With its nearly 1 billion daily users, TikTok has become a social media phenomenon. Self-described as the leading destination for “short-form mobile video,” a whopping 62 percent of its users are under 30 (with nearly 33 percent under the age of 20). Its popularity is prompting companies to ask if they should position their brands with this audience.
Unlike other social platforms, TikTok’s algorithm rewards its content first (instead of building a follower base and having only a fraction served your content). Since you do not need to have followers for your content to be seen, this gives brands a big opportunity to get their “tiktoks” in front of their target audience. If you are looking for a way to increase brand awareness and engagement, while also building a loyal following within a young audience segment, TikTok might be right for your brand. But like any social platform, it is critical to have the right knowledge and right strategy in place.
The truth is, there is no definitive “yes or no” answer to this question. Just like any social platform, it is critical to have the right knowledge and strategy in place. Organizations and marketers should be asking key questions regarding goals and objectives they wish to achieve, and develop a marketing strategy to support them. Here are some things to consider:
• Who is your target audience? Do you see potential overlap with the TikTok demographics?
• Authenticity and creativity lead the way on TikTok, versus scripted or polished video content. Is your brand comfortable thinking “outside your current creative box?” Videos on TikTok are meant to be entertaining, engaging and personal. Do you/your marketing team have the bandwidth to create such content?
• People rule over brands, meaning individuals producing content tend to be more popular than actual brand accounts. Many companies are finding success with TikTok by partnering with influencers or participating in hashtag challenges.
• Do you have a brand standard or persona? Brands who lean more “traditional” or employ a more serious tone of voice may have more of a challenge embracing TikTok’s quirkier content.
• The TikTok algorithm rewards those posting multiple times a day. This can be a challenge for many brands who may already be struggling to create relevant content just 1-3 times weekly.
• Look at your current content on your other social channels. What is resonating with your audience? Do you have a blog? You may be in a good position to creatively repurpose that content into “snackable,” entertaining bits for TikTok. Think short and sweet, videos less than 60 seconds are favored.
TikTok provides five options for advertising, including sponsoring a branded hashtag challenge and in-feed video ads. Within their ad manager (you must register and create an account), you can select audience targets or create custom audiences. While TikTok does not publicly list their advertising prices, according to Consumer Acquisition, “TikTok ads start at $10 per CPM and reports from AdAge in late 2019 show that TikTok’s cost of advertising can be between $50,000 to $120,000 depending on the ad format and duration.” You will recall that the majority of TikTok users are Millennials and Generation Z, so consider this before investing if your demographics do not align.
It is important to note that just because a social media platform is popular, it does not necessarily mean it is right for your business. For manufacturing and tech companies, many of which have limited marketing resources, platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter may make more sense. Remember that social media requires strategy and commitment to quality content. If you have limited bandwidth, choose a platform or two to start, and serve those audiences first. TikTok is likely here to stay, which means you can watch, learn, and research if the platform is right for your organization.
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