Content is King: Using TikTok for Your Business
by Michael O'Mara, on Mar 16, 2021 12:00:00 AM
TikTok. Or as I like to call it, Gen Z’s MySpace. And I mean that as a compliment! For all its flaws, Myspace offered meaningful personalization, customization, and engagement in ways social media left behind. It was the place to be with the tools to make it your own.
That’s exactly what TikTok is today.
Vine, rest its soul, proved TikTok’s creative concept viable in today’s metaverse. Where Vine failed, TikTok delivered. Where Facebook struggles, TikTok thrives. Over 1.1 billion people use TikTok every single month. Each native post is a short, digestible 15-60 second experience filled with knowledge, joy, and perspective. Users must keep coming back for a reason, right?
But what about your business? There's a lot of talk about TikTok lately, and not all of it good. That doesn’t mean your business can’t thrive on the incredibly refreshing media platform. Let’s talk about why TikTok is skyrocketing, how your business can capitalize, and what you could do to learn and grow.
Why is TikTok so popular?
Content is king. TikTok incentivizes and encourages smart, helpful media created by and for the modern digital generation. The second you open the app, instead of a login screen, you’re brought right to unique, tailored content. Authentic, entertaining, and digestible, TikTok provides its users with an engaging, accessible platform to learn and grow.
From a business perspective, TikTok is a living, breathing, feedback line. Just take a look at some of these impressive metrics:
- The average user spends over 850 minutes per month on TikTok
- 2nd most downloaded app in 2020
- TikTok, as of 2021, boasts an average engagement rate of over 17% — compared to 3.8% on Instagram and 0.7% on Twitter*
*Engagement rate on TikTok varies with audience size and content. Please follow this link to learn more about TikTok’s engagement data.
How can my business use TikTok effectively?
A successful marketing strategy is focused, tested, and agile. The same goes for any successful business.
TikTok’s core strength primarily falls within two key areas: brand awareness and community management. Yes, TikTok offers tools and reports necessary to run successful paid advertising campaigns, but keep the beliefs and value systems of TikTok —“Inspire creativity and bring joy” — in mind as you craft a capable content strategy.
How does your business inspire creativity and bring joy to its customers and employees? Understanding how TikTok’s audience uses the app helps you craft the most effective content for your audience. Here’s several solid behaviors to keep in mind as you craft your presence on TikTok:
- A simple, replicable content strategy focused on brand awareness and product insight, not leads or sales
- Engage your audience in the comments
- Capture the common elements of your daily business
- TikTok like one person is watching
- Be clear and accessible
- Be HD; keep your frame with steady hands, record consistent audio, and include helpful, relevant native captions within your video for a better viewing experience
- Ask for recognition
- TikTok culture is creative and constructive; don’t hesitate to ask for positive recognition and feedback in your content
- Be positive
- Build solutions for the negative in a creative, helpful manner
What content can my business create on TikTok?
You know your business recipe. Does your audience?
TikTok is the best social platform to reveal the secret sauce behind your product. Show your expertise, why your product is unique, and what they need to do to engage with your product directly. Don’t know where to start? Here are a few concepts to get the ball rolling:
- Make product highlights
- Expert perspective and discussion on your industry and products
- Discuss popular trends, music, memes without co-opting them
- Brand stories
- Profile unique people relevant to your business
How do ads work on TikTok?
If you’ve run ads on other social platforms, like Facebook, you’re already familiar with TikTok’s advertising toolkit and structure. Remember: TikTok’s platform and culture deviate from other social platforms. Understanding TikTok’s advertising tech stack and platform norms are part of a strong, effective strategy for your business. Here’s a good place to start:
- Ad placements — Automatic or manual placements for your ads
- Ad targeting — Basic location targeting across the globe
- Interests and behavior targeting — Tailored keywords, audience, and content engagement to target the right users
- Measurable — Tools, like split testing and pixels, to accurately track ads; Automated or custom reports to view, organize, and analyze advertising data
- Bidding options —
1. Cost per mille, or CPM
2. Optimized cost per mille, or oCPM
3. Cost per thousand views, or CPV
4. Costs per click, or CPC
For more on TikTok’s advertising platform, please visit their very informative Business Help Center.
Is TikTok safe?
You know it. I know it. TikTok doesn’t have the best reputation. It’s young, unproven, and under scrutiny from the biggest superpowers on the planet. What does that mean for you and your business?
Is TikTok right for your business?
To drive consistent, intended results on social media, a business needs a strategy. TikTok is right for you as long as you have a tested, tailored strategy built by research and data. We tell our kids and family to think before you post. Give your business the same consideration.
There are pros and cons to using one social media over another. Ultimately, understanding your market, your product, and your audience results in long-term success. Don’t treat social media any differently as you would a customer in your store or business. Your social media is an inspirational, engaging storefront of services for the people that matter most: your community. As long as you keep that in mind, you’ll do just fine.