Ultimate Guide to TikTok Marketing:
What It Is, How to Use It, and If It’s Right for Your Brand
One challenging aspect of marketing is staying up with all the latest trends, platforms, and tools. This includes staying up-to-date with social media and the emergence of new techniques, features, and platforms — like TikTok. In this blog post, we’re going to cover how you can use TikTok for marketing, and we’re going to start with a common misconception: that TikTok is only for Gen Z (plot twist: it’s most definitely not!). Keep reading and we’ll teach you what TikTok is, the four different ways you can use it, and whether or not it’s right for your brand.
TikTok: An Overview
TikTok is a social media platform where users can upload videos and video compilations. While it was initially released in 2016, it gained popularity in 2019 and 2020. Even if you don’t have the app, if you have Instagram, you’ve probably seen TikTok compilations before. Popular video types include dancing to songs, “trend” videos where users try a certain trend (think: Cinnamon Challenge circa mid-2010s, except shorter videos), cooking videos, and more. The videos can be recorded up to 15 seconds long or you can connect different videos together up to 60 seconds.
While you may think of it as a “Gen Z” app, TikTok is popular among all age groups, though it’s predominately used by people under the age of 50.
According to Statista…
- 32.5% of TikTok users are ages 10-19
- 29.25% of TikTok users are ages 19-29
- 16.4% of TikTok users are ages 30-39
- 13.9% of TikTok users are ages 40-49
- 7.1% of TikTok users are ages 50+
So while a large proportion of TikTok users are on the younger end, it’s still a very popular app for millennials. What does this mean for you and your brand? Well, it means that you may have an opportunity to market and advertise by using TikTok.
4 Ways to Market with TikTok
1. Upload Your Own Videos
The first and most obvious way to use TikTok for marketing purposes is to upload your own videos. Just like with any other social media, you can utilize TikTok as a platform to spread the word about your brand and products/services. You can do this by uploading videos directly related to your brand or by following along TikTok trends and including your products/services as a part of this. For example, you can perform one of the choreographed “TikTok dances” and add words to the video talking about your products or services. (If this seems confusing to you, just get the app and scroll through it — you’ll see what we mean.)
2. Influencer Marketing
The second way to use TikTok for marketing is through influencer marketing. Your brand can partner with influencers to promote, test and review, or use your product or service. When you’re working with influencers, it’s important to remember that you want to partner with people who are relevant to your audience, not just people with the most followers. All in all, influencer marketing works pretty similarly to your conventional influencer marketing on other apps. So, if you’re new to it, do some research before getting started, and if you’re not, you know what to do!
3. Paid Ad Campaigns
You might’ve guessed this one was coming…yes, TikTok also has paid ad campaigns. TikTok has over 800 million monthly users, so it’s not a bad place to invest some money for targeted ad campaigns. Like other social media platforms, you’ll want to do some research before you start spending money on ads. You can find a complete guide on TikTok paid ads on Hootsuite’s blog. Otherwise, the one thing we want to call out for you is that there isn’t consensus among marketing experts on whether it’s super beneficial to do paid advertising on TikTok yet. Some experts think that it’d be better to wait a while for their advertising to develop a bit more before investing in it, while others think that it’s a great opportunity and you should get started now. Our advice? If you’re on the fence, consult with an expert before investing…it’ll probably end up saving you time and money.
4. Engage With Other Brands
Last but not least, you can market your brand on TikTok by engaging with other brands. This includes commenting and liking other user’s videos, making side-by-side collaboration vidoes, and working with other brands for some good old partnerships. This option is a great way to slowly get started using TikTok before going full force.
Should I use TikTok for my business?
Ah, the million dollar question: Should I use TikTok for my business? The short answer: It depends. We know, we know, that’s the worst answer ever, but it’s true. It really depends on what your business is, who your audience is, and whether or not it will be a valuable use of your time.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to evaluate if TikTok is right for you:
- Can I make videos using some of the trends and hashtag challenges on TikTok?
- Is my target audience on TikTok?
- Can I promote my business through short videos?
- Are there influencers on TikTok that I want to work with?
If your answer to two or more of these questions is yes, then you probably have a strong reason to start using TikTok for your business. If your answer to the majority of these questions is no, then you should consult with a professional before investing time in TikTok. As we like to say, no social media is equal, which means that you don’t need to spend time on every single platform.
So, if TikTok isn’t for you…don’t worry about it! Put it to the side for now and as your brand and the platform evolves, you might consider it in the future.
And of course, if you need any help with marketing, you know where to find us!