TikTok for Business: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
TikTok is considered a popular social media platform among the younger generation. Companies can also use this platform for their marketing.
For some time now, TikTok has captured the attention of many young people. The former social media trend from Asia is becoming more and more popular around the world and now has an incredibly high number of users. Funny videos and little dance interludes with background music are characteristic of the social media platform and fill the everyday life of many young people. But not only these are represented on the platform, also more and more other relevant target groups. It is therefore worthwhile to take a more in-depth look from a business perspective in order to discover TikTok for yourself and your marketing strategy. In this article we want to explain the basic functions of TikTok to you as a TikTok beginner and show you how you can use this platform for yourself and your company.
What is TikTok?
TikTok can be described as a social video network that emerged from the lip-sync app “musical.ly” and its Asian counterpart Douyin. TikTok users can consume short videos on the platform and also upload short videos they have created themselves. The videos can be edited beforehand with filters and effects and are thus reminiscent of already known networks such as Instagram or Snapchat. It can therefore also be seen as a combination of different social networks. TikTok can be described as a mix of musical.ly, Vine, Twitch, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram. As with Instagram and Co., there are like and follow functions, which means that TikTok also relies on a high level of user engagement.
The vertical video format of the platform is particularly characteristic, which means that its use is specifically geared towards smartphones. The interactive platform has managed to inspire millions of people and to bind them to it with a relatively long daily stay. In particular, the “Challenge” format and the “Lip Sync” videos have established themselves as social trend functions in the network.
Target group: Who uses TikTok?
In order to get started with your company on the platform, you should know beforehand who is on TikTok and whether you can even reach your target group via this channel. No matter how good your strategy is – if your target group cannot be reached via this channel, it is not worth the effort on your part. Therefore, we want to take a look at the TikTok users beforehand.
In Europe alone, more than 100 million people use TikTok at least once a month. In Germany, around 5.5 million Germans use the platform. Basically, user analyzes of the network show that 69 percent of users are between 16 and 24 years old and only 31 percent are over 25 years old. Of this percentage, just under half of the users are over 35 years of age. In addition, the majority of TikTok users are female. Because 60 percent of users are women, the majority of whom are on the network. If you look at the distribution between iOs and Android, there is no big difference to be found here.
So it’s very clear – the focus at TikTok is, at least for the moment, mainly on the younger generation. You should use this information to decide whether TikTok is the right communication platform for you and your company.
TikTok for companies: which content is suitable for the platform?
In principle, every company can be active on TikTok if the target group fits. Whether you offer products or sell services – everyone can be creative here. However, it must be said that this channel is more suitable for B2C companies than for B2B companies. Because many companies have not yet discovered TikTok as a communication channel, they are also not a suitable target group for TikTok. However, anyone who wants to be active here must above all meet one requirement criterion: creativity. Because in order to be able to play on this platform, you have to be creative, have the desire and time to deal with new contributions and, above all, to interact with your target group. And this only works if you come up with funny, creative and entertaining short videos.
CONTENT STRATEGY TOPICS
Because TikTok is still in its infancy in Germany, there are hardly any examples of already successful company profiles on TikTok. Only a few companies have already familiarized themselves with this social media network. This is why it is more difficult to say which content is particularly popular for marketing strategies. So try out a bit at the beginning and just see which content works and which doesn’t. However, if you are guided by the most successful videos on the platform, the following content recommendations can be derived:
- TikTok is predestined to provide insights into your company with funny and entertaining videos. Whether you focus on employees, yourself and corporate partners or new projects – get creative here and let your followers take a look behind the scenes.
- You can easily promote new products by including them in your videos. And best of all when they are in use, for example in short and appealing tutorials. So your followers can see very quickly how the new product is being used and what it is used for. Embedded in a fun context, a promotional video quickly becomes great entertainment.
- In general, all topics work well packaged. Whether sport, fashion or animals – with hashtag challenges that actively encourage followers to produce similar videos, any topic can go viral.
TikTok Marketing: How Does a Successful Strategy Work?
If you know what TikTok is all about, you can embed this channel perfectly in marketing strategies. The main thing here is to build up the organic reach via this platform. Users don’t want to see perfectly staged videos, but rather real, authentic content. It can be crazy, freaky and therefore particularly entertaining. Anyone who comes around the corner with promotional videos has not understood TikTok. The content must be interactive and stimulate the followers to want to see more and ideally to respond with their own video. We’ll show you four ways in which you can use successful marketing strategies with your company.
Hashtag challenges create massive amounts of user-generated content on TikTok. This format achieves extremely high reach and with the right hashtags can develop into a viral trend, so that good videos can have up to several million views within a week. The principle behind it is simple: A challenge or competition is called under a certain hashtag, in which as many users as possible should take part. Most of the time, the users have to perform a certain action within this challenge. Once you have created the video and used the associated hashtag, the video will be displayed on the challenge page. Via this page, other users will then be made aware of the challenge and possibly also take part in it.
There is nothing to win in that sense, but the best videos get the most likes and views. This format is used to generate more reach through this “snowball effect” and to make your company’s brand or products better known. If you also want to increase the appeal, you can combine the challenge with a competition or cooperation.
The duet function at TikTok comes from its predecessor musical.ly. The idea is that users can sing or dance along with their favorite clips on the same audio track. To do this, the camera opens in split mode with the desired video and users can get started right away. But companies can also benefit from this function apart from singing or dance duets. For example, in addition to an entertaining product video, you can also embed an explanatory video at the same time, so that you can also add important information to your creative content.
Influencer marketing is just as important as on Instagram and Snapchatalso at TikTok. Because a particularly young target group is addressed here, influencers as brand ambassadors offer companies a great opportunity. So if you have products or services that you can perfectly combine with a certain influencer, then try to start a cooperation with this influencer. Because it is through this that users perceive your brand and begin to interact with it. In advance, however, you should see what the profile of this influencer looks like. What kind of content is in his videos? How many followers does his account have? And how many views do his posts get? Often these influencers already have successful profiles on other networks, so that you can research there as well.
But here, too, the following applies: An influencer who is very large and advertises for every company will probably not have the desired effect on your target group. Again, look for micro-influencers who can promote your brand more strongly and appear more credible.
For a short time now there has also been the option of having ads played via TikTok. Although this feature is relatively new, it has a lot of potential. Because the content on the platform is predominantly organic and this is also how the ad formats are designed. But the entire advertising area is still very new at TikTok, so only show you the two most common advertising formats that are not as sophisticated as on Facebook, but are still promising.
- In feed ads / native ads: With this advertising format, videos are played directly in the TikTok feed. These ads are marked, but optically embed themselves very well in the feed. They can therefore be compared with the usual advertising formats on Facebook and Instagram. You can use these in feed ads to increase reach and interaction because they are displayed to the appropriate target group.
- Brand Takeover Ads: This ad format is displayed when the app is opened and is therefore the most noticeable variant. You can use this banner ad to either lead the user to a specific TikTok video or even to an external website.
By the way: With click prices below 10 cents, TikTok Ads beat conventional advertising on Facebook and Instagram by far. With a minimal investment, you can currently generate incredible reach here. At the same time, there is a good chance that you will position yourself as one of the first in this market segment on the fastest growing social media app in the world. In our free TikTok Ads webinar , we’ll show you how to generate traffic, leads and sales with TikTok.
Use TikTok properly
In order to finally get started, you have to log in with a company account. Once you have created an account, it is important to know all functions and features and to use them properly. So that you can find your way around the app, we want to introduce you to the most important functions and features.
FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES
- The feed:After logging in, you will automatically be taken to the start screen with the video feed. This is where the latest videos from the people you follow are shown. The feed is personalized on the basis of your likes, shares and follows, so that you can immediately see the posts that reflect your interest. If you have no or hardly any followers, TikTok shows you content that is currently trending.
- The user interface: As with other social platforms, you can also access almost everything on TikTok via the navigation bar. Here you will find the important functions such as liking, sharing, commenting and following. A simple swipe takes you from a channel to the relevant information about the respective user or channel owner. Thanks to the simple and understandable design, users can find their way around relatively quickly after a short period of familiarization.
- The Tikcode: TikTok offers you the so-called TikCode to integrate your TikTok channel on other social media platforms or on your website. By scanning the QR-like code, interested parties come directly to your TikTok profile and do not have to find it using the search function.
- Record and post video: TikTok videos were originally limited to 15 seconds, now you can even record and publish 60-second videos. You can use the plus sign in the menu to record a video and then edit it like on Instagram and Snapchat. You can add different filters, change the speed, cut the video, label it, use a certain sound and insert effects. Here, too, there are no limits to your creativity.
Then when you want to post the video, don’t forget to use hashtags. They fulfill the same function here as on Instagram and ensure that your video is found under a certain hashtag. The associated hashtag is particularly indispensable for challenges, because otherwise your video cannot be assigned to the challenge under this special hashtag.
Conclusion: TikTok for companies
With this beginner’s guide you should now have understood what TikTok can do for companies, so that you are now well prepared for your first contact with TikTok. No matter how you start it – just do it according to the tried and tested motto: “Trying is better than studying”. If you don’t try all kinds of things, you won’t know what really works. So slowly approach and use your creativity to create exciting, funny, entertaining and innovative videos. Like to break away from stuck strategies and try out crazy, wild and sometimes completely new approaches. Let your content appear honest and authentic here, because these spontaneous actions, where things might go wrong, are more in demand than perfectly produced videos.
It is important here that you communicate in real time. TikTok is a fast-paced network that is wonderfully suitable for jumping on trends or breaking them. If you are stuck here in weeks of coordination with marketing colleagues, you can leave it alone. Be quick and act intuitively, but still try to make your TikTok strategy easy to plan. Because every video also has a specific purpose that contributes to the overall marketing strategy. And part of that strategy will certainly be increasing reach and brand awareness. So use the interactivity of the platform for this. Encourage your followers to take action and reply to your videos with their own videos. Once you understand this mechanism, a successful content strategy is available positioning nothing in the way.