Social media is an ever changing landscape, and the newest contender to join in has been TikTok. For those unaware, TikTok is a short-form video content sharing website founded in 2017. It functions very similarly to the old app Vine, before it was shut down in 2016. The primary demographic of TikTok skews younger, primarily Gen Z with the age ranges of 16-24. With that in mind, there are many marketing professionals looking for ways to integrate the app into their content strategy going forward, as Tiktok has amassed over a billion users since its release. Whether you’re just looking to join the app to have fun, or if you are planning to use it in your next marketing strategy, you have to consider what methods you’ll use to create content for TikTok.
Before we speak about any strategies on how to create content for TikTok, you must first understand the core of what makes the app unique. Similarly to how Vine operated in the early 2010s, TikTok’s primary content involved lip-syncing, dancing, and short form comedy. Users can upload new sounds/songs or use popular ones already in use on the platform to follow trends. These trends are what define the app. These can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, but they never last long. You have to be ready to move with those trends if you want to find success on the platform.
One other massive note that needs to be understood if you are going to create content for TikTok is that the core of the content is absurdism. From the comedy to some of the dance trends, things are nearly always a bit silly on the platform. There are many out there, both people and businesses, that won’t embrace this notion, and they will inevitably fail to make any kinds of waves or garner any kind of attention on the app. However, if you are willing to go along with the trends and have some fun, TikTok can be an excellent platform to gain fame and even market products.
Creating Content For TikTok
With these notes in mind, we can start talking about how to create content for TikTok that will elevate you or your brand and get some real attention.
As mentioned before, trends are a very important part of how the culture of the app works. You can use this to your advantage in the early stages by going along with these trends. The better your performance in whatever trend is active at the moment, the more likely you are to end up on the “For You” page, TikTok’s version of Instagram’s “Discover” page..
Create Your Own Trend
Once people find you and you start to gain attention, you are ready to possibly create your own trend. This is best done by thinking up a challenge or a hashtag campaign. A very popular one recently has been the “Jojo Pose” challenge in which users strike famous characters’ poses from animation and film to the beat of the song “Jojo Pose.” This is one more geared toward individual users and allows for a great deal of creativity as users can choose any characters and any poses they want to participate.
Hashtags can be used a bit more directly for marketing. Once you have a following or if you are part of a larger corporation, you can try putting out a hashtag for people to use in their posts and follow along with. An excellent example of this would be Jimmy Fallon’s #TumbleWeedChallenge he used to promote a new segment on his show. The challenge asked users to simply roll around like a tumbleweed. His fans took this challenge to the next level and went in public to do it. Through this, Fallon not only let people on the app know about his new segment, people in public who saw people participating would be more likely to look up what that person was doing and find out about the show.
Finding a balance between difficulty and options for creativity is how you make a memorable challenge. If things are too easy, people won’t participate because it isn’t really a challenge, but you don’t want it to be so outrageous that people won’t do it at all. With creativity in mind, you want users to be able to customize your challenge or hashtag and make it their own. If people are all just doing the exact same thing, your challenge has no staying power and will die out as quickly as it began.
Getting Users Interested
Just like any social media app, you need people following what you’re doing if you want attention. Thankfully, to create content for TikTok that involves a social element is very easy thanks to the “duet” feature. Duetting allows other users to piggyback off of the original post. This can include doing the same thing as the original, adding their own twist, or performing a call and response of some sort.
The question is, how can you use this to your benefit in marketing a product or getting a following? As with before, it all comes back to trends. By creating or participating in a current trend that involves a duet, you can manufacture interaction rather easily. All it takes is having a good enough challenge, or getting influencers involved.
As with apps like YouTube, TikTok has grown many new groups and individuals that have absolutely massive followings. Getting them involved in your trend can make for a huge boost in watches, likes, and duets. Getting directly in contact with influencers can also be incredibly beneficial. Many of them currently work with brands to promote products the same way Instagram influencers work. If you have a product you’re looking to sell and it lines up with the brand they’ve built on TikTok, it may be worth reaching out to them and seeing if they’d be interested in promoting it for you.
The Tried And True
TikTok may be new, but that doesn’t mean the old methods of succeeding on social media have gone anywhere. If you are looking to create content for TikTok, you can use some similar strategies that work for just about any marketing; you just have to tweak things a bit to work better with the app. The first method is simple scarcity. If you want people talking about a product, you make it limited and make it slightly difficult to get. When it comes to TikTok, your scarcity is best utilized in terms of time. Maybe you have a marketing campaign going to promote a sale or an event you have coming up. You can use TikTok to create a challenge or hashtag to get people excited and maybe add a countdown. If people know there is a limited time to participate, they will be more likely to join your trend.
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when getting into efforts to create content for TikTok is to be authentic. As mentioned, TikTok at its core is an app that is all about community and being a bit silly. If you go into content creation with a mindset that isn’t rooted in both authenticity and community, users will be able to tell and they will reject you and your content. Interact with other users, duet with people, and have some fun. TikTok is an entertainment platform at its heart. If your content isn’t entertaining, you won’t be successful.
Marketing on apps like TikTok isn’t easy, but it can most certainly be worth it and bring out the playful side of your brand. Consumers, especially young ones, want to know that companies are being run by regular people just like them. If you can show the more personable side of your company or brand by doing a fun dance, then there’s nothing to lose by getting involved.
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