With Tik Tok rapidly on the rise and quickly becoming one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, people are clicking into their respective app stores and looking to download the trending app and see what all the hype is about. For marketers, they find themselves intrigued by TikTok’s growth, wondering whether they can use it to promote their brand’s products or services. Besides TikTok’s appeal to the younger demographic, the platform also provides a growing range of ad options and has been actively taking measures to educate its users on best practices for safely using the platform.

Is your brand thinking about adding TikTok into its digital marketing mix? We’ve put together a marketer’s guide to TikTok strategy. In this brief-yet-informative guide, we will touch on the in’s and out’s of marketing on the platform and best practices for achieving results. Let’s get started!

How Can Brands & Marketers Leverage TikTok?

Though the UI works a little differently than other social platforms, using TikTok for marketing is much more simple than you’d think. As it stands today, there are three key options for brands looking to utilize TikTok for promotion:

  1. Creating your brands’ channel and uploading videos that are relevant to your business and brand image
  2. Utilizing influencers to bring your content to a far broader, yet very targeted audience
  3. Paying to advertise on the platform utilizing TikTok’s new campaign options

What Makes TikTok Marketing Different From Other Platforms?

It can be argued that what differentiates TikTok from the other social networking apps is that popular hashtags on the platform tend to favor trending challenges and memes. These challenges create the opportunity for brands to capitalize on a trend on social in a far more engaging fashion than the activity commonly associated with hashtagging on other platforms.. or other repeating formats.  Though not detached from reality, TikTok is a platform where people go to have fun, laugh, and be creative. It’s an environment that can provide a sense of escape from the stress and anxiety of the 24/7 news cycle that surrounds the current Coronavirus pandemic.

Much as they do on all social platforms, influencers can play a vital role in helping to promote a campaign on social media. Influencer-driven campaigns can help brands in driving fan engagement, but they must be strategic and choose the right influencers; those who are authentic and aligned with the brand and its audience. Considering the level of fan engagement we are witnessing on the platform – and the affinity of its young audience to disregard those who come off too “sales-y,” – brands need to be thoughtful and strategic in their approach to marketing on TikTok, and also the influencers they choose to partner with.

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Great Examples & Brand Use Cases

There are some wonderful examples of brands utilizing TikTok, and Chipotle is near the top of that list. The food-chain teamed up with its fans to create a series of challenges on the platform, and it was a wildly successful campaign. Chipotle kicked off its first viral challenge back in May of 2019 after a customer filmed a video where they performed a lid flip.

The company then posted to its official Instagram page, and the post racked up over a million views, prompting the brand to turn to TikTok to invite customers to try the lid flip trick for themselves with a branded hashtag challenge. The #ChipotleLidFlip challenge received over 104 million views and 111,000 video submissions, with over 59,000 participants contributing to the campaign.

American cosmetics brand e.l.f. also found viral success with the hashtag challenge format. The makeup company generated over 3 million organic views of the #elfcosmetics hashtag on TikTok by developing its own unique challenge to engage with TikTok’s creator-driven community. The #eyeslipsface challenge aimed to “encourage raw and authentic videos that extend beyond makeup, and even beyond makeup users, with a focus on unleashing s(e.l.f.)-expression.”

A vast majority of brands take a more ‘high production value’ approach, aiming to feed their polished Instagram content into Tik Tok. But e.l.f. took a different approach, designing its campaign from the ground up, becoming the first brand to create original music for a TikTok hashtag in the process. To say the campaign was a success would be a massive understatement. The campaign broke the record for the most user-generated videos in a TikTok brand campaign, becoming the first sponsored brand to hold the #1 trending spot on TikTok.

Tips and Ideas for Marketing on TikTok

Here at Viral Nation, we pride ourselves on our successes in the marketing industry and the insights we have accumulated over the years. We put together a collection of creative ideas to draw inspiration from when marketing on TikTok.

Be Raw. Be Authentic

We live in a world where consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical of ads; oftentimes, they are completely unresponsive. But the raw, unedited videos on TikTok can be an awesome way to showcase people using your brand throughout their everyday lives. This can bring a sense of relatability to your brand.

You Can’t Go Wrong With a Great Hashtag Challenge

#HashtagChallenges can be an outstanding tool for brands because they stimulate engagement. They’re typically easy to join in on and bring an element of fun to the content. For brands not yet well-established, you may also consider utilizing influencer marketing in conjunction with your Hashtag Challenge to help give your challenge campaign a boost.

Go Behind-The-Scenes

Some brands find difficulty in discovering elements of their business that they deem worthy and engaging enough to create content around. No matter the brand, there is a creative and often personal method to connect with your audience through social media. TikTok videos can be a great place to showcase any business behind the scenes or with some fun, in-the-moment content.

Create a Step-By-Step Instructional Video

Does your brand have a product that requires assembly? A service with a potentially elaborate set-up process? Good news! User-friendly instructional videos can be produced on TikTok.

A step-by-step tutorial can be an amazing way to also connect with your customers after the point of purchase. You can even include a link to the video on your packaging.

Human Resources Can Be More…Human

In many people’s eyes, Human Resources and social media don’t exactly go hand in hand. But that’s not necessarily true! Brands can make their training sessions much more interactive by going live on TikTok to conduct them, even including fun ways to interact with their trainees through the apps catalog of features.

Restaurants Can Go Viral

Restaurants and food establishments have significant opportunities on TikTok. While brands like Chipotle were the first to jump onto the platform, it also recently launched its second major TikTok campaign with the #GuacDance challenge. This new challenge encouraged fans to flaunt their avocado-themed dance moves, inspired by the ‘Guacamole Song’ by Dr. Jean.

We can help your brand go viral on social media.

Work with us →

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