To TikTok or Not to TikTok? 5 Strategies for TikTok Success

By Tom Jarvis, Founder & CEO at Wilderness

In case you were unaware, TikTok has changed the social media game. Its mobile first, full screen immersive video experience has captured the attention of billions of users. But contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just an app for youngsters to dance on. It’s for everyone.

People around the globe, from different backgrounds and different communities have found success on the platform. Whether it’s through hilarious parenting stories or recreating iconic movie scenes, users have found their niche and a community within the app. So, how can brands fit in too?

How is TikTok driving change for brands?

TikTok is a social juggernaut with 60% of users reporting a sense of community on the app, and most stating that the time they spend on TikTok is “time well spent”. The majority come to TikTok for the community, but stay for the creativity, and find the app happy and inspiring. TikTok is a place for positive experiences, so users scroll longer and dive deeper into the content. The fun and free vibes prompt users to take action, from participating in hashtag challenges to exploring new brands and products.

How can brands be successful on TikTok?

The social giant is driving change. It’s changing the way brands can deliver content to users beyond just broadcasting adverts, but by being more personal.

There are five creative elements to help brands achieve TikTok success. These include: video, audio, community, advertising and creators. These five strategies can help brands increase audience engagement via authentic content, whilst also building an audience that agrees and supports their brand.

  • Video – Video content can give brands the opportunity to do something new, fresh and innovative. But, it’s important to remember that TikTok only shows vertical videos as its designed for mobile use. Also, TikTok content tends to be shot on the fly, it’s not usually mass produced or created in a studio. So, brands need to remember to keep videos short, in order to be more focused and engaging for their audience. TikTok is a storytelling app. Brands need to be original and use what’s available, like transitions, text, stickers and filters to tell its story.
  • Audio – Remember, everyone is listening. Using music and other audio can make or break content for a brand, especially as 88% of TikTok users said that sound is essential to the TikTok experience. When users open the app, sound plays automatically, instantly catching the user’s attention and drawing them into a world of creativity and expression. Brands should capitalise on this by using the sounds available on TikTok such as top tracks, global hits and playlists, as well as licensed free music. Research has found that 65% of users prefer content from brands that feature original sounds. 68% of people remember brands better if they feature songs that they like in their ads, so brands should apply this to their content if they want to remain relevant with their audience.
  • Community – Find your subculture. Subcultures have become incredibly popular on TikTok, from money advice to book readers. The algorithm can drive subcultures to your feed following the content you explore, like and comment on. This allows users to get involved with their own niche passions and become part of a community with similar interests. These modern tribes have exploded across TikTok. Brands can also partner up with creators within these communities (given they share similar interest) by creating fun content via authentic, genuine partnerships.
  • Advertising – Make TikToks. Not Ads. TikTok is the number one global platform for ad equity because users are happy with the authentic and entertaining videos rather than a glossy advertisement. There are three traditional ad formats on TikTok industry: Infeed/Takeover, which grabs the user’s attention in the moment as soon as they open the app. The second is the Hashtag Challenge, this is where brands can challenge users to participate in a branded challenge using a certain audio and or hashtag. The third is the Branded Filter, this allows users to interact with AR effects from advertisers in their TikTok videos. These three formats can all help brands showcase their products and messaging in a fun, original and appealing way.
  • Creators – These are the heartbeat of TikTok’s entertainment. Brands need to take advantage of the wealth of creators available on the app, especially those who have established their own niche. Collaborating could potentially be very beneficial for the creator and your brand.

Where is TikTok going?

TikTok is building out new creative solutions and ad formats for brands at a lightning pace, including live shopping. With a seamless link added to the video, this could help guide users to purchase products more easily. With these allowances in mind, it’s clear TikTok is continuing to go from strength to strength.

The platform is a positive, uplifting experience and when brands connect with this feeling of happiness and “time well spent,” their message can resonate with audiences around the world. TikTok provides an exciting place where brands can grow and achieve results, whilst also inspiring creativity. So don’t be left behind and get your brand in on the TikTok hype!

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