Eight users join TikTok every second. Moreso, TikTok hit 1 billion active global users by the end of 2021, 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, special video effects, trending music, and a highly personalized algorithm that knows you better than you know yourself, TikTok continues to surpass the popularity of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat in 2022 which means your business needs to be up to date on the latest TikTok Strategies.
Though many brands dragged their feet at the prospect of using the social platform as a legitimate advertising channel, we’ve seen the benefits (and conversions) a solid TikTok strategy can provide. 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 that will assist in reaching new audiences, building brand loyalty, maintaining authenticity, and providing the social validation that users seek on TikTok.
1. Hashtag SEO
#Hashtags are great for discovering new content within your interests or brand niche, but they also play a crucial role in the indexation within a social platform. Being a trending video within any hashtag will guarantee more video views and eyes on your profile. Due to TikTok becoming Gen Z’s platform of choice, Google Search has begun implementing the indexation of short-form videos from TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube – so I wouldn’t run away from those hashtags yet. The hashtags you choose to include in your caption will drive your target audience to your videos through keyword discovery. 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 #marketingagency, and more specific hashtags pertaining to the exact content of the video, such as #blogwritingtips. Also, be sure not to fall into the gimmick hashtags that may seem popular. Hashtags including #fyp #foryou, and #fypシ will not give you any additional boosts or views and appear spammy to users.
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
TikTok is just as aurally engaging as it is visually. Lip syncs are HOT right now and users are getting creative with how they are using them. TikTok’s algorithm reward accounts for participating in trends and using their features such as stickers, sound effects, hashtags, and more. By hopping on sound trends and skits, 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. You can also find trending sounds and songs by following the hashtag #trendalert. 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 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.
Not every sound will be applicable to every niche, but the more creative you can get when applying it to your brand, the more you’ll connect with your audience and appear natively to the platform.
Our rule of thumb is if you are scrolling and hear a sound at least twice, it’s trending and you should use it.
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?? 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 make 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.
By utilizing profile playlists, creators can make content under different categories or series. This can help group your content together while seeing which type of content is resonating more.
Something TikTok does really well is educational videos. So much so, that there are 284.7B views under #LearnonTikTok. 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 (or up to 10 if you wish).
Educational videos are also a great way to encourage users to visit your other social channels through cross-channel promotion. For example, finish your one-minute video with a strong call to action by encouraging users to learn more on other social channels or head to your blog for a more in-depth analysis. 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 it 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 users’ videos with your own commentary. Film your reaction or response while the two videos play side by side.
Content creator @khaby.lame has built a follower base of 136.9M by reacting to others’ videos in his completely silent approach.
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 in the U.S. spend an average of 68 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. When users follow you, they will be among the first group of users to see your newest videos. Exactly how many times to post per week will vary by account and by actual bandwidth in creating TikToks. Some can take no longer than 5 minutes while others require more editing or production. TikTok suggests posting between 1-4 times per day, but for many, 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 its 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. Not all users listen to TikToks with the sound on, so text overlays of important call-outs have been another popular way to keep viewers engaged when they may not have headphones or don’t want to disturb others around them.
Another favorite feature this year is the text-to-speech feature which allows you to pick an AI voice to read aloud your text. This is a low-lift option to include text for those reading and audio for users watching.
Using these features will keep your audience engaged throughout your video and be more accessible to reach more audiences.
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 space! 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.
Gen Z has gravitated toward TikTok because of its authenticity, so it’s okay if your videos aren’t Hollywood-produced quality. As brands, it’s easy to want the highest quality possible, but that’s not what the TikTok audiences expect. Tiktok users (and Gen Z specifically) want to interact with brands they can trust and this means not being too over-produced and salesy. It’s the quality of content that users care about, not the quality of production.
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 so as to not cover them up.
10. Partnering with Creators
Partnering with TikTok creators is a great way to reach larger audiences for awareness and tap into a community that trusts its creator. No one knows TikTok better than those that create content on it every day. Creators today have their own editing styles, personalities, and devoted followings. TikTok Creator Marketplace was created to assist brands in finding content creators and influencers to create videos with or for them. On this platform, you can view a creator’s audience demographics and metrics to help determine if a creator is the 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.
There are a number of TikTok marketing agencies that assist brands in partnering with creators from sourcing and contracting, to overseeing content creation and monitoring analytics. Many of these agencies have rosters of creators they collaborate with frequently which can take out the guesswork and vetting process to find a creator that aligns with your campaign goals.
11. TikTok Ads Manager
For brands looking to take their TikTok efforts to the next level, we highly recommend adding TikTok advertising to your marketing stack. Brands can currently run 5 different types of paid ads on TikTok: 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) which cover every stage of the funnel with additional ad types within each objective.
In-feed ads are TikTok’s most basic type of paid ad which appear natively within a user’s feed. These ads can be run dark (not appearing on a brand’s organic profile) or as a Spark ad (boosting an organic post to a targeted audience or ad group). Top-performing ads for smaller businesses tend to be in-feed ads, which begin at $20 per ad group and $50 per campaign daily. The more organic looking, the better. Make your audience question, was that even an ad? Here we have a list of top-performing TikTok ad examples.
These are just a few of the many Tiktok strategies you can use 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 these TikTok strategies can work for you and start creating videos today to connect with users and show off your brand personality.