TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that allows users to create and share videos on any topic. TikTok is a space where brands, businesses, and influencers can have fun, be their authentic selves, and try something new. And, chances are, there’s an audience out there for your brand to connect with.
TikTok’s popularity is due to the overall benefit of increasing visibility to a whole new generation of viewers. Businesses that have success on TikTok gain the cachet of being seen as cutting edge and trendy. An investment of 5-10 hours per month creating TikToks and engaging with trends can bring new leads to your website, increase sales, and create a loyal customer base.
Recently, we’ve seen an influx of inquiries from clients and future clients who are curious about the buzz surrounding TikTok. They want a trusted expert to explain the value of investing resources into this social platform, and what they can expect to get out of it.
Keep reading for an overview of what makes TikTok tick, a breakdown of who you’ll reach, and some tips for getting started.
Who is on TikTok?
First, let’s talk about who you’ll reach on TikTok. This is not your grandma’s social media channel.
Nearly 75% of TikTok’s audience is under the age of 35.
Consider who makes up your biggest customer base, or the base you want to start targeting. TikTok is ideal for brands that want to market to customers under the age of 35, and especially brands targeting women (in particular, women ages 18-24 make up the largest single audience segment, at nearly a full 25% of TikTok’s advertising audience).
What can I expect to gain from investing in TikTok?
For brands whose customers spend time on TikTok, the time and resources you invest in creating content for TikTok has the potential to pay off handsomely. How?
First, TikTok is a great opportunity to grow your audience and awareness around your brand. With over 500 million active users, there is almost guaranteed to be a niche for your business or product. Whether you want to show off your dance moves, provide recipes, or share your unique hobbies, there is a corner on TikTok for you.
As awareness grows, the exposure can generate more website views and leads. Through website links and contact information on your TikTok page, people can easily find your product or business. With exposure comes the potential for revenue, and as more eyes are on your page, the more sales or leads you’ll be able to generate. According to Hubspot, “…the younger demographic is going to be the market with the most purchasing power in the future” at roughly 40% in 2020 and only rising from there.
TikTok also offers a local edge. Its location-based algorithm means your feed of videos are based on the region you’re uploading from because people within the same region are more likely to engage with similar content. This makes it easier to connect with prospects in your geographic area.
How to get started on TikTok
TikTok can seem like a daunting task if you don’t know where to start. If you’ve decided that TikTok is an important platform for your business, here are some tips to maximize your ROI and increase chances that your investment helps you meet your brand’s goals.
1. Explore the platform
Spend a minimum of 30-60 minutes looking through videos, searching, interacting, and exploring to become familiar with how the platform works.
2. Choose a niche
A niche is a specialized segment of the market for your particular product or service. By finding your niche or target audience on TikTok, you are able to create content for people who are the most likely to buy your product or service. For example, dog owners are in a different niche than cat owners. You wouldn’t want to market dog toys to cat owners. When it comes to finding your niche, spend time scrolling and searching TikTok. Look at what your competitors are doing in the space and see where there’s a gap in the market for you to make your mark.
3. Be quick on trends
Trends can happen quickly, so if you’re serious about making trendy videos on TikTok, you’ll need to do some research every day. Identifying trends on TikTok takes an investment of time and energy. Scroll through the For You page and Explore page to get new ideas, look at the trending hashtags, and engage with your audience. Be sure to keep up with the latest trends in order to get a good understanding of what type of content you should be posting.
As soon as you spot a new trend, start creating relevant content! In order to stay on top of trends, you will need to post often. If possible, posting once a day is ideal for engagement and increasing your brand’s reach.
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Organic Posts vs. Paid Promotions
You know TikTok is important, but how can you actually reach your target audience? Luckily, you have two options: organic posts and paid promotions.
Organic posts are videos posted directly to your feed and allow other users to see these videos and interact with them. The great thing about organic posts is that you are able to reach people for free. You don’t have to pay to get views, and you’ll be able to see results as long as you’re following our earlier tips of choosing a niche and being on trends.
TikTok ads are paid promotions and have unique features that make it slightly different from organic videos. These videos pop up on a user’s feed and can include a swipe up link, which is a feature that organic content does not allow. This makes it easier for potential customers to be directly linked to your website or services page, which can lead to more engagement or even sales.
Both organic and paid have benefits, and a combination of both will maximize your reach and drive ROI.
Tips for creating organic posts on TikTok
Before you start creating videos left and right, take a step back to make a game plan. Make sure you allow enough time for yourself to create good, meaningful content. If you’re ready to get creating, keep reading for our best practices when creating organic posts.
1. Prep and practice
Practice your video transitions and plan what you need to record ahead of time. It can take a few tries to get a video to look just right, so be patient with yourself and have fun with the process.
2. Ideal length is 21-34 seconds
Be sure to keep your videos short and sweet. 1 in 4 top-performing videos have a duration between 21 and 34 seconds and see, on average, a 1.6% lift in impressions.
3. Shoot in high-resolution
The overwhelming majority of top-performing TikToks, 83.2% to be specific, have a video resolution of 720p or higher. These videos see an average 5.4% lift in impressions.
4. Record videos vertically and full-screen
TikTok provides an immersive full-screen experience, and more than 98% of top-performing videos on TikTok use that. Compared against videos that fit poorly on the screen and show empty black space and screen edges, videos which use the full 9:16 aspect ratio see a 60.5% lift in impressions.
5. Include sound
Adding audio of any kind causes a significant lift in impressions compared to videos without audio, and more than 93% of top-performing videos use audio! Remember to incorporate background music in your ads to make them more enjoyable. Do not use unlicensed music or sounds; TikTok has a commercial music library with more than 7,000 tracks. Make sure to keep the music volume at a background level so it doesn’t take the spotlight over other important audio in your ad.
6. Add subtitles
There are times when TikTok users won’t have their volume on (plus, some users are hearing impaired). Subtitles are auto-generated, so you will need to go in and fix any words that might be wrong before publishing.
7. Write captions
Maybe you’ve created an awesome ad and anyone who watches it will understand your product. That’s great! Except… everyone isn’t going to stick around for the whole ad, even if it’s only 15 seconds. That’s where writing a concise, informative caption comes in. Captions will help ensure that the viewer gets the gist of your ad, even if they don’t stick around to watch the whole thing. Use between 1-5 hashtags in the caption to get closer to your target audience.
8. Include a compelling CTA
A good CTA is one of the essentials of social media advertising. If a user watches your ad, they’ll be informed about your product. Then, the call-to-action lets them know what you want them to do and makes it easy to do it. CTA’s don’t need to be fancy, either. You can simply have something like a button that says “Shop Now, “Learn More” or “Get Started.” Keep in mind that once the video is uploaded, you will not be able to retouch the copy.
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