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3 Tips for Brands Looking to Utilize TikTok for Marketing

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In November 2019, data from app analytics provider Sensor Tower showed that short-form video app TikTok had surpassed 1.5 billion downloads.

TikTok downloads in 2019

According to the data, TikTok was the third most-downloaded app of the year, beating out both Facebook and Instagram (in fourth and fifth places, respectively).

Typically, the significant rise of a new social media app opens the floor for online debate – should users create a personal or professional account with the platform or skip it?

TikTok’s current audience is dominated by younger users, and depending on a brand’s target market, this may either turn businesses on or off in creating accounts. However, most major social media apps were initially written off as passing fads, and are now embraced and utilized on a daily basis by large organizations.

It could be worth getting in on the ground floor, before it gets too crowded.

“Being early to the [TikTok] game has a lot of benefits,” Nikola Medvedec, Marketing Manager at mobile marketing agency Udonis, says. “It helps businesses stand out from the competition and expand their reach.”

Are you thinking about ways in which you can reach a larger audience and building more creative video content? If you are, then it could be the perfect time to jump onto the TikTok bandwagon.

If you are looking in that direction, here are some simple tips on how to grow your TikTok following from day one.

1. Be yourself, and have fun with the platform’s trends

The first thing you’ll notice about TikTok is that it’s a little like being back in high school, or college, all over again.

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The space is full of highly creative content, and as noted, younger users generating this content. They’re true to the image they have cultivated for themselves, and love to hop on the trends, but they also don’t take the platform too seriously.

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TikTok is all about having fun, and any organization that approaches the app with inauthentic video messaging or content will struggle to build a loyal following.

Victoria Thompson, a social media manager at Haystack Digital, advises that brands should “be true to yourself” in order to fit into the TikTok scene.

“It’s better to make a lighthearted video that shows off your business and what you have to offer than trying to create the next viral meme,” Thompson says.

Thompson says businesses should research other, similar brands on the platform to come up with a marketing plan and social strategy – however, they should also be mindful not to stray too far from their brand’s core messaging.

Your TikTok videos should be unique, engaging for fans, and contribute to your broader branding goals.

2. Punch up your videos

Can you get away with reposting old video content that your company has previously uploaded on other platforms like YouTube? Probably – but it’s ultimately in your best interest not to do so.

Medvedec, who regularly sets up TikTok ad campaigns and optimizes and monitors their performance, says that TikTok videos need to go above and beyond to be interesting and engage audiences.

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Essentially, you’ll need to “punch up” every TikTok video before it goes live. Here are a few tips to creating stand-out video content.

  • TikTok videos may extend up to a minute in length, but ideally it’s best to create videos that are 15 seconds long
  • Get straight to the point – time is of the essence
  • Be as humorous, candid, and informal as possible. Medvedec notes that these types of videos tend to perform best
  • Add music for even more engagement and brand visibility
  • Use relevant hashtags for increased exposure – You can find trending hashtags through TikTok’s Discover page
TikTok trends

3. Start a trial run of TikTok now to better understand the app

Alex Zaccaria, the Co-Founder of Linktree, says that while TikTok is seeing a significant surge in downloads, most brands are still testing the platform out.

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Now may be the ideal time to conduct a TikTok trial run for your business. Zaccaria says that brands can use the app to explore, experiment with video content styles, and better understand its basic functions, while users work to define the channel’s best practices.

“Now is the time for businesses to get in early, test, and learn from approaches before kickstarting broad campaigns,” Zaccaria says.

Additionally, Zaccaria advises brands not to overextend their efforts on social media. TikTok may provide access to another audience, but if that audience is not your target market, you may want to refocus your efforts onto different video platforms like YouTube. Even Instagram can be a big winner for targeting younger audiences.

“It’s so important for small businesses to be on the right social media platforms that reach their target audiences,” Zaccaria says. “Social media is one of the best native advertising channels small business leaders can use to find their audiences. Those who create the most authentic content – regardless of platform – typically reap the most rewards.”

It’s still too early to tell whether TikTok will have real staying power, and will challenge the existing social media giants, but the early signs suggest that it has the potential to catch on, and become a larger consideration for social media marketing. And now may be the time to start testing. Those who jump on early can get an advantage, both in terms of developing platform understanding and utilizing key features.

It won’t be for everyone, but it may be worth a look. 

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Socialmediatoday.com

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TikTok Launches New ‘Branded Mission’ Creator Monetization and UGC Promotion Process

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TikTok Launches New 'Branded Mission' Creator Monetization and UGC Promotion Process

TikTok’s looking to make it easier for creators to make money from their clips via a new program that it’s calling ‘Branded Mission’, which will enable creators to take part in what’s essentially branded content challenges, with the brand then able to select from the submitted clips for their promotional campaigns.

As explained by TikTok:

“To make it easier for brands to tap into the creative power of TikTok communities and co-create authentic branded content that resonates with users, we’re launching Branded Mission. Branded Mission is an industry-first ad solution that enables advertisers to crowdsource authentic content from creators on TikTok, turn top-performing videos into ads, and improve brand affinity with media impressions.”

As outlined in the above video, the process will enable brands to post challenges, which creators with over 1k followers will then be able to participate in.

“TikTok creators can decide what Branded Missions they’re inspired by and choose to participate in the Mission. Brands will select their favorite original creative videos and amplify them through promoted ad traffic.”

The chosen creators then get a cash payment, though the payment amounts, at least at this stage, won’t vary based on individual video performance.

Instead, each Mission will list earnings potential, based on how much the brand is willing to pay.

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Allocate more cash and you’ll pique the interest of more users, expanding the potential of tapping into a viral hit.

The option will broaden the creative options for brands, and with organic-styled content performing best on the platform, it could open up major new possibilities for marketers looking for ways to tap into the app.

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It’ll also provide TikTok with another critical revenue-share element. Clearly the app of the moment, if TikTok wants to maximize its opportunities, it needs to ensure that its top creators get paid – because with more lucrative monetization offers available on other platforms, it logically makes sense that big-name stars will follow the cash, and focus on those platforms instead.

But monetizing short-form video is harder than longer content, which is why TikTok is also rolling out 10-minute clips, and emphasizing live-streaming, as a means to drive more money-making opportunities.

Branded Mission is another step in this direction, which will ideally provide a more direct link between creating content in your own style and making money, without having to incorporate merchandise sales or arrange your own affiliate deals.

Interestingly, Meta is trying out similar on Instagram, where product tags were recently expanded to all users.

Instagram product tags

Creators don’t get paid for adding these tags, not yet at least, but you can see how Meta could eventually take a similar approach to provide creators with more revenue opportunities.

For TikTok, the process could make it much easier to bring in cash for your uploads, expanding well beyond the Creator Fund, which top creators have already been highly critical of.

You will, of course, need to create specific, themed videos, as opposed to YouTube, where you upload what you like and switch on ads. But it’s a fairly distanced relationship from the sponsor brands, which reduces management workload, while also providing new content prompts.

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It’s a good idea, and as more and more brands look to tap into the app – especially as it surges towards 1.5 billion users – you can bet that it’ll be a popular option for a range of ad partners.

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TikTok says that Branded Mission is now in beta testing, and is available to brands in more than a dozen markets. The option will be made available in more regions throughout the year.

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