Should My Brand Be on TikTok?

With approximately 800 million users, TikTok is no longer a social media platform only used by younger generations. Today, everyone from celebrities to household brands is flocking to TikTok.

But, does this mass platform growth mean it’s right for your brand?

The answer isn’t so clear-cut, especially as scrutiny and uncertainty around the company grows.

Assuming TikTok is here to stay in the United States, it can be a massive win for your brand, but if not properly vetted beforehand, it could also be an extreme waste of resources. With ample social media platforms to choose from these days, marketers must be strategic when deciding to embrace or steer clear of TikTok for business.

In this guide, we’ll help you:

  • Understand if your audience is using TikTok.
  • Determine if your brand can produce quality TikTok content.
  • Develop a solid TikTok marketing strategy.
  • Navigate the TikTok advertising platform.

Is Your Audience on TikTok?

TikTok is known as the Gen Z app, and the younger generation has dominated the platform for quite some time. According to a September 2019 eMarketer report, in the United States, 42 percent of internet users aged 13 to 16 and 32 percent of users aged 17 to 21 use TikTok.

However, due to COVID-19 and the nationwide stay-at-home orders, TikTok’s audience and other TikTok statistics are evening out. In April, the percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds on the platform grew from 22.4 percent to 27.4 percent while 35- to 44-year-olds increased from 13.9 percent to 17.1 percent. During the same time, usage by 18- to 24-year-old users decreased by 5.8 percent.

Before hopping on the TikTok train, look at the TikTok stats and determine if your audience is using the platform. If your target market is primarily aged 35 and older, you may want to consider other platforms. But, if you’re looking to reach younger generations including Gen Z and Millennials, TikTok could be a sound choice.

Also, take a look at your competitors. Are they using TikTok? More importantly, are they successful on TikTok? If your competitors are using the platform but aren’t seeing traction, this means it may not be the right choice for your brand either.

Can You Produce Quality TikTok Content?

Understanding your audience’s involvement in the platform is only step one. Now you need to evaluate whether your marketing team can truly produce top-tier TikTok marketing and advertising content.

Overly produced, clean-cut, clearly branded content has no place on TikTok. The platform thrives off of fast-paced viral trends, memes, humor, and genuine, unfiltered videos.

TikTok users reject content that is blatantly an ad or perfectly manicured. Don’t show up to the party thinking you can reuse Instagram campaigns or YouTube ads — it’s not going to work.

Sit with your marketing team and determine if you’re capable of producing content that will resonate with the younger audience and vibe of the platform. If not, then skip TikTok for now. 

Consider your team’s bandwidth, too. While they may be able to create quality TikTok content, does their current workload allow for this to be produced and managed effectively?

If TikTok Is Right for Your Brand, Start Planning Now

If your audience is active on TikTok and you have the resources to create meaningful content, start planning a TikTok marketing strategy. Follow these quick tips to get started.

Focus on the Message

The pristine, manufactured look of a finely tuned Facebook or Instagram image and copy won’t fly on TikTok.

Instead of spending all your time on the theatrics, focus on the message of your TikTok content. What message are you trying to convey? What can you create that will connect with your followers?

Stay on Top of Trends

TikTok thrives on trending content. Once a relevant hashtag challenge or viral video starts trending, you’d better hop on it! Assign a team to evaluate trending TikTok topics and determine whether your team should take advantage of them.

Use the Right Hashtags

Similar to other social media platforms, users rely on hashtags to search for trending content and discover what’s new. Plan to identify and leverage specific hashtags while on the platform.

Don’t Just Post — Engage!

No social media strategy can rely on posting alone, even on TikTok. Your brand must engage with other TikTok users, brands, and influencers to grow a loyal following. Comment and like the content of relevant users and influencers in your industry, and watch the magic happen.

Consider partnering with TikTok influencers for collaborative and engaging content, too!

Request Advertising Access

Although still in its infancy, TikTok offers an advertising platform to brands that apply for access. Advertisers can create everything from branded filters to in-feed video ads through the social network. If your brand is considering a TikTok presence, request advertising access ASAP before the network becomes saturated.

Use These Brands for Inspiration

Several brands are already leading the way on TikTok. Take a look at their content for inspiration! Some of the top TikTok brands include:

Each of these brands is tuned in to their audience’s interests and desires. You’ll never catch Aerie posting a trending TikTok challenge solely to gain more views and interaction. Instead, they’re creating actionable content that resonates with their fanbase. This also applies to The Washington Post’s TikTok style. Rather than boring news reports, their staff finds creative ways to inform fans about the latest need-to-know news.

If you need help launching your TikTok campaign, get in touch with the REQ team.

Let’s talk.