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With its fast-paced, attention-grabbing short-form video content, TikTok has become the fastest growing social media platform in 2021. Like most social media platforms of recent years, TikTok also heavily favors early adopters. 

With some creators receiving millions of views on the first or second post with next to no followers, brands have jumped on the opportunity for its insane organic reach. 

As the platform has evolved, so have the ways it’s been used. Now, businesses and brands are buying ad space on the platform and leveraging influencers with targeted audiences to sell their products.

Now, you might be new to TikTok in general, let alone TikTok marketing. Before you go and spend all of your time and energy building your TikTok, or even setting up ads on the platform, here are six essential things to understand before you get started. 

Be authentic and understand trends

Like in all good content, authenticity is a major key. Keeping your brand’s content authentic and congruent with your messaging and audience is key to building trust and creating a devoted audience. Keeping up with the latest TikTok trends is also essential, as they will determine the kind of reach some of the posts can get. Viral videos are more often than not one of the latest trending videos. 

Particularly while advertising on TikTok — there are no typical cold ads as you can see on Facebook: understanding the TikTok trends, the community and the multi-layers of a meme/sensation/dance is crucial.

Related: Why Authenticity Is the Key to Making Great Social Media Content and Building a More Devoted Audience

Become part of the community

Every brand should have at least one dedicated person for TikTok. Part of their job is to be there and watch videos, and as counterproductive as that may sound, it’s essential to get an understanding of the platform and its functions. Not only this, but brands can center their TikTok accounts around the user-generated content from its influencers. 

Being a part of the community on TikTok comes in many different forms — including simply commenting on videos and adding value to both brands and influencers that fit their target demographic. This will help to improve beyond their current reach, particularly while commenting on popular posts on the FYP. Responding to comments via the DUET and Stitch features will also increase community and sub-community reach, building deep and lasting connections with the audience.

Despite what most may think, growing your community on TikTok by driving new followers to your account doesn’t even require you to be posting regularly.

Driving downloads

If you are an app developer, TikTok Ads is very effective at driving downloads/installs. Leading influencer marketing agency The Influencer Marketing Factory has several case studies for this. CEO and Co-Founder Alessandro Bogliari explains, “For one of our clients, we were able to integrate TikTok Ads with their third party analytics platform and we delivered a $0.3 cost per install of their app.” 

Not only for downloads, but TikTok provides great data for developers to be able to track everything with their videos, campaigns, etc. 

Create lookalike audiences

Creating Custom and Lookalike audiences to target highly relevant audiences, similar to Facebook and Instagram ads, is essential to generate the best possible ROI for your ad spend. 

Much like the other platforms, the TikTok algorithm understands each user’s interests and collates individual and highly curated content for each user. The algorithm targets by only showing videos from accounts that have liked, commented and the user has followed, along with additional videos the algorithm dictated each user would find interesting.

Related: A Simple 3-Step Approach to Successful Social Media Advertising

Leverage catalog ads

If you’re in e-commerce, leveraging catalog ads to drive sales on your e-commerce website could be one of the most underrated efforts at this point in time. 

By boosting organic content, improved when using Spark ads, found in the TikTok ads management tool kit, brands can get further reach and add links.

This is not dissimilar to A/B testing on Facebook, where owners can see which ads are performing better and adjust their advertising as needed with the previous data (clicks per ad, REV and ROI).

Take a new perspective on social media

Brands need to forget what they’ve learned about social media. When it comes to TikTok, don’t just look at the number of followers. The huge potential with TikTok lies in the fact that users can have as little as just 10,000 active followers and still reach millions of people.

Despite a smaller number of active users being less likely to view business links, on the upside, smaller creators cost less and often generate a higher response rate. Smaller percentages of people on other platforms actually see the content, and in turn, limits discovery. Ultimately, seeing TikTok as a tool to leverage micro-influencers will be paramount to your advertising success. 

Related: How to Run a Micro-Influencer Campaign

TikTok advertising is a core part of modern social media and one of the best ways for businesses to boost their customer base and following. Using these tips and interacting with the TikTok app will be a sure-fire way of improving business and keeping up-to-date with current trends within your target market. So, go create your account yesterday!



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