Social Media Strategy, TikTok Marketing: How to Get the Most Out of TikTok to Promote Your BrandJanuary 11, 2021Magdalena AndreevaReading time: TikTok has quickly become the seventh most successful social media platform globally and a fertile playground for users and marketers alike. With over 800 million users active every month, it provides businesses with a distinct marketing opportunity.With such a new marketing platform, it can be challenging to figure out how to start using it to grow your business. Here, we will quickly show you how to make the most out of TikTok to reach new audiences and get engagement and leads for your brand. Let’s start from the beginning.Is TikTok Right for Your Brand?TikTok began in 2017 as a social media network focused on short and engaging video content. The TikTok app has been downloaded over 2 billion times, with 165 billion downloads in the US alone.While all these stats look great, they do not necessarily mean that TikTok is a good marketing channel for your business. Here are 3 questions to ask to decide is TikTok would work for you:Is Your Audience on TikTok?While the app is very popular with teens, its largest age demographic (42%) is the young adult crowd, 18 to 24 years old. Usage trends show an increase in 25- to 54-year-old TikTokers and a decrease in the platform’s youngest demographic segment.In terms of marketing, brands that target young millennials and generation Z will find the largest pool of potential customers on the platform. Promoting your brand on TikTok can be a channel to reach a young and engaged audience that loves to share great content.Can You Produce Quality TikTok Content?Trends hugely influence TikTok content. Trends are also unpredictable by nature, which makes it impossible to plan content too much ahead of time. You’d need the resources to quickly create quality content and most probably dedicate a person or a team behind it.Do You Have the Budget to Advertise on TikTok?While for most big companies advertising on TikTok won’t be a problem, smaller ones might find it expensive and less affordable than popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google Search.The ads on TikTok are still quite new, that’s why they come at higher costs. The rates start at an average of $10 per thousand impressions and can go up to a $300,000 total budget for larger campaigns.Also, TikTok ads require a minimum of $500 for a campaign, which is pretty pricey for an advertising method you haven’t even tested and don’t know if it works.If budget is not a problem for your company, you should definitely consider TikTok ads. If you’re not convinced, you can still use the platform for organic posts to reach the right audience.If you think getting brand exposure and engagement is worth a shot, here is how to get started.Take a Moment to Surf TikTokIf you haven’t used TikTok before, spend a few minutes to experience it. Analyze the content that you enjoy. What made it stand out from all the other videos? What caught your attention? Can you apply similar concepts to market your business?How to Start Creating TikTok ContentHere are 7 TikTok content basics you can use to get started building a following on the platform.1. Be Authentic and RelevantFor any chance of success on this platform, you need to be authentic and creative. This is not the place to describe your app integrations or showcase product features. It could be the place, though, to show how your app or product changes the user experience.TikTok is fun, playful, and casual by design – the content you create should have a similar vibe. “Be relevant, be part of trends that matter,” TikTok for Business states. The platform is a great way to engage with a young and active audience by becoming part of the conversation.2. No Camera, Use a PhoneYou can shoot videos with your mobile phone and post them directly on TikTok. Most people enjoy the creative and unique content styles rather than professionally mastered videos. Start with a bold idea and don’t overcomplicate it.3. Use Smart Video & Smart Video SoundtrackSmart Video is a tool offered by TikTok to “help you make awesome video ads, reduce the cost and efforts of your video production, and expand your creative library.” With the tool, users can simply upload one or multiple pictures and videos and let the algorithms suggest clips and music bites to work together in a seamless piece of video content.Smart Video Soundtrack automatically pairs appropriate music with your video and makes it more discoverable. The way the soundtrack helps your videos reach is by TikTok showing the track playing in a scroll on the bottom of that screen. Users can click on the track and find other videos, such as your ad, using the same music.4. Pick The Right HashtagsThere is no doubt that your hashtags are vital for your video content to bring the right audience.If you try some far-off hashtags, it may affect your video views. At the same time, businesses should introduce their own hashtag because it helps people quickly get their content and see their brand. The best approach is to use multiple hashtags when you share content – mix trending and unique hashtags.5. Curate User-Generated ContentOne of the best ways to use TikTok to engage with your audience and get brand exposure is to ask your customers to make TikTok content using your product.While many brands have utilized this concept across various platforms and channels, Nike has mastered it on TikTok. If you search the hashtag #nike, you will get millions of users generating videos with Nike shoes.Source6. Update FrequentlyTo make TikTok work for you, you’ll have to walk the walk and create tons of fresh content. If you post 20 videos and then don’t publish anything for a month, your followers will stop checking for your content and might even unfollow.Create an editorial calendar, draft content creators, give them resources and tasks, and keep doing content. If you want to get TikTok followers coming into your profile, you need to keep posting.7. Keep an Eye Out for New TrendsTikTok is the best spot for your business to become part of the conversation. You don’t always have to struggle to come up with unique and new ways to engage the users – instead, you can join what the community is already engaging with.Add your own spin on a trending topic. Participate in hashtag challenges, not just start them. Find trending content and consider if any aspect of it can apply to your team and business. This is the easiest way to get traction and also to show how diverse, fun, and creative your team and brand are.How to Work With TikTok InfluencersAs with Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, you invite an influencer to make stunning content about your brand and expand your audience and reach. TikTok influencers could help you by featuring your product on their video, mention, and link to your brand in the video description.The rule of thumb is the more TikTok followers an influencer has, the more expensive they are to work with. Another factor to consider is are they a good fit for your brand in terms of brand voice, previous collaborations, types of content they post, and the type of audience they have.How to Advertise on TikTokAs TikTok reached its popularity, the app launched advertisements to monetize growth. The platform provides several paid advertising options for businesses and marketers.Keep in mind that TikTok Ads are still in beta. So, you cannot immediately start creating ad campaigns. You have to visit the TikTok Ads homepage and submit a form with some information and then wait for a representative to get in touch with you and set up your account which might take up to 48 hours.In-Feed Video AdsIn-Feed Ads are the video ads that appear in between the native user videos as you scroll through your For You page. In concept, they are very similar to the ads you’d see while tapping through Instagram Stories.In-Feed Ads give you room for creativity: The video can be anywhere between 9 to 15 seconds, with multiple call-to-actions. This type of ad can be great with influencer collaborations, as they will natively blend with the users’ videos.SourceTikTok Brand TakeoverBrand takeover ads appear when TikTok users open the app and completely take over the screen for a few seconds before turning into an In-Feed Video ad. Currently, this ad type is limited to one advertiser per day.Brand takeovers are 3-5 second video ads that can include a clickable hashtag or website link as well. Not only do these ads show up as soon as users open TikTok, but they can also appear on the For You page as still images, GIFs, or videos.Brand takeovers are one of TikTok Ad’s best options for mass reach, as they allow you to place your messaging right in front of your target audience. Keep in mind, though, they might deliver better results for top-of-the-funnel goals – brand recognition and discovery, not necessarily selling your products.TopView AdsSimilar to brand takeovers, TopView ads display on the full screen, with auto-play and sound. The difference is that these ads can be as long as 60 seconds.Another difference from the brand takeovers is that TopView ads are on a delayed play – they don’t start with app startup but are the first in-feed post after 3 seconds.SourceBranded Hashtag ChallengesIn a branded hashtag challenge, the ads are placed at or near the top of the Discovery page. They encourage users to create some specific type of content and then post it with a given hashtag. A click on the hashtag leads visitors to a collection of TikToks from the same challenge.Similar to regular hashtag trends and challenges on TikTok, the branded hashtags challenges offer both organic and sponsored opportunities for brands. They’re a great way to encourage user-generated content, build brand awareness, and get some viral content out in the TikTok community.SourceBranded EffectsBranded effects in TikTok are quite similar to Instagram’s AR Filters on Snapchat’s branded lenses – they are an opportunity for brands to design their own custom filters on the app.TikTok users can then apply these branded lenses, stickers, filters, and other 2D/3D/AR content in their own videos. Each new branded effect is available for 10 days.SourceBlend Organic Content and TikTok Advertising for Best ResultsSocial media networks are powerful channels, and TikTok is still on the rise. To make the most out of this fresh and fun platform, brands should really join the community of TikTok users, not just sell to it.Invest in your TikTok content wisely – fill your channel with the type of content TikTokers come to the app to see. That way, when your paid ad generates a ton of interest in your brand, that new audience will have a reason to stick around for a long time.If you’re still unsure how to approach the TikTok audience, have a read on how to market to millennials.This is a guest post by Anne Joseph – a passionate social media writer and working at Bouxtie. She has strong strategy skills in developing and managing social media campaigns. She loves to make new connections and enjoys the opportunity to work with social media influencers.