BEST PRACTICE FOR USING TIKTOK AS A MARKETING CHANNEL

There’s not a more talked about social platform right now than TikTok.

With an estimated 600 million users worldwide, TikTok landed onto the 2019 social landscape with an army of dedicated creators ready to make and consume content. Through this unique social platform, TikTok has attracted a number of high-level verified accounts to the platform – celebrities such as Will Smith and Reese Witherspoon, musicians like Ed Sheeran and Mabel, sports clubs like Real Madrid and Liverpool FC… now it’s over to brands to make the leap.

It’s hard to ignore the attention this platform has demanded, with 17-21 year-olds in the US now more likely to use TikTok than Twitch, and 13-16-year-olds more likely to use TikTok than Facebook (Morning Consult, 2019). It’s time for brands to take this platform seriously if they want to engage a Gen Z audience and not get left behind.

TikTok offers brands a unique opportunity to engage with a global and diverse audience. The most successful ones will be those that embrace its unique appeal – real people and real content – letting creators freely express their creativity and turning them into real brand ambassadors.

But how do brands utilise TikTok as a marketing platform and how does this differ from anything we’ve seen before?

 

1. Don’t forget your digital objectives & audience

It’s easy to be excited by the latest platforms, innovation and trends, but in today’s fast-paced and competitive environment it’s not enough to simply join a new platform just because the opportunity arises.

Brands need to consider WHY they would launch on TikTok, what it means in the context of their digital objectives and the audience they are trying to talk to. What do you want to achieve and can a platform like TikTok help you get there? If your brand focus is reaching a Gen Z audience, then TikTok could be a useful creative platform for you.

 

2. Understand the subculture of your target audience

To have the best chance of getting results from TikTok you need to understand how your target audience is using the platform and the subcultures TikTok is enabling.

TikTok is unique to any other social platform in the fact that content performance is driven by audience interests, not the number of followers. Teen and YA audiences want to watch and create content that aligns with what they’re into – this platform is all about real content and spontaneity; finding what you love and showcasing it.

TikTok is also different in the way it organically promotes focused UGC through hashtag challenges. This encourages engagements, beyond a like or comment, facilitating duets between fans and influencers, recreating social trends or memes, and even allowing people to start their own trend using their favourite song of the moment.

 

3. Develop a channel strategy

Whether you’re starting from scratch or need to optimise your current approach, developing a channel strategy will be the foundation for results. As a brand, you need to decide whether an organic channel is right, based on whether you are community-focused and have an existing fan base, or whether advertising will be better for fast results. Also, consider relevancy to the audience – why would the users engage with your content on TikTok? How will it add value to their social experience? If it doesn’t, consider paid awareness over organic engagement.

 

4. Craft a smart content approach

If you’ve ever been on TikTok, you’ll know that the content looks nothing like social content as you know it and, on the whole, you can’t just upload your IG Stories and get the same traction you would if you were acting natively to the platform. But don’t let that put you off!

At Think Jam we have been working with TikTok for over a year. Our team is in a position to advise and make recommendations on content strategy, ideation, creator collaboration, and asset development. Our insights and expertise with Gen Z will come handy when you need to craft a content strategy based on hashtag challenges, trends, memes or trending songs. And remember music is an integral part of TikTok and it plays a key role in the creative process.

The important thing is for you to be open to experimenting and testing while being creative.

 

5. Analyse and learn

Back on familiar ground, remember to keep an eye on your analytics as you grow. Like with any new social platform, TikTok’s dashboard is still developing but you’ll be able to track: views, likes, number of videos produced inspired by your content, comments, average watch time, traffic source types & audience territories. Ensure that you’re learning from performance and adapting accordingly – consider reading comments for qualitative data and to understand better what your audience wants from the platform.

For more information on TikTok get in touch at Hello@Thinkjam.com

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