If you’ve come across videos of kids doing sketches, dances and random walking to an audience of none, you may have had your brush with Tiktok, aka the new “cool kid” in the world of social media.
If you’re like the rest of the “adults,” you may have been inclined to dismiss Tiktok as something Gen Z kids use to amuse themselves until the next social media trend hype. But if you’re a business owner, you’d be missing out on the potential a simple Tiktok video can offer for your marketing strategy.
Tiktok isn’t just another app for kids. Despite being the newest social media app on the block, its reach grows quickly every day.
The statistics say so:
- Tiktok has nearly 690 million active users globally.
- The app has also been downloaded over 2 billion times on Google Play and the App Store. It’s the second most popular iPhone app downloaded in 2020.
- Twenty-three percent of American internet users have seen or used Tiktok videos.
- Tiktok is valued at $50 billion.
- Its global penetration is estimated at 18 percent of the world’s internet users between the ages of 16 to 64 years old.
- Tiktok is currently available in 141 countries.
Tiktok isn’t just another app.
It could double as a digital marketing tool that offers an innovative and creative way to spread awareness among a huge part of the population. With a simple yet viral Tiktok video, you can market your business to a large pool of quality traffic (aka audiences).
The Tick Behind the Tock: Introducing TikTok
Tiktok is a FREE video-based app that allows users to upload 15- to 60-second videos and share them with other people globally. Tiktok users often upload videos of themselves lip-synching to music videos, acting on quick sketches or following Tiktok trends. Users who are more talented and technically proficient upload high-quality original content, which shot them up the ranks of Tiktok fame — some of them ending up as creators of the most liked Tiktok videos.
As mentioned, typical Tiktok videos can last up to 15 to 60 seconds. But users can also upload longer videos, which they record outside of the app. You can also livestream and use different tools and filters to improve your content.
Tiktok is also tuned to modern user trends. Its user-first programming enables the app to cater to audiences looking for more exciting ways to connect. The same concept applies to businesses. If you’re looking for a fun way to engage and attract more potential customers, it’s time to upload your first Tiktok video.
The Perks (and Some Non-Perks) of Using Tiktok Videos for Your Business
Tiktok is a social media beast that should not be ignored, especially if you’re looking for an avenue of audiences. Large brands have already taken advantage of Tiktok’s paid advertising (which we’ll discuss later) via branded hashtags, branded lenses and more.
Even if you’re a small business, you can still make it big with a quick Tiktok video. Consider the following benefits of Tiktok for your business:
- Community presence and brand awareness. Tiktok presents a great opportunity to grow your brand’s awareness. You can achieve this by balancing entertaining content with brand promotion. Another benefit of Tiktok is it takes into account a user’s location so videos made in your suburb, city or country will be on the top of your feed. This way, you can easily connect with your local audience uniquely.
- Potential for conversions. With Tiktok’s location-based algorithm, connecting with potential audiences in your local area via viral Tiktok videos can turn them into sign-ups, sales, gym members and more. You can achieve conversions via the contact details on your profile page.
- Tiktok Ads. Similar to other social media platforms, Tiktok recently developed Tiktok Ads, which allows businesses to pay for advertising. Since the app is in the early days of its paid advertising, there is less to no competition. This means more reach and engagement at a lower cost per impression.
Tiktok’s pros are enough reason to venture into viral video content but before you, keep the app’s limitations in mind, too.
Consider the following:
- Staying viral is difficult. It’s no wonder that ‘how to go viral on Tiktok’ is the primary concern of users who want to make it big on the social media platform. When your Tiktok video goes viral, you can easily gain millions of views and likes. But staying on top of these trends is difficult. If you want to stay viral, you must know the recent pop culture trends and internet references to stay relevant.
- The medium is limited. Since TikTok is strictly video-based content, you can’t post a static photo or text. As a result, your ads need a higher production cost plus it limits your content output.
- Lack of ad history performance. Tiktok lacks compensation in terms of ad space. So, there are fewer pieces of data and an unclear consensus over the dos and don’ts of the ads.
These are just some of the cons of investing in marketing Tiktok videos. But if the pros outweigh the cons (or you know how to navigate around the cons), it’s time to start making a viral Tiktok video for your business.
How to Hit the Woah: How to Make Tiktok Videos for Your Business
No brand is too small or too big to benefit from Tiktok marketing. The first rules of creating Tiktok content are to plan well and follow the best practices.
When planning your content, prioritize authenticity.
Most Tiktok users don’t have access to production budgets or expensive professional cameras. Instead, they use their phones, the available lighting at home and their available time — all of which are true to who they are. Apply the same approach to your content.
Users aren’t big fans of gimmick; they’d rather watch short stories that reveal your brand’s true personality. When they see your authenticity, they will easily relate to you.
Remember: Tiktok has no place for pretentious and squeaky-clean impressions. Ditch the fake smiles for real fun, humor and entertainment.
Also, some of the most viral Tiktok videos use two ingredients: kids and pets.
Since Tiktok’s audience is primarily composed of the younger generation, there is more interest in watching entertaining and funny videos starring animals and kids. So if your business has an office pet or a mascot, include them in your video content. You can also have a child teach you the trending hashtag challenge dances and film a video with them.
Finally, add your personal spin.
One of the best things about Tiktok is that you don’t have to struggle to create unique content for Tiktok. The social media app is based around hashtags and community engagement, so all you have to do is find existing content and make it your own.
Apart from taking part in trending songs and dances, join the hashtag challenges. For example, if your business sells skin care items, look for a trend about having a productive morning routine. Include your products in the morning routine and add a bit of personality or some stories to differentiate your brand from other users in the community.
NOTE: Before you start making Tiktok videos, get a feel for the platform’s style. Unlike YouTube, Tiktok is not uber-professional or formal; the space is perfect for brands and users who want to act silly, show another side of themselves or experiment with different trends. Check out the Discover page to see trending hashtags and videos.
Something to Consider in the Future: Tiktok for Business
Tiktok noticed the growing number of businesses using their app for marketing, which is why the app introduced a new platform called “Tiktok for Business” in 2020. This advertiser-centric brand offers marketing solutions for brands that have more space in their marketing budgets.
With Tiktok for Business, you gain access to Tiktok’s ad formats, like TopView, the feature that ensures your ad appears first when users open their app.
Other products under the Tiktok for Business umbrella are:
- Brand Takeovers: Three to five-second ads that can be a photo or video.
- Hashtag Challenges: Brands can engage more with the user community by inviting TikTok users to create videos around their chosen hashtag. This feature includes Hashtag Plus, which enables users to shop.
- In-Feed Videos: Sixty-second videos that run with the sound on.
- Branded Effects: Brands can directly insert themselves into the actual content creation experience. Tiktok is exploring the realm of augmented and virtual reality. You can add a video in AR, 2D or 3D format in either the background or the foreground of the video.
In addition to these features, Tiktok also launched an e-learning center that will help business owners and marketers with the platform and its paid offerings. The center will include resources, product guides and best practices, which are designed to help brands learn how they can create successful marketing campaigns.
Tiktok doesn’t have a public price list for its solutions but the pricing is based on the scope of a business’s campaign, as well as their goals. However, Tiktok does recommend a campaign-level minimum budget of $50. For newly opened small businesses or businesses on a strict budget, it may seem steep. But according to Digiday, Tiktok’s ad rates are more affordable compared to Facebook.
If you have more room in your budget, consider Tiktok for Business. Otherwise, go creatively crazy with the free video creation features.
Tiktok isn’t just a kid’s platform; it’s one of the best platforms for businesses that want to engage with audiences via hashtag challenges, dances and skits. Don’t brush off the power of Tiktok. If you use the platform right, you can be the business behind today’s trending Tok.