TikTok marketing is different in many ways from Instagram marketing and other social media strategies. And that’s because of the platform’s unique algorithm.
No matter if you run a DTC brand or B2B company, the TikTok algorithm has a great way to show your content to your ideal audience better than any other social media platform. But you need to follow the best practices.
In this article, you will find the best TikTok marketing tactics based on how the algorithm works to help you get the most out of your TikTok marketing efforts.
Why TikTok marketing?
In addition to the massive popularity of the platform, TikTok marketing presents a huge opportunity for companies to connect with their audience on a deeper level and reach new markets.
There is no other social media platform that competes with TikTok in terms of the potential of going viral.
Every day, people with virtually no following get millions of views on TikTok because of the algorithm.
So as a brand, you have even more potential of reaching millions of people since you already have customers who care about you.
In addition, since the number of followers doesn’t influence the algorithm, you can potentially reach millions of people without having to grind to get millions of followers for months, like on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
How does the TikTok algorithm work?
In any platform—Google, YouTube, Facebook, etc.—you need an idea of how the algorithm works to know how your content can be more successful.
In the case of TikTok, the algorithm uses various factors to determine your interests at that specific moment.
Some of these factors are:
- Watching a video from beginning to end
- Hashtags and sounds
Through these factors, TikTok quickly identifies if you have an interest in a topic, hashtag, sound, or trend, and immediately starts recommending similar content.
12 TikTok marketing tips you need to try
Even though the TikTok algorithm is amazing at recommending content, it doesn’t mean that you can post anything and be successful.
With that in mind, these tips will give you a greater chance of success on TikTok marketing:
1. Use trending hashtags
Hashtags are an important part of content promotion for any social media marketing strategy.
And in TikTok, they are especially important.
When you use a trending hashtag in a video, the algorithm will recommend it to people that showed interest in that particular hashtag.
So pay attention to the hashtags your target audience uses.
2. Use trending sounds
TikTok allows you to use any sound in its library for your content.
And the sound you use—which can be a song or audio clip—is a key factor for content recommendations.
Probably more important than hashtags.
On TikTok, riding trends in a creative way is one of the best things you can do for your strategy.
Take note of the sounds that are popular at the moment or check out Tokboard, where you can find the top trending sounds.
Make sure you use sounds that are rising in popularity, since those are the ones with more potential.
3. Make TikToks that people see from beginning to end
Getting people to watch your videos in their entirety can be a challenge, but it is worth putting the effort in.
If you think about it, watching a video from beginning to end is the strongest indicator of interest.
TikTok understands this, so having a good completion rate on your videos will get them recommended more.
For this purpose, you need the first second to grab the viewer’s attention, and then retain it for as long as possible.
Build suspense in some way, give the answer to a question at the end of the video, and also do short videos.
It’s easier to watch a video in its entirety if it only lasts a few seconds.
4. Make authentic TikTok content
People want authenticity in social media and when making purchasing decisions.
Here, they are not looking for typical corporate content, leave that to other social media channels.
In fact, 90% of consumers say authenticity is key when deciding which brands they like and support.
And TikTok is the perfect platform for this type of content.
If you look at successful TikToks, most of the time it’s simple content that feels authentic.
This can be a little tricky for some brands, but just remember to stay true to yourself and make the content feel human at the same time.
As an example of authentic brand content, check out this TikTok from Tea Drops:
A little background, Tea Drops are bagless, dissolvable tea blends created by the founder and CEO Sashee Chandran in her own kitchen.
Sashee’s invention was so successful that Tea Drops became one of the fastest growing DTC brands on Shopify, with a 350% annual growth rate in 2020.
And in 2021 they were able to raise a $5 million series A funding.
This is important because people that support your brand want to be part of your journey.
In the TikTok above, Sashee is involving their customers in the success of the brand and at the same time telling everyone where they can find Tea Drops.
By having a face of the brand (Sashee) and sharing their journey, they are able to create authentic content and connect with people on a personal level.
5. Build a TikTok community
53% of Americans who follow a brand on social media are more loyal to the brand.
This is because people like to interact with their favorite brands and know them on a deeper level.
So try to build your community on TikTok by interacting with your audience, responding to comments, making content specifically for your customers, etc.
Communication is key when building a community, so try to be transparent and really listen to what your customers are saying.
6. Create and participate in TikTok challenges
Challenges are another great tool for TikTok marketers for a couple of reasons.
They strengthen the relationship with your community and allow you to reach many people at the same time.
And most importantly, you get user generated content (UGC). Below we talk more about the importance of UGC.
Just look at the #inmydenim challenge from Guess.
The challenge basically consisted of showing a messy outfit first and then changing into an outfit with denim.
That hashtag now has accumulated over 53 million views.
However, you should also participate in existing challenges whenever you can.
As we mentioned before, riding trends is the easiest way to have success on TikTok.
7. Partner with influencers through TikTok marketing campaigns
This is a fact: people trust others more than brands when it comes to products.
In fact, 63% of consumers trust what influencers have to say about products “much more” than what brands say about themselves. And it makes sense.
Even if the influencers are being paid for the promotion, they still feel more trustworthy since they choose what brand to advertise.
Influencers are able to validate your solutions, generate UGC, drive awareness, and increase your sales for this reason.
If you are planning on a short-term collaboration, make sure you add influencers to your product launch strategy.
With an established audience, they can drive the awareness you need.
If you want to partner over a longer period of time, make them your brand ambassadors.
We have a complete guide on this topic, so make sure you check it out.
8. Start an ambassador program
It can’t be overstated the importance of user generated content for DTC brands. Why? Because:
- 84% of people say they trust peer recommendations above all other sources of advertising.
- 74% of people rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions.
- 76% of people say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than by brands.
- Word-of-mouth marketing (like UGC) generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising
And most importantly, consumers want to see the product being used by people with genuine opinions.
In case you’re not sure how user generated content looks like, let’s take a look at Tea Drops UGC created by actual customers:
As you can see, people that support Tea Drops create content on TikTok to show the products to their followers.
They don’t do it to be paid. They just do it to spread the word about a product they like.
However, there are ways to get more UGC from customers, and that’s by inviting them to become brand ambassadors.
Brand ambassadors are people who genuinely love your brand and create UGC in exchange for a reward. They can be big influencers or people without a large following.
This is an important part of Tea Drops TikTok marketing strategy and it should be part of yours too.
By sending free Tea Drops to loyal customers, they are able to generate UGC. Driving awareness and ultimately sales.
TikTok might be the #1 platform to generate user generated content (UGC) through ambassadors.
The reasons being that TikToks feel more authentic than other social media content and that anyone can potentially create a viral video that drives awareness and sales.
9. Engage with other accounts
On TikTok, people want to have an authentic experience with brands.
To provide this experience to consumers you need to talk to them in your own comment sections and in other people’s TikToks.
This lets everyone know that you are genuinely trying to connect with people.
This is also a good strategy to drive awareness to the fact that your brand has a TikTok account.
10. Post frequently
Due to the algorithm, the more TikToks you post, the better.
It’s not uncommon to see users uploading several videos every day.
By being consistent, your account will grow consistently as well, just like with other social media networks.
Some TikToks won’t do great, but having a consistent schedule will increase your chances of success.
11. Test content ideas
To add to the previous tip, always try new types of content because it’s the only way to find what works for you.
Every brand is different, so not every type of content will be a good fit for yours.
Look at the type of content that appeals to your market audience and try replicating it with your own twist.
However, don’t be afraid of trying new things that you haven’t seen before. The point is to stay true to yourself while making engaging content.
12. Use TikTok ads
Last but not least, you should try using ads.
The best social media marketing strategy always includes a combination of organic growth, partnerships, and paid advertising.
And it’s also the case for TikTok marketing.
In the beginning, you should do as much testing as possible until you find something that works.
When testing, apply the same tips we have talked about to your ads. Authenticity will go a long way on TikTok.
Basically, make ads that feel like TikToks.
To achieve this, you can repurpose your ambassadors’ content for advertising.