How To Use TikTok To Promote Your Business In 2021

It’s no secret that the TikTok app has grown in popularity over the past couple of years. In fact, since 2017 the number of users had grown to 3.9 million before quickly reaching 6.8 million in June 2018. Just 3 months later, the number of unique visitors had surpassed 7.5 million which is more than double the previous year! Plus, as we enter 2021, the app now hosts an incredible 1 billion monthly users, and their growth is showing no signs of stopping.

Despite this, several brands are still questioning how they can utilise the app and make the most of the available 15-second video reels. At Absolute Digital Media, we’re well versed within the world of social media, helping clients to achieve results on popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and more.

What Is TikTok?

Described as a “video-sharing social networking service”, TikTok is commonly used to create short lip-sync videos. It was first launched to markets outside of China in 2017 and since then has become a worldwide phenomenon.

A Short App History

Even though TikTok may have only recently reached our App Stories, it’s owned by a company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming called “ByteDance” and, in the short 3 years the app has been available to people outside of China, it’s come a long way:

  • January 2018: Becomes available in more the 150 markets and in 75 languages
  • February 2018: TikTok partnered with Modern Sky to monetise muic
  • April 2018: Increase of 70 million daily active users
  • July 2018: Users spend an average of 52 minutes a day on the app
  • October 2018: Named the most downloaded app in the United States
  • February 2019: Hit 1 billion global downloads in conjunction with Douyin
  • December 2019: Announced to be the 7th most downloaded mobile app of the decade
  • 2020: 800 million active users
  • November 2020: Licensing deal signed with Sony Music
  • January 2021: Warner Music Group sign a licensing deal
  • 2021 ? 

To put this into perspective when comparing other popular social media applications, look at this:

TikTok Monthly Downloads in 2018

What Makes It Different To Other Social Media Platforms?

The real question is, is how does TikTok differ to other popular social media platforms. Whilst Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have features that make them stand out as “unique”, there is truly no other app like TikTok, heightening the applications success.

What Brands Are On TikTok?

Whilst some brands are still yet to discover the advantages of a TikTok social presence, a number have already jumped on the bandwagon. Popular brands utilising the apps features include Elf Cosmetics, Guess, NFL and even The Washington Post which, despite being a newspaper, has attracted more than 335K followers and 17 million likes.

How Did They Do It?

The general consensus of TikTok is to post fun and creative content with an edge of silliness but identifying how these short, snippet-like videos can promote sales can require further investigation and creativeness. As the app began to attract more attention, _ and _ soon understood that it could be a hugely successful opportunity for brands to interact with prospect customers in real time.

With TikTok now outweighing other popular social media apps, TikTok launched “TikTok Ads” to provide businesses with a greater chance of reached audiences across the globe. In addition to the ability to reach new audiences, TikTok Ads enables businesses to create engaging and interactive formats for their brand story, helping to drive brand awareness and boost brand affinity.

We’re taking a closer look at how, below:

·         Native Content

Original content is key to brand success on TikTok and despite the limitations of the video-sharing social platform, brands have proven that no product is too difficult to promote. San Diego Zoo is just one of the hundreds of businesses which have adopted the app and the strategy is simple. They post videos of cute animals paired with fun music.

Brand Takeovers

·         Brand Takeovers

Even though brand takeovers are limited to one brand per day, it offers businesses the chance to increase impressions, achieve a unique reach and boost clicks. Unlike any other part of the app, images, animated GIFs and videos can be used here, allowing brands to easily capture leads through embedding links within their content.

·         Hashtag Challenges

Instead of building an ad from scratch, brands are known to promote a “Hashtag Challenge” which enables them to direct users to a main page whereby the user can see details of the featured hashtag. These particular advertisements can be measured by video interaction, clicks, banner views and similar UGC content.

Even though Guess only had 35,000 TikTok fans, they were the first to launch a challenge on the app. The #InMyDenim challenge encouraged users to record themselves wearing Guess’ new denim line in “interesting places” and overlay Bebe Rexha’s “I’m A Mess.” Not only was the campaign the first branded challenge to go viral, but it also helped to enhance product-based awareness.

Branded Promoted Lenses

·         Branded Promoted Lenses

Like promoted lenses that brands can create and promote via the Snapchat app, TikTok branded lenses provides businesses with the chance to create their own engaging filter users can use on their videos.

How Do I Determine How To Influence Prospective Buyers?

Compared to other social media networks such as Instagram, TikTok is a relatively laidback application which requires little time and effort. Essentially you don’t need to publish high quality or highly polished content in order for your post to be seen or reacted to. Determining how you can influence prospective buyers is easy; take their reaction as a nod of approval. Of course, there are also actual analytics you can base your content off including:

  • Profile Overview: An overview of the number of video views achieved in the last 7 days and 28 days. This data can also be broken down by day.

 Content Insights

  • Content Insights: A breakdown of the total like count of post, total number of comments, total shares, total play time of the video, total video views, average watch time, traffic source types, audience territories.

Follower Insights 

  • Follower Insights: A tool to associate any popular TikTok video(s) with overall account followers.

Followers Analytics

Keeping up with the latest “craze” can be difficult as a business, but there are a number of ways to jump of the video content bandwagon through TikTok.

Edit – 06/07/21
Since initially sharing this blog earlier in the year, TikTok has expanded its video duration from 60 seconds, to 3 minutes for all users, providing even greater marketing opportunities for advertisers and stars on the platform. You can read more about the recent update, here.

For more information or to discuss your own digital marketing requirements, call one of our expert team today on 0800 088 6000.

Jasmine McKenzie
Marketing Manager

Jasmine has been a member of Absolute Digital Media’s team for almost five years now, having started her journey at the agency as a Digital Copywriter and progressing onto become read more.

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