Businesses are beginning to take advantage of TikTok and TikTok marketing is quickly becoming a central compontent to many businesses social media marketing campaigns. Six tips for businesses to successfully launch on TikTok include;
1. Trying TikTok out for yourself before your business goes live on it.
2. Follow the same consistency as you would on Instagram.
3. Be imperfect, be original and be genuine.
4. Find your own niche in the TikTok community.
5. Always aim to go viral.
6. Utilise hashtags for TikTok SEO.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last two or so years, the chances are you have heard of and are aware of what TikTok is. TikTok has exploded in recent times and has become one of the largest social media platforms in the world.
During the early stages of the platform it was used almost exclusively by those aged 14 – 21. While the type of content mostly consisted of users posting short dance clips and videos of lip syncing. There was no real commercial value for marketeers or businesses at the time. However, it is likely that people were also keeping a close eye on how the platform was developing to see if commercial opportunities would present themselves.
That moment has now arrived where TikTok can be used strategically to help grow a brand. The marketing opportunities on TikTok for individuals and businesses seem endless.
It is not too late to get onboard with the TikTok revolution, nor is it too late for your business to start using TikTok as a major marketing tool. We will outline some of the basic steps which your business should take to get up and running on TikTok.
The correct TikTok marketing tactics could help propel your brand or business to the next level.
The history of TikTok.
Before we get stuck into the nitty gritty of TikTok marketing and online promotional tactics, here is a little bit about the history of TikTok.
In 2014 in Shanghai, an app called “musical.ly” was launched. This app was used by users as a platform to upload clips of themselves lip syncing to famous songs or famous quotes from movies.
Then in 2016 a Chinese tech company called “ByteDance” launched an app that was similar to musical.ly called “Douyin”. Douyin became an instant hit in the Asian market, racking up over 100 million downloads within a year of its launch.
ByteDance began recognising an app like Douyin’s global potential, so they began making some big moves. ByteDance acquired musical.ly and then folded it immediately. Building on the early success of Douyin, in 2018 ByteDance then launched “TikTok” and the rest as they say…..
So TikTok was launched in 2018 and began to grow steadily, then in early 2020 the platform received a very unlikely boost. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to grip the world, people were spending more time at home and on their phones.
This led to a huge acceleration in the number of users on the platform and has led to TikTok being the household name that we know today.
TikTok figures today.
According to the latest Hootsuite digital report published in January of 2021, here are some figures associated with TikTok;
- TikTok has been downloaded over 2 billion times and was the most downloaded app in the world in 2020.
- TikTok is the seventh most used social media platform in the world, ahead of the likes of Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit and Twitter.
- TikTok is now available in over 200 countries and territories around the world.
- In the US, around half of all TikTok users are aged 29 and under, which does not come as a big surprise. However the average age is increasing and TikTok for business owners, is becoming more and more attractive to the 30+ age group.
- The average TikTok user will spend around 13.3hours per month on the app. This is the fourth highest amount of time spent on social media apps behind Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Briefly there is the overnight success story of TikTok and just some of the impressive figures the app enjoys today.
But what about TikTok marketing? What is the best way to go about it? How can TikTok be monetised? What are the best ways for businesses to begin gaining notoriety on TikTok?
Here we outline our six top tips for businesses on how to get started on TikTok and what are the best TikTok marketing tips that we have to help your business succeed.
Six Top Tips for Businesses Starting on TikTok.
1. Try out TikTok for yourself, before your business goes live on it.
If you have absolutely no experience with TikTok previously and are brand new to the platform, it would be wise to get used to it yourself before moving your business onto it.
Take a few weeks, even a month, to create a personal profile, learn to navigate the app. Follow some users with a large following, begin to look at your niche or industry and see what is going on in that space.
What could be even more beneficial would be to ask maybe a son, daughter, niece, nephew or anyone who is of a certain age group and prolific on TikTok for some tips. Asking for help is never a sign of weakness, even if that help is coming from a 16 year old……
Doing this will make sure you are proficient on the platform and are less likely to waste the time and money of your business.
2. Be consistent, develop a TikTok content calendar and utilise Instagram.
A general rule of thumb for utilising TikTok is to treat the consistency of your content just like you would on your Instagram account. Use your Instagram account as a gauge of how often you should post, at what times of the day to post, what tone of voice and personality comes across in the content, etc.
For example, if a fashion blogger and influencer on Instagram posts everyday from Monday to Friday, they should be trying to replicate that type of consistency on TikTok. Meanwhile the NBA might post out fifteen or more pieces of TikTok content a week based on what is going on in the games. What they produce is polished and professional, but there is less consistency in their timing due to the nature of the games.
If you have a well-established following and presence on other platforms such as Instagram, TikTok should follow the same digital marketing plan, brand guidelines, personality, messaging and tone. Align TikTok like you would with any other platform your business is active on.
Finally, to save yourself time and money you should cross-post certain pieces of content between TikTok and Instagram. If you create a great TikTok, why not post it to Instagram too? Instagram Reels is perfect for posting TikTok content and we are beginning to see more and more of it in recent months.
3. Imperfections, originality and genuine personality are key.
We referenced the NBA’s TikTok account a little bit earlier. What they produce is professional, movie quality videos, perfectly timed music, etc. They are a multi-billion dollar company who can afford the time, effort and money to make it look like that.
If you are a small business, your video content does not have to be Steven Spielberg quality. TikTok is all about letting your personality and your brand personality shine through.
A small stutter in the middle of your vlog? So what. Is the lighting not 100% perfect? That is ok. Did your dog bark in the background while recording? People love dogs, leave it in.
A recent article published to Business2Community shows that one of the top ways to engage your audience is through relatability. One of the three key pillars outlined for a brand to be relatable? By being authentic.
In short – be yourself, everyone else is taken.
4. Try to find your own niche.
Once you get up and running on TikTok you should try to create your own niche in what is already an incredibly crowded space. Know what your business is, what your brand personality is and begin making a home for yourself on TikTok. Users will then begin to recognise your content and with that comes brand recognition.
An example that can be found here is with this chiropractor based in Sydney, Dr. Cody.
He posts regular content where he records him treating his patients with various chiropractic adjustments, the kind that result in a loud pop usually!
Who does this appeal to?
Well firstly it appeals to people who might work in the field or be interested in working in the field.
Secondly it appeals to people who might be interested in physical fitness, physical wellness, yoga, pilates, as well as people who might occasionally suffer from their own joint pain. These people might look at Dr. Cody’s work as a way of learning more about the body.
Finally, this type of content appeals to people who find watching this kind of treatment incredibly satisfying. There are thousands of videos on YouTube just like the kind that Dr. Cody posts. He recognised the appetite for loud chiropractic adjustments to be recorded online and now has millions of followers and likes on TikTok.
All of a sudden a lot of people are now able to name a “famous” chiropractor. Dr. Cody’s name and brand recognition has grown exponentially all thanks to TikTok.
5. Aim to go viral.
As with any piece of online marketing carried out by your business, while staying true to your brand guidelines and a digital strategy, you should always be striving to go viral. TikTok marketing works the exact same way.
There are countless examples of content that has gone viral, either for the benefit or the detriment of brands. TikTok now makes it easier for pieces of content to go viral, given the short, snappy nature of the videos posted.
Who can forget the Ocean Spray video from last year?
A TikTok user (Nathan Apodaca) posted a clip of himself skateboarding to work, drinking a bottle of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice and listening to “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. TikTok then took over and the internet exploded!
The clip was viewed, liked and shared billions of times in the following days and weeks.
Ocean Spray’s CEO said he was expecting a huge bump in sales of their products. Most likely owing to the estimated 15 billion media impressions generated from the video.
Fleetwood Mac’s song “Dreams” re-entered the charts and received a huge spike in the number of downloads and streams.
While Mr. Apodaca himself was gifted a new truck by Ocean Spray. His car breaking down had led to the making of the video in the first place.
The power of TikTok and viral marketing was evident here. There is no reason why a piece of TikTok content your business puts out can’t be the next Ocean Spray moment. Always think big and aim to go viral!
6. Use the right hashtags for TikTok SEO.
Like when using Google or any other search engine, people can use the search bar on TikTok to try and find particular types of content. Here you can use some basic SEO tactics so that your content appears when certain keywords are searched for.
If we go back to the earlier example of Dr. Cody the chiropractor, we can see some of the hashtags he uses on a post to optimise the amount of potential views he can get.
By Dr. Cody including hashtags such as #ASMR #Chiropractor he is indicating to TikTok where his niche is. He is then more likely to appear when people search for this kind of content.
Also in relation to TikTok SEO, the hashtags must be included in the post description, in which there are only 100 characters available. Try to limit the number of hashtags used to five or less and utilise terms that are short and specific to your business.
Some basic research of hashtags and the consistent use of relevant hashtags can vastly improve the chances of your content ranking and in turn, being viewed.
It is not too late to get on TikTok. If you run or work for a business that deals with social media platforms that have an emphasis on visuals, like Instagram or Pinterest, then TikTok is also likely a good option for social media marketing.
TikTok is only going to continue to grow. By not at least trying it out for you or your business, you are potentially missing out on a huge opportunity. There is no reason why you cannot develop a successful niche on TikTok like Dr. Cody. And who is to say that a piece of content you put out on TikTok won’t go viral like the Ocean Spray video?
By following these few steps that we have outlined here, you can successfully begin your journey on TikTok and turn the platform into a new successful weapon in your social media arsenal.