Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

How do you know if TikTok is right for your brand?

By Eloise Varma, Senior Social Media Manager at Tribal Worldwide

Any social media strategy is a balancing act between staying true to a brands identity as well as making content that is optimised for the channel it’s going on. If you use content that isn’t optimised for the channel the audience may not respond to it as well and it can significant damage its performance.

So if you’re a high-end brand creating content for TikTok it can feel counterintuitive. 

The reality is TikTok is not for every brand. The majority of its user base are under 25 (26% of its UK audience), that means if you’re looking to sell cars, property or retirement plans you may want to reconsider your channel choice.

However, if you want to sell your product to the under 25 market, then TikTok should definitely be part of your social media strategy. 

 When including TikTok in your strategy, it’s key you play to the channel’s strengths and don’t just try to recut your TVC to make it vertical before using it on the channel. 

Often highly produced content can feel quite out of place on TikTok. The channel thrives on trends and mobile content, it may not be polished but it’s fun and engaging.

There are a variety of different advertising options available on TikTok, including traditional formats like infeed ads, branded hashtags and top views, as well as the TikTok original brand takeover, that gives brands an opportunity to be creative about how the approach their audience. And creativity is what TikTok is all about.

One of the smartest ways of creating content for TikTok is to look at existing trends and challenges on the platform and create content for the one that aligns best with your brand strategy. This allows brands to tap into an existing audience who are already engaged in the type of content the brand is sharing. 

The more daring brands go big and create their own trends and challenges, such as GUESS who partnered with TikTok to run a challenge on the platform using the #InMyDenim hashtag where users transformed their messy outfit to a stylish denim look.

As well as the obvious boost you get from paid content, creating your own trend or challenge has potential for significant earned reach as the TikTok audience loves to get involved. To date, GUESS’s #InMyDenim hashtag has had 52.3m views and gained GUESS’s account 12k new followers.

Another thing to consider with TikTok is partnering with influencers. Influencers are a great way of boosting existing brand campaigns. Influencer marketing is already big business on TikTok with brands from Calvin Klein’s to Red Bull utilising it in their campaigns to help boost their visibility and reach.

Influencers are also a good alternative if you don’t want an always on TikTok account but would like visibility with the under 25 market.

The channel is all about content so brands who succeed on there do it by focusing in on what people enjoy about TikTok rather than the brand itself. TikTok is a unique platform and if you’d like to include it in your 2021 plans your strategy needs to reflect this.