TikTok is the largest growing platform of the year surpassing Instagram and Facebook with a groundbreaking number of downloads. With approximately 1.5 billion downloads by the end of 2019, it keeps growing by the day! It took Instagram over 6 years to reach the number of users TikTok has already got.

With its large number of users being mostly young, this raises the question: is it worth it for brands to invest in TikTok?

Before we get into the question at hand, let’s explain what TikTok is.

 It is a platform for creating, sharing, and discovering short music videos. Subscribers can sing, dance, lip-sync to different songs or even just sounds, and get creative with a variety of filters, effects they can add onto their videos.

So now, the question is should major brands use TikTok to create professional accounts, should it be kept personal, or be skipped all together?

As TikTok is continuously gaining popularity among people of all ages and has become a common topic across the world, brands are debating whether they should make the move on TikTok and if yes, how they can use this platform to increase their brand awareness. There are so many different ways a brand can use TikTok for their marketing purposes, from influencer partnerships, competitions, among other things. To do so, the brand must know how to ensure it maintains the right positioning and smartly use the platform. So, here are our tips on what a brand should do before creating a TikTok account.

1.Understand how the platform works

As mentioned above, it’s an app where users can get creative and make short videos up to 15 seconds. In addition, the app has 3 sections: the following, discover and for you sections.

For You – Once you launch the app, this is the first section that appears which shows you all trending videos and videos from top creators.

Following – view the TikToks/Videos of your followers

Discover – here you can also see the latest trends and follow some of the latest hashtag challenges happening on the app.

Keep in mind, the more people you follow, the more content you can view as TikTok starts showing you more videos similar to the content you follow and view.

2.Drive user interaction

In the app, users engage in different challenges based on different hashtags (known as Hashtag Challenge). These challenges are usually around silly or odd dances and help connect the users not only with each other to create a community, but they open a channel of communication between the brand and customer.

Here the brand can create their own hashtag and challenge for their audience, where they earn user generated content which is not only shared on the users’ channels but also your brands channel. This helps your customers have their own voice and reach out and communicate with your brand. Also, it’s FREE MARKETING so why not?

3.Partner up with different influencers

This is not always an ideal step for brands to take, depending on what your brand is, your target audience, and if the right influencers for your brand promotions are popular and active on TikTok. Your influencer marketing campaign won’t be much different except that an influencer will create and share videos that will promote your brand to make it attractive to your followers.

For creating influencer marketing campaigns, brands should keep 2 things in mind.

  1. The demographic of people on TikTok

Mainly the most active users on TikTok are the youth, so if your brand is targeted to the younger generation, then it would be suggested to choose an influencer whose followers match your target.

2. Organic and Creative Content

When working with influencers, brands should come up with a creative strategy to promote their product in order to look fun and organic, more than a paid collaboration or advertisement.

4. Take Advantage of TikTok Paid Ads

If you are looking into paid marketing, there are 4 formats you can choose from.

1. In-feed native content

It is optimal for TikTok videos to be between 9-15 seconds, although one can record videos up to a minute. For this ad particularly, similar to Instagram stories, the videos can be up to 15 seconds, displayed in full screen on a person’s feed and can be skippable. These can be measured by different metrics such as clicks, downloads, shares, comments, video views etc…

2. Brand Takeovers

This a full page ad which can be a 3 second image or a 5 second GIF. Each day, TikTok chooses one brand to take over the app and this usually appears when you open the app. Similar to the in-feed native content this can be measured by link clicks, views, or even can have its own specific hashtag to follow.

3. Hashtag Challenges

As mentioned above, brands can create their own hashtag with a specific one for people to take part of. With the hashtag challenge, brands promote this hashtag which links users to a page with the details and instructions of the hashtag for users to take part of. This is measured by the video views, clicks, and user-generated content.

4. Branded Lenses

TikTok being a popular platform, it is also trying to add new features to create more engaging content. Similar to Snapchat and Instagram, they are creating 2D and 3D lenses and filters for users to add to their different videos.

5. Finally, just have fun with it!

Even as a brand, you shouldn’t take the platform too seriously. TikTok is a space for all its users, mainly the young to create content that is fun, creative, and trendy. It’s all about hopping on the new trends, yet still remaining true to yourself and your brand image.

Overall, when it gets down to it, it’s all about your brand, your audience, and the message you want to deliver. Just because it’s the new trend, sometimes it’s not the right platform that represents your brand. But if you’re a brand whose target is on TikTok, then here are some final tips.

The videos are up to 15 seconds, so just be straight to the point, humorous, candid, add the right music and use the right hashtags!