You may or may not have heard of TikTok. If you’re a Millennial, you probably think of Ke$has hit from the late 2000s, but if you’re a Gen Z-er, then you instantly think of the unique music-focused social media app. Sorry Millennials, in this case, Gen Z-ers are right.
Regardless, you either have a vague idea about what it is or no clue whatsoever. For most, that’s completely okay. But if you’re a marketer with a target audience between the ages of 16-24, you might want to get real familiar, real fast with TikTok, as its marketing potential will gain more leverage going into 2020.
Don’t worry though, we have your back. In this beginner’s guide, we give you an in-depth look at the music app sweeping the nation, and how you can create a marketing strategy that further reaches your audience.
In a nutshell, TikTok is a Chinese social network that focuses on video content. Users can add short videos, edit them, or add music. Once they feel their content is good to go, they can publish it live to their personal collection of followers.
The content you can create on TikTok is meant to be more comedic, mirroring the content you would’ve found on Vine (R.I.P). Some of the most popular content includes short skits, lip singing, cringe videos, and cooking how-tos.
One of the reasons TikTok has started to be infiltrated by marketers is the fact that it is wildly popular, and the numbers continue to climb. In fact, it’s estimated that there are over 500 million users on TikTok, making it more popular than Twitter or Pinterest. Most of the users (41%) are between the ages of 16-24, making it a gold mine for reaching a broad audience of young people.
Ways to Market on TikTok
TikTok is still planting roots in the UK and the US, so there isn’t as much marketing opportunity on the platform as, say, Facebook or Instagram. However, there are a few ways you can use TikTok to widen your reach of young people, some more promising than others.
More likely than not, your TikTok marketing is going to consist mostly of influencer marketing strategies. Just like Instagram, certain TikTok users have garnished millions of subscribers to their various types of content. As the platform itself grows, early adopters of TikTok will become prime targets for brands looking to partner.
All you’d have to do here is pay influencers to use, promote, or review your products on their TikTok videos. It’s a great way to make vast impressions and introduce your brand to those who may not have engaged with it before. Plus, one additional benefit is that one in three tend to trust what influencers say versus what brands say, so its a great way to start building a genuine relationship with your target audience.
Creating Original Content
Creating original content on TikTok has a success rate that’s completely dependent on the quality of your content and the products or services you’re selling. Considering TikTok viral content consists mostly of short skits, lip singing, cringe videos, and cooking how-tos, your content will have to follow into one of these categories, but only if it makes sense.
Plus, it can be costly to consistently be churning out video content for your brand. It takes a lot of time, resources, and creativity but if it makes sense and its feasible, it might be a good course of action.
What Are the Benefits of Marketing on TikTok?
The biggest benefit of marketing on TikTok is that you can create massive brand awareness within a specific target audience. If the bulk of your audience is the typical TikTok user, then it shows a promising return that’s expected to grow as new users sign on every day.
Like we mentioned before, it’s currently more popular than Twitter or Pinterest at over 500 million users. If you have an existing social media strategy, and your target audience is young people, you’ll want to add TikTok to the mix before it gets flooded with other brands doing the same.
Although ##SMMW20 is now completed were still dreaming about our beach party themed booth as we head back to Canada 🥶♬ Kokomo – The Beach Boys
How to Create a Marketing Strategy for TikTok
There’s a lot to consider while formulating your marketing strategy for TikTok.
1) Remember That It’s a Specific Audience
Remember, TikTok is made up mostly of 16-24 year-olds. If this represents a large portion of your target audience, then TikTok is worth adding to your mix. Otherwise, it might not produce the return you’re looking for. Take a look at the largest consumer group of your brand and decide if it’s worth investing in the resources.
2) Choose How You Want to Approach TikTok
With TikTok, there are really only two marketing approaches you can take: Influencer marketing and creating original content. If you’re looking to produce original content, make sure its easily-consumable content that’s already popular on the channel. Remember, it should make sense for your brand, and it will likely take a lot of time, creativity, and other resources.
Regardless of whether or not you’d like to produce original content, you’re still going to want to have an influencer marketing strategy as well. This is, without a doubt, the most promising means of marketing on TikTok.
3) Scope Out Relevant Influencers
There are a number of influencers on TikTok, all with their own unique style of content. Some will be a lot more relevant to your brand, so make sure you form partnerships with those that have your ideal followers.
One way you can do this is by creating TikTok targets in your marketing strategy that gives an overview of 3-4 target personas, their demographics, their interests, and who they’re likely to subscribe to. Once you know who you’re trying to target on TikTok, it’ll be a lot easier to know what influencers to partner with.
4) Create Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Landing influencer partnerships is great, but you’ll want to have a way to track results from them promoting your brand in their content. This is where it’ll be helpful to create actual campaigns that can attract and nurture any traffic your influencers stir up.
Landing pages, special coupons codes, email sign-ups, and other opt-in methods are ideal for capturing data and analyzing how well your TikTok marketing is working.
5) Get Ready for TikTok Ads
It’s not here yet, but considering the growth of TikTok, advertising on the platform could very well be around the corner. When it happens, there’s going to be a lot of noise from brands, so keep your eye on platform updates to ensure you’re an early adopter.
TikTok Best Practices for Marketers
Focus on the Benefits
For this specific audience, you’ll want to focus on the benefits of your products or services. Be clear, concise, and drive right to what problems you’re solving. Another approach is to invoke a positive emotional response.
Get As Specific with Influencers As Possible
When forming contracts with influencers, make sure to get as specific as possible which includes dates, costs, scripts, etc. Don’t just send them your product and wait for it to pop up in one of their videos. Treat it like any other sort of endorsement deal so that everyone is on the same page.
Marketers know better than anyone that in order to stand out, you have to be memorable. Fortunately, it works to your advantage that this platform is fun, non-serious, and comedic. Don’t be afraid to be funny and edgy it’ll help you rise above the noise.
There is nothing more cringe-worthy than a brand that tries too hard to be young and hip. Be genuine in your approach and don’t try too hard. If this means creating a focus group and gaining a little insight about your audience, or paying extra attention to what your teenager and their friends are into, then do it.
- TikTok is a music- and video-focused Chinese social media quickly growing traction in the US and UK among the 16-24 year-olds.
- If that’s your target audience, you’ll want to hop on the TikTok marketing train before your competitors do.
- Your best bet? Influencer marketing. You could also create your own original content but err on the side of caution if you take that route.
- Be choosy with your influencers and make sure they align with who you’re trying to target. It always helps to map out a few personas to stay on track.
- Be memorable and genuine This audience has an eye for brands just going through the motions.
All in all, TikTok won’t be every brand’s cup of tea, but if your audience is on TikTok and your strategy is sound, the platform is definitely worth an honest look.