By Claire Miles
TikTok is the biggest new trend to hit the social world by force; with an impressive 800 million monthly active users and currently the no.1 downloaded app of 2020, TikTok is quickly catching up with the likes of YouTube and Instagram.
TikTok allows you to shoot, edit and share videos up to one minute long; It has evolved from a Gen Z dominant video sharing app into a mass social media platform with powerful potential for businesses to market their brand to new audiences. Brands such as Nike and Chipotle have already created successful influencer campaigns on TikTok and now is the perfect time for brands to follow in their footsteps and jump on this opportunity.
In this article, we are going to look at how to successfully utilise influencer marketing on TikTok to get your brand heard.
Can it be used in the same way as other social platforms?
Understanding the basics of TikTok is a crucial element when utilising the platform. Many brands are attempting to establish similarities between the top influencer platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube, to understand how they can collaborate with influencers on TikTok. However, it is better advised to view it as an entirely new tool for 3 simple reasons:
Firstly, content. Whilst the main aim on Instagram is often to be aesthetically pleasing, on TikTok, an unfiltered, more authentic look performs far better. Most successful videos are shot in a very amateur style way, highlighting that TikTok is far more about content than look.
Secondly, TikTok Trends. Otherwise known as TikTok Challenges, these trends are a unique way to encourage user generated content and the most common way to increase brand viewability and engagement.
Whilst in the past, copying content from other influencers and brands has been frowned upon, on TikTok it is actively encouraged.
Thirdly, TikTok’s ‘For You’ page. This is effectively the same as the ‘explore’ page on Instagram and YouTube, with TikTok providing consumers with recommended videos it thinks they will enjoy. However, unlike Instagram and YouTube, on TikTok, this is the first page you land upon when opening the app and the main page that most people spend the majority of their time scrolling through – thus it is imperative to try and get your content onto this page rather than the follower page.
It also means that when deciding on influencers and negotiating price points, it is crucial to base this on average views rather than follower count.
Creating an Influencer Marketing campaign on TikTok.
Before embarking on an influencer marketing campaign on TikTok, it's important to first look at the brand’s campaign goals. Many brands think of TikTok as primarily for advertising to a Gen Z audience. However, TikTok’s audience is far wider than this with 65% of its audience over the age of 21. TikTok should thus be considered by considerably more brands to target audiences on a far wider scale. TikTok is first and foremost a user engagement platform due to its strong ability to encourage user generated content and so we will look to use TikTok with brands that want to increase their engagement.
Understanding the platform.
The first step before investing in Influencer marketing on TikTok, is to understand the ins-and-out of the platform yourself. If you haven’t already downloaded it, fortunately it’s a very easy platform to navigate and I’m sure that you’ll be as hooked as the rest of us in no time.
Secondly, if you are looking to build your brand’s profile on TikTok, it is vital to build your own brand page first. One of the top way’s consumers will engage with influencer content is to click onto your tagged page, so it is important to begin building brand-worthy content in line with the trends of your followers.
The main goal when producing content on TikTok is to be featured on the 'For You' page, whether this is content from influencers or content you are producing yourself. As content on this page is based on trends and what TikTok believes the consumer will like, it is important for brands and creators to adapt content to current trends already in place to push content onto the ‘For You’ Page. The ultimate goal is to go viral - a feature that is made much easier on TikTok than other platforms thanks to this very page, pushing relevant content to the top of feeds.
Choose the right influencer.
TikTok works in the same way as other platforms when it comes to identifying the right influencers for your brand.
This process should be based on a number of factors such as their engagement rate as well as their audience data like age/gender/location.
Audience2Media’s Impact, is the first platform to support TikTok, allowing us to partner TikTok influencers with brands based primarily on their audience data as well as their engagement rates, interests, and content.
Working alongside an established influencer marketing agency, like Audience2Media, will aid brands in ensuring they are utilising TikTok correctly to drive ROI as well identifying and building invaluable relationships with the most relevant influencers via social data.
Allow creative freedom.
Top hashtag challenges are started by TikTokers or influencers that already have a big following. It is imperative to trust the creators to adapt the brands initial idea to their audience to encourage user generated content, and top engagement. To utilise influencer marketing on TikTok to its full potential, you must let go of strict brand guidelines to allow influencers to promote products in their own positive way. Furthermore, this allows brands to develop a long-term relationship with influencers to benefit from the rewards associated with this, such as increased brand loyalty, trust, and heighted brand awareness.
Working with the TikTok algorithm.
Whilst TikTok has kept quiet about how their algorithm works, TikTokers have found that using certain trending sounds, effects, or combinations of the two have helped increase their viewability.
Hashtags are the key ingredient to encouraging top engagement results on TikTok. Like other social platforms, hashtags allow new users to find your content on TikTok. Moreover, hashtags are designed on TikTok to categorise accounts for optimal audience targeting, so using relevant hashtags that match your audience interests is imperative to get onto their ‘For You’ page. As a result, it is important to note that hashtags need to be generic on TikTok and not niche.
The number one metric we look at when running a TikTok campaign is user engagement. This includes likes, comments, shares and user generated content. TikTok can also be measured in a similar way to other social tools, allowing us to report on impressions and sentiment as well as earned media value, ROI and conversions through using affiliate links.
It goes without saying that the best way to test whether TikTok is right for your brand is to do just that, test. Working with several influencers across the platform will allow you to test different forms of TikTok content as well as find the most engaging influencers to build a relationship with for long-term partnerships and ultimately, long-term results.
If you are interested in finding out more information on how to run a successful campaign across TikTok, please get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.