Why Is TikTok Worth It?
The social media game is always changing. While Facebook used to be the go-to social media spot for marketing to all age ranges, things have transformed radically in recent times. TikTok is the new frontier for marketing campaigns, and you’re going to need a sound strategy to conquer the evolving algorithm. Here’s why it’s worth it.
If you’ve used TikTok before, it’s easy to think that it’s just a sequence of unrelated clips that can range from the bizarre to the mundane. It’s not quite as simple. There’s an incredibly intelligent algorithm at work behind the scenes that powers the app, and it’s a potent tool for growth. This is what turns TikTok into something more than just another social media app.
Understanding the Algorithm
The average TikTok user spends around 89 minutes on the app every day, this is largely in part due to the algorithm behind the app. Companies that understand how to incorporate the algorithm into their TikTok marketing campaign benefit from better customer retention and engagement that boost their ROI. This is because of a few key factors.
Powered by Machine Learning
If you’ve been around the marketing block, you’ve probably heard the term ‘machine learning’ being thrown around. The best example of this term put into practice is the TikTok algorithm. The reason TikTok has an edge over other social media competitors is its strategic use of machine learning. The app gauges what each user’s interests are by looking at the time they spend watching certain types of content, and what they do and do not like to curate a personalized ‘For You’ page.
That’s the consumer side, but businesses will find that the algorithm has a lot to offer them as well. Effective TikTok strategies seek to tap into trending topics and trends to market their products in a way that feels organic. The seemingly random nature of the ‘For You’ page is a great opportunity to grow your brand and business in a way that doesn’t feel artificial.
Blending ‘Organic’ and ‘Sponsored’
The line between organic and blatantly sponsored content is quickly becoming blurred on TikTok thanks to its algorithm. One of the biggest reasons for this is the growing impact of influencers and the diverse sponsorship opportunities that they bring. The best TikTok strategies will leverage the unique strengths that the platform offers to its users to find DTC success.
Businesses that execute marketing campaigns on TikTok have the ability to partner up with influencers that are popular in certain niches. This can be a niche or customer segment the company already operates in, as well as one that they’d like to break into, using the influencer as a gateway.
Why Invest in a TikTok Strategy?
The algorithm is the foundation of what makes TikTok worth investing in. Businesses are going to want to look out for the bigger picture when they’re deciding on whether or not it’s worth developing a TikTok strategy. Here’s what makes the app so lucrative for consumers and companies alike.
#1 – Superior User Engagement
At the heart of most TikTok marketing campaigns is the fact that the app sees incredibly high levels of user engagement. This is in part due to the unique way the app is designed, making users want to scroll for longer amounts of time and engage actively with their content. Ultimately, this becomes a boon for marketers that are striving to create a community of active customers and boost retention. According to Forbes, users in the U.S now spend more time on TikTok than they do on YouTube!
Consistent user engagement is your best friend as a marketer, and the cornerstone of any successful long-term social media strategy, TikTok or otherwise. The ability to repeatedly convey your content to very specific niches using the algorithm allows you to form a connection with potential and existing customers. Businesses can capitalize on this fact to build a meaningful brand image and keep users interested with creative ads and offers.
Engagement on TikTok isn’t just one-way. What creates a sense of community on the app is the fact that users have the ability to engage with content creators, rather than just being engaged by them. This opens up innumerable opportunities for your business. For example, the ‘duet’ feature lets users record their own reaction to someone else’s content, it’s the perfect feature to help you go viral.
#2 – Marketing Tools
Right off the bat, one of the most valuable tools that TikTok offers businesses is the opportunity to experiment with strategy and content. Videos on TikTok are generally of a more whimsical, light-hearted nature, where even brands don’t really take themselves as seriously as they would elsewhere. Businesses can use this opportunity to try out new messaging and see what works.
Powerful algorithms and captivating content isn’t going to be of much use if you don’t have a yardstick to measure your TikTok marketing campaigns. Thankfully, the app comes with several marketing tools, some of which will help you gauge the success of your campaign, while others are designed to boost engagement.
Why Do Metrics Matter to TikTok Strategies?
When we talk about metrics, it’s easy to assume that we’re referring to ecommerce metrics, however, those principles are universal and apply to social media as well. Key marketing metrics like customer retention rate can translate over to TikTok as a measure of how successful your content is at engaging viewers. Keeping track of these numbers is crucial when fine-tuning a TikTok strategy.
TikTok makes running a marketing campaign easier by doing the heavy lifting for you. When working with platforms that aren’t as intuitive, marketers often have to do certain metric calculations on their own, opening the door for errors. As a creator, all you have to do to look at your analytics is head over to the ‘Creator Tools’ tab. Everything you need to know about how your content is doing is laid out through useful graphs and adjustable stats.
Using these metrics is just as intuitive as viewing them. Let’s take one as an example. The average engagement per post metric lets you check in on how your campaign is doing by measuring each post’s performance. Engagement in this context refers to the likes and comments your posts are receiving. If you see a sustained fall in this metric, it could be a sign that your TikTok strategy is due for a change.
TikTok goes beyond metrics when it comes to offering innovative marketing tools for businesses. The new ‘Branded Effects’ feature is a great way to augment your TikTok content with fun user-facing features, making for a holistic marketing campaign. In practice, the Branded Effects feature lets businesses bring their brand into the app using customized AR filters that place their brand center-stage. With funny and creative filters, businesses can leverage word of mouth to bring in new customers.
#3 – Innovative Ad Formats
Around 74% of people are tired of social media ads. The old online advertising format of intrusive pop-ups that attempt to get users to click on their websites through brute force is on the way out. TikTok allows marketers to incorporate smarter, more subtle ads into their strategy. Experienced marketers will be able to use creative practices for social media ads to keep viewers engaged. Let’s have a look at some examples.
- Spark Ads: Spark Ads are a relatively new addition to the TikTok advertising arsenal, and one of the best assets available to businesses. Using Spark Ads, you can make ads out of TikTok posts, complete with a call-to-action (CTA).
What makes these ads especially effective is the fact that they’re completely native to the app. This means that when users are scrolling, the ad looks almost identical to any other TikTok on their feed.
- Collabs: TikTok makes strategizing and collaborating with other content creators and businesses incredibly easy. If you’d really like to get some momentum going for your TikTok marketing campaign, it might be a good idea to team up with a popular influencer to create content in your niche.
Collabs offer businesses a more organic way of advertising their products. A common example of this might be a comedian incorporating a given brand’s products in a skit. Using this unconventional ad format, you can reach newer customer segments as well as make a deeper impact with people who already know your brand.
Hashtags: Twitter isn’t the only place where hashtags reign supreme. Users on Instagram and TikTok use hashtags as a way of identifying their content with different niches and improving discoverability. For businesses, hashtags offer an opportunity to take their products to new user segments and establish a brand presence.
An increasingly popular part of TikTok marketing strategies is the ‘hashtag challenge’. This usually involves an action or dance of some form, inviting other users to match them in a duet. Hashtag challenges can potentially create a chain reaction, causing a boom in user engagement for brands. While it can be a great tool to get your name out there, it also requires a significant budget, sponsorship, and a little bit of luck.
#4 – Diverse User Base
A diverse user base is a great tool to have in your pocket as a marketer. This is doubly true for a TikTok strategy, as content that tends to go viral is also the kind of content that appeals to a wider audience. A typical misconception that people tend to have before using TikTok — both as creators and users — is that the user base is skewed towards younger people.
According to experts, one of the fastest-growing demographics on TikTok is, in fact, the 24-34 and 35+ age group. The rapid growth of this segment means that businesses will be able to reach a wider group of users with their content. This also bodes well for marketing campaigns that aim to target a very specific TikTok demographic. An example of this is the recent boom in real estate TikToks that targets older age groups in an attempt to sell homes.
Working with a more active, diverse group of users is also good news for businesses that are seeing stagnating numbers advertising on other platforms. Older social media platforms like Facebook, for example, are experiencing a decline in users for the first time. The best marketing strategy is one that adapts to meet the evolving market, and for some businesses, that might mean a shift to TikTok. Allocation of resources to prioritize stronger social media platforms can differentiate a good marketing campaign from a great one.
Strategize for Success
TikTok isn’t the only solution to a brand’s marketing woes, but it can be an important pillar in any company’s social media strategy. Reinforce your marketing campaigns on other platforms with TikTok’s superior user engagement and ad formats. Contact Coalition Technologies to find out how to leverage a TikTok strategy to boost sales and grow your brand.