TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms out there, which means it’s absolutely ripe for brand growth. If your brand isn’t incorporating TikTok into its social media strategy, then you’re missing out in a major way. As of January 2021, TikTok enjoyed almost 700 million monthly active users, which is a whole lot of people who could potentially be seeing your ads and consuming your content.
With that said, you might be wondering whether TikTok has any built-in ways to promote your products and services. Happily, it does, although things work a little differently on ByteDance’s platform than they do elsewhere in the social media world. If you’re looking to promote your products on TikTok, you’ll want to get savvy about how you can do that. Here’s our guide to promoting products, services, and brands on TikTok.
Pay for ads
The simplest and most straightforward way of promoting your brand on TikTok is simply to pay for an ad campaign. Be aware, though, that TikTok users are much more skeptical regarding traditional advertising than many other demographics might be. You will, of course, need to create yourself an ad account on TikTok before you can do this, and this involves being verified by the app first, so it might be a slightly lengthier process.
There are several different ways that you can pay for ad campaigns within TikTok, so it’s not all about just showing users ads and expecting them to engage with your brand. These methods all have their advantages and disadvantages. Some are more intrusive than others but arguably more effective, while others are hands-off but may result in diminished returns. Here are some of the different ways you can engage with paid ads on TikTok.
As the name suggests, in-feed ads will appear during users’ browsing sessions and will naturally intersperse themselves throughout the For You feed. You can embed links to websites or products within these ads. Users will see them before videos they’d view naturally, so this is a good way to ensure as many eyes on your video as possible.
Branded hashtag challenge
As a platform, TikTok is all about those hashtags, so what better way to make sure people are seeing your ad than by creating a hashtag challenge? You can use this sponsorship feature to create a new hashtag, then invite the TikTok community to take it up. TikTok says this is the best way to involve users in your ad, so if you’re looking for engagement (and you should be), this is the best way to get it.
Brand takeover ad
Unlike in-feed ads, a brand takeover will be seen by users as soon as they open TikTok. They’ll take up all of the screen real-estate, so it’s important to make sure the ad is eye-catching and compelling. These types of ads are extremely expensive, so they tend to be favoured by the more exclusive and financially well-equipped brand. This might not be the best way to advertise if you’re a smaller business, but if you think you can compete, it’s worth a try.
One other way you can advertise on TikTok is to create filters or lenses with your brand’s identity. This allows users to organically discover and use those filters if they wish. It’s less intrusive and in-your-face than an in-feed ad or a brand takeover, and it has the added benefit of appearing naturally within content. Of course, users may not find or use your lens, so this is a less direct way of promoting your brand, but it can still be effective nonetheless.
Team up with TikTok influencers
Just like with other social media platforms, one of the most effective ways to advertise on TikTok is to organically contact influencers and content creators and ask if they want to partner with you. Influencer marketing is still an incredibly popular and effective way to communicate your brand values and promote your services, and nowhere is this more true than on TikTok. There are a few ground rules to remember here, of course.
Talk to influencers who reflect your values
Your brand should come first, and any influencer will agree about their own brand as well. That’s why it’s important to only approach influencers who reflect or complement your brand’s core values. How you do this will vary depending on your aesthetic and brand mission, but make sure you’re keeping your brand front and centre every time you talk to an influencer.
Make benefits to influencers clear
No influencer is going to be looking to enter into a deal with you just because they love your brand. You might live and breathe your product, but they don’t, so you need to make the benefits to them clear. It’s not just about money; you should also emphasise how your brand can benefit their followers, because TikTok is all about authenticity, and if you just try to talk up the financial benefit, you’ll lose influencers quickly.
It’s all about the content
First and foremost, content is king on TikTok, as it is everywhere else. When you team up with influencers to promote your brand or product, you need to make sure the content you’re collaborating on is top-notch. This will benefit both parties; your brand will look better with more effective content promoting it, and the influencer stands to gain as well because they aren’t cheapening their brand for the sake of promotion.