With the pandemic acting as a catalyst for the increased popularity of TikTok, the platform has taken the world by storm. Its addictive content, endless scrolling, and viral videos were the perfect way to pass the time during the early stages of the pandemic. Even as the world has begun to open up, TikTok has only grown. It’s safe to say that it will continue to be a dominant platform within the world of social media.
While its original use was to promote silly dances and comical sketches, thanks to the new sponsored video feature in addition to a greater understanding of the app, TikTok has become a valuable platform to promote, expand audiences, and gain popularity. Whether promoting as an individual or for a brand, TikTok is here to help digital audiences grow.
When marketing on social media, it is crucial to recognize how different platforms hold niche features that separate them from their competitors. For example, Twitter is centralized on words; big corporations try to use this power to be relatable or humorous. A great example is Wendy’s Twitter account. On the other hand, Instagram is more methodical, picturesque, and calculated, focusing more on the time of day and the type of content that would best accumulate likes and followers.
TikTok, meanwhile, is perfectly all over the place with its features. Based on the videos you like, comment on, watch in full length, and other factors, the app creates an algorithm that shows you similar videos you might enjoy. Unlike Instagram and Twitter, your feed consists of people you do not follow. Instead, it is an endless scroll of videos from strangers that are handpicked for your liking.
With the lack of emphasis on followers and a focus on content, TikTok allows more people to create successful viral videos without a massive following. This unique feature attracts more people to create content in comparison to competitors such as YouTube. While YouTube is successful, becoming viral overnight is nearly impossible unless you are already established as an influencer with a massive following,. With TikTok, you do not need to have built up a platform. If your video stands out to a particular audience, the algorithm will catch on and boost the content onto more people’s feeds. A perfect example is the rise of Nathan Apodaca aka “Doggface”, who became famous last summer for a video of himself skateboarding to the tune of Fleetwod Mac’s “Dreams.”
Once you understand the unique attraction and function of TikTok, it is essential to know the most impactful ways audiences are reached through the app.
On Instagram, liking and commenting on videos, creating a particular feed aesthetic, and engaging with followers are crucial factors to consider when running an Instagram. On TikTok, however, the emphasis is on content creation. One could argue that people primarily scroll through content on Instagram too, but feeds there are limited to who you follow and are less likely to show content that would expand a user’s interests. TikTok turns this on its head, as your content feed’s focus is no longer within the confines of who you follow.
The way people discover brands, products and influencers is when an exciting video pops up on their TikTok feed. The type of videos created are limitless. Different people are attracted to different types of content, and through the algorithm, TikTok will place the right content into the right person’s feed. As long as an account consistently pumps out well-made and carefully crafted videos, the likelihood of expanding audiences and attracting attention increases.
With TikTok success dependent on content creation, it is essential to create appealing videos that encourage people to like, comment, and follow. Frequently, your feed will present a soundbite, dance move, or funny clip several people use in their video and create either a new version or an interpretation of the content. This concept is a called a “Trend”, and on TikTok, these trends are huge.
Trends on TikTok are a popular source of inspiration for people when it comes to creating videos. They are a great way to obtain a wider audience without the pressure of coming up with only original content, while still allowing creators to show off their unique personality and approach to the trend.
It is crucial to stay up to date on trends. A new trend comes along every few days, if not more often, while other trends can quickly go away. The key to success is to be on top of these trends, especially since it can help users find brand-new audiences. Content creators must be quick and versatile, as doing so helps them capitalize as best they can on a hot trend and increase their chances for rapid audience growth within the app.
TikTok is a place where a wide variety of genres and interests can be expressed. An individual user has only so many interests, though, so an algorithm is used to build up a tailored feed to those interests. But these interests are always fluctuating. As users engage with the app more, the algorithm constantly changes to reflect your interactions. For example, if a user tends to skip through cooking videos, the algorithm will respond by providing fewer food-related videos in their feed.
Therefore, it is essential to consider what side of TikTok you want your videos to be seen in as a user. Take a makeup company, for example. In order to maximize their TikTok marketing, they would want to tailor their content to appeal to the fashion, beauty, and the skincare side of TikTok. Users interested in those fields would be less likely to skip through a makeup advertisement when compared to users who care more about travel or sports.
By understanding what side of TikTok you want to appear in, creating content to appeal to users' passions will increase interest in the video. The app's focus is to grab people's attention, and it is vital to understand the kinds of people you want to have as your audience.
It’s important to note that real-world experience is key. The more you engage with the app, the more these tips will feel natural and essential. TikTok holds a lot of value in its effortless ability to expand and find new audiences, and savvy marketers should be constantly thinking of new and impactful ways to establish a presence on the platform.