New engagement opportunities
With around 1 billion monthly active users in the world, TikTok is not only the digital place to be, but it also gathers many potential consumers to reach.
This app allows brands to include their ads, thanks to both the Top View format, which shows the ad as soon as the user opens the app, and the In-feed Ads that will appear when scrolling down the “For You” page and will blend in with native content. Moreover, TikTok is planning to integrate e-commerces and new monetization models.
The main obstacles for brands are at the very core of TikTok: this social network is centered around factors - like storytelling, interaction, authenticity and community - that focus on people, their life and their experiences.
When browsing TikTok, users are mainly looking for entertainment. This is why creating interesting content is no longer enough. To become viral, an account must engage with their audience and get it attached.
The key to virality
TikTok basically works on challenges and viral tracks. For this reason, to pop up on the “For You” page, a brand has to keep up with trends and be ready to jump on them.
Understanding what is trending at the moment and adopting it with creativity to communicate your brand identity is the key to success. Recording many short clips, testing what works and which users can be reached is a great way to kick off your TikTok presence, even if you have few followers. You don’t even need to use the most professional shooting equipment: TikTok users like authenticity and the homemade aspect.
Moreover, the effortless popularity of some video categories can favor brands belonging to that industry: for example, make up videos attract a large community and are vastly appreciated, as well as videos showing quick and easy recipes. Food brands can take advantage of the most loved formats to suggest new ways to use their products, like Oreo has done on its page.
Recruiting creators who have an established fanbase and portrait values that align to the brand identity can also be helpful to reach more users and drive them to the corporate account.
Another way to “humanize” the brand, other than showing people using the products, could mean directly involving the employees.
An example is Duolingo, the well-known language learning app: under the guise of its distinctive green owl, Duolingo uses trending sounds and integrates user-generated memes into its communication to make people laugh and entertain them while also portraying its brand values and creating awareness.
Making fun of themselves and listening to discourse around the brand is a great strategy, as shown by Ryanair: on the airline company’s TikTok account, an airplane – humanized thanks to one of the most used filters – does not shy away from poking fun at situations that happen most frequently to its passengers.
Becoming a trend setter
In addition to following the most liked trends, originality is very important on TikTok.
Once they’ve understood the mechanisms of this medium, some brands started their own successful trends that then spread spontaneously, sometimes reaching popular accounts.
This is what happened with the California-based make up brand e.l.f. To promote its products, this brand launched its own challenge, along with an original song: the #eyeslipsface challenge (with a special hashtag that explains the name of the company) has gained around 5 million videos and the song even charted on Spotify.
In Italy, the backpack company Seven has done something similar by creating an original track for its #7SEVENMOOD challenge, spread with the help of some of the most loved creators.
Therefore, whether you follow trends or you set them, being creative is what most works on TikTok.
This could mean touching people’s feelings, making them laugh or inspiring with new ideas: what matters is that you tell a story able to grab the user’s attention and engage with them.