With over 3.5 billion downloads since its launch in 2016, TikTok has become one of the fastest-growing social media apps. Due to its highly unedited and raw content, users prefer the genuine content they see on the app, rather than the edited and curated content they usually come across on other platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. The “holy grail” of TikTok’s success, also known as the FYP (For You Page) for the social media illiterate, is the key to increasing engagement and in a brand’s case: exposure.
The FYP is the first page users land when they open the app. It gives a carefully calculated feed from creators they do and do not follow. This algorithm is based on your past interactions with other videos on the app.
Which brings up the question: are brands supposed to market on such an app and if they choose to, how effective would it be?
The overlooked part when it comes to branding on TikTok is the supremacy of genuine content. It’s easy to stick an editor behind the software and get the perfect video that would hit the same amount of views and reach as a video of a coworker innocently pranking another (trust us when we say it WORKS).
Since its sudden popularity growth in 2020 due to all of us being held captive in our houses while a virus-who-shall-not-be-named ran amok, the amount of TikTok users grew exponentially and inevitably created an influencer tier. These were “tiktokers” who were more famous than your average TikTok user and their videos were hitting millions of likes and views within a few hours of posting.
But what makes TikTok so special?
Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok took a unique direction when it came to its algorithm. While applications such as Instagram and Facebook only push similar already-famous content, TikTok gives every video an equal opportunity to go viral despite the popularity of the creator (TikTok is divided into two sections: the Following and the FYP. This is directly about the FYP as the Following section is catered individually by ourselves to match our interests) This equal opportunity basically gives creators virtually unlimited marketing experimentation.
In short, TikTok marketing is the use of TikTok’s tools such as organic content, popular hashtags, influencers and trends to promote a brand, product or service.
As discussed before, TikTok’s homepage is of two parts: the Following and the FYP. Other social media platforms combine the two into one page, however, TikTok twists this concept and focuses mainly on the newer creators you do not follow.
As per usual, each social media platform targets a specific age demographic. Facebook users fall mostly above the 45 age limit while Instagram reaches up to 35. TikTok, on the other hand, while it reaches a large and varied demographic, its largest group includes 10-19-year-olds, which is why Gen Z content does better on the app. Capitalizing on what Gen Z views as “hot” is what helps a brand (or a creator!) grow on TikTok.
The TikTok influencer market
TikTok influencer tier stands higher than the average TikTok content creator. Through creating a reputation for themselves on the app, influencers are creators who have access to large audiences.
The greatest part of TikTok influencers is niches. The app is divided into its own little niches such as punktok, booktok, marketingtok etc. With the establishment of these niches, it becomes incredibly easy to find influencers for your brand.
Influencer marketing inevitably creates increased brand awareness and automatically drives more users to your page and thereby more traffic to your website.
Identifying your target audience
Similar to buyer personas, target audiences must be identified when it comes to TikTok. As an app with over 1 billion active users as of 2023, TikTok is composed of a large and varied audience that needs to be boiled down in order to attract the right ones.
The purpose of TikTok marketing is to drive increased sales and convert viewers into customers, which is why it is important to focus on that specific audience rather than trying to cater to the needs of every audience.
The factors that need to be looked into when making this target audience include;
Location – Where do your potential and active customers live?
Age – What’s the age demographic of your audience?
Gender – Based on what your brand is trying to sell, what is the gender you are targeting? (There is no purpose in trying to cater your content to men if your brand sells menstrual cups now, is there?)
Industry – What’s the industry you see your audience working in? If it’s Gen Z, are they in a start-up? If it’s Millenials, are they in a 9-5?
Relationship status, favourite apps and income level also play a role when it comes to what exactly your brand is selling.
Like every other app, posting simply isn’t enough. There is going to be competition. In TikTok however, you will have two competitors; your business competitors and your content competitors. Spending time on TikTok will help you identify your content competitors. Once that has been identified, you simply have to cross-compare it with your business competitors and go ahead; start posting.
Here are a few more tips and tricks to help you out now that you’ve decided to start pushing your brand onto TikTok
- Post genuine and uncurated content
- Don’t always try a sales approach. Your audience doesn’t want to be sold anything all the time. Sometimes, they just want to be entertained
- Engage with comments. Sarcastic remarks have been shown to gain increased comment likes and replies. This increased engagement tells TikTok that your brand is something that people like to view
- Hop on trends. If it’s one thing that’ll help you get to the top of an FYP, it’s through hopping on a trend. May it be a hashtag trend or an audio trend, try to integrate it into your brand in a way that’s entertaining and informative
- Post consistently. That’s the final drop of flavour in the recipe for TikTok’s success
By now, you should have an idea of TikTok marketing. It’s one of the fastest-growing marketing techniques in 2023 and why be left behind when your business competitors are already moving forward?
Unsure how to get started? Send Leaap Media an email. Check out our own TikTok page when you do and then all you have to do, is sit back, let go of the reins and let the Leaap Team take your brand to the next level of marketing.