Right now it's a gold mine
TikTok is on the verge of a social media explosion. It has the momentum behind it that Vine had, for many of the same reasons. But unlike Vine, TikTok is here to stay.
TikTok was the only non-Facebook app in 2019 to hit the top 5 downloads spot worldwide. What’s even sweeter is that meteoric success has come quickly, which means it’s a goldmine for anybody trying to market absolutely anything.
Why? Well, TikTok still has this strange stigma surrounding it. It’s notoriously known as “that lip-syncing app for kids” but truth be told, it’s evolved far past that point. This means that if you get in now, you’ll be ahead of the thousands of businesses still scared to touch it.
But you don’t have long – social-savvy celebrities from Will Smith and Post Malone to internet entrepreneurs like Gary Vee are already seeing TikTok’s marketing value, and it won’t be long before their influence brings the whole world on board.
Is TikTok Marketing Really a Good Idea?
We’ll assume you already have some basic understanding of TikTok and how to use it. If not, make sure to brush up on the basics of TikTok first.
Before we get into TikTok marketing, this question has to be answered. There may be a younger audience on TikTok right now, but there’s unimaginable value in that.
The internet-connected kids of today provide insane value for businesses wanting to define a generation. Look at how popular the game Fortnite is, for example. The younger generations are amazing at sharing their favorite content amongst peers online.
The age range for TikTok may not be as bad as you think, either. It’s been reported that 41% of TikTok users are between the age of 16 and 24.
On top of this, TikTok as a platform is very powerful for marketing your business or product. The majority of users are engaging in the platform to view content and videos, as opposed to uploading their own content. In a one month period, 68% of TikTok engagers watched another video, whereas only 55% actually uploaded something.
That’s a powerful number for any marketers looking to get their business or product in front of new eyes. So, hopefully we’ve made a valid argument as to why you should hop on TikTok and why it needs to be done now.
TikTok has already implemented its own ads platform, but for this guide we’ll focus on marketing through 100% organic reach, because for now that’s where we see the most value.
How To Market Yourself Effectively On TikTok
The first thing you need to do before you get started with TikTok marketing is to go to your app store, download TikTok (iOS, Android) and consume content. This way, you can learn about what content works on the platform.
With TikTok, you are thrown into video content straight away. It’s called the ‘For You’ page. It’s where TikTok’s algorithm will push content it thinks people will like and it’s where the majority of TikTok users will engage with the app.
You should spend 1-2 hours watching the content on the For You page, because you can learn what works. What you’ll find is that TikTok trending videos are often short, they grab your attention immediately, and they use music that is currently trending.
You may also notice how TikTok videos use music freely in the background – it may seem strange to you if you’ve used other platforms, but TikTok lets all users choose from a wide range of songs for free. It’s expected that TikTok creates licensing deals with big artists and recording labels for this.
You’ll quickly see the formula you need to use on TikTok to be successful. So now it’s time to get started with making your own videos.
How to Make Good Videos on TikTok
To make videos on TikTok, you need to follow the rules above – be short, grab attention quickly, and use trending music. You’ll need to think creatively to find ideas that work for your specific business.
For a recipe website, you could show eye catching dishes, followed by a 10 second how-to guide. For a travel company, you should show short clips of good sightseeing spots. You’ll know your business best, but the best thing you can do is just try to make do with whatever content you can create – any content is better than no content.
It’s easier to record content straight from your phone, but you can upload videos too. If you choose to edit videos and upload them to your phone later, you must follow these specifications.
We will run you through how to upload your first video and choose all the right options for the most optimal success.
- To get started, tap the + button on the main page.
- Choose to record here or upload a video from your phone storage.
- Once recorded or uploaded, tap the sounds button
This next part is almost as important as the video content itself. We’ll explain in more detail in the next section, but for now understand that choosing viral or trending music could help your video get more views, because it’s using a song that TikTok recognises as popular at that moment in time.
You can choose TikTok Viral to find sounds that are doing well at the moment – usually they are 10-30 second clips from popular songs. You could just choose any on this list. However, if you want to be a TikTok master marketer, you should consume enough content to immediately recognize all of the songs on the TikTok viral list.
You may learn that some songs are specifically used to recreate trending TikTok memes, which may mean they’re not suitable for your video. If you don’t understand, spend more time to watch more videos – it’s important you understand TikTok and you’ll only understand after consuming more content.
Once you’ve picked a song, tap next. You can now enter hashtags and a small description. As a general rule of thumb, always use #foryou – nobody really knows if it helps you get to the For You page, but nearly every post on TikTok uses this.
After that, choose a few hashtags that are relevant to your brand. You can start typing a hashtag to see how popular it is. Hashtag competition doesn’t seem to matter as much on TikTok, so just pick the ones that get the most use.
Next, tap select cover and find a moment in the video that’s eye catching – this is what viewers will see in thumbnail views on your profile and other pages on TikTok.
Finally, set the options to public, allow comments, allow duet and react, and then click the post button. It’s time to watch your views roll in.
How Does the TikTok Algorithm Work?
Nobody knows how the TikTok algorithm works, but we can make some good guesses based on how videos perform once they are posted.
When a video is posted, it will be shown to a small random audience – even if you’re brand new to the platform with no followers, this still happens. TikTok will then look for performance indicators.
We can guess this includes typical things like video watch length, replays, shares, follows, and likes. We don’t know how much these things are weighted, but essentially if your video is at least somewhat engaging, expect the video to be shown to new people and the views will go up.
Right now, it’s quite easy to start a new TikTok account and see your videos in the first week get multiple thousands of views. In comparison, this kind of reach is practically impossible on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. So with this explanation out of the way, this only leaves one question.
How Often Should You Post to TikTok?
You may see many varying answers online, but the best answer we can give is to post as much as you can. The more you post, the more chances you’ll get at being spotted by new people. Even if this means you can post 10 times per day, post ten times per day.
When you’re first making a name for yourself, no number of lost followers from posting too much will ever outweigh the benefits that come from new videos appearing in the For You page.
Building a Name for Yourself
Make sure to visit your profile to add a bio and profile picture. TikTok is more lenient on adding links. You can add two buttons – one that links to your Instagram and one to YouTube. If you get enough followers, you may be eligible to apply for verification, which will let you place a clickable link in your bio too.
Hopefully we have provided a comprehensive guide on how to market on TikTok and why you should do it. This guide has served to provide the tools you need to manage your own TikTok account, so while we’ve been vague at times, the knowledge here is enough to take on the challenge of TikTok on your own.