What started as a platform to highlight short and sometimes silly videos that keep you up until two in the morning, has caught on as one of the newest social media platforms. TikTok calls itself the leading destination for short-form mobile video. The platform currently has over 1 billion active users and continues to grow, with average users opening the app more than 8 times a day. Its growth as a social media staple also has presented an opportunity for brands, many of which are seeing incredible results from having a presence on the platform.
TikTok evens the playing field for the average person or brand. With decent content, anyone has a legitimate shot at going viral and growing an account at a rapid pace. That popularity on TikTok can be used to direct and grow your audience over to YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram and even to your website.
As the most engaging social media app today, users spend about 52 minutes per day, watching more than 1 million 15-second videos. 90% of those users are accessing it daily with an average session time of 10.85 minutes. If you are an advertiser or a business, that means your content is likely to be seen by the same person or your ideal audience multiple times each day. The more they see you, the more likely they are to follow you on TikTok and then find you on other platforms.
Being the popular platform that it is, there is a misconception that TikTok’s audience is limited to kids or pre-teens. Looking at it honestly, users do skew younger than other platforms, with the largest demographic being Gen Zers. For this reason, brands tend to overlook the platform which is a big mistake. We should know that platforms people deem as ‘fads’ (Facebook, Instagram) often become a huge part of our lives. All top social networks we use today started by first attracting a younger audience. When it first emerged, teens and young adults also primarily used Instagram. Now, all age groups utilize it, as well as 25 million businesses. The same will happen with TikTok.
There are a variety of ways that your business can use TikTok to its best ability. You can create your own content in the form of original videos for your business or you can also run ads similar to that of other platforms. There are two distinct types of ads on the TikTok platform. Ads that let you use an auction bid to show your ad to an audience for a set cost, and placement ads that display in specific places when the app is opened. Such as the very first video in the feed, for example. The ads work well for building brand awareness and driving traffic to a website where you can retarget audiences with ads in other places. The ad content itself, as usual, is incredibly important as it is anywhere.
The best advice for successfully advertising on TikTok comes straight from the platform itself, “Make TikToks, don’t make ads.” Creating TikTok content that drives traffic requires some intentional thought and creativity. Use your videos to deliver “why” but not “how,” then deliver a call to action to drive traffic. Lots of people are using this process to fully revive their Instagram profiles, get more YouTube subscribers, and attract new people to their Facebook groups. The key is to know how to market to your audience, solve their problems, entertain them, and give them informational content. From there you can leverage your audience as needed.
For a business, educational content is the way to go. What is the biggest problem your audience faces and how can you help them get there in the least amount of time possible? Create content around that topic and entertain people while simultaneously making you their go-to source for whatever they want to learn. That content will not only help you keep an audience but it will also make you an authority in your space so you can drive traffic to your website or social platforms. TikTok wants to understand who your audience is and to show your content only to the people it will resonate with, so they will come back for more. Creating a bunch of random videos that do not serve a purpose will certainly dilute that process.
For those of us who are familiar with TikTok, it is common knowledge that your video feed if filled with related videos based on what you have previously viewed or liked. One of the basic strengths of TikTok is the way its algorithm curates and tailors the content it serves to each user.
TikTok uses seven key data points to evaluate and serve content that reflects the unique personality traits of your profile. Those seven points consider points such as video views, likes, and comments, followers, forwards, shares, saves, average watch time, completion rate, and video integrity. The algorithm watches these points in real time. If the response to your video is favorable, the video is served to a larger geographic audience, and the more data TikTok receives, the wider the distribution of your video. You can put out a video, and within 5–6 hours, have 200,000 views.
Figure out who your audience is and what your goals are. Are you trying to drive sales? Build brand awareness? Create content around your audience and goal. Answer frequent questions about your product or service, or deliver simple shareworthy tips and tricks, case studies, or testimonials. TikTok is a gift to your business that you may not know about yet. Its continuously growing with content creators and brands that are looking to grow their audience, increase engagement, and reach millions of people. Exactly like you. Show another side of your brand, build a community, and target new customers. It is a fun platform and with the right strategy, you can absolutely use TikTok to grow your business. So, let’s get on board with it and have some fun!
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