A couple of years ago, it was easy to write TikTok off as something for kids. A flash in the pan that didn’t concern “real” businesses.
But that was before TikTok hit one billion monthly active users and digital marketing firms started offering TikTok packages that promised the moon and more. It’s clear that businesses now need to consider this social media platform.
But every marketing strategy has a bit of a learning curve. How can you hit the ground running with TikTok and use it to build your online reputation with new demographics? We’ll cover this and more here.
Is TikTok Right For My Business?
Maybe your answer when you started reading this was, “Absolutely not!” But hold on a second. Quite a few businesses can benefit from TikTok, and the platform has thrived in unexpected places.
Is Your Target Audience On TikTok?
While media coverage positions TikTok as specifically a Gen Z trend, two things are happening. Gen Z are becoming adults and increasing their buying potential, and TikTok’s audience is getting slightly older.
Gen Z is anyone born from 1997 to 2012. That means the oldest members are turning 25 in a few months. Gen Zers have bank accounts, own cars, and maybe save up for their first home.
That means marketing to reach this audience isn’t limited to selling movies and trendy clothes. This demographic is entering adulthood and developing brand relationships with companies in sectors like insurance, banking, investing, and more.
In addition, 40% of TikTok’s audience are millennials, Gen X, and older. That’s a big chunk of the audience, and we can only expect it to increase. Teenagers and young adults tend to be early adopters of a social media platform before their parents and older cousins jump on the bandwagon. If your target audience isn’t on TikTok yet, they might be in a year or two.
Unexpected TikTok Stars
Some unexpected businesses and organizations have gone viral on TikTok. For instance, did you know that there’s a vibrant local government scene on the app?
Minneapolis is one of many cities using TikTok to reach younger residents. While the videos are goofy, they also educate young homeowners about property taxes, garbage pickup, and snow removal. It’s a great way to make a dry and complicated topic fun!
Library TikTok is another unexpected niche. While librarians submit their book reviews to #booktok, they also boast about circulation numbers, new books, and new gadgets. Increased community awareness generally means increased budgets.
What about for-profit businesses? State Farm features its spokesperson Jake regularly in TikTok videos. While he participates in dance challenges and viral trends, he also answers questions about renter’s policies and car insurance that are especially relevant to young adults.
Why Use TikTok?
Okay, so maybe your business can find a niche on TikTok. But what are the real benefits of being on TikTok? Why is it worth it for you to make an account?
Connect With A Young, Diverse Audience
Brand awareness starts young, and preferences are often baked in by young adulthood. That means reaching kids at younger and younger ages. What better way to reach them than on TikTok, the most popular social media platform for their age bracket?
Even if a young audience isn’t buying your product yet, their positive perceptions will last well into the future. For certain brands, especially larger ones, TikTok videos are an investment in the future.
TikTok also has a great deal of diversity in their audience. Close to a third of Hispanic and Black adults use TikTok, more than the 18% of white adults who check the app. TikTok can help your business reach new demographics.
Search Is Changing
Google might still be the most trusted way to get information for older folks, but younger people are searching on social media for answers to their queries.
Young adults feel a bit put off by a big wall of text. Whether they’re searching for a great brunch restaurant or info about WWII, they prefer to see an image or watch a short video.
That means even if you’re just trying to have a searchable presence for your business or boosting SEO, a TikTok account may be necessary. The need for an SEO video strategy will grow over the coming years.
Show Your Business Has A Sense Of Humor
While not every business needs to show a lighthearted side, many businesses can benefit from it. Brands these days need to show both personality and self-awareness. TikTok can be a really great way to do it.
Though poking fun at your business might be a bit off-putting and strange to you, young adults tend to place more trust in self-aware and playful brands. A bit of light self-deprecation can go a long way.
How To Use TikTok
Once you’ve decided to jump onto the TikTok bandwagon, the project can feel daunting. But don’t fear, this social media platform is simpler to use than you might think.
Ditch The Fancy Video Rig
One of the big advantages of TikTok is that you don’t need any fancy equipment or even a particular talent for shooting videos. The platform has a democratic feel, and a video that’s rough around the edges can come across as more “real.”
If you’re not making other video content, you might be able to just use your phone to get what you need. You’ll still want to plan your videos, experiment with lighting, and write a script. But you don’t need any fancy or expensive equipment.
Let Your Customers Get In On It
TikTok is a social media platform that puts an emphasis on social. Users are always responding to each other with videos of their own. You can use this dynamic for your benefit!
Create your own hashtag challenges that encourage customers to make videos using your product. Or, have a video contest to win a gift card for your business.
It’s like outsourcing part of your marketing strategy. Customers may come up with great ideas that you could have never thought up yourself. Plus, you can build great goodwill among your customer base.
Don’t Forget Your CTA!!
TikToks that include a clear call to action in the video have much better conversion rates. They also tend to be more positively viewed by consumers.
So, while your company’s TikTok strategy might be more about building goodwill, you still want to include a CTA in all your videos.
Like everything else on TikTok, it should be simple. Include a link, offer an order code, or something else. Consider including a CTA link in your TikTok bio, as well!
Work Smarter, Not Harder
If your business is already producing video content for YouTube, Instagram Reels, or Facebook, you already have everything you need to produce TikTok videos.
While editing a video for other platforms might mean picking the most polished bits, the opposite is generally true for TikTok. Some brands save bloopers and outtakes for their TikTok videos.
TikTok also has its own in-app video editor that adjusts the aspect ratio and lets you add the app’s signature captions at the right moments.
It’s also important to make sure that your TikTok videos fit in with the rest of your marketing. While it’s okay for your TikTok to be more lighthearted, you don’t want it to be a complete tone change from your other social media. Make sure your account features material that will build your online reputation.
Is Advertising For You?
All of the tips in this blog post so far have centered around producing regular, run-of-the-mill TikTok videos. But what about advertising on the platform or getting influencers on board?
There are quite a few advertising options on TikTok. For basic ads, the platform uses a bidding model for ads with minimums of $50 a day and $250 a campaign. This means you can score some real deals with low cost-per-click (CPC).
However, getting stuck in the weeds and spending too much money on a TikTok ad campaign is easy. You should think clearly about the goals of your ad campaign and what TikTok can add to it.
That advice goes double for influencer marketing. While it can be far less expensive than Instagram and other platforms, you still need to have clear goals, understand how influencers can help you reach goals, and work with someone that understands the influencer marketing model.
TikTok — The Wave Of The Future
While TikTok might not be suitable for every business, it might just be a platform where your business’ marketing can thrive. Think about your marketing strategy, put effort into developing your videos, and make sure your brand personality is consistent across all platforms.
If you need help keeping your online reputation consistent as you jump to TikTok, consider enlisting the help of BRANDefenders. When you’re making a major marketing change, it pays to have a little help.