7 ways brands can use TikTok

June 4, 2020

It’s happened! We have ANOTHER social media platform, our 50,000th in the last 10 years… That was my exact thought about TikTok until I gave it a try. After spending much more time swiping through videos than I was expecting over the last couple of months, I can clearly see that this platform is different. It’s super fun and incredibly easy to consume.

For those that don’t know, TikTok Is a short video platform where people post entertaining videos of themselves or friends. Many of the videos are based on trends and are recreated with the user’s own take on the original video. Think of it like the ice bucket challenge from a couple of years back, but way more challenges. Many of the videos also feature popular music tracks that can easily be added to user videos. 

The general theme with a majority of the videos on the platform is comedy, however, there are the occasional sad/emotional videos that pop up and are also well received. 

In the last year, TikTok has grown a ridiculous amount and now has 800 million users worldwide. Over the last year, it has more app downloads than Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram. Here are some more great stats on Tik Tok that tell you in a number of ways that TikTok is here to stay.

The platform is lacking in one area though, it’s not a great place for brands to traditionally sell a product. This is why many brands have shunned the platform, this is because they deem it useless for their sales goals. However, THIS is the exact reason I like TikTok. It’s not great for direct sales but is amazing for gaining awareness and trust, which is an absolute must before any sale can be made. Often, brands are looking for “the kill-shot” when it comes to marketing in an attempt to skip over the many steps that go into the purchasing decision. It might be difficult to sell on the platform, but with a bit of creativity and a camera, you could win the heart of a generation.

Here are 7 ideas for how brands can use TikTok to stand out in the best way imaginable.

  1. Whatever it is that you post, it MUST be entertaining. Anything that feels like an ad will not be greeted well on the platform. You could argue that is what led to a growing distrust with Facebook and its gradual decline. So, Tik Tok basically forces brands to be more creative in what they post to add value to the platform itself and the users experience. Play nice and you’ll be rewarded.
  2. Make people feel something! As I mentioned, comedy is currently ruling the platform but comedy might not be appropriate for all brands. Either way, people should feel something if you want them to formulate an opinion about your brand or product.
  3. Influencers are still very important, maybe even more here. There are many opportunities for product placement and collaborations with influencers of all sorts including musicians and athletes.
  4. Much of the content is quite immature but amusing… Probably because the platform is 41% 16-24 year-olds. That number is changing though as more and more adults are signing up on the platform. (+550% over the last 18 months).
  5. Unlike pretty much any social media platform, Audio is playing an EXTREMELY important role. In fact, it’s weird when a video doesn’t have any audio to go with it on TikTok whereas other platforms almost never show up in a user’s feed with audio on.
  6. Gotta be quick. The average video length on TikTok is less than 15 seconds. However there are some really powerful videos that go up to 60 seconds. Don’t buy into the idea of short attention spans, if you entertain, people will watch for a pretty long time.
  7. Be creative, or just do what everyone else is doing in a slightly different way. Many of the videos are “challenges”, where people do the same dance or game but put their own spin on it. Brands can absolutely participate in these challenges.

No, not ALL brands should be on TikTok. If your company has limited resources/staff, you might have to pass, however as a young and quickly growing platform there is loads of opportunity waiting for you, especially if you have a younger target audience.

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