In The Age of Social Distancing, Here’s How Brands Can Utilize TikTok

TikTok is booming with content right now. The popular short-form video app is the No. 2 top free app on the Apple Store, behind Zoom Cloud Meetings, as more people self-isolate and create content in the safety of their homes.

Since absorbing the lip-syncing video app in August 2018, TikTok has evolved into a platform that births trends, inspires creativity and enables music discovery. 

Social distancing also creates a unique opportunity for brands to join in and create original content on TikTok. Companies can also directly target Gen-Z audiences; 41% percent of the app’s users land between the ages of 16 and 24, according to Global Web Index.

Take Time To Understand How TikTok Works

TikTok is the only platform where you can create a single video and accumulate millions of views and thousands of followers at an accelerated rate. This is because of the app’s For You page—the landing page that every user reaches when they first open the app. Although the exact algorithm is kept secret, the "For You" page is populated with videos based on what you like and who you follow.

Getting on the For You page is one of the most effective ways for a company to receive exposure. One strategy to get on the For You page is to “surf” a trend or sound while it’s still relevant. Brands can identify current trends by exploring TikTok’s Discover page, which highlights videos from top creators and features popular hashtags. Spending time on the app is helpful to discover what videos, challenges and sounds are popular.

You Don’t Necessarily Need High Production Content

High production content is not required on TikTok. Everything can be shot from an iPhone. If your brand has old content that was posted on YouTube, repurpose that video for TikTok. But the real key to making quality content on the app is to be creative. 

When a sample of TikTok users were asked why they liked TikTok, many stated that they were “most interested in seeing other people’s creativity, and having the chance to be creative themselves.” This ranked higher than the community aspect of TikTok or staying connected with friends (which could be more applicable to other platforms, like Instagram and Facebook). Make a short video and put your own twist on a challenge or trend that relates to your brand.

Partner With TikTok’s Top Creators

TikTok has popular creators, just like Instagram or YouTube has influencers known for that platform. Find a TikTok creator that best identifies with your brand. Once you find an influencer, you can work with them on a variety of app partnerships.

For example, they can send you videos that you could post on the brand channel. The creator can host a “TikTok Live,” a tool that allows users to host a live broadcast directly on the app. The creator can host the live on the brand account, or on their personal account, using the live to drive traffic back to the brand. 

A brand can also come up with a challenge and catchy TikTok audio. The influencer can then post a video replicating that challenge and create a TikTok hashtag. These are a few cost effective ways for your brand to interact with top creators on the platform.

Learn How To Make TikTok Worthy Tracks

Songs that travel best on TikTok often have great punchlines that can be used in a wide variation of situations. For example, “Hey how’s it going?” is a line that can be used in a million variations. Whether that is a person speaking to someone else, or it is an object or idea speaking to something (ex. the coronavirus saying “Hey, how’s it going?” to humanity).

Integrating action words, such as “Punch it!” “Push” “Talking,” are commonly used among users who replicate the words with a dance move. If you need a transition, you can use catchy beats, like a hard drum kick or big boom. Other popular trends include conversations in songs, for example, using laughs, slaps and claps. 

For more, check out TheNextCMO Podcast: Understanding TikTok with Jacob Pace

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