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TikTok Guide: Everything You Should Know About TikTok

By: Viral Nation | 15 mins read | Oct 16, 2023
TikTok-Guide-Everything-You-Need-to-Know-About-TikTok

In just a few short years, TikTok has dramatically changed the social media landscape. The short-form video app has been downloaded over 3 billion times and now boasts over 1 billion monthly active users (MAU) worldwide.

TikTok’s fun, entertaining, and addictive video content keeps users highly engaged on the platform. The average American spends nearly 54 minutes everyday on TikTok – the most out of all social media platforms. Up next is YouTube at 48.7 minutes, followed by Twitter (aka X) at 34.1 minutes with Instagram close behind at 33.1 minutes.

This in-depth TikTok guide will break down everything you need to know about maximizing TikTok for your brand and marketing strategy, from setting up your business profile to developing winning TikTok content and ad campaigns. Let’s dive in!

Chapter One: What exactly is TikTok?

TikTok, a highly popular social media platform and mobile application, specializes in short-form videos, and the duration of these videos can vary from a brief 15 seconds to a maximum length of 3 minutes.

The evolution of TikTok

In its early stages, TikTok was the product of a merger in November 2017 when a Chinese firm, ByteDance, acquired a similar platform called Musical.ly and integrated it with its existing short-form video application, Douyin. After this merger, the globally unified TikTok started to expand outside China in late 2017.

TikTok’s key features

Now, let’s take a look at how and why this mega platform gained the massive popularity it has today.

Ease of use: TikTok prides itself on user-friendly features that allow for the simple creation, editing, publication, and viewing of entertaining short videos. Anyone with a TikTok business account also gets free access to TikTok analytics, a built-in platform that gives in depth insights into top posts, followers, reach, views, engagement rates, and more.

Recommendation algorithm: TikTok utilizes a proprietary algorithm that curates content for each user based on their previous interactions with videos, such as likes, shares, and comments. This results in a highly personalized and continuously entertaining feed for each user.

In fact, the recommendation algorithm is what powers TikTok’s famous “For You Page” (FYP) and it’s a huge part in why TikTok took off so fast, but we’ll get deeper into that in the next section.

Creative tools: TikTok offers a comprehensive selection of music, filters, effects, and editing tools for enhancing video content. Users have the option to incorporate popular music clips or original compositions by other users into their videos. Plus, they can add a unique touch with hundreds of visual effects and overlays.

TikTok’s creative tools allow users to quickly incorporate the latest trends in their content while also being a potential goldmine for artists whose songs or other content go viral on the platform.

Hashtags and trends: Integral to the TikTok experience are hashtags, which help organize content and shape trends because TikTok actively promotes user involvement in viral challenges, memes, dances, and other trends.

Content duplication: Users can replicate and re-imagine popular TikTok videos by adding their unique spin. This feature contributes significantly to the platform’s addictive nature, as you can spend hours scrolling other people’s takes or opinions that can extend the conversation far beyond the original posts.

TikTok’s impact

Thanks to its captivating blend of personalized entertainment and creative expression, TikTok has experienced extraordinary growth since its worldwide launch. In 2022, it was the top downloaded app, even surpassing Instagram. From 2018 to 2022, TikTok enjoyed over 800% user growth in the US alone, with over 150 million monthly active users in the US as of February 2023.

Despite this rapid growth, TikTok still has ample room for further expansion, as short-form videos continue to gain popularity among both Gen Z audiences and older demographics.

Chapter Two: Understanding TikTok’s user demographics and statistics

Despite being a relatively new player in the realm of major social platforms, TikTok’s user demographics and statistics have seen a rapid shift. Initially, the platform garnered immense popularity among teenagers and the Gen Z population. However, over time, the platform’s audience has grown more diverse.

Key TikTok user demographics and usage statistics

Here’s a detailed look at the current demographic composition and usage statistics of TikTok:

Age distribution of TikTok users

Teenagers: 10% of the users are between 13 to 15 years old.

Young adults: 41% of active users fall in the age bracket of 16 to 24 years old.

Mid adults: 23% of users are within the 25 to 34 age range.

Older adults: 23% comprise individuals aged 35 to 59 years old.

Seniors: A small 3% of users are 60 years or older.

Despite its initial popularity with the Gen Z crowd, TikTok has seen a surge in older users, with millennials and above now accounting for approximately one-quarter of its user base. But all things considered, TikTok is largely an app that’s loved by the young, with 74% of its users being between the ages of 13 – 34.

Gender distribution and usage time

Gender split: The platform is more popular with women as females constitute 51% of TikTok users while males make up the remaining 49%.

Young users’ screen time: Users under 20 spend more than 90 minutes daily on TikTok, on average. Recently TikTok announced a new 60-minute daily screen time limit for users under 18.

Adult users’ screen time: Reports indicate that adult users in the U.S. will spend approximately 55.8 minutes daily on TikTok.

The significance of understanding TikTok’s user demographics

For marketers, comprehending these evolving demographics and statistics is crucial in identifying their target audience groups on TikTok. This understanding aids in crafting content that resonates specifically with these groups.

While the younger Gen Z demographic continues to be a major focus for many brand marketers on TikTok, it is equally important to diversify marketing strategies to engage millennials and older users who also dedicate significant time to the platform.

Chapter Three: How TikTok works

Now that we have an understanding of TikTok’s basic features and user demographics, it’s time to delve deeper into the app’s operational mechanics and key elements that shape the user experience. The cornerstone of TikTok’s user experience is its powerful recommendation algorithm, which creates personalized “For You” feeds for each user.

The power of the “For You” page

The “For You” page provides users with an endless, personalized stream of short videos tailored to their preferences and engagement patterns with previous videos. The more a user engages with specific types of videos, sounds, hashtags, and accounts, the better TikTok’s recommendation algorithm becomes at determining their preferences via machine learning. The app then continually refines its recommendations to keep users engaged with their preferred content.

Unlike social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram that are centered around personal networks and connections, TikTok is solely interest-based. As a result, users can find videos from complete strangers on their “For You” feed, as long as the algorithm deems these videos align with their preferences.

8 metrics that show TikTok what you like

TikTok’s algorithm refines its recommendations using various engagement signals and metrics, including:

  • Video completion: Videos watched from start to finish.
  • Skipped content: Videos that users skip quickly.
  • Likes and shares: Videos liked or shared.
  • Comments: Comments made on videos.
  • Follows: Accounts followed or subscribed to.
  • Audio interactions: Sounds, songs, or audio clips a user interacts with.
  • Hashtag interactions: Hashtags a user engages with.
  • Filter use: Filters or effects used on videos.

Popular content types on TikTok

TikTok hosts a diverse range of content, including dance and lip-syncing videos, comedy skits, talent showcases, DIY tutorials, recipes, life hack videos, and more. Due to its robust recommendation algorithm, highly engaging content can go viral incredibly quickly on TikTok, sometimes reaching hundreds of thousands of targeted users in a short time.

Keeping up with TikTok trends

Trends and viral challenges spread like wildfire on TikTok, making it essential for brands to stay updated with the latest viral phenomena to capitalize on them promptly. A firm understanding of the TikTok recommendation algorithm, current trending content types, challenges, memes, effects, hashtags, and influencers is vital for marketers. This knowledge allows them to create content optimized for engagement and viral distribution, reaching the right audiences effectively.

At the same time, it’s also important for marketers to consider the context of the trends and whether it’s relevant to their brands or else they risk getting accused of clout-chasing, which is never a good look.

Chapter Four: Why TikTok is an essential platform for digital marketing

There are several compelling reasons why TikTok is now considered a must-have platform for digital marketers.

Massive engaged user base: TikTok has over 1 billion monthly active users globally and it’s still seeing massive user growth, making TikTok’s sheer audience size something that  brands and marketers simply can’t ignore.

Key demographics: 41% of TikTok users fall into the coveted Gen Z age range (16-24 year olds), who are often at the forefront of cultural trends and their buying power will only increase over time. Reaching this demographic is key for many brands.

Virality: Thanks to TikTok’s algorithmic recommendation engine, short videos can go massively viral at a rapid pace that is rarely seen on other platforms. This presents brands huge opportunities for exponential reach and engagement growth.

Personalization: TikTok’s hyper-accurate recommendation algorithm allows brands to intimately engage with and build loyal followings within very specific niche communities and demographics with tailored content versus the one-size-fits-all approach that is popular on other platforms.

Ad targeting & formats: TikTok provides advanced ad targeting based on demographics and user behavior, allowing businesses to precisely reach their audience. The platform also offers various ad formats, notably the auto-optimized video ads, which automatically adjust based on user engagement for increased relevancy and conversion potential.

Business impact: Success on TikTok for brands has translated into concrete business impact such as  increased brand awareness, website traffic, lead generation, app downloads, and sales.

Chipotle’s TikTok success story

TikTok marketing success stories and case studies have proven how impactful the platform can be for boosting brands.

For example, Chipotle recently launched a TikTok hashtag challenge campaign #ChipotleLidFlip promoting their new Cinco De Mayo menu items that increased their app downloads by a whopping 21% in just one day. The massive reach and business impact generated by brands like Chipotle who have tapped into TikTok’s marketing potential demonstrate why it’s become a mandatory platform for digital marketers to have on their radar.

Chapter Five: How to set up your TikTok business account

To tap into TikTok’s vast marketing potential, brands need to create an optimized TikTok business account. The following step-by-step guide will walk you through this process:

Getting started: The initial setup

Establishing a TikTok business account is straightforward and user-friendly. Here are the necessary steps to get your business account up and running on TikTok:

1. Launch the TikTok app: Open your personal TikTok app on your mobile device. Navigate to your profile by tapping the icon in the bottom right corner.

2. Access profile settings: Tap on the three-line menu icon located at the top right corner of your profile screen.

Image of how to access TikTok profile settings

3. Manage your account: From the menu that opens, select “Manage Account”.

Image of how to manage TikTok account

4. Switch to business account: In the following screen, choose the option to “Switch to Business Account”.

5. Enter business details: Follow the on-screen prompts to input essential details for your business account, such as your business name, business category, contact info, and more.

Image of TikTok business account settings

And that’s it! You’ve now successfully switched your TikTok account to a business account.

Creating a compelling business profile

Now that you have a basic business account, it’s time to enrich it with meaningful information. Build a compelling, strategically optimized business profile. This should include your logo, an engaging and optimized bio, website links, contact information, highlights of your branded content, and posts featuring your products or services.

Tweaking advanced settings

Next, explore and adjust the advanced settings and tools for your business account:

Enable analytics: Navigate to your TikTok account settings and enable analytics. This will give you access to crucial performance analytics and insight data.

Configure ad tracking settings: Adjust your ad tracking settings. Ensure the TikTok pixel is installed on your website, and set up conversion tracking correctly to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Familiarize yourself with TikTok ads manager: Spend some time understanding the TikTok Ads Manager and the myriad of advanced advertising options available to your business.

With your TikTok business profile set up, you can now leverage the full array of tools available for businesses on TikTok, including essential analytics, TikTok’s advertising capabilities, and other critical business tools to optimize your online presence and marketing strategy.

Chapter Six: Building a robust TikTok marketing strategy

Creating a robust TikTok marketing strategy is essential to achieving success and avoiding irrelevant content that doesn’t resonate with your audience. Here are the key components your TikTok marketing strategy should consider:

Identifying your target audience

Start by using TikTok analytics and audience insights to identify your target audience groups on the platform. Establish the key demographics – age, gender, location, and interests – that align with your brand. Integrate this audience data into your content creation strategy and ad targeting to maximize relevance.

Crafting your content strategy

Examine trending short-form videos within your industry and gain insights from competitors with substantial TikTok presences. Develop a diverse content calendar, including tutorials, comedic sketches, engaging challenges, reaction videos, motivational content, and more. Test different types of content and continually refine your approach based on performance data.

Timing your posts effectively

Consistent posting is critical due to the dynamic nature of the TikTok algorithm. Starting with 1-2 posts per day and using analytics data to identify when your audience is most active on TikTok can guide your posting schedule.

Utilizing TikTok’s unique features

Familiarize yourself with TikTok’s features to enhance your content:

  • Implement TikTok’s extensive music library and sound effects to make your videos more entertaining.
  • Add visual flair using effects, filters, text overlays, and stickers.
  • Engage audiences and capitalize on viral trends through duets, reaction videos, and the Stitch feature.
  • Improve discoverability and ride the wave of viral challenges by using hashtags strategically.

Promoting your content

Promoting your content across different channels is crucial to maximize reach. Here are some of the most effective ways to do that:

  • Implement a mix of popular and niche hashtags to improve discoverability.
  • Cross-post your TikTok content on your other social media channels (such as Instagram or Reddit) and embed TikTok videos on other platforms.
  • Run paid TikTok ads to reach new audiences and amplify your best content.
  • Encourage audiences on other channels to follow your TikTok profile through clear calls-to-action.

Monitoring your performance

Regularly analyzing key TikTok performance metrics is essential to gauge what’s working and optimize your efforts. Key performance indicators to track include:

  • Content engagement rates (likes, comments, shares per post).
  • Follower growth and demographic breakdown.
  • Website traffic driven from TikTok.
  • Sales or leads generated from TikTok.
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS) from TikTok campaigns.

By integrating these critical components into a comprehensive TikTok marketing strategy and iterating based on performance data, brands can achieve significant results.

Chapter Seven: Harnessing TikTok trends and hashtags for effective marketing

Riding the wave of viral TikTok trends and challenges is pivotal for brands aiming for exponential growth. Additionally, strategic hashtag use is crucial for discovery. Here are several expert strategies for leveraging TikTok trends and hashtags effectively:

Spotting trends early

Identifying trends before they hit the mainstream is the best approach. Keep an eye on the ‘Discover’ and ‘Trending Hashtags’ pages to catch emerging challenges before they really blow up. Also, follow top influencers in your industry to identify trends at their early stages. Consider accounts like @TikTokTrends for viral hashtag predictions.

Drawing inspiration from trends

Customize trending challenges and formats to fit your brand creatively. Interpret viral meme formats in a way that aligns with your brand’s unique tone, voice, and messaging. Showcase your products or services in a fresh light using trending TikTok features, such as specific sounds, effects, transitions, and stickers.

Creating your own trend

Strive to originate a viral TikTok trend that encourages your audience to interact with your brand. Launch a branded challenge that inspires user-generated content. Share a catchy sound, effect, or humorous meme format that others can incorporate in their videos.

Employing strategic hashtag use

Use a combination of widely popular hashtags (like #fyp) and niche hashtags to target your audience precisely. Avoid overusing niche hashtags that could limit your reach. Incorporate relevant hashtags into video captions and in-video text to enhance discoverability.

Capitalizing on trends swiftly

Speed and adaptability are key when seizing TikTok trends. Attempt to create trend-jacking videos within 1-2 days upon spotting a new viral trend or challenge for maximum impact. Stay flexible and reactive – you may need to quickly adjust your video plans to tap into trending phenomena for extensive reach.

Brands like Ocean Spray perfectly exemplify the effective use of TikTok trends. Their classic cranberry juice brand gained significant relevance thanks to a timely meme video associated with a massively viral TikTok dancer.

Chapter Eight: Exploring TikTok advertising options and best practices

Besides organic content, TikTok advertising presents a significant opportunity for brands to expand their reach and enhance results via paid campaigns. Here’s a summary of the various advertising options available:

In-Feed video ads

These are TikTok’s core ad units. Much like Instagram or Facebook video ads, these are brief video advertisements cleverly inserted between organic videos on user feeds. They’re designed to appear native and are optimized for engagement by the algorithm.

Stories ads

These are full-screen images, GIFs, or videos that appear amid TikTok videos. They’re restricted to a duration of 5-15 seconds and aid in augmenting brand awareness.

Brand takeovers

This involves sponsoring branded effects, filters, lenses, or hashtags. Users can interact with these branded elements to trigger your ads and get redirected to your site or app. It’s a highly interactive ad format.

Topview ads

This feature ensures that your video ad is the first thing a user sees when they open TikTok for the day, maximizing attention and brand visibility.

Branded hashtag challenges

Sponsoring a branded hashtag challenge engages users and promotes awareness. Users create content centered around your branded hashtag.

Shoppable videos

You can add shoppable links, product tags, or Shopping tabs to your video ads to drive direct sales of your products.

When establishing and optimizing TikTok ad campaigns, the following best practices should be considered:

  • Implement conversion tracking tools like TikTok pixel to attribute value.
  • Test different ad formats to identify what connects best with your audience.
  • Experiment with various targeting settings like interests, behaviors, and placements.
  • Conduct A/B testing with different types of short video ad creative.
  • Employ a range of bidding strategies, from CPC to optimizing for conversions.
  • Monitor performance in real-time and swiftly discontinue underperforming campaigns.

Well-executed TikTok ads can provide brands a cost-effective method to place their content and products in front of a substantial new audience of potential buyers.

Chapter Nine: Effective collaboration with top TikTok influencers

Partnering with influencers forms a significant part of a brand’s TikTok strategy. However, to find and work with the most effective influencers requires a methodical approach. Here are some expert tips for achieving success with TikTok influencers:

Identify relevant influencers

Use influencer marketing platforms and tools to search for TikTok influencers that fit your brand’s niche. You can filter based on audience demographics, interests, engagement rates, and other attributes relevant to your brand.

Prioritize influencers with high engagement rates, as they have built a strong connection with their audience.

Vet your potential influencers

Don’t rely solely on surface metrics. When considering influencers for collaboration, ensure they consistently produce high-quality content and have a primarily authentic following.

Analyze their audience quality by looking at who follows them and how engaged their followers are. Be cautious of red flags like suspicious comments or followers.

Establish fair rates from the start

Have clear and transparent expectations, requirements, and guidelines for the partnership right from the beginning. Offer fair, pre-determined compensation packages based on audience size and content type. However, be flexible to negotiate with smaller influencers who have limited budgets.

Give clear guidelines

Provide chosen influencers with ample concrete instructions, brand guidelines, necessary imagery or video assets, product information, and guidance to create compliant and strategically aligned branded content for your campaign.

Monitor performance closely

Incorporate trackable links, unique promo codes, branded hashtags, etc., in influencer content. This allows you to clearly trace sales and conversions back to specific influencers.

Evaluate which influencers generated the highest ROI and engagement rates to guide future partnerships.

With careful selection and strategy, the right TikTok influencer collaborations can yield incredible benefits for brands, such as expanded reach, increased conversions, and stronger audience connection and loyalty. However, to achieve exceptional ROI from TikTok influencer campaigns, brands must be intentional, strategic, and data-driven in their influencer relationships and thoroughly evaluate performance.

Chapter Ten: Monitoring and analyzing TikTok performance KPIs

In the fast-paced TikTok environment, continuously monitoring and analyzing performance data is required for brands to optimize efforts and achieve continual improvement.

Here are the key TikTok performance metrics and KPIs brands should be tracking:

Content engagement rate – Likes, comments, shares, saves, etc. per post. Goal is growth over time.

Follower growth – Overall follower counts and growth rates over time.

Post reach – Number of unique users who see each post. Aim for steady reach expansion.

Website traffic – Volume of visits to your site driven from TikTok and their conversion rate.

Leads/Sales conversions – Volume and value of conversions generated from TikTok specifically.

Ad results – Impressions, clicks, CTR, CPC, CPM, cost per conversion/acquisition and ROI for TikTok ads.

Audience demographics – Follower gender, age, interests and location data. Monitor audience makeup.

By continually analyzing key metrics across your content, followers, engagement, conversions, and advertising through tools like TikTok analytics and UTMs, you can gain critical insights to inform your evolving TikTok strategy.

Compare performance for different types of content, captions, CTAs, posting times, collaborations with influencers, and ads. Then double down on what delivers the best results. TikTok marketing without performance tracking and optimization is like flying blind.

Chapter Eleven: Case studies – Successful TikTok influencer collaboration

The power of TikTok influencer collaborations cannot be overstated. Various successful brand campaigns illustrate just how efficient partnering with influencers can be. Here are some successful TikTok case studies:

  1. Walmart: Walmart brilliantly collaborated with TikTok influencers to create a dance challenge as part of their back-to-school campaign. The result? Over 1.5 billion views and 250,000 user-generated videos.
  2. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): The global accounting organization ACCA collaborated with TikTok influencers to create a “day in the life of an accountant” segments. The innovative campaign helped make accounting more relatable while confronting the ‘boring accountant’ stereotype and successfully attracted over 1 million views, transforming how people perceive the ACCA and accountants in general.
  3. Benny Blanco – Universal: To promote his new song “Graduation,” Benny Blanco – Universal worked with TikTok influencers. The campaign generated a whopping over 1 billion views and 1.5 million user-generated videos.
  4. KFC: In 2021, KFC decided to target the TikTok audience to promote their chicken sandwich. By collaborating with influencers on a dance challenge, they garnered 221 million video views with an engagement rate of 9.3%​.
  5. Guess: The popular fashion brand created the “InMyDenim” campaign and promoted their denim products through TikTok influencers. The campaign was highly successful, leading to 5,550 user-generated videos, attracted 10.5 million views, and recorded a 14.3% rate of engagement.
  6. Red Bull: Red Bull initiated a dance challenge named “RedBullDanceYourStyle” and partnered with influencers to promote it. The challenge exploded on TikTok, generating over 7 billion views.

These case studies exemplify the vast potential of integrating TikTok influencers into your marketing strategy. Effective partnerships can help your brand reach a wider audience, generate immense engagement, and promote your message in innovative, memorable ways. It emphasizes the fact that tapping into the creative minds of influencers, and fully utilizing TikTok’s native features, leads to exceptional campaign success.

Wrapping up

TikTok has cemented itself as a required platform within a comprehensive digital marketing strategy in 2023 given its incredible reach, engagement, and business impact potential.

The key is to remain nimble yet strategic, be highly iterative, and make data-backed decisions using TikTok analytics and performance benchmarks. With consistent, high-quality, and innovative execution rooted in performance data, brands can achieve transformative results and growth through TikTok.

2. Access profile settings: Tap on the three-line menu icon located at the top right corner of your profile screen.

Image of how to access TikTok profile settings

3. Manage your account: From the menu that opens, select “Manage Account.”

Image of how to manage TikTok account

4. Switch to business account: In the following screen, choose the option to “Switch to Business Account.”

Image of how to switch to a TikTok business account

5. Enter business details: Follow the on-screen prompts to input essential details for your business account, such as your business name, business category, contact information, and more.

Image of TikTok business account settings

And that’s it! You’ve now successfully switched your TikTok account to a business account.

Creating a compelling business profile

Now that you have a basic business account, it’s time to enrich it with meaningful information. Build a compelling, strategically optimized business profile. This should include your logo, an engaging and optimized bio, website links, contact information, highlights of your branded content, and posts featuring your products or services.

Tweaking advanced settings

Next, explore and adjust the advanced settings and tools for your business account:

Enable analytics: Navigate to your TikTok account settings and enable analytics. This will give you access to crucial performance analytics and insight data.

Configure ad tracking settings: Adjust your ad tracking settings. Ensure the TikTok pixel is installed on your website, and set up conversion tracking correctly to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Familiarize yourself with TikTok ads manager: Spend some time understanding the TikTok Ads Manager and the myriad of advanced advertising options available to your business.

With your TikTok business profile set up, you can now leverage the full array of tools available for businesses on TikTok, including essential analytics, TikTok’s advertising capabilities, and other critical business tools to optimize your online presence and marketing strategy.

Chapter Six: Building a robust TikTok marketing strategy

Creating a robust TikTok marketing strategy is essential to achieving success and avoiding irrelevant content that doesn’t resonate with your audience. Here are the key components your TikTok marketing strategy should consider:

Identifying your target audience

Start by using TikTok analytics and audience insights to identify your target audience groups on the platform. Establish the key demographics – age, gender, location, and interests – that align with your brand. Integrate this audience data into your content creation strategy and ad targeting to maximize relevance.

Crafting your content strategy

Examine trending short-form videos within your industry and gain insights from competitors with substantial TikTok presences. Develop a diverse content calendar, including tutorials, comedic sketches, engaging challenges, reaction videos, motivational content, and more. Test different types of content and continually refine your approach based on performance data.

Timing your posts effectively

Consistent posting is critical due to the dynamic nature of the TikTok algorithm. Starting with 1-2 posts per day and using analytics data to identify when your audience is most active on TikTok can guide your posting schedule.

Utilizing TikTok’s unique features

Familiarize yourself with TikTok’s features to enhance your content:

  • Implement TikTok’s extensive music library and sound effects to make your videos more entertaining.
  • Add visual flair using effects, filters, text overlays, and stickers.
  • Engage audiences and capitalize on viral trends through duets, reaction videos, and the Stitch feature.
  • Improve discoverability and ride the wave of viral challenges by using hashtags strategically.

Promoting your content

Promoting your content across different channels is crucial to maximize reach. Here are some of the most effective ways to do that:

  • Implement a mix of popular and niche hashtags to improve discoverability.
  • Cross-post your TikTok content on your other social media channels (such as Instagram or Reddit) and embed TikTok videos on other platforms.
  • Run paid TikTok ads to reach new audiences and amplify your best content.
  • Encourage audiences on other channels to follow your TikTok profile through clear calls-to-action.

Monitoring your performance

Regularly analyzing key TikTok performance metrics is essential to gauge what’s working and optimize your efforts. Key performance indicators to track include:

  • Content engagement rates (likes, comments, shares per post).
  • Follower growth and demographic breakdown.
  • Website traffic driven from TikTok.
  • Sales or leads generated from TikTok.
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS) from TikTok campaigns.

By integrating these critical components into a comprehensive TikTok marketing strategy and iterating based on performance data, brands can achieve significant results.

Chapter Seven: Harnessing TikTok trends and hashtags for effective marketing

Riding the wave of viral TikTok trends and challenges is pivotal for brands aiming for exponential growth. Additionally, strategic hashtag use is crucial for discovery. Here are several expert strategies for leveraging TikTok trends and hashtags effectively:

Spotting trends early

Identifying trends before they hit the mainstream is the best approach. Keep an eye on the ‘Discover’ and ‘Trending Hashtags’ pages to catch emerging challenges before they really blow up. Also, follow top influencers in your industry to identify trends at their early stages. Consider accounts like @TikTokTrends for viral hashtag predictions.

Drawing inspiration from trends

Customize trending challenges and formats to fit your brand creatively. Interpret viral meme formats in a way that aligns with your brand’s unique tone, voice, and messaging. Showcase your products or services in a fresh light using trending TikTok features, such as specific sounds, effects, transitions, and stickers.

Creating your own trend

Strive to originate a viral TikTok trend that encourages your audience to interact with your brand. Launch a branded challenge that inspires user-generated content. Share a catchy sound, effect, or humorous meme format that others can incorporate in their videos.

Employing strategic hashtag use

Use a combination of widely popular hashtags (like #fyp) and niche hashtags to target your audience precisely. Avoid overusing niche hashtags that could limit your reach. Incorporate relevant hashtags into video captions and in-video text to enhance discoverability.

Capitalizing on trends swiftly

Speed and adaptability are key when seizing TikTok trends. Attempt to create trend-jacking videos within 1-2 days upon spotting a new viral trend or challenge for maximum impact. Stay flexible and reactive – you may need to quickly adjust your video plans to tap into trending phenomena for extensive reach.

Brands like Ocean Spray perfectly exemplify the effective use of TikTok trends. Their classic cranberry juice brand gained significant relevance thanks to a timely meme video associated with a massively viral TikTok dancer.

Chapter Eight: Exploring TikTok advertising options and best practices

Besides organic content, TikTok advertising presents a significant opportunity for brands to expand their reach and enhance results via paid campaigns. Here’s a summary of the various advertising options available:

In-Feed video ads

These are TikTok’s core ad units. Much like Instagram or Facebook video ads, these are brief video advertisements cleverly inserted between organic videos on user feeds. They’re designed to appear native and are optimized for engagement by the algorithm.

Stories ads

These are full-screen images, GIFs, or videos that appear amid TikTok videos. They’re restricted to a duration of 5-15 seconds and aid in augmenting brand awareness.

Brand takeovers

This involves sponsoring branded effects, filters, lenses, or hashtags. Users can interact with these branded elements to trigger your ads and get redirected to your site or app. It’s a highly interactive ad format.

Topview ads

This feature ensures that your video ad is the first thing a user sees when they open TikTok for the day, maximizing attention and brand visibility.

Branded hashtag challenges

Sponsoring a branded hashtag challenge engages users and promotes awareness. Users create content centered around your branded hashtag.

Shoppable videos

You can add shoppable links, product tags, or Shopping tabs to your video ads to drive direct sales of your products.

When establishing and optimizing TikTok ad campaigns, the following best practices should be considered:

  • Implement conversion tracking tools like TikTok pixel to attribute value.
  • Test different ad formats to identify what connects best with your audience.
  • Experiment with various targeting settings like interests, behaviors, and placements.
  • Conduct A/B testing with different types of short video ad creative.
  • Employ a range of bidding strategies, from CPC to optimizing for conversions.
  • Monitor performance in real-time and swiftly discontinue underperforming campaigns.

Well-executed TikTok ads can provide brands a cost-effective method to place their content and products in front of a substantial new audience of potential buyers.

Chapter Nine: Effective collaboration with top TikTok influencers

Partnering with influencers forms a significant part of a brand’s TikTok strategy. However, to find and work with the most effective influencers requires a methodical approach. Here are some expert tips for achieving success with TikTok influencers:

Identify relevant influencers

Use influencer marketing platforms and tools to search for TikTok influencers that fit your brand’s niche. You can filter based on audience demographics, interests, engagement rates, and other attributes relevant to your brand.

Prioritize influencers with high engagement rates, as they have built a strong connection with their audience.

Vet your potential influencers

Don’t rely solely on surface metrics. When considering influencers for collaboration, ensure they consistently produce high-quality content and have a primarily authentic following.

Analyze their audience quality by looking at who follows them and how engaged their followers are. Be cautious of red flags like suspicious comments or followers.

Establish fair rates from the start

Have clear and transparent expectations, requirements, and guidelines for the partnership right from the beginning. Offer fair, pre-determined compensation packages based on audience size and content type. However, be flexible to negotiate with smaller influencers who have limited budgets.

Give clear guidelines

Provide chosen influencers with ample concrete instructions, brand guidelines, necessary imagery or video assets, product information, and guidance to create compliant and strategically aligned branded content for your campaign.

Monitor performance closely

Incorporate trackable links, unique promo codes, branded hashtags, etc., in influencer content. This allows you to clearly trace sales and conversions back to specific influencers.

Evaluate which influencers generated the highest ROI and engagement rates to guide future partnerships.

With careful selection and strategy, the right TikTok influencer collaborations can yield incredible benefits for brands, such as expanded reach, increased conversions, and stronger audience connection and loyalty. However, to achieve exceptional ROI from TikTok influencer campaigns, brands must be intentional, strategic, and data-driven in their influencer relationships and thoroughly evaluate performance.

Chapter Ten: Monitoring and analyzing TikTok performance KPIs

In the fast-paced TikTok environment, continuously monitoring and analyzing performance data is required for brands to optimize efforts and achieve continual improvement.

Here are the key TikTok performance metrics and KPIs brands should be tracking:

Content engagement rate – Likes, comments, shares, saves, etc. per post. Goal is growth over time.

Follower growth – Overall follower counts and growth rates over time.

Post reach – Number of unique users who see each post. Aim for steady reach expansion.

Website traffic – Volume of visits to your site driven from TikTok and their conversion rate.

Leads/Sales conversions – Volume and value of conversions generated from TikTok specifically.

Ad results – Impressions, clicks, CTR, CPC, CPM, cost per conversion/acquisition and ROI for TikTok ads.

Audience demographics – Follower gender, age, interests and location data. Monitor audience makeup.

By continually analyzing key metrics across your content, followers, engagement, conversions, and advertising through tools like TikTok analytics and UTMs, you can gain critical insights to inform your evolving TikTok strategy.

Compare performance for different types of content, captions, CTAs, posting times, collaborations with influencers, and ads. Then double down on what delivers the best results. TikTok marketing without performance tracking and optimization is like flying blind.

Chapter Eleven: Case studies – Successful TikTok influencer collaboration

The power of TikTok influencer collaborations cannot be overstated. Various successful brand campaigns illustrate just how efficient partnering with influencers can be. Here are some successful TikTok case studies:

  1. Walmart: Walmart brilliantly collaborated with TikTok influencers to create a dance challenge as part of their back-to-school campaign. The result? Over 1.5 billion views and 250,000 user-generated videos.
  2. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): The global accounting organization ACCA collaborated with TikTok influencers to create a “day in the life of an accountant” segments. The innovative campaign helped make accounting more relatable while confronting the ‘boring accountant’ stereotype and successfully attracted over 1 million views, transforming how people perceive the ACCA and accountants in general.
  3. Benny Blanco – Universal: To promote his new song “Graduation,” Benny Blanco – Universal worked with TikTok influencers. The campaign generated a whopping over 1 billion views and 1.5 million user-generated videos.
  4. KFC: In 2021, KFC decided to target the TikTok audience to promote their chicken sandwich. By collaborating with influencers on a dance challenge, they garnered 221 million video views with an engagement rate of 9.3%​.
  5. Guess: The popular fashion brand created the “InMyDenim” campaign and promoted their denim products through TikTok influencers. The campaign was highly successful, leading to  5,550 user-generated videos, attracted 10.5 million views, and recorded a 14.3% rate of engagement.
  6. Red Bull: Red Bull initiated a dance challenge named “RedBullDanceYourStyle” and partnered with influencers to promote it. The challenge exploded on TikTok, generating over 7 billion views.

These case studies exemplify the vast potential of integrating TikTok influencers into your marketing strategy. Effective partnerships can help your brand reach a wider audience, generate immense engagement, and promote your message in innovative, memorable ways. It emphasizes the fact that tapping into the creative minds of influencers, and fully utilizing TikTok’s native features, leads to exceptional campaign success.

Wrapping up

TikTok has cemented itself as a required platform within a comprehensive digital marketing strategy in 2023 given its incredible reach, engagement, and business impact potential.

The key is to remain nimble yet strategic, be highly iterative, and make data-backed decisions using TikTok analytics and performance benchmarks. With consistent, high-quality, and innovative execution rooted in performance data, brands can achieve transformative results and growth through TikTok.

_About the author
Viral Nation

Viral Nation is a new media innovation group that powers the social ecosystem through integrated solutions that align strategy, talent, media, and technology. As pioneers in the influencer space, Viral Nation is comprised of a full-service creative agency, a creator and athlete-influencer representation agency, and a technology division creating modern marketing solutions for the social media age.