With more than 1.5 billion people around the world now using TikTok, it’s not surprising that businesses have seen this as a great opportunity to get involved with the platform. The app has skyrocketed in popularity, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when people were looking for entertainment, distractions and a way to stay connected with one another.
Not only this, but those that use the app are largely young people between the age of 16 and 24, which makes this the perfect place for e-commerce businesses to target younger consumers. What’s more, the app is still pretty new, making now the right time to jump on board and find ways to leverage its power.
That being said, if you want to get involved and make the most from this platform, you need to have a good marketing strategy in place like you would for any other social media platform. There are several ways you can leverage TikTok to help you build your brand awareness and boost your sales and we’ll take a look at these in more detail below.
Sharing great content
Let’s start simple because the most important part of your TikTok strategy needs to be creating fun, fresh and relevant content for your target audience. Get this wrong and you’ll really struggle to achieve the desired results. Learning how to create and edit content for this platform can be a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it you can create some really powerful or playful (or both) content depending on your brand.
There are often trends that emerge from TikTok (you’ve probably seen one of the many dance videos) so in the beginning, it can be a good idea to get on board with some of the trending videos and filters.
Don’t just create pointless content for the sake of it. Do some research and look into your target audience, what they like, what they don’t like and which videos they engage with the most. It might be that tutorials are the way to go, alternatively, it might be that clips of your cat are enough! It’s really about working out what will reflect your brand, your mission and what will give real value to your viewers and customers.
Using TikTok advertising
There are a number of different types of TikTok advertising options available to you and if you’ve got the budget, it can be worth investing some money in this area. You can choose top view TikTok ads which appear full screen when a user enters the app and is then feature at the top of their newsfeed after 60 seconds or so.
Then there are the in-feed adverts which appear to relevant users in their news feeds under the ‘for you’ section and play automatically. These give users a chance to like, share and engage with your videos and again, can be up to 60 seconds long.
The final advertising option is arguably the most effective but is limited to just one advert a day and is much more costly. Brand takeover adverts appear for just a few seconds on the user’s screen and with one click will redirect them to your relevant pages.
Trying out hashtag challenges
TikTok also runs what they call hashtag challenges in which users are encouraged to create and share content with their followers by including a sponsored hashtag. You can purchase your hashtag through the app so it can be as fun or creative as you like. This can help to encourage user engagement and build brand awareness, it can also be used to persuade them to purchase your goods or services.
A good example of this was the #TransformUrDorm hashtag which was run by US supermarket, Kroger. They challenged users to turn their bedrooms into college dorm rooms and share their transformations on TikTok using this hashtag. They also encouraged users to buy their products to help them do this, products such as coffee machines. The hashtag got nearly 500 million views as a result.
Working with influencers
By now, most businesses are aware of the power that social media influencers can have on their audience and just as Instagram and Facebook have their stars, so are there talented TikTokers out there who have mastered their craft. By partnering up with a popular influencer relevant to your field or industry, you can boost engagement to your channel and your e-commerce site.
There are several ways you might choose to partner with them, asking them to promote your profile or products on their channel or even letting them create and share content on yours. Similar to a brand takeover only this option could be much more budget-friendly depending on your chosen influencer.
Creating your own brand effects
The next strategy on the list is brand effects. TikTok allows you to create your own branded effects and these can be a great way to have fun and build awareness of your brand. You can share these with your followers and perhaps reach out to your influencer to see if they could include these on their videos too. These can be branded stickers, filters and lenses, you just need to make sure you’re creating cool effects that make your brand look great. This can be the perfect visual way to boost engagement to your content.
Sharing across platforms
Last on the list is to make sure you’re sharing your content across platforms. You may already be blessed with a great Instagram or Facebook following and the good news is you can share content from your TikTok profile directly to your other platforms. This can help to boost your following on TikTok and further boost engagement.
You can also use your other platforms to shout about your new profile and encourage your followers to go on over and follow you. Cross-platform promotion can be a great way to build your audience base, especially in the early stages when you’re building your TikTok following from scratch.