TikTok is changing the way we consume media: Here’s how to integrate TikTok into your video marketing strategy in 2021

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Everyone in social media marketing is used to changing. Perhaps, however, the social media landscape has never changed as dramatically as the emergence of TikTok in recent years.

After the platform slowly gained a foothold among younger viewers on its American debut in 2017, the platform’s popularity has exploded year after year. In 2020 alone, TikTok had more than half a billion active users worldwide, including over 100 million from the United States.

The TikTok boom has brought new challenges, but also new opportunities for social media marketers. Now brands have an entirely new channel to target young, growing, and passionate audiences.

Marketing on TikTok can have unique requirements compared to more established platforms, but when used appropriately, it can become an important part of any effective social media strategy.

If you want to take advantage of the huge potential of the TikTok platform, here are all the basics you need to develop an actionable strategy.

So … what is TikTok anyway?

Let’s start with the basics. TikTok is a social platform for iOS and Android that allows users to post short videos of themselves that usually last no more than a minute. Think of it as the continuation of the now-defunct Vine without the seven-second signature time limit for this app.

TikTok videos can include anything from music videos to dances, life hacks to vlogs. The list goes on. It’s an incredibly versatile platform: it may have started out as a music app similar to Musical.ly, but it has grown into a lot more. TikTok lovers are always breaking new ground and creating almost all types of short video content that can be imagined on the platform.

Why target TikTok?

Perhaps you already have successful video marketing strategies for other social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You may be wondering why you should invest time and resources in TikTok?

Put simply, if you use TikTok in your social media strategy in a targeted manner, you can access a huge and growing platform that is passionately used by a young and diverse audience. It’s not a passing fad either – despite numerous attempts to eliminate it, TikTok is expected to keep growing in the years to come.

TikTok may have a reputation for being the platform of choice for teenagers, but the reality is that the users of the apps are very diverse. While teenagers and teenagers make up a third of the app audience, another third are over 30, giving marketers access to a wide audience from many walks of life.

Marketers who have already benefited from TikTok’s rapid expansion have seen tangible benefits for themselves. TikTok has one of the highest user retention rates of any social media app. This means that brands present on the app can encourage a more connected audience.

Organizations that have participated in the TikTok craze are already seeing the benefits for themselves. Brands like EA Games and L’Oreal have created special hashtags and videos for the platform that have garnered tens of billions of views – and that’s just one example of many.

How do you use TikTok in your social media strategy?

Successful marketing on TikTok has to be a little different from other platforms. You can’t recycle the same text posts or videos that you use on Twitter and Facebook. Instead, if you want to market your brand on TikTok, you need to create completely original content with the aim of going viral.

You need to laser focus your videos to grab user attention and increase engagement with your brand. This can be difficult to achieve at first, but it is a manageable goal if you follow a few simple tips.

Keep this actionable advice in mind if you want to incorporate TikTok into your marketing campaign.

  • Keep things short and to the point (very). It’s always good to be precise as a general rule of thumb, but with TikTok, it’s a necessity. You only have a minute to showcase your video, and with millions of other TikToks vying for user attention, make that time count. Create your videos so that they are punchy, short, and to the point. Try to open up with something that will instantly captivate your audience, whether it’s flashy colors or wacky humor.
  • Stay trendy. Trends are essential to any social platform, and TikTok is no different. Keep an eye on the Trends tab in the app. If you see a trending hashtag or challenge relevant to your brand, jump on it ASAP. Leveraging trends is a great way to reach audiences who might not otherwise be interested in your brand.
  • Be creative. There are billions of videos on TikTok, and millions are added every day. If you want yours to stand out, it is important to think outside the box. Follow trends but make sure to try them out for yourself. Your brand has a unique identity and your social content should always reflect that. Sometimes the riskiest ideas are the most successful when it comes to social growth and engagement. So let your creative juices flow when you make TikToks.
  • Focus on information. Contrary to what you might think, TikTok is not all about memes and silly dances. Some of the platform’s most popular and engaging videos are all about sharing helpful or informative content. Your brand can do the same by creating TikToks that will guide your viewers through a process quickly and easily, whether you’re tossing pizza dough, jumping a car, or doing some other business relevant activity.
  • Create your own hashtags. Nothing prevents you from making your own trends! You can increase brand awareness by developing special hashtags and creating TikToks to support them. This can increase brand awareness and dramatically increase brand loyalty when you have a viral hit on your hands.

How do you develop a TikTok social strategy?

It’s one thing to make great TikToks, but knowing how to market them is quite another. It’s important to have a clear, formal strategy when you start developing your TikTok social media plans.

Consider the following elements of a successful TikTok strategy.

  • Keep an eye on your goals. You should have specific goals for TikTok marketing whether you’re generating leads, increasing sales, growing social followers, or anything else. Having goals helps you stay focused and measure your success.
  • Upload consistently. You can keep interest in your TikTok endeavors by implementing a regular upload schedule which can also help you retain a target audience and build a following.
  • Dedicate resources. It may be tempting to take a budget approach to TikTok marketing, but that’s just not fair. Like any other marketing channel, TikTok has serious potential for increasing bottom line and building your brand’s reputation. Make sure you have enough resources to thoroughly explore TikTok.
  • Watch your analysis. You can always ensure that your TikTok strategy stays on track by reviewing your analytics and checking that you meet your desired benchmarks in terms of engagements, approvals or impressions.

TikTok may be the new kid in social media marketing, but its possibilities are undeniable. Taking the plunge into investing resources in TikTok marketing can be a huge risk. However, if you take it step by step, you can ultimately reap the results.

Author bio:

Torrey Tayenaka is the co-founder and CEO of Sparkhouse, an Orange County-based video production agency. He is often asked to bring expertise to publications such as Entrepreneur, Single Grain, and Forbes. Sparkhouse is known for turning video marketing and advertising into real conversations. Instead of hitting consumers over the head with blatant ads, Sparkhouse creates interesting, entertaining and useful videos that enrich the lives of its customers’ customers. In addition to Sparkhouse, Torrey also founded the companies Eva Smart Shower, Litehouse & Forge54.