TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, with over one billion monthly active users and $11 billion in revenue, according to the Search Engine Journal. With extensive organic reach and engagement, TikTok has become a powerful tool for brands to connect with a global audience.
To get the most out of this platform, your brand needs a targeted marketing strategy. Here are some practical considerations to keep in mind as you develop a TikTok marketing strategy for your brand.
Take a Human Approach
One of the most effective ways to get TikTok likes and follows is to prioritize authenticity and transparency. Taking a human approach to showcasing your brand is an essential part of a TikTok marketing strategy.
A recent study evaluated engagement rates on Instagram between photos that included faces versus photos showcasing scenery, products, etc. The results showed that engagement increased by 32-38% when a person’s face was included in the image.
Many brands and business owners focus solely on featuring products or faceless content. While you can grow an engaged following with product-based videos, you’ll find much more success when taking a human approach. Ponder on different ways you could incorporate the human element of your brand into TikTok videos, either via influencers or team members.
When in doubt, test it out. Post a few TikToks featuring your people and use the analytics to determine how your audience responds to them.
Highlight Behind the Scenes
Consumers love a peek behind the curtain. There’s something magical about viewing how a product is made and what makes your brand tick. In regard to this, note that the show “How It’s Made” is on its 32nd season as of 2022, with over 400 episodes and 21 years on the air.
Showcasing behind the scenes also contributes to humanizing your brand and practicing transparency and authenticity. A recent Neilsen Label Insight study showed that 94% of consumers would be more loyal to brands that practice transparency, with 56% reporting that transparency would lead to lifetime loyalty.
Canadian brand, XXL & CO, showcased the power of behind-the-scenes TikTok videos with its ”Mom appreciation” post, featuring the owner’s mom working hard trimming fabric and helping the family business thrive. While most of XXL & CO’s TikToks get under 100,000 views, this post has over 3 million with more than 560,000 likes.
The key takeaway: your audience wants to see how your business runs. Showing them the magic and highlighting your team could be the secret sauce to leveling up your business on TikTok.
Use Customer Problems
Every piece of content your brand posts should be created with the target customer in mind. While TikTok likes, reach and engagement are important metrics, it’s also important to have fewer followers who are more likely to buy.
Consider what customer problems your product or service solves. Then, create content around those problems. Keep in mind that your content doesn’t always need to be polished or elaborated; common sense and simple talk videos go a long way.
These posts often generate comments with follow-up questions and invaluable customer insights. You can create content to reply to these comments and position your brand as an industry expert while further boosting engagement and minimizing the ideation effort.
Balance Original and Trending Audio Use
One of the most common mistakes brands make when creating TikTok videos is taking a reactive approach to trends. There’s value in jumping on trending audios and partaking in challenges; the platform is centered around it. However, it’s also integral to have original content that adds something new and fresh to your audience.
Create a content calendar that balances proactivity with reactivity. You should have content subject matter outlined with the intention of using original audio. However, it’s also wise to have a responsive strategy in place to take part in 1-2 viral trends per week.
There are two overarching methods for participating in viral trends. The first is to create space to ideate and develop a video with no notice. Leaving white space in your team’s schedule for this purpose is a great way to jump on viral trends without disrupting business processes.
The second strategy is to use “stock” footage from your brand. These are video clips that you have on hand with your products or people that you can repurpose with quick edits. This strategy works well for musical posts rather than lip-syncing or verbal posts.
Create a Cross-posting Strategy
The social media world has been abuzz with the recent Instagram changes. While Instagram has been shifting to a video-based platform since 2020, the most recent updates have all but eliminated the photo grid from feeds. Now, users are open to a stream of reels and must navigate away from video content to discover static content. While this feature is still in beta mode (many users still have the traditional feed), it’s expected to fully roll out by the end of 2022.
Fortunately, this creates an opportunity for brands to hit two birds with one stone. Developing a reposting strategy can help extend your brand’s reach and engagement to different audiences. The majority of Instagram users are in the Millennial generation, who currently holds the world’s buying power. TikTok primarily targets Gen Z, which is now reaching the consumer age.
The caveat for cross-posting is to remove platform branding before reposting your content. This requires a third-party application to remove the TikTok or Instagram watermark. Recent algorithm updates limit exposure to watermarked, reposted videos on either platform. Alternatively, you can use video editing software and download the content to post separately. Consider adding some differentiation to appeal to those who follow you on both platforms.
Add Closed Captions or Subtitles
According to an in-depth study by Verizon, 69% of users watch videos on mute, with 80% being more likely to complete a video if captions or subtitles are included. Adding closed captions or subtitles is best practice when creating TikTok videos and could be the missing piece to your success.
It’s also important to consider the accessibility factor. Many viewers have hearing loss or speak English as a second language. Adding subtitles and captions also improves SEO (search engine optimization) by incorporating more keywords for the TikTok algorithm to analyze when prioritizing content on the “For You Page”.
The best approach to implementing a TikTok strategy is to try different variables on this list, analyze the results, and adapt based on what’s most effective for your brand. Set clear objectives around posting frequency and brand voice, then start creating. And last, but not least, try to keep an eye on the competition and when doing so, put yourself in their customer’s shoes. What is it that you think is lacking and what made a remarkable impression on you? Take notes and apply it to your brand.