How to build a brand on TikTok
Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has literally exploded in the number of users making it a lucrative platform for companies. In other words, TikTok is not only on the rise, it’s here to stay. So how can your company reap the benefits of this growing platform?
To outsiders, TikTok might look somewhat like a children's playground but nothing could be further from the truth. As the most downloaded app for 2020 TikTok has many stats to brag about. For example, users spend close to an hour per day on the app with 90% of its users logging in daily. With almost 700 million users in over 150 countries that is an impressive reach.
The fact is that more and more companies are discovering the brand-building potential as well as the economic gains with this powerful social platform. But let’s take it from the start. Your company is ready to venture into the teeny world of TikTok. What should you have in mind when posting videos?
Use the right content
Nowadays building a brand is more about building an identity than anything else. Well, isn’t that what all companies have been doing for the last hundred years? No, we mean a real, genuine identity. Think of it as a personality based on transparency, honesty and responsibility. Nobody likes a pushover and especially the TikTok audience consisting mostly of Gen Z: ers are looking for brands that represent values important to them. Here boring testimonials or product demos won’t get you far. On the contrary, you’ll have to put some colorful personality on your brand.
Use the right topics
It has to be said again. You should not publish content just for the sake of doing it. Depending on the kind of company, message or product you’re trying to brand you’ll need to find the right topics to fit it with. Take a look at what topics are garnering a lot of views.
But quantity is not everything. Another aspect of choosing your topic is making sure that topics are interesting for your specific audience or even in that specific moment. Keep an eye out for hot topics whether it be news or vacation tips for the summer.
Use the right tone
TikTok is known for offering fun, entertaining, and lighthearted content to its millions of users. A quick scan of some of the most successful videos shows that this is a winning concept if you’re looking to make your videos go viral.
Are you trying to be serious or funny? Quirky or witty? Provocative or inspirational? The options are endless as long as they fit into your overall brand profile. For example, the food chain Chipotle was one of the first major restaurant brands to market itself on TikTok. Catering to an audience appreciating the fun and goody kind of humor Chipotle has carved out a clear digital tonality for itself and with that a loyal audience. Their bio says it all “Less Tok, more guac”.
Something that Chipotle has been quite successful in using. Keeping up with their whimsical brand they created the hashtag #boorito for Halloween, which garnered more than four million views on TikTok.
Use the right hashtags
And hashtags are a golden key to not only create a fun and memorable tonality but also growing your following. TikTok’s algorithm has made it one of the most well-curated social media platforms on the internet and in a way one of the most democratic. You don’t have to be a big influencer with millions of followers or even overly productive, to get noticed.
The clothing line Guess proved this by letting other people do their job for them. They simply created the hashtag #InMyDenim where creators could show their modeling potential by posting videos wearing the companies clothing line. By the time this article is being written the hashtag has more than 52 million views.
Use the right influencers
So how did TikTok become this digital influencer democracy? Well, as we mentioned it's all in the sauce and that secret algorithm seems to be the spice that makes it extra special. You see, TikTok users not only see content from the creators they’re following. Content from other and even smaller creators are featured widening the potential for new influencers but also for your brand to find interesting influencers to team up with.
Sony teamed up with twenty TikTok influencers in Spain, Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador for the promotion campaign of the Darrell and Brytiago song “Velitas”. The goal was to reach 25 million views. The numbers blew up with over 40 million users reached. In other words, the influencer power is real.
Use the right ads
Ok, let us be clear. TikTok is not about ads. It’s about connections and trends. Just because you invest in ads doesn’t mean that everything we just said about tonality, relevance and identity goes out the window. Be consistent.
With that being said there are plenty of ways to get your ads out. A brand takeover lets you take over the screen for a few seconds before turning it into an in-feed video ad. In-feed videos on the other hand appear in the native news feed of TikTok users “For You-page”. Another effective way to get your ads to pop is to make them usable for other creators as branded AR content. Find what suits your brand when it comes to tonality, content and budget.