What role does TikTok play in the business world?
TikTok isn’t just a lip-syncing app anymore. With over one billion users and 120.8 million users in the United States alone, TikTok can now be a way for brands to increase awareness. From TikTok ads, developing relevant content to audience engagement and influencer marketing, TikTok has the potential to market a business and help it grow into something phenomenal and achieve desired results.
Using a new platform to promote your brand can be extremely advantageous. But of course deciding to utilize this type of marketing strategy will depend on what brand you want to promote because promoting your brand the wrong way can diminish its reputation. Instead of jumping onto TikTok right away, it’s important to make that decision consciously to make sure it will actually attract potential customers and followers.
How do brands determine if TikTok is not for them? It all depends on the goal.
1. Who is your audience?
While TikTok has helped brands make authentic connections with their desired audience, it may not be ideal for every brand out there. Most TikTok users are under the age of 30, with 45% of all viewers being ages 18-24. 60% of TikTokers are Gen-Zers, and given the age range, TikTok is a great way to reach millennials as well. That being said, if your business caters to a much older target audience, then your business may not get very much audience outreach and engagement. There are older users on TikTok, so it still may not hurt to try it out, but that will depend on the time, money, and resources you have available so that you don’t waste your time marketing on a platform that won’t attract the audience you’re trying to reach.
2. What kind of reputation do you want your business to have?
It’s also important to consider the type of reputation you want your business to have. More often than not, TikTok content tends to be lighthearted, fun, entertaining, and displays raw emotion. If your brand can’t display that type of energy and requires a more serious and tedious tone, then TikTok may not be the best option. Depending on the content, having a presence of TikTok can harm your brand’s reputation and make it look unprofessional when you post a bunch of lip-syncing videos. So depending on what you’re trying to sell and what tone you want to give off, avoiding TikTok will lead people to take you more seriously. There are plenty of other social media platforms you could use for brand awareness.
3. Is your brand visual?
Highly visual brands do exceptionally well on TikTok. Businesses that want to promote awareness for product-based brands have the best leverage on TikTok as opposed to service-based brands, which may be harder to illustrate through video. However, some service-based brands that offer advice, anecdotes, personal advice, and other tips and tricks have been successful on TikTok. Some examples include teachers, psychologists, restaurants, repair services, travel and tourism, and other personal services like therapy.
4. What kind of content do you want to create?
It may help to know some of the most popular content categories and hashtags on TikTok. Popular content categories include entertainment, dance, pranks, fitness/sports, home reno/DIY, beauty/skincare, fashion, recipes/cooking, life hacks/advice, and pets. If your brand requires you to convey deeper, complex information and data that isn’t easily digestible, then TikTok may not be the best option. This is especially true if your audience would benefit from content that’s more steady and unchanging.
5. Are you actually promoting a brand or just promoting a product/service?
Organic marketing isn’t just about selling a product or service through advertisements. Providing some sort of value in addition to the product is key to successful marketing on TikTok. On TikTok, value usually comes in the form of advice, information and entertainment so that people remember you. Something that’s more recognizable as nothing more than an ad will make people more inclined to swipe since most TikTok users look to the app as a form of entertainment.
If you’re a business-to-business brand intending to just sell a product, then this may not be up your alley. On TikTok, you want to maintain an authentic relationship with your audience, which differs drastically from the type of relationship you would maintain with your audience on a different platform like Instagram or Twitter. TikTok users don’t want to see videos of you explaining how to use a product or why your product is the best. Instead, people want a narrative that’s more valuable and engaging rather than corporate sounding.
Deciding whether TikTok should be added to your brand’s marketing strategy requires you to consider a few things first. With filming, editing and captioning the video, along with staying up to date on TikTok trends that change every day, marketing on TikTok requires a lot of time and effort and could even be an investment.
Ultimately, TikTok can be a useful tool to promote brand awareness in a fun and creative way that also resonates with the target audience. TikTok users tend to open the app several times per day and be highly engaged with the content. While TikTok is still not as popular as other major social media platforms like Instagram, it can bring so much potential to small businesses with the amount of new users joining every year.