TikTok marketing is one of the top new tactics for video-obsessed marketers to try in 2020. Even if you’re a little late to the social media party and just learning how to use TikTok for marketing, understanding this channel isn’t difficult. TikTok is a video-exclusive platform, and marketing on TikTok means authentic, relatable videos – regardless of your budget. There aren’t many rules when it comes to creating the videos, basically the more natural and spontaneous they look, the better, you just have to remember to rotate the video in the right position, as most of the TikTok content is shot vertically. Creating that content is often the biggest challenge marketers must overcome before launching their TikTok marketing plan. But similar to many other channels, successful TikTok marketers are learning to embrace the power of user-generated content.
Creating Compelling Content on TikTok
User-generated content (UGC) goes a long way on TikTok. Your customers are likely already using TikTok and other social apps to create content that features your brand. Tapping into this saves time and helps your brand feel more authentic.
The great thing about featuring user-generated content is that people love to be seen; by you sharing their video, not only does it make them feel more connected to your brand, but it may give them the chance to grow their own audience as well. Also, when other people see that you share customer UGC, they’ll be more inclined to create content that you’ll share (allowing them the same aforementioned exposure).
This type of video really takes no effort on your part. Sure, you might have to spend some time sifting through content that features or mentions your brand, (typically by searching for hashtags that are related to your company) but other than that, there’s no filming or trying to create the perfect clip.
If you’re still not sure what we mean, the non-profit UNICEF promoted #oneloveoneheart to help raise awareness and money for children affected by COVID-19. TikTok users all over the world are sharing videos to help the cause, and subsequently promoting the organization.
Yes, sponsored challenges definitely fit within the TikTok advertising section – but these videos are fun and often go viral - they’re worth having their own section! A social media contest, or ‘hashtag challenge’ is basically when a company asks users to create content based on a certain task, tag them using the hashtag, and share the content.
TikTok Marketing (paid): Brand Takeover vs. Native Ads
Although not as self-serve as Facebook or Twitter, TikTok offers functionality for you to advertise your brand on TikTok. You can opt for a brand takeover, meaning that your video plays before a viewer can see other content, or you can use native ads that play between videos for that particular user. Brand takeovers are a coveted option because of exclusivity - only your brand’s ad will appear in that specific daily slot and play in full-screen right when the app is opened. So, if you choose to run a week’s worth of brand takeover ads, you’ll be the only company in your designated category for an entire week! You can also link to your brand’s landing page or create a hashtag social media contest.
Brand takeovers can be somewhat expensive but are effective for building your audience quickly. If your budget doesn’t allow for a brand takeover, consider using native advertising. Like other TikTok videos, this less expensive option is 9 to 15 seconds in length and may be skipped by the user.
As with brand takeovers, these ads can feature influencers or promote social media contests, while creating a less branded feel by appearing naturally in the user’s feed.
Both of these options allow you to use the app’s built-in metrics to gauge how successful your campaign is.
Using Each of These Videos to Grow Your Brand
TikTok marketing gives marketers a new look into an emerging engaged audience: Gen Z. Even if traction is slow at first, the global reach and engaging format this platform offers are beyond any other social platform right now.
The goal isn’t always to go massively viral; you can still build a loyal following of people who are fans of your content - and those fans are ultimately consumers waiting to join your customer community.
Dave Schneider is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded Shortlist in 2018, a marketing un-agency that serves as an outsourced dedicated marketing team. He has also co-founded Less.churn, a churn reduction app, prior to selling it in 2018. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world, and have visited over 65 countries.
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