How to use TikTok to grow your brand/company

If you are reading this blog you might already know what TikTok is. The more important question you should be asking yourself is: How can TikTok help you to achieve your marketing goal? Once you’ve read this blog, it will hopefully answer those questions and you can determine whether TikTok is a good social media channel to add to your marketing arsenal.

What is TikTok?
For those who don’t know exactly what TikTok is, I will briefly explain it here. TikTok is an iOS and Android social media video app that allows you to create and share short, funny, sarcastic and sing-along videos. You can create vertical, looping videos between 15 and 60 seconds, there are many filters and effects available and there is an extensive music database so you can put cool and fun music under your video. As a TikTokker you can follow someone, but the amazing thing about this platform is the algorithm that already responds to the user’s needs, without having liked or followed anything or anyone.

The social media landscape
The use of social media continues to grow. But where Facebook and Instagram saw a slight increase in users among the Dutch population in 2020, there was one newcomer that completely shook the social media landscape.

Very popular among a young audience
Whether I walk on the street or been in the metro I see it all around me. Mostly young children (mainly girls) who are dancing in a small group recording a TikTok video. According to the National Social Media Survey 2020, TikTok already has over 700,000 users in the Netherlands alone. With 425,000 users in the Netherlands aged between 6 to 14 years old (Generation Z). It’s interesting to see that TikTok is extremely popular among youngsters. This makes the platform particularly interesting for advertisers and brands who are looking for ways to reach out to a younger audience. After all, they are your future customer

The opportunities of TikTok
Enough about the users of TikTok and its popularity, let’s talk about the opportunities that the platform has to offers and what you as an advertiser or brand have to take into account when using TikTok.

Before you start using a platform it’s important to understand that each platform has different cultures and rules. When you make a video on Instagram, it does not automatically mean that it also works well on TikTok or YouTube. So keep this in mind when creating a TikTok video. Let me give you an example of this: TikTok is characterised by funny, short and real videos without being too slick. On the other hand, there is YouTube, who focus more on long videos which are informative and tells a storyline. There are multiple ways for companies to use TikTok and reach more people. Let’s discuss the opportunities down here.

TikTok challenges and hashtags
Challenges are essential to TikTok. A hashtag with your video, in which you do something crazy, interesting or funny, allow other users to do the same and take on the challenge. If many people participate in such a challenge and use the hashtag, your brand awareness will be increased. So let’s start your own brand or company challenges!

Influencers
Influencers are very important for companies to become visible on TikTok. Influencers have a bigger reach because they have been followed by their loyal fans on TikTok and other channels for a long time. With influencer marketing, you ensure that more people visit your company or profile.

Advertising
Currently, advertising on TikTok is not available in all countries and regions yet. Still, TikTok already lists a number of ways to advertise on TikTok in the future, so keep an eye on this: Advertisement options TikTok.

Native video ads
You can make your company video appear in the users feed. For example, your company will be noticed when users are scrolling through their feed and they can visit your company account.

Filters
Just like Snapchat, you can also create a filter on TikTok that allows users to use your products in their photo or video. For example, a filter with people using your accessories, clothing or make-up.

Examples of companies and brands using TikTok
When I started looking for companies and brands on TikTok I came across some good examples. But for me, the most remarkable thing was that most major Dutch brands are not even active on TikTok yet. Let’s take a closer look at some of the companies that already do a pretty good job on TikTok:

AFC Ajax (Sports team)
Ajax is doing pretty well on TikTok, with almost 800 thousand followers they know how to attract a large audience through football videos. These videos include beautiful goals, celebrations, dribbles and tricks. All this is supported by some cool music tracks which gives it an uplifting effect. Feel free to see it yourself and click here.

Rode Kruis (Red Cross)
The Dutch Red Cross (Rode Kruis) on TikTok is a good example of how to explain serious matters in a funny and simple way. They stay close to their core values by explaining things about first aid and the Coronavirus in a funny way. This way they know how to reach a younger audience which might have otherwise been difficult to reach or address. I really recommend you to take a look at the TikTok page of the Red Cross to get some inspiration.

Guess (clothing brand)
The brand Guess doesn’t even have that many posts and followers (38k) on their TikTok profile yet, but they do a pretty good job in reaching people. They are also one of the few clothing brands out there on the platform, so for competitors, it’s a big miss. To demonstrate the power that TikTok has to offer we can take a look at the example of the challenge that Guess introduced, under the name: #InMyDenim challenge. Which also shows the power of hashtags on TikTok. The videos already have over 38 million views.

I hope this article has given you more insights on how to use TikTok for your company or brand. Now I’m really curious about what opportunities TikTok could present for your brand or company?

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Guest blog by Jorn Faber

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