A Guide to TikTok Marketing Strategy

TikTok marketing should be a priority for brands as the platform continues to grow. Here’s why it’s important and how to do it.

Posted: April 5, 2022

(Image credit: Solen Feyissa/Unsplash)

Just a few years ago, most brands resisted the idea of ​​marketing on TikTok. They dismissed it as a passing trend among college kids who used it to share dance parodies and memes.

But TikTok’s new take on social media has won it a large and growing following. It now has over 73.7 million active users in the United States, and the majority of its audience is now over 30 years old. It is a regular source of entertainment and information for many consumers. Additionally, brands that excel on the platform see results.

So how can marketers use TikTok? First, marketers need to move beyond a “one campaign only” way of thinking. When your content strategy is right for the platform, TikTok can help amplify your message, increase brand recognition, engage customers, and drive sales.

In this guide to TikTok marketing strategy, we’ll cover the three main ways to launch your TikTok marketing strategy:

  • branded content
  • Influencing Content
  • Advertising campaigns

Let’s dive!

Use branded content to drive conversations

Why it’s useful: A big part of TikTok’s appeal is the user-generated content. You’re watching everyday people who can make you laugh, cry — and, yes — dance to their content. This can pose a real challenge for marketers looking to enter the conversation.

Every TikTok marketing campaign needs to exhibit this kind of grassroots authenticity. You need to generate user-generated content creatively, so that your campaign is authentic.

Chipotle was a big hit on TikTok and gained over a million followers. Chipotle uses a simple formula that any business can use that comes across as organic and real. What do they do? They post a mix of tips, recipes, fun facts, and hacks about their menu items. The information is useful to fans and subscribers. More importantly, this is how-to information — not sales content — that comes in a short tutorial format like so many other TikTok videos.

Chipotle also offers light-hearted and humorous video storylines based on customer experiences. I suspect the storylines are largely made up, but they’re plausible and fun. I also suspect that the “clients” depicted in the sketches are actors, stock photos, or employees. By keeping production values ​​minimal, however, all content appears authentic and feels user-generated.

How to do: If you’re considering building a TikTok presence, it’s important to study the platform to get an idea of ​​its storytelling techniques. It’s also a good idea to explore what competitors are sharing. To do this, research keyword hashtags relevant to your industry and see what others are saying. This will give you some content ideas of your own.

For brands just starting out, we recommend producing short videos with value-added information about your products or services. Just like Chipotle, you should offer great tips, tutorials, and user examples. Be sure to hashtag content with appropriate keywords that will help the TikTok algorithm get your video in front of people who are already interested in the topic. This is a great way to build a first following.

TikTok influencers can help you reach new audiences

Why it’s useful: Influencers are emerging on TikTok and can help your brand speak to its audience. The platform is still relatively young and these influencers are often available at more reasonable prices than on Instagram and elsewhere.

As with branded content, influencer content has the best impact when it appears organic and when the target audience can relate to it. It is for this reason that many brands have moved from polished, highly produced content to more organic content.

How to do: When researching an influencer, be sure to perform all the necessary due diligence to ensure their audience aligns with your brand and customer profile.

Influencers usually contribute their own ideas, but it’s a good idea to stay on top of what’s driving traffic to the app. TikTok is full of trending videos that go viral every week — from dares and songs to dances and cheers. It is crucial to stay on top of the latest fashions, as they disappear quickly. However, if executed correctly, implementing a trend can be a great way to get creative and get the conversation started.

TikTok trends can be monitored by following hashtags, browsing the “discovery page,” and exploring other tabs for related content. The number of views and likes on a particular video is a telltale sign of TikTok content working. Within the EGC group, one of the TikTok-inspired trends made for the beauty brand, KISS, was the “This or That” challenge.

Ads are a useful way to capitalize on content

Why it’s useful: If that all sounds like too much work — or if you think creativity is in short supply, but you still want a TikTok presence — consider an ad campaign that will put your brand in the feeds of thousands of users. Ads can also be used to supplement your organic content, creating space for more direct selling than you could in organic stories.

How to do: It’s worth finding an experienced marketing agency that knows the ins and outs of the platform. This way, you design advertisements that will resonate and connect with target audiences.

Even though many other brands are finding their way onto TikTok, there is still plenty of room to use and thrive on this creative and cutting-edge platform. It’s the perfect time to get on board with the platform, when a viral video can have a huge impact on your brand. With the right inventiveness and knowledge, it is possible to meaningfully engage consumers and produce lucrative campaigns.

Nicole Penn is President of EGC Group and co-founder of Raydeus Local.

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William L. Hart