TikTok Marketing – A Beginner’s Guide
TikTok is a video sharing app that was initially known as Musically. Owned by ByteDance, the app, with its Chinese counterpart Douyin has about 680 million users.
Its popularity is most widespread across China and India, but TikTok usage in the USA is growing, with about 60 million users currently. The app can be used to upload short video clips of a few seconds, which can be daisy-chained together to form a more extensive video of a minute.
Used initially for publishing funny karaoke attempts, it has since then evolved into a medium of self-expression that has no rivals at this moment.
TikTok – A Dazzling New Marketing Channel
The use of ads on TikTok as an avenue for marketing is still evolving as this is a brand new app and not matured platform such as Instagram that has been around for a decade.
The average length of a video on YouTube is 4 minutes and on TikTok 30 seconds. But for both apps, the average viewing time is 40 minutes, which means TikTok users watch many more titles.
Few features set TikTok apart from IG and Snapchat –
- It is not dominant in the US or Europe but Asia and Africa
- TikTok has an equal male-female mix among users unlike the other two that are predominantly used by females
- TikTok users are overwhelmingly using Android platform vs. iOS
- It is the only among the top-five downloaded apps not owned by Facebook
Marketing Strategies Using TikTok
- TikTok Feed Advertisements
- Hashtag Challenge
- Influencer Marketing
- Leveraging TikTok Campaigns For Sales Boost
- TikTok Video Creation
The success of Instagram in marketing to users directly through a video can be replicated in TikTok with some modifications.
The best TikTok ads are those that have a tight and short narrative. Since the targeted age group is even lower than that of IG and Snapchat (in late teens and early twenties), attention has to be paid that the advertisement closely corresponds to the cultural trends and fads of the moment.
Some form of humor works well as it can put the user in a more relaxed state of mind and make him or her amenable to suggestions.
Basically, a traditional 30-second advertisement that is hilarious and avant-garde is exceptionally suited. The tonality of the ad should be slightly over the top instead of being subtle.
It is a unique concept that TikTok marketers have been able to exploit admirably in tandem with TikTok paid promotion. The advertiser creates a hashtag and asks users to post videos they have taken of the product with it. The user whose video receives the most views gets a reward.
The best example to draw inspiration from is #InMyDenim by clothing brand Guess.
From search giant Google to late-night comedian Jimmy Fallon, everyone has taken the help of hashtag contests to gain popularity and traction among the TikTok user base.
The challenge is popularized using a traditional banner ad in the feed, clicking on which takes the TikTok user to a page where the rules of the challenge and the reward are specified.
Of course, social media plus video equals influencer marketing. TikTok is no exception to the rule.
The primary strategy is not to make it too apparent and an overt sales pitch. However, young minds are receptive to suggestions, and that is why influencer marketing does well on this platform.
To select an influencer, you would first have to dig into the metrics of your users. The TikTok dashboard does an admirable job of giving you the age, location, and gender of your users.
Based on this information, you have to narrow down an influencer who appeals to this demographic.
Influencer marketing may be expensive in the short term and is probably not suitable for a brand new business that has been around for a few months. Established brands can take advantage of this form of marketing and do particularly well.
The most important aspect of marketing using TikTok is learning to completely let go of anything that worked for traditional media.
If you want to reach Gen Z post Millenials and make them your customers, there would have to be a complete overhaul of the creative process.
You have to sell without selling. This is a tough ask, but in an era when millions of video clips are uploaded every hour, it is a reality the marketing team has to adjust to when creating TikTok advertising.
Being in its nascent stages, this is easier said than done. TikTok marketing should be localized in its approach, just like television commercials.
It would be quite impossible to reach across the world with one generic advertisement like Wix shows on YouTube.
The short attention span of the young user also is an important consideration. They would be distracted by video calls with friends or music videos and game scores. Thus your advertising has to compete against a variety of eyeball grabbing media.
The USP of TikTok is user-generated content. Any advertisement that seems to be traditional would inevitably fail.
That is why hashtag challenges are seen as the way forward by most digital marketers. TikTok self serve ads platform, in beta right now, might also be a solution.
The problem with hashtag challenges is that they can’t be repeated by the same brand for at least a year or two. Thus if a hashtag content is badly planned and promoted, it exhausts an option almost forever since a year is a long time in digital marketing.
Of equal importance in digital marketing is understanding the technical capacity of the new app. TikTok can record videos of 15 seconds. Users can also upload videos to the site.
The file can be at most 287 MB on iOS and 72 MB in Android. The app can be used horizontally, but most videos play vertically with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 and 9:16 aspect ratio.
The most suitable editors for creating professional-grade TikTok videos are Adobe Premier Rush, Wondershare FilmoraPro, and Kinemaster.
TikTok is a new digital platform without established rules. Thus the KPIs you have used thus far for YouTube and Facebook would not be able to help you determine the success of your campaign.
Every effort has to be accepted as a learning experience, and as the platform matures, you would reap rich benefits.