TikTok Marketing: What Is TikTok and How To Market On It?

For some of us, TikTok has seemingly come out of nowhere. Though it’s been around for a while now, it’s definitely a bit of an overnight sensation in the US and Europe. 

Somehow the scandals from last year, including President Trump’s initial goal of banning the social media app sensation, only seemed to further skyrocket its popularity. 

But here’s one thing that some of us marketers will need to wake up and realize now. Regardless of what you feel about TikTok, it is the next frontier in digital marketing. And it’s no longer just the home of teenagers looking to have a good time. 

Notable brands, businesses, and leaders have all jumped on board. So here are some essential tips to help you get started building and leveraging your presence there. 

What’s TikTok? 

TikTok is a video-sharing social media platform. For older users, it can feel similar to the now-defunct Vine. 

It does share the 6-second looping videos and other similar features, but it definitely has grown into its own recently, which is why it is so much more successful than Vine could have ever been. 

The app originated in China but has quickly gained fans worldwide. Above all, it’s all a playground for Gen Z, who’ve flocked to it for viral dance trends, lip sync videos, and fun challenges. 

All of this may sound silly, but it is big business. Top creators there are worth millions, and they have the attention of Gen Z and Millennials, Gen X, and even some Baby Boomers. 

How Do You Market on TikTok

With TikTok, you can create a video up to 60 seconds in length. You can use this to talk about a product or service you offer, engage in discussion, or do just about anything else you would do with Facebook or Instagram Live features. 

Here’s the good news where you can consolidate some of your efforts too. Whatever type of live streaming content you do on other platforms can be used here. The catch, however, is that you must be brief about it! 

What Types of Ads Can You Run on TikTok? 

Similar to the other social networks, you can use TikTok to market your business and reach new customers. They have pretty solid targeting tools and different ways to do it. 

The first types of ad products they offer are: 

  • Branded effects 
  • Branded hashtags
  • Branded Takeover 
  • In-feed ads
  • Top View ads 

Most small businesses opt for in-feed ads similar to what you see on FB and IG and can get pretty good results for lower ad spending. In addition, these ad types are generally only available for companies that have large ad budgets anyway. 

Go with in-feed ads and see how well they work for you. They must follow similar rules as normal TikTok content, meaning they must be a maximum of 60 seconds. However, TikTok advises that for best results, aim for between nine and fifteen seconds on average. Remember, less is more! 

A Few Suggestions Before You Start Spending

If you’re new to TikTok, then we highly recommend you take a little time and get to know the platform better. 

Many of us have been using FB, IG, and other social platforms for well over a decade now, so it’s easy to forget about the learning curve. 

TikTok has its own rhythms you’ll want to understand so you can maximize the efficacy of your ad spend. Start with a little research. See what your competitors are doing and look for cross-industry examples you can emulate for your content. 

Next, don’t be afraid to ask for help. With 1 billion users, you are bound to know several TikTok users. Ask them about what works and what doesn’t for them, especially in advertising and content. 

Finally, have fun with it. TikTok isn’t LinkedIn. You’re not expected to be in a suit and tie. And definitely don’t read from some script!  

It is an excellent place to show off your brand’s authentic voice. By doing so, you’ll be able to organically extend your reach much further than any ad spend will ever do. 

Take your time, experiment, and you’ll find the best strategy for you. Now get out there and see how TikTok marketing can help drive your business success in 2021!