This fall, TikTok hit 1 billion active global users, cumulating over 2.6 billion downloads since its launch in 2016. This rise is an indication that the short-form video app is here to stay – as much as boomers and millennials may protest. With original filters and video effects, trending music, and a highly personalized algorithm that knows you better than you know yourself, TikTok is cued to surpass the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat moving into 2022.
Stop dragging your feet on joining the app and missing out on major growth opportunities and brand awareness. TikTok moves fast, and new trends and features are appearing every day. The best way to get started on TikTok is to embrace creativity, experimentation, and discovering what will work for your brand. Though there is no technical “rule book” to TikTok, here are 11 TikTok Strategies for 2022 that we think will help you boost your brand awareness via short-form videos.
1. Hashtag SEO
Have you ever thought about hashtags as SEO? That’s exactly how they work! The hashtags you choose to include in your caption will drive your target audience to your videos. Be specific with the hashtags you choose and make sure they pertain to the content in the video. Unique hashtags are not the way to go on TikTok if you are hoping to rack up those video views. Think of hashtags as keywords with a mix of generic hashtags about your specific industry, such as #marketing, and more specific hashtags pertaining to the exact content of the video, such as #blogwritingtips.
In the same way as keyword research, you should also do hashtag research to discover what users are interested in. Go to your Discover page and type in your industry or niche. The search results will auto-populate similar keywords that users are searching for, which you can use to generate hashtags and ideas for future videos. You only get 150 characters, so pick your hashtags wisely!
2. Trending Audio: Music and Lip Syncs
Lip syncs are HOT right now and users are getting creative with how they are using them. TikTok’s algorithm rewards accounts for participating in trends and using their features such as stickers, sound effects, hashtags, and more. By hopping on sound trends, you are giving your video the opportunity to be seen by more viewers and land on the Discover page for that particular sound.
So how do you find these trending sounds? The simplest way to find trending sounds is to click the plus button as if you were going to create a new video and click “Add Sound.” On this page, you can discover what’s trending by viewing sounds listed as “new” or going to the “TikTok Viral” playlist. A second way to find trending sounds and songs is by following the hashtag #trendalert. You’ll be pushed videos other users flag as “trending” on your For You page. A third way to find new trends is through an app called “TrendTok.” The free and paid version of the app notifies users when specific sounds and songs are trending according to their chosen niche or industry.
Once you find the sound you want to use, save the sound from another video to your sound library or search for the sound on the Discover page. To avoid missing the trend wave, make sure the sound is still being actively used in other users’ videos by going to that sound’s page and viewing the latest video date it’s been used (you don’t want to be too late to a trend!). Lip syncs and songs are great to hop on trends and up your viewership, but make sure to stay on brand and within your niche to play toward your audience’s interests.
3. Niching Down
This takes us to niching down – a very important concept in the sea of hundreds of millions of videos. What makes your account different? Why should viewers watch your videos or follow your channel? When users are scrolling through their For You page, what will make your video stand out in ways that they will want to follow you? Not only is it important to stop the scroll, but equally important to keep a user on your page by discovering even more videos you have to offer.
Finding a common thread to your content is paramount in capturing and keeping the attention of your audience. Think of it as consumer acquisition and retention. If your videos are inconsistent, this will only confuse the user and turn them away from watching your videos and following your channel. Think about what your brand is really good at, what you want to showcase to others that makes you interesting and different. TikTok moves quickly and the more you experiment with the content you put out, the more quickly you’ll learn what type of content is working and where to double down. Listen to your audience and what they are gravitating towards.
Something TikTok does really well is educational videos. You can learn any skill, trick, hack, or tip in under one minute for almost anything! What is something you can teach your audience about your brand or a skill that falls under your brand umbrella? Think about quick, teachable tricks that can really benefit your audience and encourage them to want to learn more. For instance, a graphic designer may make a video on how to photoshop out a background, a beauty influencer on their evening skincare routine, or a skateboarder on how to nail the newest skating trick. Every niche has something they can teach their audience that can be cut down to under one minute.
Educational videos are also a great way to encourage users to visit your other social channels. For example, finish your one-minute video with a strong call to action by calling users “to view a more detailed step-by-step guide, go to our website blog,” or “for the full video watch on our YouTube page.” This helps build up your other channels while also serving your TikTok audience.
5. Repurposing Older Content
This is a social media trick that is tried and true. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Often, we may feel like we have to reinvent the wheel for every piece of content we put out, but a good piece of content can be repurposed and used in many ways. For example, take an old blog post and turn the key concepts into a TikTok. Use an old list (Top 10 Headlines in 2021) and update for 2022.
You can also break up longer articles into multiple videos, turning them into a series (e.g. “Top Chrome Extensions: Part 1”) This breaks up longer ideas into smaller, more digestible videos and allows users to come back for more in the series.
6. Utilizing TikTok’s Features: Duets, Stitch, and Video Replies
TikTok has several interactive features to engage with your audience and other creators on the platform. These include Duets, Stitch, and Video Replies. Using these features will help boost the algorithm in your favor. As the name suggests, Stitch is a way to “stitch” in your favorite parts of another creator’s video and combine them with your own to create a seamless video. They will also be tagged in your new video.
Duets are a great way to respond to other videos. Film your reaction or commentary while the two videos play side by side.
Video replies work similarly to Instagram Story replies. Users are able to reply to comments on their videos with new videos. This is an interactive way to engage with your audience and select comments that stand out.
TikTok is always coming up with new features to encourage user interaction. Using these features will serve the algorithm and put your videos in front of a larger audience. Stay at the forefront by using any new features the app has to offer.
TikTok users spend an average of 52 minutes a day on the app, and 9 out of 10 users access the app multiple times per day! Offering more content to your followers keeps them on your page longer to discover all the content you have to offer. Building up a library will make users not only want to stay on your page but actually follow you. This will help when new videos are released which will end up on their For You page. Exactly how many times to post per week will vary by account and by actual manpower in creating TikToks. TikTok suggests posting between 1-4 times per day but if this isn’t feasible, start by posting once a week and ramping up your frequency as you learn your way around the app.
8. Text Overlays and Captions
This year, we saw a major push for accessibility across all social media platforms. TikTok introduced their auto-captioning feature that automatically transcribes speech from a video for those hard of hearing, deaf, or watching without sound. TikTok also plans to release auto-translating captions in the future as well. Not everyone wants to — or can — watch TikToks with the sound on, so text overlays have been another popular way to keep viewers engaged when they may not have headphones or want to disturb others around them. Use these features to keep your audience engaged throughout your video and be more accessible.
9. Prime Real Estate: Producing High-quality, full-screen videos
TikToks take up prime real estate on a user’s screen. When viewing TikToks, there is nothing else on the screen (i.e. ads, in-app purchases, etc.) – so use the whole thing! Shoot your videos in a 9:16 format directly on the app or from the video app on your phone (you can adjust your video settings to shoot directly in this ratio). Videos produced vertically have a 25% higher six-second watch-through rate, so get those longer views right away vs. making users swipe up because of poor quality.
TikTok is also user-driven, so it’s okay if your videos aren’t perfect. Shoot quality video and sound but be careful not to overproduce your videos and turn users off towards your content by coming off too “professional.” Pro tip: remember that the caption appears on your TikTok video. When adding text overlays and stickers, make sure they are towards the middle of the screen as to not cover them up.
10. Partnering with Creators
Not interested in creating TikToks or just don’t have the time? TikTok Creator Marketplace was created to assist brands in finding content creators and influencers to create videos FOR them. On this platform, you can view a creator’s audience demographics and metrics to help determine if a creator is a right fit for your brand. Look for creators that work in your niche but have a larger following, videos done in a style you find consistent with your brand, and set aside a budget for those that you may need to pay to create.
11. TikTok Ads Manager
Users can currently run 5 different types of paid ads on Tik Tok: in-feed ads, branded hashtags, top view ads, branded effects, and brand takeovers. Prior to creating ads, accounts must apply and be approved to begin utilizing the TikTok Ads Manager platform. The ad platform is easy to use and similar to Facebook Ads Manager. Users have three advertising objectives to choose from (Awareness, Consideration, Conversion), can target audiences based on interests/behavior, or similar to Facebook, custom or lookalike audiences.
Top-performing ads for smaller businesses tend to be in-feed ads, which come across as a normal TikTok video would. The more organic looking, the better. Make your audience question, was that even an ad? Explore TikTok for Business here.
These are just a few of the many ways you can use TikTok to leverage your brand and reach audiences in a new and exciting way. Social media moves fast and TikTok is evolving even faster, so it’s important not to get left behind. Brands of all niches and sizes are using TikTok. Use your creativity to find out how TikTok can work for you and start creating videos today.