Online marketing has an exclusive club. It’s the billion-user social network club. TikTok has joined the list. As of September 2021, the platform passed the one billion mark. As a marketing leader, it is time to take action on this platform.
It’s essential to understand a few critical facts about TikTok before joining the platform.
- Platform Origin: TikTok was established in 2016 by ByteDance, a Chinese company.
- Primary Format: Short form videos or less than 3 minutes have performed best on the platform. In early 2022, the platform increased the maximum video length to 10 minutes.
- Advertising Capabilities: TikTok launched advertising features in 2020. The platform’s ad features may not be as sophisticated as Facebook and Google, but they are rapidly developing.
- Global Users: TikTok has over 1 billion, mainly outside the USA. The platform’s global reach makes TikTok especially attractive for mass market brands.
- US Users: 80 Million Users. TikTok has a significant presence among younger users: 60% of users are between the ages of 16 to 24. While TikTok may have originally been a hit with Generation Z, it continues to expand. The platform has an estimated 26% of its user base in the age 25 to 44 demographic.
To put those user numbers into context, TikTok had approximately 381 million users in 2019. Since that time, the platform has grown dramatically. The platform’s growth has prompted Meta to change Instagram to emphasize video to more closely resemble TikTok. For marketers interested in growing organic reach, TikTok offers excellent opportunities.
Successful Brands On TikTok
As you consider directing your marketing team to invest in TokTok, drawing inspiration from successful brands is helpful. The most successful TikTok campaigns are B2C (business to consumer) companies. However, don’t let that hold you back if you are in a B2B company.
B2B marketers that join TikTok early have an unparalleled opportunity to grow on the platform.
With more than 1 million followers, Chipotle has become one of the most successful consumer brands on TikTok. The Mexican food company has grown engagement quickly by running challenges. For example, the brand launched a #GuacDance challenge where more than 200,000 fans created videos about the brand. Ultimately, this campaign has generated over 1 billion views.
Don’t assume you need the national presence and resources of Chipolte to succeed on TikTok. Gymshark has over 3 million followers and has found great success on the platform by creating short comedy-themed videos (e.g., “I need him as a permanent hype man”) and fitness inspiration.
Best known as a low-cost airline in Europe, Ryanair’s commitment to TikTok is notable. The brand has also embraced self-deprecation humor on TikTok, like making videos about charging fees for baggage. Ryanair shows that taking risks on social media content can lead to impressive engagement.
B2B COMPANIES ON TIKTOK:
With nearly 3 million likes, Adobe has mastered the art of B2B marketing on TikTok. They post engaging how-to videos, empowering their customers with the knowledge to get the most out of their tools, and actively support the community they are trying to sell to. Most recently, Adobe launched a small business campaign that will connect creators with small businesses, granting $10,000 to the finalist.
The card reader technology company Square didn’t waste any time jumping on the TikTok bandwagon. They began sharing videos from small businesses that use their product, promoting their clients while marketing Square’s service. It worked, and now Square’s TikTok following is growing rapidly.
Making accounting software interesting isn’t the easiest task. Sage Accounting Software uses TikTok to showcase how their customers use their products, partnering with current users and capitalizing on user-generated content. Not only is this a great way to showcase their products, but it also helps their customers reach new audiences.
Building A Marketing Team To Succeed on TikTok
How you approach, TikTok will depend on the size and capabilities of your marketing team. There are two broad ways to use the platform: working with TikTok influencers and growing your following. You can use one or both of these strategies.
Working With TikTok Influencers
Influencer marketing has been around for a few years, so there are some best practices for your marketing team to leverage on TikTok.
- Set A Test Campaign Budget.
Influencer campaign costs range widely depending on follower count, creative capabilities, and deal structure. Consider starting with a minor user with 10,000 to 100,000 followers for your first campaign.
- Contact Potential Influencer Partners.
Your marketing team then needs to build a list of TikTok influencers and contact them. Equip your team with tools like #Paid, Upffluence, and Post For Rent to save time. Manual Google searches are also an option if you have a minimal budget.
- Launch Campaigns and Measure Results.
Launch the campaign and ask your team to track the results using analytics. Unlike search, TikTok users are not necessarily looking to make a purchase. Therefore, it is best to keep conversion expectations reasonable.
From an employee skills perspective, working with influencers requires a few skills. Strong communication, collaboration, and project management skills are essential. Patience may also be vital because some TikTok users may have less experience working with brands. Running a small test campaign should take less than a month.
Growing Your TikTok Following
For the best long term results on TikTok, your company needs to develop its following. Keep the following guidelines in mind as you guide your team to work on the platform.
- Study What’s Working On TikTok.
Ask your team to study a few successful channels to see what content types perform well. Recently, videos with music (including dances), challenge videos, and humor themes have performed well.
- Create Pitches and Scripts.
Invite your team to create a list of TikTok video ideas for 1-3 minute videos. Ask the marketing manager (or yourself if you directly oversee the staff) to pick and approve three ideas.
- Video Production
Record your first three to five videos. If possible, break down the task of creating TikTok content into “on camera” and “off camera” tasks. Not everybody knows how to craft humor or deliver a performance on camera.
Recording the video on a newer smartphone is an excellent starting point if you currently lack professional-grade video equipment. Alternatively, contact your current agencies and consultants to ask for their help with video production.
- Choose Your TikTok Post Frequency And Commit To It For 90 Days
The most successful accounts tend to post daily. If that is too much for your brand, aim to post weekly instead. Creating a backlog of 5-10 posts before you get started is smart because it will give you some flexibility in the event of vacations and other PTO circumstances.
Ask your team to evaluate the results at the end of the first 90 days on TikTok.
The Path To Growing Faster On TikTok
Ultimately, having the right talent in your team is vital to achieving success on TikTok. The talent conversation starts with having the right marketing leadership in place. Reach out to Apex today to discuss your marketing growth goals. We’ll help you find the right people to grow!
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