What You Need To Know
Have you heard your friends, kids, co-workers, or even your parents talk about getting famous on TikTok recently? Or have you been watching TV and seeing Fleetwood Mac and Ocean Spray all over TikTok's commercials and wondering what that is about? Well, it's a great example of what the power of TikTok can do for a brand to make it go viral. With over 30 million monthly active users, individuals or brands can become a global sensation overnight.
If your company is not taking advantage over the TikTok buzz, you are missing out on potential customers. In this blog, Hollywood Branded explores multiple companies and brands that are using TikTok, and shares how they are leveraging their social media strategy to reach millions of consumers.
A Few Different Routes
When deciding how your company wants to market your brand through TikTok, there are a few different routes. A brand can use influencers, paid ads, or create a hashtag challenge. The company is by no means limited to just one strategy, but it might only take one to get the results you are looking for. Let's take a closer look at each of these options and how other brands have been successfully leveraging TikTok’s platform.
Option #1: Influencers + Product Placement
The first and most popular tactic is using influencers to reach a wider audience. These influencers may not have an associated following on other social media platforms but do not let that mistake you for the impact their TikTok following has. For example, a rising TikTok star that goes by the name, “Spicy Latina,” has gained over 3 million followers in a month and averages over 1 million views per post. Although her Instagram page is well below a million followers, a brand could utilize her TikTok presence to reach a much larger audience.
Unlike Instagram influencers, whose followers know the promotion is a paid partnership, brands on TikTok have been using the power of influencers and product placement marketing to communicate their products in a more natural way. As consumers become more suspicious of ads, brands are looking for a more authentic approach to market their products.
Think about it, when you search a brand, are you clicking the link that has a paid advertisement underneath it, or are you selecting the organic link? If you are like me, you are selecting the organic link because it appears more natural and there is no ad trying to convince you to visit the site. It is important to note that the Federal Trade Commission requires influencers to disclose sponsored post. So the question is, how can your brand use TikTok to advertise your products while still coming off as authentic?
Influencer + Product Placement: TikTok Edition
Let’s look at a brand that has been leveraging TikTok influencers as a mass communication strategy. The Coldest Water, a stainless steel water bottle producer, has been leveraging TikTok influencers to gain mass exposure for their water bottles. Instead of paying these influencers to integrate their products, they are using a product placement strategy to simply show that their water bottle is part of the influencer’s everyday life. Below are a few examples of The Coldest Water influencer + product placement strategy.
As you can see, these posts are not intended to convince you to buy the product but to highlight the everyday use of their product. As a result, the videos accumulated over a million interactions, and The Coldest Water brand is introduced to 1,000,000+ consumers.
The "For You Page"
In contrast to Instagram, influencers can be costly and the amount of exposure your product gets is limited to the number of followers the influencer has. The beauty of using influencers on Tiktok is that the following can be unlimited.
TikTok’s community feature, the “For You Page” (#fyp), highlights all of the most engaging TikTok posts. For instance, looking back at the videos featuring The Coldest Water, many of the influencers had less than a million followers. However, because of the #fyp feature, the influencer’s videos, which hashtags and mentioned The Coldest Water, were able to reach millions of users. You cannot guarantee a user’s post will get on the #fyp but if it does, a universe of users will be aware of your product.
Option #2: Paid Ads Through "TikTok For Business"
If your brand is looking to target a more segmented audience, you might want to consider looking into Tiktok for Business. This is Tiktok’s paid ad program where businesses of all sizes can take advantage of Tiktok’s wide audience. The program allows companies to launch in feed TikTok posts that show up on users for you page as a paid advertisement. The program also includes an analytical program to track the engagement of your ads in order to maximize your ROI. Although consumers are becoming more skeptical of paid ads, this is your brand’s opportunity to make fun and trendy ads that are disguised as natural TikTok posts. I see a ton of successful TikTok ads all the time that are not only appealing to my needs but are funny and have an engaging dialogue.
Don’t believe me? Let’s look at Universal Pictures who have engaged with TikTok for Business to promote its upcoming movies. Universal selects a theme and niche genres of content to engage the audience and bring awareness to the release of its films. Most of the time, a hashtag is associated with the post to engage more audience members and to make it easier to share among users. TikTok for Business puts that plan in action and targets the users who relate to the mix of content. The users see the placements ads generated by TikTok for Business and other user-generated posts about the movie or hashtag. For Universal Pictures, TikTok for Business worked well resulting in more than 19,000 user-generated posts and gaining over 11,000 followers in less than a week.
Option #3: The TikTok Hashtag Challenge
So far, we have discussed two strategic options to market with TikTok: influencers + product placement and TikTok’s paid ad program, TikTok for Business. It is important to note that both of these options will cost your brand some money. But what if you’re a start-up company or have a low marketing budget? Let me introduce you to the TikTok Hashtag Challenge.
Hashtags challenges are in on TikTok! It leverages the user itself to create and share organic content. The hashtag challenge increases user generated content (UGC) by answering the challenge that is presented in the post and by sharing the hashtag. To be honest, I personally thought hashtags were out of style until I downloaded TikTok. Check this, 35% of users engage in TikTok challenges while 16% of all videos on TikTok are associated with a challenge. If this is not enough to start thinking about your own challenge, let's look at this example from Pepsi.
In this one TikTok alone, Pepsi was able to generate thousands of interactions from an original, unpaid post from Now United (a global pop group). As you can see, you don’t need to partner with TikTok’s paid ad services to assist your branded hashtag. Pepsi started and ran the #PepsiCanBalance and received the viral numbers they were hoping for. The hashtag has over a million user-generated posts with over 10 million views. All of this generated traffic was due to a simple TikTok post that included a hashtag challenge addressing users to participate and post their results.
In order to post your hashtag challenge on TikTok, your company is going to need a TikTok profile. The page itself can bring awareness to your brand and communicate your offerings to your audience. It will also be beneficial to have a page that users can share with each other and tag if they decide to try your challenge or repost your hashtag! Your company's profile page should be relevant, stay up to date with new trends, and most importantly, have a link on the homepage so consumers can direct themselves to your site without having to leave TikTok. It is crucial that you have a structured profile so your brand does not miss the recognition it deserves if one of your hashtag challenges were to go viral.
Never Too Late
It is not too late for your company to start marketing on TikTok. Social media marketing has been known to do great things for companies no matter their size. With more consumers becoming suspicious of paid advertising tactics, TikTok may be your best option to produce raw, organic content with the equivalent goal of attracting consumers.
Advertising on TikTok is a new and solid marketing strategy to increase brand awareness. We examined: companies who used influencers and the power of the “for you page” to drive product awareness, organizations that leveraged paid ads through TikTok for Business to target segmented users, and we looked at how a hashtag challenge can create a global buzz about your brand. Companies are always looking for methods to attract and engage consumers and there is a good chance those consumers are swiping through TikTok right now.
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Be sure to check out these other Hollywood Branded blogs regarding TikTok’s marketing buzz and other important influencer tactics:
- A Quick Guide to TikTok
- TikTok Is The Next Big Thing for Brand Marketing
- Why Influencers Aren't Responding To You
- 3 Tips To Make Your Brand Appealing To Top Social Media Influencers
- 3 Insights To Create Affordable Influencer Marketing That Sells
While TikTok is a great platform to start marketing your brand, leveraging multiple social media channels will increase your brands awareness. If you are focused on marketing with influencers on social media sites, look no further and learn how to connect with your favorite influencers: