The explosion of TikTok has created a paradigm shift in marketing. It is changing how businesses and individuals can spark trends around content, services, products, and personal brands.
With more than 1 billion users, TikTok surpassed Google in 2021 for being the most visited domain in the world.
As the leading platform for sharing video content, TikTok’s user base is on an upward slope. One chief reason for this growth is its efficacy in building a sense of community among users. Through TikTok, users and creators share content in the form of business updates, entertaining skits, and snippets of daily life that bring people together.
For many businesses, this has changed the expectations of what it means to engage with an audience. While other platforms promote perfection in marketing, TikTok permits imperfection, which often results in stronger relatability between producer and viewer. How well you establish your brand and build relationships with customers will likely depend on how well you can take advantage of TikTok.
An Algorithm That’s Always One Step Ahead
Under TikTok’s hood is a sophisticated AI algorithm that makes reaching and retaining audiences especially easy when compared to other social networks. According to TikTok business pioneers Shye Lee and Aishah Mohamed of Elite Tier Academy, the algorithm is one of the most comprehensive platforms when it comes to visibility metrics.
“Because of TikTok’s AI algorithm, content is so perfectly curated that you’re shown what you’re naturally attracted to,” says Lee.
Mohamed agreed, saying, “It’s so good at showing your content to the right people that it removes the need to spend on targeted ads.”
Shark Tank billionaire Mark Cuban is on TikTok, and he has said, “TikTok spent hundreds of millions on their app, it wasn’t a viral sensation. What they do better than any other app is their artificial intelligence.”
Many companies and major corporations have ignored the growing social media platform, believing that it’s simply a trending network for teenagers. But that is not the case. Business of Apps’ Tik Tok Revenue and Usage Statistics (2022) study discovered that only 28% of TikTok users are under 18, while 35% are aged 19-29, 18% are aged 30-39, and 19% are over age 39 .
TikTok’s user base holds a wealth of professionals, business people, entrepreneurs, and adult consumers along with its younger audience. Based on these statistics, a good first step in growing your business through TikTok is pushing through the misconception that the platform is an unprofessional destination purely for kids. There’s a good chance your target audience is there as well.
Impact Begins With Your Business’ Brand Story
Through TikTok’s ability to connect its users, consumers nowadays expect relatability, authenticity, and even vulnerability in the way content is approached.
Start by constructing your image on TikTok with your unique brand story. Include information about how and why your company began and where you want to end up as a company.
To get an initial lay of the land within your business niche, making a hashtag library can be helpful.
As New York Times bestselling author and marketing expert Neil Patel writes on his blog, the process can be straightforward: “If you don’t know what hashtags you should use, type in a relevant, broad keyword within the search section on TikTok. When you do this, TikTok will suggest a range of hashtags associated with what you typed.”
While hashtags are important, they shouldn’t be central to your TikTok strategy. The key when building your brand on the platform is to convert your audience into a community via story-telling. After that, you keep up the momentum with explainer videos, reviews, success stories, or inside looks into your creative process. Hashtags get you into the right algorithm, but the brand story and audience base you build around are what keep your business relevant.
Substance Over Spectacle
TikTok marketing can be game-changing for businesses since the platform hosts relatively little competition. Though being in an unsaturated market does not mean that smooth sailing is guaranteed.
One thing to keep in mind when using TikTok for business is that a view can become just that: a view. Going viral and getting a ton of views may sound like your end goal on TikTok, but just like any other marketing content, the quality of the views and followers is what matters most.
Joining TikTok purely with the intent to go viral with content that doesn’t represent your brand correctly sends an incorrect message. You’ll end up alienating potential loyal followers and fail to communicate the details of your business to prospects.
Many of the followers you end up accumulating could only be interested in specific videos, not in your products or services. This hurts your business’s long-term growth on the platform. Everything you post on TikTok should align with your business goals. Amazing views and followers can be exciting, but it is ultimately a means to an end.
With the right TikTok strategy and engaging content, companies will have a better chance of achieving this same level of success on their own accounts.