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TikTok 101 and Opportunities for Brands

TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world.

According to eMarketer, Today, the platform has 52 million users, 12 million of whom were added in March 2020 alone. These users also spend more time on TikTok than on other platforms: 476 minutes for March 2020 compared to 319 minutes on Instagram for the same period.

Additionally, TikTok provides brands with the opportunity to create viral moments in a way that no other platform has ever done before. Getting one million views on a campaign was a huge success before. On TikTok, however, successful viral campaigns can reach a billion views or more.

All these stats paint a picture of a unique, first-mover opportunity that too few businesses are leveraging. To shine more light on this new platform and how brands can use it to launch viral campaigns, Evan Horowitz from Movers+Shakers joined Pacvue’s Melissa Burdick for a TikTok 101 webinar.

Here are some of the highlights of the webinar.

Creativity: a Core Component of TikTok

One of the innovative aspects of TikTok is lowering the bar for quality, making it easier for people to contribute their own videos. This leaves more room for creativity, which is what keeps users coming back to the platform.

TikTok is free of fancy filters and the pressure to post something perfect. It’s about authenticity and realness, which unleashes creativity in a way we’ve never seen before. Unlike other social platforms, TikTok is a very positive place. People come there to be entertained and feel good about themselves.  

If you don’t bring creativity or joy to the storytelling in either your organic content or paid ads, you will come across as awkward on TikTok, and people won’t want to engage with your brand.

When creating your content, it’s helpful to keep these four aspects in mind:

  • Creative mindset.
  • Raw and unpolished. Avoid reusing content from your other social media platforms, as it’s often more polished.
  • Music and movement. Music is key on TikTok because it supports telling the story. Remember that, as a brand, you need to have a license to the music you are using.
  • Trend driven. You have to be sensitive to trends to fit in on TikTok because trends are driving at least half of the conversations on TikTok. People are jumping on the bandwagon to make a video around a theme, which typically changes week by week.

Who is Using TikTok

TikTok is aging up faster than any other platform. In 2019 it was a Gen Z platform, but now the 25-35 age group is the fastest growing segment on TikTok. Furthermore, more than half of TikTok users are over 25 years old.  

When it comes to the most engaged segments, the 45+ age group spends the most time on the platform. This segment will most likely continue to grow until the end of the year without necessarily pushing the younger generations out of the platform.

TikTok Success Strategies

There are four main ways that brands can enter TikTok.

1. Brand Channels

Having your own organic page is most likely going to be mandatory by 2021. Starting now has a competitive advantage as organic brand content is not penalized on TikTok for the time being.

Remember that it takes time to achieve virality. Stick to posting daily for a long time, and integrate into the weekly trends. This will help you get picked up by the algorithms, and provide your brand with a “cool” factor.  

2. Influencer Campaigns

This is a good way to test TikTok, but make sure to use TikTok native creators. They tend to produce higher quality content and have lower cost structures. Creator Marketplace is a good place to start looking for influencers.

3. In-feed Ads

This is the only way you can have consistent direct response or clicks out of TikTok. The feature is still new and developing. To succeed, it’s important to make the content feel native.

4. Hashtag Challenges

This is a unique opportunity to essentially get millions of people to create an ad for you. There are no direct click buys that come from these types of campaigns, but they still drive a massive amount of sales.

Be clear about what you want people to do in these challenges, but don’t be too specific. Make room for creativity, while encouraging brand integration. For real virality, you should look into writing original music.

Key Takeaways

Now is the time to get the first-mover advantage on TikTok. The user base is hyper- installed on the platform, but brand presence is still disproportionate.  

There are four main ways you can distribute content on TikTok: your own brand channel, influencer campaigns, in-feed ads, and hashtag challenges.

Regardless of what you do, you need to have creativity and authenticity at the core of your content. It should be raw and unpolished, have preferable original music and involve movement. Lastly, it should play off the current trends of the platform to engage the users.

Learn more about TikTok advertising in the full webinar, TikTok 101 and Opportunities for Brands.

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