Since its launch in September 2016, TikTok has introduced the world to the creativity of younger generations. While some Millennials—people born between 1981 and 1996, according to Pew Research Center—use the short-form mobile video platform, it’s Gen Z—people born after 1997—who are leading the curation of creative content being shared across other social media platforms.
If you’re not a big social media user, you may not have seen a TikTok video shared on other networks. Or you may not have known a video you saw was created and initially shared on TikTok.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a Chinese video-sharing social networking platform owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, an internet technology company. People create short-form videos covering a range of topics, including dance challenges, lip-syncs, and comedy.
The TikTok app includes a variety of editing effects for you to upgrade your content with filters, stickers, and video transitions. Much of it is built within the app to allow your creativity to take over for every post.
Should brands use TikTok?
The question isn’t should your brand use TikTok. The question is what platforms are your ideal customers using? Based on where your customers are online, you can consider and implement social media campaigns in those networks.
If your goal is to engage younger audiences, or your ideal customer ranges in age from 13-24, you’re in luck with TikTok. According to Hootsuite, 69% of TikTok users are 13-24 years old and 60% of TikTok users identify as female.
Once you’ve established TikTok as possible new channel for your brand, the next consideration is the type of content required to maintain a brand presence. The NFL, Fenty Beauty, Chipotle, and The Washington Post have invested time to create videos highlighting major players, introducing products, and using a spokesperson to add a regular face to the brand presence. Many of the brands using TikTok post 1-2 videos per week, but make sure they’re trending with the latest themes and music highlighted throughout the app.
Let’s talk TikTok advertising
While creating a brand presence on TikTok will help to introduce your company to a younger audience, there’s still an opportunity to boost your presence within the app further through advertising.
The four advertisement products you can use on TikTok are brand takeover, topview ads, in-feed video, hashtag challenge, and branded lenses. TikTok also provides creator packages ranging from mid-tier to premium hybrid that allow for a mix of influencers to create ads for your brand.
Similar to the initial advertisement packages for Snapchat and Instagram back in the day, TikTok advertisements are fairly expensive. Yet, they can help brands reach more potential customers across the platform, especially through the use of creator packages.
Check out the recent launch of TikTok for Business for a more in-depth look at these offerings.
What about influencers?
You said the magic word. While influencer marketing has grown in popularity on other social channels—check out this campaign for DRI DUCK—TikTok is a key channel for this brand awareness tactic.
Why? Because Gen Z has a total disdain for anything that resembles a traditional advertisement and TikTok is predominantly used by Gen Zers. On top of all that, it’s easier for brands to leverage established TikTok creators to reach their followers and maximize exposure of their business. The key is finding the right influencers to work with who align with your brand, its business goals, and the products you sell.
How to create your first TikTok video
Now that you’ve established whether or not your brand should use TikTok as a marketing channel, if you’re going to invest in advertising spend, and understand how influencer marketing may help you, let’s dive into your first post.
As I mentioned, the TikTok app has many features for upping the ante on your video content, but there are a few steps before you get to that part of the posting process. Here’s a quick step-by-step rundown of how to post your first video:
- Pick a sound. There are a ton of sounds and songs to choose from.
- Practice what you’re going to do before recording. Some of the most-engaging videos on TikTok are highly curated and involve practicing the movement you want to see in the final edit.
- Add stickers and filters to put a little sparkle in your video.
- Select the cover image—what your post will show when not playing—from your video.
- Write a concise caption with a trendy hashtag.
- Select who you want to see it.
Before you dive right in, do a little research to find videos that inspire you to reshape your brand. You’ll easily find TikTok creators who have mastered the art of combining editing effects and those who have switched up their styles throughout their time on the app. All of it is worth considering as you venture into this new network of possibility.
Just remember, not every brand is the right fit for a dance challenge.