The rise of TikTok has revolutionised the social landscape for both users and brands alike. The short-form video platform has reinvented the way we consistently consume and create content.
With over 2 billion downloads, the platform has seen staggering growth in overall engagement. As creators organically build large audiences, brands are now beginning to utilise TikTok within their own social media strategies.
Organisations like HiSmile, The Washington Post, and the NFL have started paving the way for branded content across the platform.
TikTok is one of the few social platforms that empowers any creator to quickly amass a large organic following.
With an algorithm that categorises content by niche user interests, there’s a prevalent opportunity for brands to engage users with their own style of content.
If your brand is ready to integrate TikTok within your social media strategy, there’s a few key points to refine before getting started.
With the goal of any TikTok content to be featured on the For You page, it’s important to follow a consistent post structure to help improve your chances of success.
The following guidelines will allow your content to drive the most engagement from a relevant audience across the platform…
Like other short-form video platforms, TikTok is built for mobile delivery, meaning content should be optimised for vertical viewing.
Although it’s possible to publish square or horizontal content across the platform, the user experience is not as engaging.
If you’re currently publishing content that’s not originally recorded in a portrait format, it’s also possible to repurpose this by adding a frame around the video itself.
This additional text will fill the remaining space of the screen, making the content feel native to TikTok’s platform.
Creators like Gary Vee follow this strategy to cross-post existing content from Instagram or YouTube.
By cross-posting content, it can help streamline the initial creation process while you determine if the platform is a suitable fit.
Like all platforms, the timeliness of content can be an influential factor that determines how well a post will perform.
By creating content around relevant TikTok trends, it’s possible to drive more engagement from users on both the discover and For You pages.
A brand following trending hashtags is an effective way to build an agile content strategy.
Hashtag challenges are responsible for some of the most popular videos across TikTok. These challenges are a fast way of gaining viral traction as millions of users actively participate by recreating an original video.
By understanding which challenges the community is currently engaging with, you can then create your own relevant content to capitalise on these trends.
As TikTok displays a list of trending hashtags on the discover page, these challenges are organically promoted within the community.
Note: It’s also important to consistently monitor featured songs used within hashtags. As users can discover content based on music selections, integrating a trending song into a video can help drive more engagement from each post.
When adding a song to your content, simply choose a track from the trending or featured playlists. This will ensure your content has a better chance of being featured across the platform.
Engage with your audience
Similar to Instagram’s algorithm, TikTok’s algorithm prioritises different posts based on the unique engagement events they receive.
One of these influential parameters is the total amount of comments a video receives. In fact, comments added from the For You page attribute a heavier weight than those added by your followers.
As the For You page showcases your content to new audiences, driving engagement with these new users is crucial.
An effective way to incentivise this user engagement is to ask questions within the post caption. This will encourage users to share their personal opinions, resulting in more comments across your post.
As TikTok videos replicate a similar experience to Instagram and SnapChat stories, users are more inclined to engage with short-form videos that are 5-15 seconds long.
When adding a song to your video, it’s important to understand that the audio will only play a 15-second snippet, therefore your content should aim to deliver value within this short timeframe.
TikTok’s algorithm will also prioritise content that drives video thru-plays or repetitive plays, so it’s best to keep your video succinct and engaging.
Pro tip: By creating a looping video, users will intuitively watch a video more than once, often without recognising.
By upgrading your TikTok account to become a pro creator, you’ll gain access to TikTok’s native analytics dashboard.
Similar to analytics across platforms like Instagram, TikTok analytics will allow you to uncover unique insights about the performance of your overall content strategy. These insights will highlight trends across both your profile and individual posts.
Analytics will reveal valuable information about the demographic distribution of your audience, including their location, gender, age, and interests.
On a video level, the analytics will even display where users discover your content across the platform.
Analytics are an effective way to not only measure the performance of your existing content, but also to develop new content strategies using a data-driven approach.
If you were to analyse the data from a top-performing post, you could identify what unique demographic of users were the most engaged. By understanding these insights, it’s then possible to double down on creating content that’s most relevant for this segment of users.
Pro tip: Within your TikTok analytics dashboard, it’s also possible to uncover trends about which videos and songs are currently popular with your audience. By monitoring these trends, you can replicate similar content, helping drive the most engagement with your audiences current interests.
Should Your Brand Use TikTok?
Like all digital marketing channels, brands should first identify if TikTok will add value to their existing social media strategy.
As it stands, TikTok is predominately suited for B2C brands targeting younger users, although this niche is constantly evolving as the platform grows.
Although TikTok is still in its infancy, the platform is beginning to introduce features specifically for brands, including profile links, verification badges, and shopable posts.
If you’re a brand looking to integrate TikTok within your social media strategy, now is a great time to get started before the platform becomes saturated with competition.
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