Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve likely already heard of or used TikTok. The video-focused platform is the seventh most-used social network, boasting approximately 700 million active users around the world. Specific to the U.S., TikTok has almost 100 million active users per month, half of whom use the app daily. Almost 50% are under 30 years old, but 20% are between 30 and 49 years old and 14% are 50 to 64 years old, so there’s a relatively broad audience presence.
Because of TikTok’s raw and relaxed identity, brands have a lot of leeway in terms of what type of content to post. No matter the size of your company or the industry space you play in, TikTok can help boost brand awareness, build brand affinity, generate engagement, and ultimately contribute to sales – if you nail your TikTok content strategy.
Here are six tips for how to develop a TikTok content strategy that will resonate with your target market, so that you can use TikTok for business.
6 TikTok Content Strategy Tips
1. Authenticity is Key
Showcasing your brand’s authentic self should be at the forefront of every idea when you develop your TikTok content strategy. Unlike other social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, where brand feeds are typically polished and curated, TikTokers expect (and even prefer) to see raw and truthful content. There’s no feed aesthetic to maintain. Marketers have the freedom to develop all sorts of organic video content, unfiltered bloopers, and all.
The best part is that you don’t need to break the bank to fund a studio-produced video. Most of the content on TikTok, especially those made by regular users, is shot on mobile phones. It might actually be jarring for users to watch an ultra-polished commercial-like video on the platform. That’s just not what the Tok is about.
Take people behind the scenes of your business, let them get to know the real people behind the products, and use the platform to build real connections. Restaurants can do a “get to know” series featuring the cooks and waitstaff. Boutiques can shoot must-have outfits for every season or holiday. Crafts and furniture stores can post how-to tutorials and DIY ideas. The possibilities are endless!
2. Understand How TikTok Works
First, understand how users consume content on TikTok. Each social media platform plays a different role. While Instagram is primarily used for selective and aesthetic content, TikTok is used for genuine and relatable content.
TikTokers typically consume entertainment- and education-related content on the platform, which covers just about everything. Quirky and shareable memes, expert advice, life hacks, dance challenges, hobby and career tutorials, and information on significant people and events, you name it. There’s even a #LearnonTikTok hashtag with educational content from BBC, Cambridge, and more.
Take note of TikTok video best practices to achieve results. Vertically filmed videos have a 25% higher six-second view-through rate, which can make all the difference in getting your message across to your target audience. One in three TikTok ads with the top VTRs break the fourth wall, meaning someone in the video talks to the viewer directly.
Second, deep dive into the platform’s functionality to develop content that works for you. TikTok is a creator-first platform chock-full of features to make video creation easy. Play around with transitions, filters, effects, and sounds to create impactful made-for-TikTok content.
3. Foster a Community, Not Customers
TikTokers value authenticity over aesthetics, and many feel connected to other users on the platform. According to Bryan Thoensen, TikTok’s Head of Content Partnerships, “People come to TikTok not just for entertainment, but for education, inspiration, and a sense of community… we’ve seen partner brands in nearly every vertical bring our community together through authentic, unforgettable, and inspiring TikTok videos.”
Instead of setting out to create a sale, set out to create engaging and meaningful content that your target audience wants to see. Take notes from some big names. ESPN’s account is a hub for the best moments in sports. Netflix posts a mix of customized community content, entertaining highlights, and amusing talent appearances. Xbox has focused on building connections with content that inspires people to play.
You can also foster a positive relationship with your followers by posting regularly, encouraging interaction, and engaging with those who comment on your videos.
4. Maximize Hashtags
Hashtags play a huge role in your TikTok content strategy. They help make your content more searchable on the platform, increasing your reach beyond your followers. Hashtags also aid TikTok’s algorithm in figuring out whose “For You Page” it should serve your content to.
But there’s an art to using hashtags for branded content, especially on TikTok. It might seem logical to simply use the top trending hashtags, but here’s the thing. The top five trending TikTok Hashtags in 2021 are #fyp, #foryoupage, #tiktokchallenge, #duet, and #trending.
Many of the trending hashtags are generic and may not apply to your business. Plus, popular hashtags are congested spaces with lots of competition for eyeballs. As a start, try to use a combination of generic high-use hashtags with niche ones. This way, you’ll hit a mix of broad and targeted audiences.
If you’re struggling to find the right hashtags for your TikTok campaigns, sneak a peek at what your competitors or the major brands in your industry are using. This should give you an idea of what hashtags to explore or avoid, depending on your objective. Identify users who are your ideal target audience and check out what hashtags they use to get a sense of their interests. You can also create a unique branded hashtag to aggregate your content and set yourself apart from others.
Additionally, hashtag challenges are a big deal on TikTok. Not all go viral, but they may still be worth doing if they are in line with your brand identity. Hashtag challenges are a fun and engaging way to increase your brand awareness and engagement. It worked for major brands like L'Oréal’s #LetsFaceIt, Pepsi’s #ThatsWhatILike, and EA Games’ #PlayWithLife.
5. Partner with Relevant Influencers
Like all social media platforms, some influencers rose to fame because of their high-quality content and earned the trust of their followers. But for marketers who are still unfamiliar with TikTok, it may surprise you that the platform’s biggest stars are not your traditional movie and TV celebrities. Instead, TikTok’s heavy hitters include Addison Rae, Charli D’Amelio, and Zack King, who gain millions of views daily.
But you don’t necessarily have to partner with high-profile influencers. Consider looking for rising influencers with a strong fan base who are in line with your brand identity. A handful of niche personalities with a loyal following may be just as effective as one influencer with millions of followers.
6. Explore the Power of Music
Music has always been at the core of TikTok. In 2020, 176 songs gained more than one billion video views, including “Tootsie Slide,” Drake’s made-for-TikTok track, which accumulated one billion views in three days. TikTok also helped breathe new life into classic tunes like Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” which tripled in sales, returning to the Billboard charts after going viral on the platform.
Even if your business is not music-related, there are several ways you can integrate music into your TikTok content strategy. A custom song (a jingle, if you will) is a tried-and-tested method that has worked for many brands, even on TikTok, like Safeguard’s #SafeguardSplash. Alternatively, you can use a pre-existing song, like how Aldo used SAINt JHN’s “Roses” for their #StepIntoLove campaign.
With expertise in content creation and digital marketing, LSM is here to help you create a TikTok content strategy that works! Book a free consultation today and let’s get down to business.