TikTok How-To: Everything Marketers Need To Know About TikTok

Are you ready to take your TikTok game to the next level? Pfft, obvs! Got all the motivation but no idea where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. In this guide, we'll cover all the essential information you need to know to navigate the social media behemoth like a pro. From understanding the algorithm to understanding the type of content viewers want to see and more, we've got you covered. 

You don’t need us to tell you how powerful TikTok is. Although it launched in 2016, it’s only catapulted into the spotlight and permeated online culture for a few years – but honestly, now it’s like: what did we ever do before TikTok? Fun and games aside, TikTok is an actual treasure trove and major money-making tool for brands, and the savviest of businesses are making sure their marketing strategies include TikTok. While some brands have fallen into TikTok fame by pure chance and luck, other brands have worked their tushies off to find success on TikTok – and it’s certainly paid off. Want to learn how to set TikTok up for your business, kill the TikTok influencer marketing and more? Awesome, because we’ve got the goods. Let's dance right in! 

What We’re Covering:

  • Why TikTok is awesome
  • The two different feeds you need to know about
  • 3 reasons we LOVE marketing on TikTok
  • A quick guide to absolutely killing it on TikTok
  • How collabing with an influencer can help you nail your TikTok game 

What’s So Good about TikTok Anyhow? 

TikTok is the wild child of social media platforms, and we're here for it. Unlike Facebook and Instagram where you mostly see posts from people you already know, TikTok flips the script and shows you videos from creators you've never met before. 

Plus, TikTok's user interface is designed to keep you scrolling for hours, making it a goldmine for marketers. With the added bonus of a "Link in bio" feature, you can also easily direct viewers to your website, and your Instagram account. It’s almost too good to be true, hey? 

But the real cherry on top? TikTok's audience is mostly made up of younger users, with 59% 18-24, and 28% being 25-34 years of age. So, if you're looking to target the younger gen, TikTok is the way to go. 

Alright, let’s get into some of the benefits of TikTok and how you can start creating content and hack the algorithm for maximum virality.

First Up: The Two Main Feeds You Need to Know About 

If you’re very new to all things TikTok, that’s OK - here’s what you need to know. There are two main feeds on the app – the For You Page (FYP) and the Following feed.

FYP: The FYP delivers content from people you don’t follow but the algorithm has determined you’ll probably like based on other videos you’ve watched/liked on the app. 

‘Following’ feed: This page delivers you content from the people you actively follow, just like a feed you’d find on Instagram, for example. 

You can switch between the two pages easily, but most people stay on the FYP. Because most people stay scrolling on the FYP, the content you make needs to be accessible to everyone – i.e, create content based on the idea that if this is the first time someone’s hearing about your brand, they’ll get a good understanding of what you’re all about! 

3 Reasons We LOVE Marketing on TikTok 

1. Huge Audience Base

There are currently nearly 3 million TikTok users in Australia – that’s a pretty decent chunk of the population! What about globally? Well, that number goes up to about 1 billion active users (but over 2 billion downloads of the app). Now, when you just start your account, TikTok promotes your content locally by default, which is great if you want to reach Aussie customers anyway. You can show up on international FYP pages too, but it takes a little more planning. You’ll need to include hashtags in the language of the country you’re targeting and take part in trends running in your target country. Either way, there are a whole lot of potential new customers to reach on TikTok - customers who are ready to buy (see below!) 

2. Tiktok Made Me Buy It

‍Get ready to see your sales skyrocket, because TikTok is a shopping paradise. Whether you're using ads, brand takeovers, or just posting regular videos about your product, you're sure to get some eyes on it. And according to research, almost half of TikTok users make purchases from brands they see in the app. Not to mention research shows 83% of users on TikTok say that seeing trending content has inspired them to make a purchase. You've probably seen the phrase "TikTok made me buy it" floating around, and that's because it's totally true! TikTok has become a hot spot for holiday shopping too, with 49% of retailers saying it's a crucial marketing channel.


3. An App with Unmatched Engagement Power

If you’re looking for an engaged audience, you won’t find it anywhere better than TikTok. TikTok is like a black hole (iykyk), because this app is a master at sucking you in and keeping you engaged. In fact, TikTok is the king of all social media apps when it comes to keeping users hooked, with an average user session of 10.85 minutes. That's more than twice as long as the runner-up, Pinterest, clocking in at 5.06 minutes per session, and more than three times longer than Instagram, at 2.95 minutes per session. Not to mention a whopping 92% of users take action when browsing their FYP – this includes engaging with a video, or buying a product. 

Also, according to TikTok, 45% of users engage with the app without any other distractions, while only 37% do the same when using competing platforms. And while the crowded world of social media can feel like you're shouting into the void, on TikTok, the chances of being heard are much higher. Users spend an average of 89 minutes per day on the app, so it's a prime opportunity for brands to grab attention and keep it. 

A Quick Guide to Killing it on TikTok 

Want to slay the TikTok marketing game? Here are some of the most important tips and tricks you need to know to make sure your efforts are on point and will help you reach your business and marketing goals.

Know Your Audience

Sounds familiar, right? Knowing your audience isn’t something that’s new to TikTok - it’s a vital part of any brand’s success. It’s important to note that Gen Z are the predominant users on TikTok, but that’s not to say you won’t find a whole heap of 35+ on there too. However, even if Gen Z is your target audience, that’s way too broad of an audience. So, take the time to know your customer and their pain points (obviously) - these basic marketing practices still hold true on TiKTok. 

Get a Feel for the Landscape

On TikTok, you have two types of competitors: your business rivals (who you probably already know) and your content competition. Just like other social media platforms, TikTok is packed with people and brands, so you're not only competing with other businesses but also with other creators. Take a look at your business competition and see if they have a TikTok presence. If they do, check out the types of things they post and which posts have high levels of engagement. 

This can give you an idea of what their audience likes, which is probably similar to what your audience will enjoy. Just remember to create your own unique content - no copying allowed! Then spend some time looking at TikTok content itself to see what's already out there in your space. Search hashtags, join groups, check out trending posts, and look for topics relevant to your brand. Notice any overlaps from these posts with your business competition. But, remember to make it fun and engaging, and always be creative (and never blatantly copy ideas without crediting)


Authenticity is Vital 

TikTok is not the place for fancy, polished content. Users want to see the raw, authentic side of brands. So, don't be afraid to let your hair down and show your true colours. Often, all you need is a good idea and your smartphone to create a high-performing TikTok video. Your goal should be to create content that keeps it real and allows users to relate to niche experiences. This will help your videos blend in with the "For You" page and earn your brand a spot on the platform.

Entertain Your Audience

TikTok is the ultimate form of entertainment and distraction. Once users are on the app, they tend to put down other forms of entertainment. In fact, 35% of users say they spend less time watching TV or other videos since starting to use TikTok. Instead of trying to hard-sell your brand and products, focus on entertaining your audience. Join in on funny trends, hop on viral "inside jokes," and talk to your customers the way other TikTok users do. It's all about being relatable and engaging, that's how you'll stand out on this short-form video app .

Accessibility is Key

Want to make sure your TikTok videos are inclusive and accessible to all? One easy tip is to make sure they make sense without sound. This way, even if someone is watching with the volume off, they'll still be able to understand your message. And for an extra layer of accessibility, be sure to add TikTok's auto-generated captions. Not only will it help those who are hard of hearing, but it'll also make sure everyone gets the full experience - whether they're watching with sound on or off.

Keep Community at the Forefront 

TikTok is like a giant playground for all your interests and passions. From #Cottagecore to #SkaterTok, and #LGBTTok, there's a community for everyone. On this app, people connect, collaborate, and inspire each other. And sometimes, these communities even spark the latest trends or viral products. Take for example how #BookTok helped Madeline Miller's "The Song of Achilles" become a #1 New York Times Bestseller, a decade after it was first published. Brands have a great opportunity to connect and engage with these communities through their TikTok content and form authentic and loyal relationships with them.

Don’t Forget Songs and Sounds

If there's one thing TikTok is famous for, it's the audio. From lip-syncing to viral sounds, dancing, and trending songs, audio is a huge part of the TikTok experience. Popular audio is often tied to trends and challenges, so using the right audio when jumping on a trend or challenge is crucial for the success of your video. It'll add your content to the audio's feed for more visibility and help push your video onto the feeds of those who are heavily engaged with the audio. And don't just take our word for it, 90% of TikTok users say that sound is key to the TikTok experience.

Go Live a Few Times Per Week 

Want to build a real connection with your audience on TikTok? Take advantage of the live feature! It's one of the best ways to stand out on the platform. When you go live, TikTok sends a notification to your followers and pins your stream to the top of their "For You" pages. Plus, the app heavily promotes it and it's easy to do. Don't be afraid of live streaming, it's totally normal to feel nervous, but often those nerves disappear once you hit the "Go Live" button. 

Also, don't forget to schedule your live streams as it helps build a community around your content. Make sure you get creative with the format, like Q&A sessions, behind-the-scenes videos, hangout streams, tutorials, and interviews with special guests to keep things fun and interesting. 

Long Form Content is Gaining Traction 

While short form videos used to be favoured, it appears longer videos are where it’s at in 2023 and beyond. There’s been a huge shift in the type of content that’s popular on TikTok, with creators now leaning into vlog-style and storytelling video content, similar to what performs well on YouTube.  It’s no wonder this content does well – it’s super engaging and gives the creator time and space to form deeper connections with viewers. 

While long form content might be performing well anecdotally, it doesn’t mean you need to jump straight into creating 3 minute videos everyday.  We recommend you start by introducing long-form content gradually and pay attention to how your audience responds. Keep an eye on engagement metrics and views in your analytics and check out the comments on your long-form videos. This way you can gauge how well your audience is responding to longer content and make adjustments accordingly.

Comments Breed Connection

TikTok's algorithm is great at getting your videos in front of potential followers, but that's just the beginning. Once the algorithm grabs someone's attention, it's up to you to keep them interested. That's where TikTok comments come in! Comments are a great place for conversation, communication, and explanation. 

Whenever you can, hop into the comments and talk to your viewers. Responding to comments also earns you a Creator badge next to your username, making it easy for potential followers to see that you're actively engaged with your audience. And don't forget, you can also like comments that you want to acknowledge, but don't need a written response.

Use TikTok’s Features 

TikTok is constantly introducing new features like animated GIF stickers, titles, and filters that can help you keep your feed looking fresh and interesting for your audience. And if you want to stay ahead of the game, check out TikTok's beta program. It may offer you new content creation tools that most users haven't seen yet, allowing you to stay on the cutting edge of the platform and ahead of your competition. 

Keep a Consistent Posting Schedule 

Speak to any social media manager or successful TikTok account and they’ll say the same thing: keep to a consistent posting schedule. Try posting one to two times a day and going live a couple of times a week. This schedule will keep your followers engaged without overwhelming them with too many videos. 

To make the most of your posts, check your analytics to see when your audience is most active. This can vary depending on who you're talking to and where they're located, so make sure to adjust your posting schedule accordingly. Basically, the TikTok algorithm loves consistency. So, whatever rhythm your brand decides to go with, make sure it’s sustainable for the foreseeable future. 

Use Influencers to Your Advantage 

Want to boost your TikTok engagement? Add an influencer to your campaign! Research shows that it can drive a 93% higher engagement rate. Plus, user-generated content created by TikTok-specific influencers is watched 13% longer than non-TikTok content. TikTok users love organic and natural content, especially when it's created by their favourite influencers. Not only do influencers promote your product, but they also help build trust with the audience and your brand.

TikTok stands out for its creativity, and influencers help you create and promote content that fits your brand while remaining organic and not pushy. They can also talk about your product in a creative way, using trendy sounds, music, dances, and more. So when users see content from their favourite influencers, they're more likely to engage with it and may not even realise it's sponsored by a brand.

How to Partner with the Right Influencer 

While there’s no shortage of influencers looking to partner with brands, that doesn’t mean any influencer is a good match. The Influencers Agency can help you find the perfect fit for your campaign, making sure that your message reaches the right audience and drives engagement. Whether you're a small business just starting out on TikTok or a large brand looking to expand your reach, The Influencers Agency has the expertise and resources to help you succeed on TikTok and beyond.

Contact us today to learn more about how influencers on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and LinkedIn can drive your marketing in 2023.

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