TikTok marketing is one of the top tactics for video-obsessed marketers to try. Even if you’re a little late to the social media party and just learning how to use TikTok for marketing, understanding this channel isn't difficult. TikTok is a video-exclusive platform, and marketing on TikTok means authentic, relatable videos – regardless of your budget.
There aren’t many rules when it comes to creating the videos, basically the more natural and spontaneous they look, the better, you just have to remember to rotate the video in the right position, as most of the TikTok content is shot vertically. Creating that content is often the biggest challenge marketers must overcome before launching their TikTok marketing plan. But similar to many other channels, successful TikTok marketers are learning to embrace the power of user-generated content (UGC).
Why TikTok marketing?
Using TikTok as a marketing medium can really pay off. There are plenty of benefits that come from a solid strategy on this platform, even without paying for ad placements. These include:
Higher brand awareness: Since there are so many TikTok users today, this gives you a chance to tap into a huge audience and generate brand awareness.
Connecting with your target audience: This platform is a great place to share snackable, fun content and continuously inform and entertain your audience.
Access to new audiences: While this platform was mostly focused on Gen Z users in the past, its reach is much wider now. Brands that are targeting younger audiences can use this platform to get their name out there to new people.
Greater conversion: TikTok can be used for every stage of the funnel, including revenue and sales. Research shows that 92% of users take action after watching a quality video on the platform.
Stronger online presence: Your online presence is more important than ever. You can use TikTok to create your videos but also share them across different platforms. You can use influencer marketing to enrich your strategy and build a more trustworthy online presence. Your options are limitless.
1. TikTok helps build compelling, bite-sized content
According to recent social media statistics, users love TikTok for its short, 15-second videos. Jumping on the TikTok train would mean the opportunity to start building more creative content to increase brand awareness in a quick, easy-to-consume format.
Adapting your brand to the TikTok style could broaden your user base, especially to younger audiences with shorter attention spans. And two, it could also help you carve out a more defined and interesting brand voice.
Start by looking at your existing content and brainstorming how you can redesign it to match the TikTok style. This might look like:
Educational videos (product tutorials, how-to videos, recipes, etc.)
Inspirational videos on how to use your product or service
Trend-based videos (dances, hashtag challenges, etc.)
2. TikTok helps you reach Millennials and Gen Z
It’s widely known that TikTok is most popular among Gen Z and millennials. If your product or service hopes to target these audiences, then you should try your luck on TikTok. These groups, especially Gen Z, have different expectations from brands than the generations before them. They are looking for more authenticity, purpose, and transparency. How can you meet these expectations on TikTok while being entertaining at the same time? Here are a few tips:
Stop being sales-y: Don’t try to sell them on something in every video.
Add some personality: Use employees in your videos or skits.
Adapt to the platform: Use popular TikTok hashtags, filters, stickers, emojis, and language.
Experiment with different video formats: Either keep your videos simple to maintain authenticity or go all out and hyper-optimize for engagement by resharing user videos, participating in TikTok challenges, or even putting together captivating social videos.
Check out some brands like Redbull and Alo Yoga on TikTok; these teams capture the attention of younger audiences by following the trends and style of the platform and maintaining a brand element while not appearing sales-y.
3. Achieve higher engagement with your content
TikTok is the type of app that can keep up with its audience’s short attention span and capture them for more than 858 minutes per month. So, how can you get a share of these engagement numbers for your own brand?
Do your research: Look into not only what works on TikTok but also what your audience would like to see. Ask questions and look for feedback opportunities across your social channels.
Post shareable/repurposable content: Content that performs the best on TikTok are ones that are easy to copy or imitate.
Add calls-to-action (CTAs): Assuming that your followers will react to your content is not enough. Outright ask them to comment their response to a question, tag a friend, reply with a video, or otherwise engage with your post.
Use links: Product-based brands have seen outstanding success on TikTok. Nearly half of TikTok users have bought stuff that they saw on the platform. Combining ecommerce with social media is your key to unlocking sales from more potential customers.
Sharing your videos at the best time to post on TikTok is crucial to optimizing engagement.
4. TikTok is full of user-generated content (UGC)
High-quality UGC is all the rage today among brands. Using content created by your community of passionate customers helps you appear more authentic, personable, and caring. Not to mention, it can save you on your content generation time, effort, and spend.
In addition to Gen Z users (like these examples above sharing Boohoo-related UGC), 64% of Millennials recommend a product or service on social media at least once a month. This means there are probably already TikTok users featuring your brand in their posts. If not, there is ample opportunity on the platform for you to ask them to start!
Brands can streamline the UGC collection and publication process with a CRM platform like Pixlee’s [Pixlee TurnTo is now Emplifi] that automatically pulls in content mentioning your brand or tags of your choice. Not only does Pixlee allow brands to collect TikToks from their favorite creators and reshare them, but they can also be republished on-site and on other marketing channels.
5. The algorithm works in your favor
TikTok is a platform with a newcomer-friendly algorithm. What does this mean? Take the For You page as an example. It consists of videos from creators that the user is not following. The posts that appear on this feed depend on a few things, including the user’s topic preferences, location, and the videos’ engagement metrics.
So, even if you had five followers on TikTok, you could still go viral with a really good, engaging video. Here’s a guide if you want to learn more about going viral as a brand utilizing TikTok marketing.
6. TikTok isn’t oversaturated with brands… yet
According to Social Media Examiner, only 5% of marketers use TikTok. So, it’s not as saturated with brands as Facebook or Instagram. TikTok for Business itself was only launched in June 2020. We can say that TikTok’s playing field is still in its early adopter phase.
But it won’t be that way forever. Your best bet is to sign up for TikTok now and start exploring the platform. It can easily become an integral part of your social media arsenal. Therefore, it’s best to get involved early and reap the results before your competitors do. Check out our guide on how to advertise on TikTok for more.
Creating compelling content on TikTok
UGC goes a long way when it comes to TikTok marketing. Your customers are likely already using TikTok and other social apps to create content that features your brand. Tapping into this saves time and helps your brand feel more authentic.
The great thing about featuring user-generated content is that people love to be seen; by you sharing their video, not only does it make them feel more connected to your brand, but it may give them the chance to grow their own audience as well. Also, when other people see that you share customer UGC, they’ll be more inclined to create content that you’ll share (allowing them the same aforementioned exposure).
This type of video really takes no effort on your part. Sure, you might have to spend some time sifting through content that features or mentions your brand, (typically by searching for hashtags that are related to your company) but other than that, there’s no filming or trying to create the perfect clip. Let's dive into how UGC and other types of TikTok content can help your brand succeed.
Feature UGC from passionate fans
UGC, content created by members of your brand community and often shared on social media, is frequently found on TikTok through unboxing videos, tutorials, shopping hauls, or challenges. You can encourage your fans to share their videos related to your products through a brand-specific challenge or unique branded hashtag. Ask your fans to share their experiences with your brand — Pixlee has found that 85% of consumers allow brands to reuse this content when asked.
Sharing UGC is a powerful TikTok and marketing strategy in general because it’s 35% more memorable than any other type of media, and 50% more trusted. Plus, you’re showing your audience you care about their experience with your brand and their engagement.
Top brands on TikTok are already taking advantage of UGC by resharing customer posts and promoting submissions for trends and contests. Cotopaxi posts users’ unboxing videos, Jones Soda reuses a customer’s video featuring the brand’s iconic soda can, and Morphe reshares makeup tutorials by fans.
In order to harness UGC from your fans on TikTok, you’ll need a collection method. While some smaller brands can do this manually, it can often be worth it to invest in a CRM platform that automates this process. Pixlee allows brands to collect users’ TikTok content (in addition to content from other social channels) and publish it across various marketing channels to boost social proof and community-building efforts.
UGC on social media is how word-of-mouth is spread in the digital world. Seeing this type of content reshared by your brand will encourage your followers and customers to share even more experiences with your brand, creating a positive feedback loop. People put a lot of trust in what others say and very little in what brands promise. That being said, you need UGC.
Instead of focusing on high-paid celebrities and influencers that recommend something daily, find brand advocates within your community through a UGC platform like Pixlee TurnTo’s. The organic content of this kind on TikTok convinces people to make purchases and trust a brand.
Branded hashtags for social media contests aren’t new — many leading brands already use their own tags on Instagram to encourage users to interact with their brand online. TikTok is known for its trendy hashtag challenges that users jump on quickly, offering your brand a place to collect more UGC and facilitate engagement.
Including your branded hashtags in videos with popular sounds boosts the likelihood of them being found and going viral on TikTok. When creating challenges using your branded hashtags, you can encourage fans to make videos with sound effects, lip-syncs, dancing movements, or filters. You might even request that they produce videos on a specific topic related to your product.
It is also crucial to give clear guidelines and direction while still allowing users to be creative and showcase their skills and passions. This approach retains a significant community element and helps your content go viral, resulting in massive engagement and user-generated content.
Jones Soda ran its #TurkeyGravyChallenge, encouraging fans to share a TikTok video of their reaction to the brand’s Thanksgiving-themed soda flavor. This is a great example that if a brand-oriented challenge is to go viral, you'll need to promote the competition on your social media channels, website, and in-store, among other places. All of this will enhance TikTok video engagement. As your challenge gains popularity and more people use your hashtag, the algorithm will push your content to a broader audience, allowing you to take advantage of organic reach. When a challenge is still trending, it may get your company in front of thousands of new potential customers.
Try a live stream
TikTok Live provides an additional way for engagement through a live video users can tune into. Going live on the platform is unique for creators and marketers since it adds a human touch to virtual communication that words and images often lack. It has become a new trend for digital marketing to grab audience attention, share brand stories, and lower advertising expenses.
However, as a marketer, the unique feature of TikTok Live is that users may find more live streams by clicking on the live icon. That allows them to watch even from people they don't follow. This means TikTok Live is ripe for brand discovery and getting more eyeballs on your content.
TikTok Live has two requirements: a minimum of 1,000 followers and a minimum age of 16 or older. Here are a few tips to set up a live stream TikTok users will want to engage with:
Personalize your live video with a photo, discussion topic, and title
Open the floor to feedback from your viewers in the comments section
Add co-hosts to diversify your content
Engage with comments and questions throughout your stream
Perform a speed test to ensure your internet connection is stable for high-quality streaming
Prepare a few bullet points on your topic of choice so your audience can follow along
If you’re interested in running multiple live streams over the course of a campaign, you can choose topics beforehand and tease them to your audience so they come back for more. The options are endless. Just try your best to make things more transparent and be personal with your audience, regardless of whether your goal is to sell a product, drive traffic to other channels, or promote a free opt-in..
Instead of presenting your audience with the typical picture of your business through polished and professional posts, show them a humanized side of your business. Give them some insight into how you prepare your material or a raw look at your company culture through employee-generated content. This approach lets your brand team take the stage and give fans an insider look into your brand’s values and how you operate day to day.
Alo Yoga lets its social media manager shine by showing her favorite picks from the apparel brand’s latest products.
You may share a variety of behind the scenes with your audience, such as lunch meetings, relocations, project updates, and how your employees use your products in their own lives. That will improve your TikTok presence and personalize your business.
This strategy will also help you attract loyal followers since it allows your audience to discover more about your brand and shows the real people behind the operation. It fosters deeper trusting relationships.
Tap into influencer content
Influencer Marketing continues to pave the way for brands hoping to expand their online audiences, boost conversion rates, and increase brand awareness on social media. Whether you’re promoting a new product, hoping to gain traction on a hashtag challenge, or simply looking to grow your audience, turning to influencers is often a good idea because they’re so familiar with the TikTok platform and keys to success on the app.
While TikTok is ripe with big-name influencers like Bella Poarch and Charli D’Amelio, collaborating with smaller-scale micro-influencers whose interests are more aligned with your brand’s products may prove to be a more cost-effective and targeted approach for your TikTok campaign. Take the time to find individuals whose followings match your target audience to identify the right influencer-brand fit.
DMC influencer @knittyknotts is known for sharing intricate embroidery designs on TikTok.
Pixlee TurnTo’s TikTok functionality allows brands to collect influencer content at a larger scale and publish their content on the most meaningful marketing channels. Puma ran a “TikTok Fashion Show” highlighting 5 TikTok creators and showcasing their brand-related videos on a landing page.
All of these tips are critical to boosting the reach of your content on TikTok and increasing your chances of going viral. TikTok allows you to share links with your other social media accounts. If you’re looking to boost your brand image on social media, this is an excellent place to begin.
TikTok marketing tips: Beyond the content
While the content of your TikTok videos is the most important part of your strategy, there are other factors to consider when developing your approach to TikTok marketing. From paid advertisements to omnichannel use of TikTok videos, there are plenty of opportunities to make your TikTok content reach even more viewers.
Direct ads allow you to promote your brand and customize the format to some degree. After you have successfully created an ads account, you can post your campaign. The platform will allow you to select what the goal of your campaign is, your budget, your desired ad placement, and who you want to target. You can also leave it to the algorithm to determine where your ad will perform better.
There are a few types of TikTok Ad Types available to promote your content:
In-feed ads (Biddable ads)
Brand Takeover ads
Branded Effects ads (augmented reality)
To learn how each of these ad types works, how expensive they are, and which might be right for your brand, check out our guide on how to create a TikTok ad campaign.
Repurpose content to and from TikTok
One of the most innovative, underrated ways to use TikTok is to not just use TikTok. If your brand has created video content for other social channels or works with influencers on Instagram, for example, it can be beneficial to repurpose that content for TikTok. Pixlee TurnTo allows brands to practice an omnichannel content approach by scheduling and automatically publishing content to TikTok from direct upload or existing social channels like Instagram.
Your brand’s organic TikTok content doesn’t have to stay on the app; consider adding a shoppable TikTok gallery to your brand’s website to circulate user traffic between the two channels, as embroidery brand DMC does.
DMC regularly creates TikTok videos in the form of tutorials using the brand’s products. These posts are then automatically collected and uploaded to a gallery on the brand’s website that users can shop directly from.
You can also consider automatic video transcription to text tools like Amberscript to pull the audio from your TikTok videos for reuse. Videos can be hard to understand if your target audience doesn’t have the same native language as the speaker. Transcribed video content also makes your videos available to people with disabilities or those who cannot listen to the audio for some other reason.
Use analytics to get featured on the "For You” page
Who uses TikTok today? Yes, we all know that a younger audience is most active on this platform, but these are no longer the only people who have accounts there. In the last few years, TikTok has become more mainstream than before.
Around half of the users of this platform are aged 10 to 29, and the rest are older than this. Keeping track of such statistics and analyzing your progress on the platform can help you get your content to the right people.
If you want to create organic content that works, you need to learn who you are creating it for and where you can find them. Perform thorough and regular analysis to learn who is sharing and watching your videos, which pieces of content are your best creations, and what is trending for your target audience.
All this will help you get higher on the “For You” page, which is pretty much the same as the page “Discover” on Instagram. Many people go to this page on their accounts to find things they are interested in. If you want to be on that page for your target audience, you first need to know who exactly makes up your existing follower base.
Using videos to grow your brand
TikTok marketing gives marketers a new look into an emerging engaged audience: Gen Z. Even if traction is slow at first, the global reach and engaging format this platform offers are beyond any other social platform right now.
The goal isn’t always to go massively viral; you can still build a loyal following of people who are fans of your content - and those fans are ultimately consumers waiting to join your customer community.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on pixlee.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.