in that users with millions, or tens of millions of followers become influencers — recommending their favorite products or delivering brand deals.

Brands like Netflix, Verizon, and Subway have already hopped on the TikTok bandwagon to promote new products and services.

There are a variety of ways that brands can take advantage of the quickly growing platform. And the sooner brands jump on board, the better.

Encourage User-Generated Content

TikTok today is similar to Instagram in its early phases — before users became accustomed to their timelines being flooded with ads, sponsored posts, and not-so-subtle brand deals.

Primarily user-generated content, brands can use the TikTok platform to reach more users than just their followers.

By creating challenges or branded hashtags relevant to products and services, businesses can establish brand recognition among Generation Z.

Chipotle is a perfect example of this effort. Their #LidFlipChallenge encompassed user-generated content by challenging users to flip a Chipotle lid onto their burrito bowl.

It was the perfect challenge for the brand. To participate, users had to purchase from Chipotle and use the hashtag. Chipotle used influencers like YouTuber David Dobrik to spread the word.

The Chipotle #LidFlipChallenge received over 300 million views, leading to countless sales and brand recognition.

For brands that may not have Chipotle’s marketing budget, it’s still possible to reach thousands, or even millions of users.

TikTok users will positively respond and engage with unique content that is aligned with your brand.

Many small businesses like Etsy sellers or locally owned restaurants can use the aesthetic appeal of their artwork or delicious food they sell to entice users to create their own content and follow for more.

Analyze the services your business offers that might resonate with younger users and ask yourself what makes your brand different.

Do you have promotions going on? Can you offer any wellness tips or DIY instructions? Brands that showcase the most visually appealing parts of their products and services will be successful in marketing themselves on TikTok.

Collaborate with Influencers, Big or Small

TikTok influencers are rising to unprecedented heights. Because the platform is so new, brands are still figuring out how to monetize on the app.

For brands who are targeting Generation Z, TikTok is the best place to market.

Influencer marketing campaigns on TikTok revolves around influencers creating videos using your product or sharing branded videos.

The TikTok Live feature can also be used for influencer marketing since this feature operates similarly to the more familiar Facebook and Instagram Live.

The key to finding success on TikTok marketing is to find an influencer with followers that align with your target market. Utilizing the feature can allow your followers to get an insider look at the business, sale, or ways to use a product.

A campaign can incorporate both influencer marketing and user-generated content. TikTok users respond well to challenges, and don’t seem to mind if they are branded ones. By using an influencer to launch a challenge, this will invite more user-generated content.

By working with influencers, brands don’t suffer from the negative implications of ads, especially since many younger users will try to avoid clicking on an ad.

Use TikTok’s Brand New Self-Serve Ad Platform

In July 2020, TikTok launched its self-serve ad platform, making it possible for all businesses to begin marketing on the platform.

The recent launch of this new feature will inevitably expand TikTok’s revenue into new heights, making it important for brands to be one of the first adopters.

TikTok’s self-service ad platform has many similarities to Facebook’s Ad Manager, making it easy for social media managers to learn and incorporate into their process.

Marketers can set up campaigns, ad groups, targeting options, budget, and schedule posts.

Cost-per-view rates on TikTok advertisements are currently around 30% lower than the cost-per-view rates on Facebook.

To sweeten the deal for brands unwilling to jump on the bandwagon, TikTok is committing $100 million of advertising credits for small to mid-sized businesses in 18 countries, including the U.S.

These advertising credits are part of a “back-to-business” program for businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

With that in mind, there’s really nothing preventing your brand from taking advantage of the platform. Once you see the reach and engagement generated from a campaign, you’ll be happy your brand is on the platform.  

With the launch of their own self-service ad platform, TikTok is making their platform more brand-friendly. And if TikTok continues its rapid growth, it may overtake major social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Market Your Brand on TikTok

Marketing on a brand-new platform can be scary. But TikTok’s popularity with users, especially Generation Z, makes it essential for brands and marketers to utilize.

For help with a TikTok strategy, or to learn more about your brand’s options with the app, contact us today.