TikTok is a popular social media platform launched in 2016. The platform had over 1 billion subscribers as of September 2021. This is the first-growing pace for a social media platform, surpassing Facebook and Instagram, which took about eight years to reach that milestone.
TikTok provides an excellent opportunity for brands that want to market on social media. However, as with any other young platform, knowing where to start can be daunting for businesses venturing into TikTok marketing for the first time.
Luckily, you have come to this post. Here we look at everything you need to know about TikTok marketing and how to create a winning TikTok marketing strategy for your business to reach a new audience and improve engagement.
Table of Contents
Understanding TikTok Marketing
TikTok marketing involves using short videos and original content to promote your product or service via TikTok. These short-form videos make a brand unique and are why TikTok has become very popular in the last few years.
Depending on your target audience and the message you want to convey, TikTok videos can last between ten seconds and three minutes—the shorter, the better. This makes TikTok a faster and more efficient way to connect with your target audience and pass on the necessary information.
Users scroll the “For Your Page Section” when interacting with your page. The platform collects information on how users use it and uses their usage history to provide content matching their personal algorithm.
Like other social media platforms, users can like, comment, or share your content depending on how they relate to it. The best part is that TikTok allows you to promote your business in a fun and engaging way. Think about dancing and fitness tutorials, cooking videos, fashion tips, and many other ways to engage your audience.
Why Does Having a TikTok Marketing Strategy Matters?
Social media marketing is the next big thing today. TikTok estimated revenue for 2021 was $58 billion. The only way you can get a good share of this revenue is if you have a perfect TikTok marketing strategy. That said, here are the main reasons why you need a TikTok marketing strategy:
Reach a New Audience
A perfect TikTok marketing strategy allows you to reach a larger audience and increase your followers. With more than 2.5 billion installations, it means your TikTok videos have the potential to reach thousands or millions of users within a short time.
You can reach many people on the go, whether they are having their lunch, when going to work in the morning, or when scrolling social media during the day and evening. It is an ideal platform, especially if your business targets a younger audience.
An Easy Way to Trend or Go Viral
Going viral is a new trend that businesses can use to reach a wider audience, and having a TikTok marketing strategy can help in this regard. Going viral means millions of users can see your videos with the same hashtags as what they are looking for. This can be a huge boost for your marketing efforts and a great way to gain new followers.
Creating fun and educative videos on TikTok allows users to like, comment, share them on social media, and engage in conversations in the threads. A TikTok marketing strategy forms the foundation to excite your existing and potential customers using fun and exciting videos. The videos should be creative and have practical tips that are educative and entertaining.
Helps Develop Your Unique Brand Voice
The benefits of having a TikTok marketing strategy go beyond going viral and reaching a wider audience; it helps develop your unique brand voice. No matter your industry, a TikTok marketing strategy helps get your message out there in a fun and engaging way for better engagement. One of the ways to achieve this is by setting up your profile page and creating organic content to build a brand presence.
Connect with Other Creators
When you connect with other creators on TikTok, you access a new market segment that you could not otherwise have if you went on your own. This is a huge boost for your marketing campaigns and a perfect way to increase engagement rates.
How Does the TikTok Algorithm Work?
Like the Google algorithm, the TikTok algorithm determines what video to display on the “For You Page” of the users, depending on their preference. More specifically, the TikTok algorithm determines which video a specific user would be interested in seeing.
That means the “For You Page” for one user is completely different from that of other users, depending on what they view. The “For You Page” is highly customized for each individual to ensure they see videos that match their interests.
For example, users interested in fashion and beauty will likely see videos related to fashion trends and their likes. On the other hand, those interested in digital marketing will see videos on SEO, organic marketing, social media marketing tips, and other videos relating to digital marketing campaigns.
Ideally, the TikTok algorithm considers your behavioral changes and recommends related content based on your current interests. For instance, if you’re watching more fashion videos now, you will see more fashion-related videos. But if you change your preference and start watching more cooking videos, you will start seeing fewer fashion videos and more cooking videos.
What are the Key Ranking Signals for the TikTok Algorithm?
Like other social media platforms, TikTok has kept its algorithm secret. This is the platform’s effort to prevent spammers from gaming the algorithm to get more attention and gain more followers. Despite these efforts, experts have gained insights into the basic workings of the TikTok algorithm. That said, here are the key ranking signals for the TikTok algorithm:
How users interact with the content on TikTok forms a crucial part of their algorithm. Similar to Instagram, TikTok pays much attention to how users interact with your content. In other words, TikTok looks for clues about whether a user likes content on your site or not.
The “For You Page” recommends content based on these factors:
- The accounts a user follows
- The users’ comments
- The creators a user has hidden
- Videos a user had liked and shared
- Videos marked as “Not Interested”
- Content a user creates
- Videos flagged as not appropriate
- Videos marked as favorites
- Long videos watched to the end
As you can see, TikTok doesn’t only consider the type of videos a user watches, but also how much of the video they watch. Besides, the TikTok algorithm favors content that a user regularly engages with over those creators that you follow but scroll past their videos.
Video interaction signals are based on the content a user seeks on the Discover tab. Ideally, TikTok considers the information on the video to identify what it’s all about and shows the ones a user may be interested in. It looks at various details, including:
- Trending topics
Account and Device Settings
TikTok uses device and account settings to optimize performance. While they are not as important as user activity and video information signals, they play a role in the TikTok algorithm. Here are the device and account settings that play a part in the TikTok algorithm:
- Device type
- Language preference
- Country setting
- Categories of interest selected by new users
What TikTok Algorithm Don’t Show
TikTok aims to optimize the user experience to ensure users enjoy scrolling content on the platform. As such, it will exempt some content from showing on the users’ “For You page.” Content that the TikTok algorithm doesn’t show includes:
- Spam content
- Duplicate content
- Already watched content
- Content flagged as “Not Interested”
- Potential harmful content
The best thing about the TikTok algorithm is that it does not base its content recommendation on the number of followers a user has or the having a high-performing video in the past. Of course, you’re likely to have more views if you have more followers, but users with fewer followers have a similar chance that their content will land on the “For You Page” of their target audience if they create relatable epic content.
Guide to TikTok Marketing Strategy
You will get results from TikTok marketing if you have the right strategy. However, TikTok is a relatively new social media marketing platform, and knowing where to start can be daunting. This section provides tips on how to create a winning TikTok marketing strategy.
Define Your Unique Goals and Objectives
Setting clear goals and objectives is a sure way to achieve success. If you do not set SMART goals, you won’t know where to focus your efforts and define ways to measure your success.
There’s a direct correlation between setting goals and achieving success. In a 1979 study involving new graduates from Havard’s MBA program, graduates who set goals had ten times more income (after ten years) than those who didn’t set their goals.
That means you must set clear goals if you want to achieve success in your business. Your goals will guide you on the type of content to create and post on your TikTok account.
Do you want to increase engagement? Increase brand awareness? Increase subscriptions? You should set your goals before you start creating content.
When creating your goals, ensure to be specific and realistic. Also, ensure that your goals are measurable and can be achieved within a certain period. The bottom line is to ensure that your planned campaign aligns with your goals. Take time to review your strategy and make any necessary changes before execution.
Knowing Your Audience is Key
Your marketing efforts will only succeed if tailored to your audience. Not understanding your audience is like throwing arrows aimlessly without having a specific target which will only lead to losses. You must know your target demographic to create a perfect TikTok marketing strategy.
But knowing your target demographic is only the beginning. You should research what motivates them, the kind of content they like, and the best ways to win them.
But how will you know your audience? There are many ways you can use to research your audience, including:
- Google Analytics: Data from your Google Analytics account can help identify visitors to your account and the type of content they engage with.
- Surveys and polls: Conducting surveys and polls using tools like Qualtrics is a great way to understand your audience
- Competitor research: Knowing how your competitors handle their TikTok campaigns can give insights into what is working and what’s not working in your industry. Use the insights to create a better campaign for your business.
- Social listening: Social listening is one of the effective tools for marketers. Use social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite to track your brand mentions and the best-performing keywords and phrases. This will help you know what people say about your brand and the type of content they’re looking for.
Once you research your target audience, start creating relevant TikTok content. The best part is that the TikTok ad manager allows users to target niche audiences and customer segments. It’s the best platform when targeting specific demographics based on their unique interests and locations.
Define Your Unique Voice
TikTok content is more fun and engaging, unlike content on other platforms that are more professional or serious. Even when creating industry content to post on TikTok, you should give it a sense of humor.
However, creating fun and engaging content is not enough; you must ensure consistency to make your content more effective. This is why you should define a unique voice for your TikTok campaigns. When doing this, consider your brand and the voice that matches TikTok content. When you define your voice, stick to it to ensure consistency. According to one study, brands that maintain a consistent content voice in their marketing report a 33 percent increase in revenue.
The idea is to ensure that all your videos and voice follow a certain pattern, including the music you use. This will create a connection between your brand and your audience, which will help increase trust. Luckily, with proper audience research, you’ll get valuable insights that you’ll use to create your unique voice and tone.
Create a Unique TikTok Profile
The primary reason for having a TikTok marketing strategy is to have a great first impression. One way you can achieve this is by optimizing your brand profile and making it unique. Include an outstanding profile picture and bio that better represents your brand. Additionally, ensure your TikTok content is unique, original, and relevant to your target audience.
One mistake that some marketers make is to copy branded content from other platforms and upload them to your TikTok account. This is a huge mistake that will not bring the results you want.
As a rule of thumb, understand that the TikTok demographic differs from YouTube and other video platforms. That means one piece of content may work well on YouTube but fail to provide results on TikTok.
Of course, you can use your previous content on TikTok, but creativity is needed to give that content a TikTok touch. Suppose you need help giving already crafted content a new touch or need help creating new content for your TikTok audience. In that case, it’s best to partner with a TikTok marketing agency that understands the TikTok culture.
You can also partner with experienced influencers to help create content relevant to your audience.
Focus on Organic Content
Like Google, marketers can choose between organic and paid media when creating TikTok content. While most marketers opt for paid media, you shouldn’t ignore organic content. Of course, you can experience a faster and wider reach with paid campaigns, but organic content is ideal if you’re looking for sustainable long-term traffic.
If you’re not yet convinced, consider this survey by Forbes that shows that most people make a buying decision based on suggestions from friends and families. The best approach is combining paid and organic campaigns to boost your TikTok campaign efforts.
Create TikTok videos that resonate with your audience. When people like and share your content, it allows for direct engagement with your audience, which helps develop social authority. It’s also a great way to get customer feedback and insights on what you need to address.
Be Creative When Incorporating Your Brand on Your TikTok Videos
There’s no limit to the amount of creativity in TikTok. It’s not uncommon to see trends emerging and quickly becoming the platform’s talk. Marketers can take advantage of these trends to boost their TikTok campaigns.
One way you can do this is by taking advantage of the already trending videos or content and creatively incorporating your brand into it. Of course, you should give the content a unique voice to leverage its popularity.
Another way is to create original viral content and make it part of your TikTok marketing strategy. There are various TikTok features that you can use to make your content go viral, including hashtags, shareable filters, duet functions, etc. This way, if other users like the format in your video, they can apply similar elements in their video, making it go viral.
Choose Your Creators Carefully
One way you can get your brand seen by an instant audience is by partnering with influencers and creators. However, not every creator can represent your brand as you want. You need to partner with an influencer who understands your industry and is passionate about taking your business to the next level. Choosing the wrong person will lead to losses and negatively impact your brand.
We recommend doing in-depth research before settling on someone to represent your brand. One question you should ask yourself when choosing a TikTok influencer is whether you want more reach or a targeted niche.
In any case, ensure that the influencer you choose has the same audience as your brand and values your brand values. Once you select a creator, give them specific guidelines and highlight what you want to achieve. This will help them develop content that resonates with your audience and aligns with your marketing goals.
Don’t Ignore Paid TikTok Ad Campaign
While you can get long-term traffic from organic content, you shouldn’t ignore paid ad campaigns. You can use TikTok for Business to develop and run ads for your business. Luckily, TikTok offers many different ad formats depending on your brand and budget. Here are the available TikTok paid ad formats:
- Top View Ads: With this format, you can create ads up to 60 seconds long. These ads appear at the top of users’ feeds to catch their attention. These ads are ideal for brands that want to boost visibility.
- In-feed Ads: If you want ads that blend with your organic content, In-feed ads are the way to go. These ads appear on the For You Page of your audience, and users can like, comment, or share the content, creating more engagement opportunities.
- Branded Takeover Ads: These ads are short (up to 5 seconds long) and enjoy 100 percent Share of Voice per day (meaning users who see your ad won’t see other similar ads in a day). Of course, you will pay more for this ad, but it presents an opportunity for a wide reach. However, it doesn’t allow the opportunity for comments, likes, and shares.
- Branded Hashtag Challenge: These ads are the best if you want more engagement and interaction between your brand and users. It allows for co-creation, meaning users can take music, audio, and other elements after watching your ad. This way, they can become your brand ambassadors.
- Branded Effects: With these ads, you can create shareable filters, video effects, and stickers to promote your brand. Users can use these effects to create content that helps boost visibility.
Next, you need to monitor your TikTok analytics for your business account. Gathering data is a great way to know what’s working and what’s not working in your strategy. Some of the important metrics to monitor to determine whether your strategy is successful or not include:
- Video views
- Trending Videos
- Average watch time
- Click-through-rate (CTR)
- Growth rate
Gathering data is easier if you have set SMART goals, as it allows you to analyze the performance of your campaigns in real time.
Partner with a TikTok Marketing Agency
Like other types of marketing, developing and implementing a TikTok marketing strategy for your business can be overwhelming. That’s why you should consider hiring a TikTok marketing agency to help with your marketing efforts.
Working with a TikTok marketing agency ensures you get great insights into how to develop a winning TikTok strategy. It gives access to the latest trends and experiences to navigate the ever-changing social media marketing environment.
At AlchemyLeads, we help businesses create winning TikTok marketing strategies and other forms of social media marketing. We help create the best content for your strategy to ensure great visibility and maximum reach. If you want someone to hold your hand as you navigate the ever-changing landscape of social media marketing, don’t look further. Contact us now, and our marketing experts will help you out.