A Guide for Brands and Influencers: How to Use TikTok

By Editorial Staff

It’s no secret that TikTok has become one of the world’s most popular social media apps. TikTok has certainly made a name for itself globally, having over 500 million monthly users. It’s certainly no surprise that, with such a huge following, TikTok has become a hub for influencers and brands to help sell themselves. But what is TikTok, and how do you use it? Continue reading to find out!

What is TikTok?

TikTok is an app that focuses on sharing short videos. While the average video length is 15 seconds, TikTok allows users to post videos up to 60 seconds long as well. TikTok thrives on homemade, original content, and can be quite meme-y, starting and following the hottest trends. However, the app is quite versatile, since you can upload videos focused on anything. The most popular types of content on TikTok are lip-syncing, dancing, challenge, comedy, and talent videos. The app’s users mostly consist of a younger audience, specifically Gen Z, with 66% of its users being under the age of 30.

TikTok is extremely popular, having surpassed well-known apps such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat in downloads. The app reaches millions worldwide.


A Guide for Brands on TikTok

Getting your brand’s name out there has never been easier with the rise of social media. With TikTok’s outstanding growth, it’s a great platform to market your brand on. The popularity is one reason alone that brands should consider TikTok for marketing– but there’s the target audience to consider, too. If your brand hasn’t already marketed to a younger audience, TikTok is a great way to reach the Gen Z crowd. 

1. Creating your Channel

Creating your channel is the start of your brand’s journey on TikTok. It’s simple enough to make one, but keeping your channel alive and well is very important for your brand. When creating a channel for your brand on TikTok, you want to keep a couple of tips in mind.

  • Show off your brand. Don’t be afraid to show off the products and main features of your company.
  • Utilize TikTok’s unique features. Add songs, cool effects, VR type filters, etc. to your videos to spice them up.
  • Keep your content relatable. As stated earlier, showing the more human side of your brand draws in fans.
  • Take note of viral trends. Jumping on one and staying on top of the game can increase your notoriety.

2. Advertising

The first and foremost of marketing your brand is advertising. After creating a channel on TikTok, look into the advertising options for your brand to get more recognition. With TikTok recently launching an advertising process, now is the perfect time to advertise! Below are the primary and most popular types of TikTok advertising you can use.

1. Infeed Native Content

These types of ads show up while exploring the TikTok front page. They are 9-15 second long, fullscreen, and skippable. They support features such as website clicks and app downloads, and their engagement is measured by clicks, impressions, play duration, etc.

2. Brand Takeover Ads

Brand takeover ads show up when you first open the TikTok app. Offering a wide reach and impressions, this is a type of TikTok ad that’s exclusive to one specific brand each day. It’s full-screen and can include images, GIFs, videos, and embedded links that can be connected to challenges, hashtags, or website pages. 

3. Hashtag Challenges

This type of advertisement is key to TikTok success. Since it can involve anyone, not just brands or influencers, it’s a very popular tactic that greatly expands your reach. 

Your brand can find hashtag challenges on the Discover page and take a unique spin on them, or you can choose to create your own hashtag challenge, included with an iconic song and/or dance. There are many successful examples of this, such as the Guess #InMyDenim challenge, which prompted users to shoot videos in a variety of places while wearing Guess’ denim line. This example not only intrigued users to check out Guess through the challenge but also enticed them into buying their product. Smart move!

3. Engaging with your Audience

Keeping your audience interested in your brand not only comes from entertaining them, but also by including them. This is why the aforementioned hashtag challenges are so essential to TikTok fame. Challenges are one way to keep your audience engaged, but some other ways to do this are:

  • Using the duet feature to interact with fans, influencers, and other brands.
  • Following other accounts.
  • Liking, commenting and sharing other posts. 

4. Humanizing your Brand

Being that the app is seen as more fun rather than stiff and professional, using the app is a great way to show off a different side to your company. A good example of this is the NBA’s TikTok account – which has 5.1 million fans. They post motivational and behind the scenes posts, using TikTok’s musical features and showcasing game highlights simultaneously to attract followers. Humanizing your brand via TikTok helps a lot in the long run.

5. Working with Influencers

If your brand is looking for a specific type of audience, it’s definitely a good idea to partner up with an influencer – and TikTok is full of them! Getting influencers to advertise your product by featuring it in their videos is one way to broaden your reach. If the product relates to the influencer, their audience can gain interest, bringing more traction to your brand.

Another great way to work with an influencer is by having them endorse your hashtag challenge! Chipotle’s #GuacDance challenge instantly comes to mind as an example of this. The fun and quirky challenge involved YouTube influencers Brent Rivera and Loren Gray to promote it on TikTok, and Chipotle’s guacamole servings skyrocketed as a result. 

A Guide for Influencers on TikTok

As TikTok rises up, the amount of influencers on the platform rises as well. Nowadays, influencers are just as important as brands when it comes to marketing. For influencers, they gain recognition and profits by increasing their following, and on an app like TikTok, there are many opportunities for influencers.

1. Gaining Popularity as an Influencer

Gaining popularity is one of the top goals for any influencer. To get big, however, you need a strategy – and there are many different types of strategies. While strategies do differ, however, there are always key tips and tricks to staying relevant. Here are a few.

  • Use analytics to discover your audience. By switching to a pro TikTok account, you can tell what types of followers you’re attracting.
  • Post frequently. To keep your account up and running, posting at least 5 videos per week is a good strategy. 
  • Try and post at ideal times. This can be related to where the majority of your audience is from, or it can be when a trend is rising to popularity.

Using these tips and combining them with your type of content, you’re sure to gain notoriety in no time!

2. Types of Influencers 

TikTok has come a long way from the beginning. There are so many different types of influencers on the platform who make different types of content unique to them and their message. Let’s delve into how influencers can fully utilize TikTok’s platform in various ways.

  • Music Focused Content

The traditional TikTok format that many influencers and users alike gravitate to is music based content. Lip-syncing and dancing is probably the most popular format, as they catch your attention and market off of trendy songs, drawing in followers. Original, homemade music content is another creative way to gain traction on TikTok creatively, and can benefit off of viral trends via cover songs. Many TikTokers who use this format eventually end up starting a music career as well. Overall, this strategy and way of influencing is trendy, intriguing, and fun!

An example of this type of content is TikTok star @yodelinghaley’s dance to the popular song “Say So” by Doja Cat. It not only inspired others to use the song and dance in their own TikTok videos but was even featured in Doja Cat’s official music video! 

  • Non-music Focused Content

This type of content has a wide reach, being that it includes so many things. Comedy based videos, short skits, vlogs, fashion and beauty, tutorials, etc. are all included in this category. Influencers can use this to their advantage by either hosting a variety of content to bring in many different audiences or by focusing on one niche, which can attract a specific type of brand deals and crowds. While it’s not the traditional music-based content, it’s still widely popular, as it’s kind of like a second Vine. Some popular TikTokers who create this type of content are Zach King and Gilmher Croes, who specialize in comedy.

3. Starting on TikTok vs Coming to TikTok

When you’re starting out on TikTok, it’s very different compared to other social media apps – but this is TikTok’s advantage. It’s a great starting point for many influencers due to its low-quality, original, and relatable content. You don’t have to have professional equipment or top video editing skills to join, which makes it a bit more simplistic. But don’t let that fool you, as the numerous amounts of effects and features allow you to be versatile when making videos as well. Think of it as a blend between easy and very creative. TikTok exclusive influencers have that blend to work with, and also are on an app that continues to grow in stats, and that is why you see so many influencers now starting their journey from this app.

As there are many benefits to starting on TikTok, there are many when you’re coming to TikTok as well. There’s the Gen Z reach to consider, but also the fact that having a multi-platform following can give you so much. While keeping your usual audience entertained with even more content, you also bring in new followers that you wouldn’t have found if not utilizing multiple platforms. Not to mention the fact that it gives you more opportunities to be creative and versatile with your content. It may be more upkeep, but it’s definitely worth it! Read more about rising TikTok influencers.

This article was written by Rianon Gladura

We are trained in providing highly personalized influencer strategies. Get started with us today to find out how it fits your brand!

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