How to Advertise on TikTok Successfully – A Guide

It feels like it was only yesterday that everyone was on Instagram – now, though, TikTok has taken over. It didn’t take long for the newest version of Vine to explode onto the scene, and nobody has looked back since.

The younger generation is lapping it up, and the majority of brands are now seeing it as a legitimate opportunity to promote their product or service even more.

Whatever you’re on TikTok for, the reality is that it’s a pretty big deal, and there’s every reason to put yourself out there and invest a little bit of time and money into marketing. How do you market on TikTok, though? That’s what we’re here for.

Let’s talk about what you need to advertise successfully on TikTok.

TikTok is a Big Deal

While TikTok has had its fair share of controversies over the past year or so, despite these, it has grown in leaps and bounds. In fact, it is one of the most downloaded apps in the world right now. While there was a bit of concern around whether the app was safe for the younger generation to use, overall, it appears to be the kind of social media sharing app that’s going to take the world by storm and go up even from there. 

In the first quarter of 2019, it had 188 million downloads. That kind of number speaks for itself.

What is TikTok?

Even though we think that the social media sharing platform hardly needs an introduction, we’ll briefly go over it anyway. TikTok is an app owned by a Chinese company that used to be called Musical.ly.

The vast majority of TikTok videos that are uploaded are 15 seconds long, and you can also share Story type videos too that can be up to 60 seconds long. TikTok spends the majority of its time focusing on the younger generation, which is why its largest audience demographic is 13 to 24-year-olds.

The biggest thing that is different about TikTok when you compare it to Musical.ly is that there are a lot more ways that you can share videos now, which means that the sky’s the limit when it comes to the type of content you can create and upload. TikTok is no longer just about music – everyone from comedians to skateboarders can upload a video for their community, and connect with them through it.

Another interesting thing about TikTok is that you don’t even need to be following anyone to find content – all you do is go to the Discover page, and you’ll find an endless feed of entertaining content that you can watch for hours on end. Of course, though, the vast majority of TikTok users will end up only watching a specific niche based on their interests. These will come up in the ‘For You’ page.

Who Uses TikTok?

With Musical.ly, the audience was predominantly female and generation Z. While it’s too early to see whether anything has changed at all with TikTok, there do seem to be more people in their twenties making the most of it as well.

One of the things that really makes TikTok stand out from the rest is the fact that it’s so palatable worldwide. It appeals to audiences all over, from the U.S. to India and, of course, China.

What Brands Can Use TikTok?

There are three different ways that brands can use TikTok to their advantage:

  • They can create their own channel and upload regular content.
  • They can work directly with influencers, using their channel to promote their products.
  • They can pay TikTok to advertise their product. One thing to note is that it’s still early days in terms of this type of brand promotion, and there certainly isn’t a market for it yet, like with YouTube or Instagram. However, as TikTok grows more, this marketing strategy will become more and more popular.

Hashtag Challenges

Making the most of challenges is one of the most important things to remember when advertising on TikTok. TikTok’s users absolutely love to get involved with a challenge, and most of the time, these challenges have a hashtag associated with them. This not only makes them memorable, but it also means that they’re easy to find as well. 

Brands can also encourage challenges on TikTok, and associate a hashtag with each challenge. Unless your brand has already got a pretty successful TikTok page, you may want to think about partnering with an influencer who can give your hashtag a boost. Once a hashtag challenge has started, people can become involved really easily, so it’s a great way to market your brand. 

User-Generated Content

This type of marketing can also be approached either through your own channel or by partnering with an influencer. The younger generation loves to have an immersive experience when using TikTok.

This is why it’s going to work really well if you encourage your audience to share videos of themselves using your product in some way. Generation Z loves nothing more than to be a part of the process, so why not recruit them for your next marketing campaign?

Conventional Influencer Marketing

Of course, the traditional influencer marketing approach to things that you see on other social media channels can also work on TikTok as well. If your product fits in well with the audience of an influencer you want to work with, then there’s a good chance that your influencer campaign is going to do really well. Most of the time, though, you should leave the content making to the influencer themselves, as they will know what their audience likes.

Try incorporating user-generated content into your influencer marketing campaign, and see if you can’t encourage the influencer’s audience to create their own videos using your product. The combination of these two strategies could result in a surge of popularity for your brand.

TikTok Advertising

TikTok Advertising

As we were saying before, TikTok still has a long way to go before their advertising system is ready to be used by influencers and brands alike. However, this certainly doesn’t mean that they’ll never have this option, so at this point, all you can do is be patient and wait for your opportunity. They are getting closer and closer to the point of launching this system, and if you keep a close eye on things, you’ll be one of the first to know.

There’s no harm in creating your own advertising campaign now so that you can be ready to launch it when TikTok has the means. The more prepared you are, the quicker you’ll be able to make the switch.

Final Thoughts

It’s not easy being seen on TikTok, and it’s even more difficult if you’re a brand that’s trying to make the shift from other social media channels. However, it’s not impossible, either, and as you can see, there are many different techniques and tips that you can apply to your overall online marketing strategy so that you can incorporate TikTok into it somehow.

Remember to stay vigilant, and always be on the lookout for what TikTok is offering its users next in terms of brand promoting and content sharing.

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