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Social Media and UGC

TikTok Marketing Strategies that Work for Brands

With the growing popularity of TikTok, many brands are scrambling to build a TikTok marketing strategy. The two-year-old-app is simple: it allows users to make short, looping videos with musical overlays and special effects – and it's booming. With over 500 million MAU (monthly active users), TikTok has a highly engaged user-base.

But is the app really built for brands?TikTok has recently launched an advertising process and hyperlinking text feature for businesses, although influencers and brand mentions in the form of 'challenges' have been prevalent on the platform since it's formation. Currently, brands are unknowingly on TikTok (in the form of existing user-generated content) and use organically drive brand awareness. Others are more intentional with their presence on TikTok with ads that are oriented around generating website traffic.

The bottom line: savvy brands are starting to use it to reach younger audiences and show a different side of themselves through funny videos, challenges, games and other strategies that are specific to the platform. At the core, brands on TikTok need to be authentic, approachable, and willing to test boundaries to gain the respect of this new audience.

The Basics of Getting the Best ROI on TikTok

There are currently three options for brands interested in using TikTok for marketing:

  1. Creating your channel and uploading videos relevant to your business.
  2. Taking help from influencers and passionate customers to introduce your content to a much broader audience.
  3. Running paid ad campaigns on TikTok.

Even though the channel is relatively new, some brands are already making waves on TikTok. Here are some campaign ideas inspired by the most successful brands on TikTok.

Reusing content from other channels can work, especially once you understand how TikTok works. Some brands are thriving by using the unedited version of customer-videos. You can use short videos of your existing customers using your products/services to show your brand in their everyday lives. Learn how Pixlee helps your brand make the most of user-generated content on TikTok.

TikTok Campaign Inspiration

Authenticity and originality are key. Sharing behind-the-scenes or in-the-moment content can be a great way to pull engagement. For instance:

  • Colleges and universities can share on-campus videos, clips from sports events, cycling marathons and other activities to spark interest and engagement.
  • Clothing boutiques are using TikTok to share time-lapse videos that display your seasonal designs and upcoming products. You can also add more flavor to your footage with some trending music. Big clothing brands are more likely to see an immediate response to their campaigns. GUESS was the first brand TikTok has collaborated with in the US for its #inmydenim campaign.
  • Restaurants have been successful in participating in different challenges to prompt engagement. Just like Chipotle’s #GuacDanceChallenge, that asked fans to show off their avocado-themed dance moves inspired by the Guacamole song.

With a little bit of creativity, TikTok offers promising opportunities for brands. Even if you don't have a huge budget for advertising or a dedicated content studio for the channel, the best opportunities have appeared in the form of user-generated content. Incorporating TikTok into your user-generated content strategy can give you an easily scalable approach to this platform without making your brand feel inauthentic. Remember, it's still new, so test and try new campaign ideas, the sky is the limit.

Jamal writes about the influence of social media on modern-day business activities. He’s best known for designing social media strategies for some of the well-known global brands. His recent interests are in helping a local footwear brand, Peshawari Chappal elevate their sales using the power of social.

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