#10things brands need to know about TikTok marketing
With over a billion active users worldwide in 2022, brands that don’t include TikTok in their marketing toolbox need to think again.
TikTok can thank pandemic lockdowns for its phenomenal success as people all over the world turned to social media to keep entertained during the long, uncertain months under stay-at-home orders. It reached over a billion active users in 2022 worldwide, and brands that don’t include TikTok in their marketing toolbox need to think again. Not bad for a platform that only launched in 2017 as a video app for tweens to show off their dance moves.
According to NetbaseQuid research, adult usage of TikTok has doubled year on year, leaving no doubt that it will continue to dominate social media and digital marketing for some time yet. It is a prime place for brands building new audiences, especially targeting the younger generations, Gen Z in particular. Millennials are also a large group, as many influencers successfully using the platform to monetise their brands, come from this cohort. These are the #10things brands need to know about connecting with these dynamic and influential consumers, using TikTok:
The micro-influencer has really come into their own on TikTok. Being able to build a niche audience and find your tribe is a strong feature of connections on the platform, and brands would do well to follow influencers and content in their areas of interest and influence to keep up with what is happening.
Popular themes on TikTok remain pets and creativity. Challenges and humour also feature highly and kept many of us going during the long lockdown months in 2020 and 2021. As the pandemic progressed, music dominated the platform, with young musicians finding their voice and an audience on TikTok. Dance and other challenges often promote social justice themes and sustainability, including upcycling. Younger generations have a social conscience and brands need to be aware.
3. eCommerce integration
TikTok last year briefed brands on how it was giving the platform ecommerce agility, by creating tools that lets its most popular users share links to products and automatically earn commission on any sales.
4. Livestream shopping
TikTok is also developing the ability for brands to display catalogues of their brands on the platform; as well as enable users to access livestream shopping via mobile and shopping channels, so they can buy goods after seeing them showcased by TikTok stars.
5. Social listening
The rise of the micro-influencer is all about authenticity, and if brands want the same support from this audience, they need to be authentic and real. This is why social listening tools are so important to plug into the issues of the day and vet influencer engagement and the right hashtags to use.
6. User generated content
Yes, we’ve heard it all before, but encouraging UGC is the best way to spread awareness on TikTok. And the best way to do that is by staying on top of trends. TikTok offers a real-time dashboard showing current trends. Trends move superfast on TikTok and following/connecting with the right influencers helps you keep pace with real-time happenings, but you can monitor emerging trends as well. Next, we’ll look at how brands can engage on TikTok, as explained by NetbaseQuid research data.
7. Branded hashtag challenge
There are various ways for brands to engage with consumers. The Branded Hashtag Challenge is a well-known one. Here’s how it works: Guess Jeans launched the #InMyDenims Hashtag Challenge on TikTok where they encouraged users to post their denim fashion styles. For maximum appeal, they added the music, I’m a Mess by Bebe Rexh and used the slogan, Transform your outfit from mess to best dressed. All you need is denim! This resulted in a 12K increase in new followers with a 14.3% engagement rate.
8. The brand takeover
This isn’t an influencer taking over the brand’s channel for the day, as we see on other platforms – it’s the brand taking over a specific category for a period of time with a full-screen static or dynamic display, that’s visible for 3-5 seconds.
9. Feed ads
In Feed Ads you can, “tell your brand story like a TikTok creator”, by integrating video content into a users’ For You feed, with a 60-second auto-play video with sound. Users can then ‘like’, ‘comment’, ‘share’, ‘follow’, or shoot videos with the same music, etc.
10. Top view ads
These should be renamed to mini-movies, as they have the same feel – and can cost as much as a low budget film! Brands snag TikTok’s top real estate for up to 60 seconds (minimum of five) of full-screen and long-form video, with auto-play and sound. TikTok promises “the best and unmissable placement of TikTok, capturing full user attention with sight, sound and narrative”. The same user interactions apply as in-feed ads.
Main image credit: Pixabay.com.
– Receive the Retailing Africa newsletter every Wednesday • Subscribe here.