TikTok is one of the most popular social media outlets, especially when considering the platform’s engagement and activity. It boasts more than 1 billion users worldwide. In addition, many TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 34, making it an ideal target for marketers.
TikTok is especially attractive for smaller businesses with limited marketing budgets. Businesses can create videos with specific qualities that are proven to catch viewers’ eyes and drive engagement.
It’s possible to look at how brands have successfully used TikTok to build buzz and grow communities around their products. If you have a small business, you can use the same approaches as these master marketers to create successful TikTok campaigns.
Here is a closer look at how to form a plan and create content that delivers conversions, helps you build a community around your brand/s, and inspires your audience to engage with you online.
What elements make a TikTok video effective?
There are different types of videos that you can produce for TikTok. Regardless of the subject matter, your content needs to have specific traits meant to hook the viewer so that they want to continue watching.
The biggest advantage of TikTok is its active user base. Unfortunately, this also presents the biggest challenge for marketers. There are so many other options to watch on the platform, and if you do not catch a viewer’s attention immediately, they will move on to the next video without watching yours all the way through.
Tips to grab attention on TikTok
Here are the opportunities to grab watchers’ attention as soon as they come across your video.
- Video titles. You can inspire TikTok users to watch your video by arousing their curiosity with a well-crafted title. For example, you could ask a question related to a specific problem that your brand addresses – you might use a title like, “What would you do if… [problem or concern that your product or service addresses]?” You could also phrase the title like you are letting your audience in on a secret: “I wish I had figured this out before…” The goal of the title is to get people to start the video so that you can use other hooks to keep them interested.
- Sound effects. One way to keep people from clicking away is to start your video with a catchy sound effect. You can either use a sound that fits with the tone and style of your video or go for something completely unexpected that will grab the watcher’s attention. You can even look for viral sounds on the platform and utilise them to ride the wave of popularity. Unexpectedly loud or abrupt sounds, such as yells or screams enhanced by TikTok’s built-in voice effects, can work for some types of videos.
- Unexpected visuals. You can also draw viewers in with unexpected movements, unique camera angles, or filters. You do not want these to distract from the video or cause confusion, but starting with a single zoom-in effect or using stop-motion effects can catch viewers who might otherwise click away.
If you can use these tips to hook viewers at the start of your TikTok video, they will be more likely to watch all the way through, giving you a better chance of conversion and engagement.
What qualities do audiences expect on TikTok?
Your videos should also have specific qualities that help define your brand and build trust with your viewers. Because of the type of content on TikTok, overt product placements and commercial-like videos won’t seem to fit in and may be tuned out by many users.
- Consistency. First of all, your videos should be consistent in terms of message and brand awareness. There are different ways to be consistent. For example, all your videos could feature the same onscreen talent (your TikTok spokesperson or spokespeople). You could also use the same filters, sound effects, music, colours, or setting when filming and editing. Finally, you can consider using the same open phrase or tagline at the end of the video. All of these elements can help build a brand identity.
- Practicality. It’s easy to get carried away with the idea of creating viral content. However, your main goals are to build trust and drive sales. The focus of your videos should always be on the practical solutions your brand’s products or services provide. Viewers should feel that your content provides value and offers fresh insights that they would not get anywhere else on the platform.
- Honesty. Focus on what your brand does well. You do not want to over promise or overhype your products. Instead, concentrate on the problems that your brand solves and how it can make users’ lives easier, happier, or more fun. It may be helpful to come up with unique selling points and then mention at least one in each of your videos.
Regardless of the subject matter of your TikTok video, you can use the same methods to grab viewers’ attention and the same qualities to drive engagement and sales.
How do you highlight your brand while creating organic content for TikTok?
You can create different types of TikTok videos to help build your brand image organically (without overt advertisements). Here are some ideas that apply to most businesses.
- Behind-the-scenes videos. You can create content that offers a look at your company’s warehouse, offices, or meeting spaces. If you have products, you can provide a video tour of the manufacturing or shipping facilities. Service providers can offer a glimpse into their equipment or what they do at a work site.
- Product videos. If you have products, you can create videos that show them being used in real-world settings. This content could highlight a specific benefit or offer how-to tutorials. If you have multiple products, you can do an inventory rundown, showing all your offerings in one video.
- Time-lapses. Time-lapse videos are sometimes very successful on TikTok. For example, you can offer a start-to-finish look at your manufacturing or shipping process or all the steps in a service that your company provides.
- Your story. One way to build authenticity and make a more direct connection with your audience and potential customers is to share the story about how you started your business, challenges you overcame while running the company, mistakes you learned from, or a look at your workday. You should keep these videos positive and offer insights that people can use in their own endeavours.
Depending on your industry and the products or services you provide, you can create other types of videos. In some cases, showing your employees working on a service could make for good content. If you have a retail location, you may want to create videos showing the space and products. An e-commerce business may wish to walk potential customers through the ordering process.
You shouldn’t focus on one type of content, but balance your videos so that you mix practical information with fun and engaging stories.
Why authenticity matters on TikTok
TikTok’s unique format showcases creators who are willing to put their authentic selves on display. A study by Nielsen found that a majority of users in most countries gravitated to the platform because it allowed them to be their authentic selves, and 84% find content to which they can relate personally. This dynamic is excellent for small businesses because it will enable them to create marketing content without huge advertising production costs.
Not only is marketing on TikTok cost-effective, but it also allows brands to build more authentic and personal connections with their current and potential customers.
TikTok users respond to unique, organic marketing on the platform, but according to Nielsen, 68% of users also expect it. Unlike other platforms, where big advertising budgets allow major corporations to dominate, TikTok rewards authenticity and creativity. This helps level the marketing playing field for smaller businesses.
TikTok has tools that make the content production, editing, and promotion process easier. For example, you can make your marketing videos without having to invest in expensive film editing software and gain an audience without paid placement or an in-house marketing expert.
The uniqueness of TikTok content is different from Instagram and other social media platforms. TikTok’s competitors are inundated with ads, and major brands draft influencers to create marketing content. These promotional videos are so commonplace that many users simply tune them out. Brands that can master TikTok’s more authentic dynamic are able to reach their audience without triggering the response that makes them ignore overt marketing content.
Built-in tools to help you edit and distribute your TikTok content
@fayt_the_label Replying to @kiwi_98_ ask and you shall receive :wink::sparkling_heart: #FAYTlabel ♬ original sound – FAYT The Label (FATE)
TikTok has a number of tools for content creators. Some, such as hashtags, are familiar to anyone who has used social media for marketing purposes before. Other unique tools, such as duets, transitions, and green-screen effects, can help you create engaging content in the app.
The Duet and Stitch feature makes it easy for people to use parts of your video on their own. Since you want all or part of your video to reach as many people as possible, this type of reuse is a positive thing. You can go as far as encouraging people to reuse your content in their own videos.
Hashtags can help people discover your content. For example, you can add highly viewed tags to your videos or look at your competitors’ accounts and use the same tags to draw viewers from their audience.
Finally, you can watch hashtags to see when a relevant trend pops up. For example, if your company sells socks and there is a sock-related trend, you can use the hashtags to ride the wave of viewers and engagement surrounding it.
Finally, you can schedule TikTok posts to publish at a later date. Of course, you want to constantly update your content with fresh videos, but if you are running a company or a marketing service, publishing manually day after day can be time-consuming, and you will inevitably forget at some point. Because you can schedule videos in advance, even on mobile devices, you can make content whenever you have time and schedule it for regular intervals. This will keep your audience engaged and give you a better chance of reaching new customers.
How to drive engagement on TikTok
One of the best aspects of TikTok for marketers is that other users can amplify your marketing efforts. For example, some users may respond to a video you publish with one of their own or include your clips in their content using the Duet or Stitch tools.
Other ways to drive engagement can include creating a unique hashtag or making a challenge involving your product or something special about your brand. Challenges include creating a specific task that users can film themselves doing. For example, a sock company might start a challenge involving wearing their socks in inappropriate public settings or on their hands instead of their feet. Generally, the more fun and unusual the challenge, the more users are willing to participate.
There have been plenty of instances of people being injured performing TikTok challenges, so you want to be sure to avoid anything that could cause someone to hurt themselves. Not only would this cause ethical concerns, but it would also likely bring a huge amount of negative attention to your company.
Yes, it is possible to engage in more traditional influencer marketing on TikTok. Still, you typically need to give the talent more freedom to create original videos in their own style. In fact, if you invest in influencer marketing, you should encourage that type of content to avoid viewers tuning out the obvious advertisement.
How to get the most conversions and best engagement out of your TikTok videos
TikTok levels the playing field for marketers, allowing smaller businesses to reach a larger audience without a huge production budget. Clever use of hashtags, engaging and authentic content, and videos that will enable users to connect to the personal side of your brand can all help you increase engagement and build a community of people around your brand.