If you’ve decided to market your brand on TikTok, you’ve made a wise choice. TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world if you implement an effective TikTok marketing strategy. With over 1 billion active users, it’s an incredibly powerful tool for businesses that want to reach a new and engaged audience.
But with such a relatively young platform, it can be difficult for businesses to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this ultimate TikTok marketing strategy guide. In it, we’ll guide you through a fool-proof marketing strategy that is sure to get your brand noticed on TikTok.
#1 Set SMART Targets & Objectives
Goal setting is one of the most important factors influencing long-term achievement. In 1979, interviewers sat down and asked new graduates from Harvard’s MBA program if they had written down goals for their future and made plans to accomplish them. Only 3% of these graduates had clear, written goals. Ten years later, they revisited the same graduates and discovered something fascinating. The 3% of earlier respondents who had taken the time to write down their clearly-defined goals were earning 10 times more than the rest of the graduates.
So it’s clear that goal setting is tightly connected to success. With that in mind, before you start creating content, you need to establish your marketing goals. Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Increase brand awareness? Increase app downloads? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can create content that aligns with these goals.
“By using the SMART process to define your goals, you may uncover instances where your planned campaign doesn’t align with your intended goals. This allows you to work through all the potential ups and downs of your TikTok marketing strategy before execution.”
One of the best ways to do this is by setting SMART goals. In this case, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, “I want to increase app installs among 18-45-year-olds in the US by 10% in the next 6 months” is a SMART goal.
By using the SMART process to define your goals, you may uncover instances where your planned campaign doesn’t align with your intended goals. This allows you to work through all the potential ups and downs of your TikTok marketing strategy before execution. Once you have your SMART goals in place, you can start creating content that will help you achieve measurable results.
#2 Research Your Audience
Every marketer knows that a successful campaign must be tailored to its audience. Without understanding your target demographic, you’re essentially throwing darts in the dark. But how do you know who your audience is? And even if you know what demographic is most likely to be interested in your brand, do you really understand what motivates them? What makes them tick? What kind of content is your audience most likely to engage with?
The best way to understand your audience is through research. There are many ways you can go about researching your target demographic, but the most important thing is to be as thorough as possible. The more you know about your audience, the better you’ll be at creating content that appeals to them.
Some methods of research you may consider include:
- Surveys and polls: You can use tools like SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics to create surveys and polls that help you understand your audience.
- Social listening: According to a survey by HubSpot, marketers consider social listening to be their number one most powerful tool. Use social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to track mentions of your brand, as well as the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to it. This will give you valuable insights into how people are talking about your brand and what topics are most important to them.
- Google Analytics: Use the data from your website’s Google Analytics account to understand who is visiting your site and what content they are most interested in.
- Competitor research: Take a look at what your competitors are doing on TikTok and other social media platforms. This will give you an idea of what’s working well for them and what you can do differently to stand out.
Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can start creating relevant content. Luckily, TikTok is the perfect platform for targeting niche audiences and customer segments. The platform’s ad manager allows you to target specific demographics according to their personal interests and locations. This ensures your content is being seen by the right people.
#3 Define Your Tone & Voice
TikTok is a platform for creating fun, engaging content. It differs from other platforms which may be more suited for more serious or professional content. Even serious topics on TikTok are often presented in a light-hearted and humorous way.
“Content consistency can have a huge impact on your sales figures. One study points to a 33% increase in revenue for brands that can maintain brand consistency throughout their marketing.”
When defining your tone and voice for TikTok, it’s important to keep this in mind. You want to create content that is true to your brand, while also fitting in with the tone of TikTok. Content consistency can have a huge impact on your sales figures. One study points to a 33% increase in revenue for brands that can maintain brand consistency throughout their marketing.
You need to decide how you want your potential customers to perceive your brand. If you have already conducted audience research, this should give you some valuable insights. Your tone and voice will come through in everything from the way you film your videos, to the way you edit them and the music you use. A strong brand identity will foster trust and connection between your brand and your audience. At the same time, TikTok is a platform that promotes a particular style of communication and content. So it’s important to be mindful of this when creating your content strategy.
#4 Build A TikTok Profile That Stands Out
When it comes to TikTok, first impressions matter. That’s why you need to ensure your brand profile is optimised and stands out from the rest. Your profile should include a catchy and interesting bio and a profile picture that represents your brand. But what is more important than everything else? Content. It should be engaging, on-trend, and highly relevant to your target audience.
If you have branded content on other platforms, it’s not a matter of simply copying and uploading the same videos to your TikTok account. TikTok’s main user demographic differs greatly from other video-sharing platforms such as YouTube. It also represents a different social media aesthetic. What works on YouTube, may not translate to TikTok. But this doesn’t mean you can forget about all your previously crafted content. With the right touch and creative eye of someone who understands TikTok culture, old content can be remixed and brought back to life for a new TikTok audience.
If you want to make new content, you can team up with relevant influencers to create engaging content for your business profile feed. Experienced influencers understand how to create content that resonates with their audience. They will also have a pre-existing following of engaged TikTok users that they can bring to your brand profile.
#5 Start Identifying The Right Creators
Influencers and creators are a powerful way to quickly introduce your brand to an instant audience. In one survey conducted by Forbes, 84% of marketers responded that they consider influencer marketing to be an effective way to promote a brand. The influencer industry continues to grow each year and in 2021, it was valued at a record $13.8 billion globally.
But when you choose somebody else to represent your brand, you need to tread carefully. The right influencer can propel your business to extraordinary heights, but if you associate with the wrong brand ambassador, it could cost your brand its reputation.
That’s why it’s important to do your research and find the right creators for your brand. You may want to consider which is more important to your campaign — niche or reach? Do you want to get your brand seen by as many TikTok users as possible, or are you more interested in targeting a very specific niche?
Whichever you decide, try to look for influencers who have a similar target audience to your own, and who align with your brand values. The best way to find relevant creators is to use an influencer marketing agency that has compiled a catalogue of creators. When working with creators, make sure you provide them with clear guidelines and expectations. This will ensure they produce content that is on-brand and in line with your marketing goals.
Influencers come in many different forms and are usually divided into nano, micro, macro, and mega according to follower numbers. While you may initially think you must use someone with a huge following, micro-influencers can also be highly effective. Airalo, an eSim company that ran a micro-influencer campaign on TikTok last year, managed to gain 2.1 million video views using just 10 micro-influencers. Their highly successful campaign boasted a low cost of $0.23 per app install.
#6 Develop Organic Content
TikTok marketing content can take different forms, with the most common being paid media. However, you should never underestimate the power of organic content. Paid campaigns might have a faster and further reach, but organic content can build a long-term and sustainable following that converts efficiently.
“A survey by Forbes showed that 81% of respondents admitted that social media posts and recommendations from their family and friends highly impacted their buying decisions. By combining this free marketing tool with a paid media campaign, you can amplify your reach and create a powerful marketing strategy that can sustain growth.”
One of the reasons why organic content is so powerful is that it allows direct engagement with your customers. Through TikTok videos, your audience can comment, like, and share, and you can deliver a personal response. This invaluable engagement not only provides crucial feedback but also develops your social proof.
Users of social media are heavily influenced by the platform activity they see amongst their online community. A survey by Forbes showed that 81% of respondents admitted that social media posts and recommendations from their family and friends highly impacted their buying decisions. By combining this free marketing tool with a paid media campaign, you can amplify your reach and create a powerful marketing strategy that can sustain growth.
#7 Creatively Incorporating Your Brand & Products On TikTok
There is no doubt that TikTok is a highly creative platform. Trends emerge rapidly and quickly proliferate across the app. You can leverage this meme-driven environment in two ways through your marketing campaigns.
All these popular trends provide you with a ready-to-go video format that has already been proven to resonate with TikTok’s user base. Your brand can jump on board with pre-existing trends and give them their own unique twist. This will help you to tap into the popularity that is already associated with the trend.
Alternatively, you could create original content that starts its own viral movement as part of your TikTok marketing strategy. TikTok has a number of special features that facilitate the spread of viral creative content, such as the duet function, shareable filters, hashtags, and the ability to share music and audio via their library. This means if someone sees a video in a format they like, they can easily repurpose the same elements in one of their own videos. This is what leads to the rapid spread of TikTok trends, which you can easily use to create your own meme-worthy brand content.
#8 Create A Paid TikTok Ad Campaign
No TikTok marketing strategy is complete without some paid advertising. In 2020, due to increased demand for TikTok advertising, the platform introduced TikTok For Business which allows users to design and run ads using a suite of creative tools. There are a number of different ad formats to choose from. This makes it easy to create an ad campaign that suits your brand and budget.
The following paid ad formats are currently available.
Top View Ads
This format allows you to create ads up to 60-seconds long that appear at the top of a user’s feed. They appear when someone first opens the app, capturing their attention immediately. This ad format has some of the widest reaches, so is ideal for brands that want to boost their visibility quickly.
Brand Takeover Ads
Brand takeover ads appear in the full-screen form, and they are not skippable. They must be short — up to 5 seconds long — and they have 100% Share of Voice for the day. This means users won’t see any other brand takeover ads on the same day they see yours. This premium ad format will get you a very wide reach, so it does come with a slightly higher price tag. Unlike other formats, it doesn’t allow comments or other forms of user interaction.
In-feed ads blend seamlessly with organic user content. They appear on the user’s For You Page, alongside other videos. Users can interact with this ad format through likes, comments, and shares, creating more opportunities for engagement.
Branded Hashtag Challenge
Branded Hashtag Challenge ads promote the most engagement and interaction between users and brands. This format encourages co-creation, which means that viewers who watch your ad can quickly take the same elements such as music and audio. This effectively turns your audience into brand ambassadors, who promote your business through their own content.
Perhaps the most creative of all ad formats, this one allows you to create shareable filters, stickers, and video effects that promote your brand. Users can use these effects to create original content of their own, boosting your brand visibility every time they’re shared.
#9 Gather Reporting Data
After you have developed your TikTok marketing strategy and created your campaign, the next big step is reporting. You need to know if what you’re doing is working. The only way to know this is by looking at the data.
If you have already established your SMART goals, this step will be infinitely easier. TikTok Ad Manager will allow you to examine and analyse the performance of your campaigns in real-time. Here are some important metrics to consider when determining whether your campaign has successfully achieved its intended goals.
ROAS, or return on ad spend, is a metric that tells you how much revenue each dollar of advertising has generated. This is an important number to consider because it will give you an idea of whether your advertising is sustainable in the long run. If your ROAS is low, then it may be time to rethink your advertising strategy.
CPI, or cost per install, is a metric that tells you how much it costs to generate one install of your app. This metric applies to ad campaigns that are aiming to boost app installation.
The click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that tells you how often people who see your ad actually click on it. A low click-through rate indicates that your ad is not effective. As a result, you may need to redesign the ad or adjust your targeting.
The cost-per-click (CPC) is a metric that tells you how much it costs to generate one click on your ad. This will help you determine whether you’re spending more money on advertising than you’re making in profits.
Cost-per-add-to-cart is a metric that tells you how much it costs to generate one add-to-cart event. This is a relevant metric for e-commerce businesses that are looking to measure the effectiveness of their ad campaigns.
CPM, or cost per mille, is a metric that tells you how much it costs to generate one thousand views of your ad. TikTok Ad Manager allows you to obtain most of this data in one easy-to-view screen, so you can determine the success of your campaign at a glance.
#10 Work With A TikTok Marketing Agency
If all this sounds overwhelming, or you feel like you need extra guidance, you can hire a TikTok marketing agency. There are many benefits to working with an agency. This includes access to experienced professionals who can help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of social media marketing.
TikTok marketing agencies will have a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to creating successful ad campaigns. They will also be up-to-date on the latest trends and algorithm changes. This means you can be confident that your campaign is always running smoothly.
While working with a TikTok marketing agency might seem like a big initial investment, it will pay off in the long run. If you’re serious about using TikTok to grow your business, then this route is the best way to ensure success.
At House of Marketers, we specialise in TikTok marketing strategy, so we know what kind of content works best on this ground-breaking platform. Our founder, Inigo, worked as an early employee of TikTok and used his expertise to build one of the most successful TikTok marketing agencies in London.
If you’re interested in working with us, or if you have any questions about your TikTok marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re always here to help!
House of Marketers (HOM) is a leading TikTok Marketing Agency. Our global agency was built by early TikTok Employees & TikTok Partners, which gives us the insider knowledge to help leading brands, like Redbull, Playtika, Badoo, and HelloFresh win on TikTok. Want us to convert more of Gen Z and Millennials with TikTok? Get in touch with our friendly team, here.