As one of the largest growing social media platforms in the world, TikTok has made its mark this year. Being the breeding ground for some of 2020’s most catchy trends and most re-created acts, the video sharing app proved to the masses that it can shake the social media sphere. Typically populated by the Gen Z demographic with a hint of Millennial users, the app is a constant source of content for users around the world.
Many brands have tackled the social media giant and created ways to stand out amongst the younger generations, as well as make a ginormous impact for their brand when it comes to awareness, engagement, and increased impressions. The organic reach module that TikTok has created within the “For You” page is like nothing we’ve seen before. Anyone can have fame, and it can come in the blink of an eye. As all these new stars arise overnight, brands must have TikTok on the top of their social to-do list.
Let’s take a look at the statistics of how TikTok has began to grow over the course of the year. A study by CNBC has calculated the user growth from 2019 to recent times in 2020. The statistics show exponential growth, indeed.
Here’s the breakdown of TikTok’s U.S. user growth:
With over 800 million monthly active users worldwide and growing, there is absolutely no reason brands shouldn’t be focusing on creating TikTok ready content.
One thing we know about the younger generation is that they’re open to new information, welcoming to new brands, and likely to try out new products and services that they deem valuable and intriguing to their everyday lives. In today’s digital age, the best way to introduce new products and services, as well as remind Millennials that brands still exist is by getting in front of their face. How do brands do this? Through social media.
The Gen Z generation doesn’t spend time sitting in front of a television anymore. If they do, it’s for short bursts of time consuming content on streaming platforms. So much content is coming at them from so many different angles that they have been engineered mentally to consume content in small bite-size intervals. Five seconds here, ten seconds there. They get bored and they move on. They scroll through the abyss. What is the perfect place to position these bite size bits of branded content? You guessed it: TikTok.
Think about this for a minute, in a non-covid world – when do Gen Z users consume content? Theoretically, it’s every single second they get a chance to. Commuting to and from class, before and after doing schoolwork, during dining times, and especially before bed. Now let’s think about when this demographic is consuming content in a pandemic world. The time when they have social media readily available has nearly tripled. So, brands need to find a way to squeeze themselves into the content intake of these users over the course of the day.
Like many other social media platforms, TikTok acts as a melting pot and a great source for organic unpaid advertising. Yes, brands can use features such as “TikTok for Business” which allows them to pay to promote specific pieces of content. But, with the power of the For You Page, this isn’t necessary. There are many ways for brands to have viral moments on TikTok.
Each week there are numerous trends that are created on TikTok. These come in the form of dances, utilization of audio bits, unique facial expressions, use of unique filters, and even riding down the street on a longboard. Brands need to be on top of these trends. By following the trends and being ahead of the curve, creative teams have the ability to participate in these trends, and create content following the trend that includes branded items, logos, slogans, and aspects of brand identities. Trends amass a ginormous audience and users love to see brands hop in on them. We’re not saying you should do a crazy dance to a Carti B song that doesn’t fit your brands’ purpose and mission, but we think you should certainly find a way to rework highly popular audios and dances to fit in a humorous, satirical, or literal way for the brand.
A key to mastering the TikTok algorithm is to never miss a beat. By following the trends, you’ll be able to see what is growing on TikTok and what is getting left behind. The For You algorithm works in magical ways, and an aspect that the algorithm seems to favor is constant content. Many of the top TikTok users post content up to five times a day. Yes, that is seemingly excessive for a brand to do. But, every time you post content on TikTok that is thought through and seems like it could be viral, you are spinning the wheel and hoping that it lands on a viral turnout. With more posts you have more opportunities to spin the wheel. Yet, if you’re not publishing frequently then your probability of growth and having viral sensations minimizes drastically.
A brand recognition jackpot on TikTok would include a viral trend centered around your brand’s product or service. Brands like SpikeBall, Chipotle, the NBA, and Elf Cosmetics have done a fantastic job creating trends centered around their brand. In order to do this, the brands themselves have created strategic campaigns centered around making users want to participate in the trends they’ve created. Look at what kids are doing. Study what motivates them in the content creating process. See what gains viral status, and identify key aspects to why pieces of content go viral. Is it the dances? Is it a wild experience that many have never seen before? Is it using a product in a unique way that no one has thought of before? Create a campaign that is meant to set the trend. Come up with a unique hashtag that users can add to their post to let viewers know that the user is participating in the campaign. When the trend starts to stick, be sure to repost some of the best ones to your channel and cross promote the brand and the creator. Never miss an opportunity for millions to see your product.
Every day new users gain large TikTok followings. Sometimes it’s a single post that takes off and the user wakes up with a hundred thousand new followers. Now, these followers are along for the journey that this new user is about to go on with mini bursts of fame under their belt. Once these users begin to grow, the opportunity for brand deals and promotional posts come their way. For influencers that are just growing, brands can send them free products in exchange for posts tagging them, showing off the products, and mentioning them. When you begin dealing with well established TikTok figures, there is the possibility to pay them in exchange for posts that can be seen by millions of users. If you are a brand looking for influencers of any size from Micro to Macros, you can sign up for Glew’s Influencer Marketing Platform and browse the catalog of creators across the world that are looking to collaborate with new brands and increase their exposure on TikTok.
Though this is a paid approach to TikTok marketing, it has proven successful time and time again for large brands. Once a creative campaign has been created by your brand, you can draft a team of influencers to make it viral and begin to stick. We have seen that the best paid influencer campaign results happen when there is a strong trend idea, a well followed team ready to deploy, and similar publication schedules for the influencers. If you are hiring ten influencers to publish similar content for a campaign or intended trend, you don’t want each of them posting on different days of the month. It makes most sense to deploy these posts in multiple intervals such as 5 influencers post on one day and the following 5 posts on the following day. Be on top of the content rollout calendar and make sure to be reposting the branded posts across your brands various social media platforms.
With hundreds of millions of daily users on TikTok, there is no reason that brands should not participate in the content stream. At first, the For You Page does come across as an algorithmic mystery but there are certainly ways to make your brand stand out, while also sticking in to the FYP. By thinking of campaigns, challenges, and new trends to bring to the feed – your brand can become a part of the daily bite-size content intake for the Gen Z and Millennial demographic.
Article by Christian Brown