Do you ever wish...
Do you ever wish there was a social platform where you could have zero followers post once and get a million views? Well that is power of TikTok and in this article we're going to teach you everything that you need to know in order to create a TikTok strategy that works for your business.
You'll learn all about how the powerful TikTok algorithm actually works and get tips for creating your own viral videos. We'll also dive into why TikTok is such a great platform for brand awareness and for finding new customers.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee and let's jump in to all things TikTok.
TikTok is a video sharing app where people can shoot, edit, and share videos up to one minute long. Users upload and create their own videos, varying from lip syncing to dances, epic transformations, instructional videos and so much more. TikTok has over 800 million active users, which is just under Instagram's active user base of 1 billion people. That is huge and it's not just teenagers on TikTok with more than 1.5 billion downloads around the world. TikTok has completely taken over the social scene. So while Gen Z still makes up the largest demographic, users of all ages have started swarming the app and TikTok is officially a mega force in our pop culture. TikTok has quickly evolved from a Gen Z video sharing app into a full fledged marketing machine for businesses. Brands like Nike, Door Dash to Chipotle, and most famously the Washington Post have already paved the way for brands on the platform with their meme-tastic content. So if you're still wondering is TikTok right for your brand? Well, the great thing about TikTok is that there's truly space for everyone with so many users around the world who have so many interests, there really is a niche for everyone and that means that businesses have the opportunity to share their products and their services with brand new audiences in a fun and creative way. If you're just getting started with TikTok, luckily the app is super easy to navigate. TikTok has quickly become known as Instagram for the mobile video age. So while the apps have a lot of similarities, there are a few key factors that set them apart. I like to think about TikTok as the opposite of Instagram. So when you post to your Instagram feed, it's really high quality content and the aesthetic of your content really, really matters. You wouldn't post a dark grainy photo on your brand's Instagram feed, for example, but on TikTok you'll actually see a ton of viral content that looks like it's being shot in the basement of your parent's house. TikTok is more about the actual content of the video and less about the look of the content and another reason why TikTok is the opposite of Instagram is because of the For You page. So just like Instagram, TikTok is divided into two main feeds. They have the For You page and the Following page. The main screen you see when you open up the app is called For You page, which is basically the equivalent of Instagram's Explore page. On the For You page, you'll find a constant stream of new trends and videos that the TikTok algorithm thinks you will like. And this is where people spend most of their time in the app. If you compare that to Instagram where people actually spend the majority of their time on their Instagram feed, looking at content from people that they follow and then sometimes they'll go take a look at their Explore page to find new content. But on TikTok, it's the total opposite. People are spending most of their time on the For You page consuming content from people they follow and for people they don't follow. And then sometimes they'll go and take a look at their following page featuring, well, you guessed it, videos from people that you follow. This is what makes TikTok such a powerful platform. Like I said earlier, you could literally have zero followers post one video and get a million views because you don't need to have followers in order to have your content seen on TikTok. Scrolling through TikTok's For You page. You'll find a wide variety of content dressed in Gen Z humor. Some of the most popular videos include lip syncing, skits, dancing and plenty of cringe to go around. Since the videos are so short, it's easy to fall into the just one more video mindset and keep endlessly scrolling. While there may not be a real purpose behind the content, the videos are extremely addictive and can easily go viral within hours. The next thing that you need to know about TikTok is they're super cool mobile friendly video editor. TikTok's editing features are super powerful and they make it easy to transform a quick 15 second clip into something super engaging. Unlike Instagram TikTok makes it really easy to edit content right inside the actual app, which is packed with cool video features and effects that make it one of the most easy to use mobile editors out there. To get started, all you have to do is hit the create video icon. From here you can either start from scratch or upload video from your camera roll. Next, choose from a variety of different effects and recording tools located on the right and bottom of the screen. You can also add text on top of your videos to stop your viewers from scrolling or help explain what your video is all about. This is especially helpful for instructional videos. If you're using the text tool, just remember that it's super important to pay attention to where you place the text on your video. You want to avoid the right side and the bottom of the screen that are covered by the caption and the share icons. It's important to make sure that once your video is posted, your viewers will be able to clearly read what you're trying to say. TikTok's video editor is packed with options that make it easy to create eye catching content so you can really let your creativity flow. We can honestly probably do an entire course just on how to use TikTok's video editor, since we're not going to go too deep into this now, but you can sign up for our free 10 day TikTok challenge to help you get comfortable with creating and editing videos for TikTok. All you have to do is enter your email at the link in our description and you'll get one email a day that's guiding you through all the different TikTok effects like green screen, voiceover and more. Now back to what the app looks like. Next is the notification screen to view comments and likes. Tap the notifications icon at the bottom of the home screen. You can also see who has replied to your comments or has recently started following you here. From here, you can also view your direct messages by clicking the icon on the top right corner. This works just like Instagram. It makes it easy to communicate and share videos with your friends. Next is the discover page. The discover page is also similar to Instagram's Explore page. By clicking on the discover icon in the bottom menu, you'll find a list of trending challenges along with the top videos that are using the hashtag. This is an easy way to discover new trends and to try them out for yourself, but don't worry. We're going to cover more on that later on in our course. Finally, there's your TikTok profile to get to your profile. Hit the Me icon in the bottom right corner. Here you'll find a feed of your videos, and this is where you can see how many views they've received. Once you share your first TikTok, you can see how many people have watched your video in the bottom right corner of the clip. You can also view your follower account, the total likes on your videos, or make edits to your profile. And another big difference that you might notice is the shift from Instagram's perfectly polished profiles to TikTok's unfiltered feeds. In fact, most viral TikTok's aren't super produced. The unfiltered look has become a TikTok trademark and it usually makes for more popular content. TikTok's anti-aesthetic and carefree nature is half the fun, and luckily it takes a ton of pressure off of new creators too. It might feel weird at first, but don't be afraid to go a little off brand. On TikTok authenticity comes before aesthetic. Don't be afraid to try something new and to let your personality shine. Finally similar to Instagram's business profile, TikTok offers creators a TikTok pro account. The main benefit of switching to a pro account is that you can get access to TikTok analytics to help you get a better understanding of how your content is performing. So you should definitely enable this on your profile and it's free. This tool provides an overview of insights on things like your weekly and monthly views, follower growth and trending videos. As with any platform, understanding how your content is performing is crucial for creating a successful strategy. Make sure to continue experimenting so you can start to figure out what's working or what isn't. One of the most commonly asked questions about TikTok is how do I get on the For You page? On Instagram. battling algorithm is key to making sure that you're showing up on your followers feeds. Well on TikTok, the goal is actually reversed. TikTok users main goal is to be featured on the For You page. The For You page is based on what the app thinks that you want to see. When you open the Instagram app, you land on the feed of people you follow and then you can pop over to the Explore tab. On TikTok, you're instantly immersed in the For You page. This means that users have endless opportunities for audiences to discover their content. Showing up on the users For You page allows brands and creators to show up in front of new audiences on TikTok. This is crucial in order for your account to grow and it's also a quick way for you to get more free tiktok followers. Unfortunately, it TikTok hasn't shared much about how the algorithm works. Luckily, creators have some of their own theories that have helped them get on the For You page. According to one popular creator, the TikTok algorithm is the student and you are the teacher. The algorithm is constantly pushing content to people based on what it thinks that they will like. That's why it's so important to hop on trends and share the kind of content that other users are interacting with the most. Once you find your niche, you'll let them start showing up in front of the right audiences who share your interests. Other TikTok users have found that using certain trending sounds effects or even specific combos of the two have helped them reach TikTok success. Once you've spent a bit of time on TikTok, you'll start to realize the same songs are used over and over and over again and these change weekly. Part of the reason for this is that the algorithm works hand in hand with trending audio, whether that's a voiceover clip or a song. If you've liked a lot of videos that you use, one particular song algorithm is then going to show you more videos that use that song, so that's why it's always a good idea to use a trending song in your videos instead of just a random song. It also looks like TikTok takes your video's popularity into account. For example, let's say that the algorithm puts your video on a hundred users For You page once it's been posted after a few minutes. If it's performing well, the app then pushes it to another 500 then to a thousand and so on until you reach these big cliffs where your video reaches by virality and it's shown to millions of people. While the, algorithm is still a bit of a mystery. It's safe to say that TikTok is rewarding creators that continue to regularly make use of their features and engage on the platform. Posting frequently, jumping on trends and using hashtags and creating engaging content that will make your viewers stick around and hit that follow button TikTok is still relatively new and there's no secret formula to it. The best advice we can give you is to watch a lot of TikTok videos and see which trends are happening and then think about ways to make that trend relatable to your brand. Make sure to keep testing and to figure out what works best for you. One of the best ways to make sure that you are getting more eyes on your content is by using hashtags when you're posting your videos. Hashtags are an important part of any social media strategy and that's no different on TikTok, but there's one major difference that makes hashtags more important than ever on the platform. As you know, Instagram hashtags are a direct link to your content and they can help users find what they're looking for. While TikTok hashtags are the same. They're also used to categorize your account for optimal audience targeting, AKA getting on more users For You pages. In fact, hashtags may even be more important on TikTok and are a big part of what signals the algorithm to help get more eyes on your content. Categorizing your content on TikTok is crucial and it can be the difference between 1000 and a hundred thousand views. Using hashtags are crucial to getting more eyes on your content, reaching new audiences and growing your account. When it comes to choosing the right hashtags, you should think about TikTok hashtags like how Instagram hashtags were seven or eight years ago. TikTok hashtags are very generic. So for example, if you're a hairstylist you want to use hashtags like hashtag hair or hashtag hair tutorial, where on Instagram you would be using way more niche hashtags. While Instagram and TikTok share a lot of similarities. There are a few distinct differences that can make or break your strategy, especially when it comes to creating content. TikTok's provides brands amazing opportunities to connect with new followers and share about your business, but it's not the place to make a sale. While Instagram continues to build on its shoppable features, TikTok prioritizes entertainment and authenticity over commerce. As you create content for your brand on TikTok, brand awareness and engagement should be at the forefront of your strategy. Luckily TikTok makes it super easy for brands to seamlessly join in on the fun. Next we're going to share some of the most popular types of content on the platform. Hashtag trends make up a huge part of what TikTok is known and loved for. If you're not sure how to jump in and start creating content. Luckily TikTok trends make it super, super easy, TikTok has a constant stream of new hashtag challenges that encourage creators to jump on board and put their own spin on each trend. Hashtag trends vary from dance challenges, epic transformations, reaction videos, and cringe content. According to TikTok, hashtag challenges tap into user's passion and creation and expression by inviting them to join in on a collective movement. TikTok challenges typically revolve around a specific theme, sound, video, effect or combination of all of the above. For example, the popular #learnfromme challenge includes the same theme through its tagged videos. Users create videos using unique sound and effects. However, they all show off their expertise and share something new with their audience. Another popular 2020 challenge is the #DJatHome. TikTok users blast The Wanted's Glad You Came and show off their performance using household objects in front of their family or a party of one. Real life DJ Steve Aoki even jumped in on the challenge, Getting a whopping 1.5 million views on his video. Some challenges even encourage users to make use of TikTok video effects the latest leave my body challenge lets users try out the new purple flame creative effect and share what they're letting go of. Users say goodbye to their headaches, anger and stress as they dance it away to the challenge's signature sound. To browse the latest popular challenges, tap the magnifying glass at the bottom of the home screen. You can also use the search bar at the top of the screen to search for specific creators, sounds or hashtags. While anyone can create a hashtag challenge the odds of others joining in and going viral are pretty low. Most brands that create their own hashtag challenge actually pay for ads to help the challenge quickly spread across the platform. But we're going to touch on that a little bit later on in our lesson. If you're just getting started on the platform, participating in challenges as an incredibly easy way to get more eyes on your content and potentially go viral. According to TikTok, over 50% of creators have participated in at least one hashtag challenge and 35% are reported to participate regularly and with so many users, that is a huge chunk of people. To find the latest hashtag challenges, simply scroll through the discover page to get inspired by the new trends. Another easy way to get inspired is by just scrolling through your For You page. We suggest setting aside at least 20 minutes a day to find out what's trending. Check out different takes on different trends and then get an overall feel of the platform. Once you do spot a new trend, think about a way that you can make it your own. Just remember, TikToks are often funny, relatable, and authentic, so don't be afraid to go a little off brand and figure out how you can create content that will resonate with your audience and new audiences. Another easy way to start creating content on TikTok is by jumping on viral music or trending sounds. Formerly known as a popular lip syncing app, Musically, it's no surprise that music still remains at the heart of TikTok. Some of the best TikTok sounds are pulled from movies, viral YouTube videos and music. Picking a popular song or a sound that's currently trending on TikTok can be one of the main reasons that your video goes viral. Most of the popular TikTok challenges take life from the users themselves. However, businesses have jumped in and started creating sponsored sounds as well. For example, skincare brand, Blissed created a sound called Bright Idea to pair with their hashtag challenge #thisisbliss. They even partnered with popular TikTok influencers like the Lopez brothers and Avani to help spread the word. Since the launch, nearly 7,000 videos have already been created with the sound and even has it's own TikTok dance. To choose a sound tap, add a sound on the right side of the recording screen here you'll find the menu of artists, songs and trending tracks on the platform. On the same music streaming menu. You can find songs associated with TikTok challenges. These are the songs that you unite the TikTok community and they help you get more eyes on your video. You can also select the sound right from your favorite video. Just click the sound icon in the bottom right hand corner. From here you can either click add to favorites to save the sound for later or choose use the sound from the bottom of the screen to start creating right now. The TiKTok duet function allows users to create TikTok's with their friends or random users, regardless of their location. To duet on TikTok, just select a video and press the arrow button labeled share. As long as the video does not belong to a private account and it's shorter than 15 seconds and the user has allowed it, you'll be able to duet with them. This feature is often used to pair responses or reaction videos, expand the story or to encourage a challenge that inspires others to duet with you too. TikTok duets are a fun way to engage with other users and to test out something new. Like Instagram, TikTok also has a live feature, but to go live on TikTok, you'll need to have at least 1000 followers first. Once you go live, your followers will get a notification until you've finished your live session. Once you have started to build a loyal following, going live on TikTok is a great way to stay top of mind with your followers. While watching the stream, viewers actually have the option to tip their creators using something called virtual coins. A hundred virtual coins is equal to $1 and it can be converted into regular currency once it's gifted. In exchange, creators often give fans who donate a shout out or they'll answer their questions. Going live on TikTok isn't for everyone, but it can be a great way to connect with your audience. Once you have attracted a solid follower base, just remember, you should never go live just for the sake of going live and using the feature. Make sure you go in with a plan that's going to help provide value to your TikTok followers. Ready to dive in and start creating TikTok videos before you get started. Here are a few best practices straight from the experts at TikTok. First, always use vertical video. TikTok offers up full screen experience, so it's really important that you take advantage of every corner of the screen. Creating immersive content will help you catch your audience's attention and keep them from swiping past your content. Second, keep it concise. You really want to aim to have your viewers watching all the way through to the end of your video, which TikTok says is the sweet spot for going viral. Third, and most importantly, be you. Leave the filters for Instagram. There is space for everyone on TikTok. You really want to make sure to make your content personal and to set yourself apart. TikTok is a great place to show off more of a personal or behind the scenes look at your brand. Each video has equal opportunity to go viral, so keep experimenting until you find something that works. Next, Think about what will make your content more engaging. A strong hook at the beginning of the video is crucial to have viewers stick around and watch the entire video until the end. Fifth, clearly describe your video with your captions according to TikTok, the best captions are personable and are relevant to the video. Now. Finally, you really always want to use sound on your video, TikTok is a sound on platform, so be sure to include music, voiceovers, or sound effects to help add context to your video. Now let's shift gears a little bit to talk about advertising on TikTok from targeting ad creation, insight reports and ad management tools. TikTok ads offer a powerful yet easy to use platform to help you reach more audiences. Similar to Instagram's ad manager, TikTok, ad platform tools, automate the process of creating, delivering, and optimizing your ads. TikTok ads also allow you to target your audience by gender, location, age, interests, and other unique variables, but with a variety of different formats and price points. It's hard to determine which ad format might be the best one for your brand. That's why we're covering each type of TikTok ad and how they can make it work for your business. Here are the four types of TikTok ads and how businesses are using them to promote their products and their services. The first is brand takeovers. With a brand takeover, your ad will play as soon as a targeted TikTok user opens their app for the first time. Brand takeovers appear on the For You page as still images, gifs, or videos. They also include a clickable link drivingn to the brand's landing or a hashtag challenge in the app. If a user's interested, they can click on the ad and will be redirected to a page on your website. Brand takeovers are exclusive to their category, so only one brand can appear per day for each type of audience. Obviously this means a lot of eyes on your content with little competition. Sound too good to be true since TikTok, makes sure that users don't see more than one brand takeover per day. The coveted spot comes at a steep price TikTok has also released a similar new ad format called top view, which builds on the brand takeover concept. Top view is super similar to a brand takeover except a top view ad seamlessly becomes the first in-feed post after three seconds. This means the user isn't bombarded with an ad as soon as they've opened up the app. Instead the ad seamlessly begins to play as they've started scrolling through user generated content while brand takeovers come at a high cost. They're a great option for bigger brands who want to quickly build a large following on the platform. Next are the native video ads in feed native video ads are video advertisements that appear in between user videos as you scroll through the For You page and there are between nine and 15 seconds long like other videos in the feed native video ads can be scrolled past or skipped. These ads can also include multiple calls to action like clicks and app downloads. In feed Native video ads should be full screen and they should have a ton of impact right away to stop users from scrolling past your content. Okay, so next are hashtag challenges similar to the hashtag trends that we talked about earlier on in this lesson. Hashtag challenges offer both organic and sponsored opportunities for brands TikTok Challenges are a great way to encourage user generated content and to build brand awareness on TikTok. A sponsored hashtag challenge is a fun and easy way for brands to collaborate and seamlessly integrate with the TikTok community. When a user clicks on a sponsored hashtag they are taken to a landing page with the brand logo link to the website brief description of the challenge and popular videos that are using the hashtag. While TikTok challenges are typically started by TikTokers or influencers who have a large following. Brands can also invest in creating a challenge and promote it through advertising. It's important that brands have really concrete goals when they create hashtag challenges. These might be things like creating awareness for a new product, generating leads for a new service or increasing general brand awareness, for example, Chipotle's #TikTokTimeOut challenge encourages users to share their love for Chipotle and most importantly their new easy to use takeout features. Chipotle, then partnered with popular influencers like David Dobrik and Zach King to help spread the word. If you're looking for a little push towards your challenge from the platform, TikTok offers promotional support for a hefty 150 grand per day, the challenge will be promoted for a set time with a banner on TikTok discover page where users can learn more about the challenge. If you're looking for a less costly alternative, working with influencers is another great way to help your TikTok challenge really take off. Take For Real Milkshakes, for example, the popular milkshake machine partnered with popular TikTok creators to show off their creamy creations. Since the campaign, @therealfreal has over 500,000 followers and over 200 million hashtag video views with users showing off their milkshakes. Another way that brands are getting their TikTok challenge to gain traction is by turning it into a contest. For example, your brand could offer a prize in exchange for challenge participation or award the best take on the challenge. Take Nyx's, #butterglosspop campaign. For example, the popular cosmetics company challenged users to show off how they wear the cult favorite lip gloss in exchange for a video using the branded hashtag users were then entered for a chance to win $1,200 of makeup. Finally, TikTok now offers an e-commerce feature called the hashtag challenge plus. The hashtag challenge plus lets video viewers shop for products right in the TikTok. app, in addition to the hashtag description and video feed, a separate tab features an in-app experience where products from the campaign can be purchased within the TikTok app itself. On hashings landing page. There's a separate tab labeled discover which directs users to the shopping experience to celebrate prom season, Macy's created a hashtag plus challenge encouraging users to show off their prom preparation. The hashtag landing page includes a shop now button featuring popular products and the store locator. This is TikTok's first experience with generating revenue on the platform. Only time will tell if they decide to expand on these features in the future. Last but not least, TikTok also offers branded AR filters and lenses as part of their advertising mix. TikToks's Video editor includes so many different effects and filters that users can use to create eye-catching content. Similar to Snapchat's branded lenses TikTok's branded lenses allow brands to design their own custom filter. TikTok branded lenses can go live for up to 10 days at a time, and are a great way to encourage users to directly interact with your brand. Clearly there's no shortage of business opportunities on TikTok. As with any social platform, it's important to choose the best advertising methods that align with your goals and that makes sense for your own brand, right? Hop on the TikTok train. By now you should have a good overview of what TikTok is and the benefits that it can bring to your business. Now it's totally normal to be a little bit intimidated to actually start creating videos, so that's why we created our 10 day TikTok challenge to get you to stop scrolling and start creating.