What a year it’s been for marketers around the world. As consumers rapidly change their behaviors, marketers have had to adjust (and continue to adjust) their strategies to not only reach their audiences, but engage. Brands will come out of their shell and show their true colors to their audiences, with hopes to attract consumers who align with their values, initiatives, and offerings. Needless to say… 2020 has changed everything.

A platform that has exploded though this 2020 shift has been… you guessed it: TikTok – a short-form video sharing app that allows users to share and create content instantly. Users are able to add things like animated icons and text-based graphics to enhance their content. Throughout the pandemic, there’s been a drastic increase in the amount of users and daily activity. According to Hootsuite, it’s become the “social media sensation of lockdown”, helping users overcome boredom as they stay indoors.

Brands have started to catch on to the trending platform, utilizing the ease of shareability and hyper-engaged user base for advertising. Over the past few months, we’ve received A TON of questions about the value of TikTok, so we thought we’d share some insights to consider before jumping on the bandwagon.

Currently, there are three main ways Brands can utilize TikTok for marketing efforts:

  1. Use TikTok influencers to reach a larger audience
  2. Create a channel for your brand and upload tailored content
  3. Promote your videos using paid advertising on the platform

While we have seenBrands find success with marketing on the platform, it’s important to remember that it’s not a one size fits all. The majority of TikTok users range from 16-24, and not all Brands cater to that demographic. But if that age range does fall within your Brand’s target audience – here are some ways you can utilize TikTok for your marketing initiatives & why it will work.

TikTok videos seamlessly combine text, videos, audio and images specifically made for mobile which differs from other mediums that marketers historically rely on for communication with their audiences. As more and more consumers view video content from their phones, video marketers need to adjust their content to suit mobile devices. According to SocialMedia Today, videos are a really great way to authentically connect with your audience and showcase the ‘human’ behind your brand.

We’ll say it again… Brands that align with interests of Gen Z can utilize TikTok to reach hyper engaged audiences within that target. For some organizations, building communities within their audiences is extremely important. If marketers can move their audience into an online community and shape their experiences, they’ll be golden. We’ve seen a major upward trend in consumer’s desire to see Brands create communities for their audiences, which validates our constant effort to inform marketers about the need for authenticity in their marketing initiatives.

For the Brands that know their audiences utilize TikTok & want to start reaching them through that channel, they’ll need to keep in mind that they’re not creating ads…they’re creating TikToks. Marketers will need to find ways to tailor their content to the TikTok video style – potentially including TikTok influencers – to further attract and engage with audiences. If Brands think posting ads created for Instagram or YouTube will cut it…think again.

Brands have been utilizing the platform for all kinds of video types, for all kinds of initiatives. For example, we’ve seen Brands utilize TikTok for training videos, creating clear and engaging step-by-step how-to videos to train their audiences on new products and services. We’ve also seen education institutions create TikTok videos that speak to their potential students – showcasing things like sports, daily student life, and unique facts about their institutions to attract high school grads.

HERE’S AN EXAMPLE: When utilized correctly and purposefully, TikTok can be a great channel for Brands to connect with their audiences. Recently, Levi’s partnered with TikTok to not only allow customers to purchase items through links on the platform, but also engage with big-name TikTok influencers to further their reach. Influencers began posting videos, showcasing how they customized their Levi’s, and offering their thoughts on the product. We’re big fans of user-generated content when done purposefully, and TikTok provides the perfect platform for it.

@iameverettwilliamsGUYS! I designed a pair of jeans for @levis and I am obsessed! These are available now! Link in my bio! 🙈 ##ad♬ Monster kill – Tik Tok Assistant