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TikTok Marketing for Beginners: 4 Ways to Get Brand Exposure

TikTok is an emerging social media platform that focuses on short-form video content. Rapidly gaining popularity with Gen-Z users, the app is now attracting various businesses as well. Let's take a look at four main ways you can start marketing on TikTok today!

Way back to what feels like a lifetime ago at this point, there was an app that took the world by storm! This app was called Vine...

It changed the way content would be consumed forever. You see, Vine videos (or just vines) could be no more than 7 seconds long, and it pushed the limits of creativity in marketers and creators alike.

TikTok worldwide user growth

In 2016, the app stopped allowing more videos to be published on its system, and Vine closed down shortly after, going out on a win. This left a huge power vacuum in this new line of content that was taken up by TikTok.

With Vine dead, many other social networks tried to fill the void. It’s possible that Instagram tried to fill it with stories and IGTV, and Facebook followed suit by allowing stories on their Messenger app.

However, there was one company that had the platform and converted it into what we know as TikTok today. It has amassed 500 million monthly active users, which is more than double of what Vine had at its heyday (200 million).

What exactly is TikTok?

Ok, boomer; to get started in TikTok, you’re first going to need to understand what the app is and who its intended user base is.

TikTok is a Chinese social media network that has swept up millions of users in the past year. And, although it’s mostly used to record videos over music, it can be a great tool in marketing. 

It stemmed from an app that was called Musical.ly that had the main use of uploading short videos, lip-syncing, and dancing with famous pop songs. TikTok is not too different but has since gone through a slight change in direction.

TikTok demographics

The app still sticks to short videos of around 15 seconds, and its user base is mainly made up of an audience that goes from 16-year-old teens to 24-year-olds.

However, the content of these videos has shifted to include "transitions," singing, dancing, comedy, and basically more original content created by the users themselves.

So, if you think these age demographics work for your product, and you can adapt to the style and timing of the videos, TikTok is probably going to be a good choice for you and your brand. Read below to learn how to get your brand account up and going on TikTok!

Who has the most popular TikTok account?

Seen as TikTok appeals to such a young audience, the personalities with the most significant accounts don't function the same way they do with Instagram.

They're like a different breed of influencers, and they're more held up for different talents they display on the app, such as singing or dancing. The most significant accounts, such as Loren Gray or Baby Ariel, take pride in having around 30 million followers each who watch their dancing and singing acts.

However, there is a space for brands to make their mark on the app to appeal to the notorious Generation Z TikTok users.

Brands like Chipotle or the NBA hold a following in the tens of thousands and take advantage of it. They post videos and memes that showcase their latest products or events in a way that the young people viewing the content don’t see it as an invasion of their space.

How can I get my brand on TikTok?

One of the key points of marketing your brand on TikTok is remembering that Gen Z-ers entirely and utterly dominate the app, and if your content is not branded towards this generation and their "unique" sense of humor, it will not go down well.

TikTok monthly spending

Your content must be seen as natural and not as an invasion of a space that is theirs. Once you've thoroughly ingrained this, take a look at how you can start marketing on TikTok.

There are three main methods of doing this, and we're going to be discussing these individually and in detail.

1. Create an account and start posting!

The easiest way to market your brand on the platform is to create an account and to start posting. Keep in mind the history of the app, the user base, and accessible content on the app, and start peddling your own videos and content.

It might help to look at what other brands are doing on the app to gain their following. There are things you can do to create trends around your account, but you need at least a small audience for them to be successful. 

As we've mentioned before, Chipotle has a significant following on the app, in the tens of thousands. And it fosters this following by posting regularly. The way the content is tailored is to add humor over their feature products. Whether it’s the Adele song “Someone like You” playing over the guacamole to create a fun, yet emotional response; or a #ChipotleLidFlip challenge, they want to appeal to the teen variety of humor to progress their brand.

2. Let other people create for you

Another prevalent trend for brands is to encourage users to post about your products online with a hashtag or QR Code.If you have a shop, make sure your TikTok username is visible, and it's quite probable that your customers will end up posting about their experience there. Keep in mind whether they post positively or negatively is up to you, though!

Hashtag challenges are also a huge trend within the app! You could, for example, paste the hashtag on the packaging of your products or the menus at your restaurant and ask your customers to follow the #yourbrandchallenge, which includes dancing around to a chosen song with your product in their hand in a clear view.

When executed correctly, this is an excellent method of marketing. It requires very little curation on your part and is sure to fit the sense of humor of the Gen Z market perfectly.

3. Let influencers help you

If you're really struggling to create exciting content for the Gen Z user base of TikTok, it might be time to start reaching out to users who are doing well on the platform. This is a marketing technique that has been tried and tested millions of times on every social media platform, and it works the same way with TikTok.

Asking someone with has a large follower base, to review your product on TikTok allows them to say some beautiful things about you, get more people to follow you, or just boost sales in an old-fashioned way.

4. Start running TikTok ads

TikTok offers advertising opportunities to brands in the United States and select parts of Europe. The feature is still in beta, thus the setup isn't as automated and smooth as you might be expecting.

TikTok Ads

You'll have to submit a form requesting details to set up your account, then a representative will get in touch and will set up your TikTok Ads account from there. In other words, self-service biddable ads are not available yet.

If you do get lucky, you'll be able to run your ads on various platforms, not just TikTok, for example, Vigo Video, BuzzVideo, News Republic, and others. You can also build custom audiences by uploading the IDs of existing TikTok users.

There are four available formats for ads on TikTok:

  • Brand Takeovers;
  • Native Video Ads;
  • Video Challenges;
  • Branded Filters and Lenses.

Keep in mind that because the TikTok advertising platform is still in beta, the ad space comes at a premium cost that starts at an average of $10 per CPM. Furthermore, TikTok campaigns require a minimum investment of $500.

Conclusion

In conclusion, TikTok is an enormous app that is spreading across the nation, no matter whether you're a singer, an artist, or a Mexican restaurant; the app is going to help you cover what you want to spread into the world. Remember to study your audience well and not to invade such a gentle Gen Z space. If you do, you will never be able to make a come back on any social network ever again!

So! Be mindful! And enjoy this new aspect of your social media marketing campaign!

Mike Bennet
Written By Mike Bennet
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