How to Market Your Brand on TikTok

How to Market Your Brand on TikTok

Want your brand to be #trending? Here are some tips to make that happen! 

If you were like me and spent the entire summer of 2020 obsessing over TikTok, chances are you saw the same trends I did. From the dreamy Lirika Matoshi strawberry dress that every influencer was raving about to the fake freckles, people were drawing on using Freck Beauty OG Freckle Pen—companies were seeing the massive benefits of blowing up on TikTok. 

There is an entire genre of videos being posted on TikTok and other platforms, like YouTube and Instagram, with the hashtag “#tiktokmademebuyit”. This is a testament to the platform’s unique influence. The creators on TikTok seem authentic and make you feel like your friend is recommending something cool that they just bought instead of actively influencing you to make a purchase. If you are a business owner wondering how your company can make the most out of TikTok, here are some tips to ease yourself into using the platform. 

Study the platform

Much like any other social media platform, you need to head into the process of promoting your brand on TikTok with an action plan in hand. Make sure you research the platform. Find out whether your audience is on it, the kind of content users produce and what your competitors are doing. Use this information to set out clear and measurable goals that you want to achieve using TikTok. Take a look at Starbucks to see how brands use the platform for specific purposes. On TikTok, the coffeehouse brand collabs with celebrities and makes enjoyable transitioning videos to announce their new drink flavors. Besides, it also makes videos to interview its baristas and follow funny trending topics so as to stay relevant and impress views with their experience in making coffee.

Creating engaging content

As we previously mentioned, the charm of TikTok is the feeling of authenticity that the content on the platform has. So when creating content for the platform, don’t worry about investing in expensive cameras or lighting equipment. Simply using your phone and filming videos in a well-lit area will work just as well. 

When brainstorming video ideas, remember that your content’s main purpose is to display the brand’s identity. For instance, to introduce your company, you could do a quirky office tour, show off your team and your office pet and also give the customer a step-by-step look at how your products are made. You can also create tutorial content, like the makeup retailer Fenty Beauty, to teach viewers how to use your products. The company uses its TikTok account to post makeup tutorials, wear tests and highlight new product launches.

Curating user-generated content

The key benefit of using social media is that it gives you a way to directly connect with your customer base. You can increase your brand awareness by tapping into the content your customers create. Create a hashtag for your brand that customers can use when posting content about your products. When the customer’s followers see that video, they can click on the hashtag and be directed to more content about your products. This could eventually encourage them to make a purchase. For example, to drive up user engagement, fashion retailer ASOS shares user-generated content, outfit ideas and a behind-the-scenes look at its projects and photoshoots.

Working with influencers

You can partner with influencers that create content related to your brand to expand your reach. Gen Z, which makes up a large part of TikTok’s user base, is typically averse to traditional advertisements. Thus, working with influencers can be a great way to connect with them. As of 2020, the cost of influencer marketing on TikTok ranges from US$5 to US$2,500, depending on the number of followers they have. A great example of successful influencer marketing on TikTok was fast-food giant Chipotle’s collaboration with David Dobrik. The duo worked together on the #ChipolteLidFlip challenge and generated more than 100,000 submissions and 230 million views. 

Posting unconventional advertisements 

Yes, we see the irony here. Gen Z hates ads, but there are ways to make your ads actually engaging for them. One of them is to create a branded hashtag challenge. These are almost like typical hashtags, except that when a TikTok user clicks on a branded hashtag, they are redirected to a page with a description of what they need to do to participate in the challenge and videos of those who have made videos using the hashtag. Food and beverage company, Nestle, posted a branded hashtag challenge to promote their flavored water range called Slash. The #SlashDance challenge generated 3.9 billion views and was massively successful in raising awareness about Slash. 

Another way that companies can advertise their products without creating traditional ads is by using branded lenses. These lenses or filters use augmented reality to warp the user’s surroundings and project 3D objects onto them. To put it simply, it’s similar to Snapchat’s dog filter. A good example of this is the U.S.-based medicine company Mucinex’s #BeatTheZombieFunk challenge. The company created a dance challenge where users would dance next to the brand’s mascot using an AR lens.

With over one billion monthly active users, TikTok has made its mark as one of the biggest social media platforms in the world. About 24% of all marketers consider TikTok the right platform for reaching their business goals. With such a massive number of users and an ever-increasing influence, TikTok highlights the growing need for marketers to make TikTok a part of their marketing strategy. With TikTok and Shopify collaborating to facilitate in-app purchasing, it will only become easier to convert likes and followers into paying customers.

Header image courtesy of Unsplash

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