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A Guide to TikTok Marketing 2021

A Guide to TikTok Marketing 2021

The rise of the social network TikTok, with over 680 million monthly active users worldwide, has spurred remarkable new ways to engage with people across the globe. TikTok has also allowed companies, both large and small, to promote their products and services through new short-form video content formats. Today, Tiktok is the most popular application in monthly downloads, surpassing traditional social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.


Beloved by teenagers across Asia, America, Europe, and Africa, TikTok has left its mark and is now seen by most advertisers as an indispensable and formidable marketing tool. In this TikTok guide, we'll outline how businesses and brands can tap into TikTok to engage with its audiences, mostly between 10 to 29 years old.


Wait up… what is TikTok?


TikTok is a social network created in 2016 by the Chinese company ByteDance. The app allows you to share short videos with a duration of between 15 and 60 seconds. Much of the content found on TikTok is based on entertaining the viewer through creativity and humour, be it through themed challenges, dance routines, parodies, sharing exciting recipes, or other creative new short-form content formats.


TikTok also provides ancillary functions in terms of sending messages, voting, creating friend lists, and, of course, having a follower system. Taking some inspiration from the old bulwark Instagram, but focused on video content creation that engages audiences rather than images and photography.


In terms of audience demographic, the social network appeals mainly to a young audience; those under 30 years old comprise 66% of total users.


How is TikTok Used in Marketing?


There are numerous ways in which marketers can include TikTok as part of their marketing strategy. As we have seen, the app provides users with numerous creator tools to craft their own content on TikTok. The most engaging content in terms of shares, likes, and comments are rewarded with further virality and engagement. 


Similarly, a way companies can employ TikTok as a marketing tool is via content creation. Companies can seek to create authentic content on TikTok that resonates with their target audience. Focus on providing value by entertaining your followers by investing in content creation. In return, be rewarded with increased brand loyalty and expanded reach and brand engagement to TikTok's virality algorithms. While your content is never guaranteed to succeed or go viral, when it does - this increased reach and engagement will be exponential. A smart way to expound on content creation is to issue fun, exciting challenges for creators to craft user-generated content.


The second way is through influencer marketing. Like Instagram, there is now a burgeoning user base on TikTok who has an impressive number of followers and a higher-than-average engagement rate than on Instagram. Brands can engage with influencers through branded hashtag challenges. For example, Red Bull's influencer marketing sponsorships with TikTok influencer Keeoh in creating a "magic trick" video using Red Bull products. 


How do you promote a brand on TikTok?


Example of Influencer Marketing on TikTok: Charli D'amelio and Dunkin' Donuts


Influencer Charli D'amelio is one of the most famous TikTokers, with over 79.9 million fans and over 5.9 billion likes on her profile. The famous dancer and social media personality collaborated with the American food chain Dunkin' Donuts in September 2020.


The franchise launched a new drink called "The Charli" as an advertising collaboration on TikTok. This partnership led to massive brand exposure and a massive boost in sales. According to Business Insider, the brand garnered nearly 294 million views thanks to this advertising strategy on TikTok. 


Lastly, brands can also tap into paid channels through TikTok Ads. The social network has now built its own self-serve platform where brands can choose from many ad formats to reach their target audience.


Types of Ad Formats on TikTok


In-Feed Ads


This ad format is one of the most common. Working in a similar way to Instagram stories, these appear between videos as you scroll through TikTok. You can include multiple call-to-actions (CTAs) as well as links. There is, however, a drawback: users can easily skip this within the first few seconds, so make sure your ad is engaging from the get-go!


Branded Hashtag Challenges


In these ads, brands issue a unique branded challenge. Viewers are spurred to respond to the challenge by making a video and uploading it with the same branded hashtag. This is a great way to engage with your user base and build strong brand awareness. Since there is no guarantee that your hashtag challenge will catch on, it is often a smart move to pair your branded hashtag challenge ads alongside influencer sponsorships by engaging both large and micro-influencers to upload videos for your challenge.


Brand Takeover


With these ads, the brand takes control of the homepage by appearing full-screen when users open the ad. The user cannot exit until the ad ends. Naturally, this is a very premium format, and you can expect to shelf out from above $50,000 each time for this format.


Example of a Branded Hashtag Challenge and Brand Takeover: Guess


One of TikTok's early adopters was Guess. The clothing brand developed a complete campaign with all the TikTok Ads tools to promote their business. To promote its fall 2018 collection, Guess launched the #InMyDenim Hashtag Challenge on TikTok for users to post creative videos showing their style and how to transform their outfits with denim pieces. They also made a Brand Takeover and videos for native advertising with major TikTok influencers.  


This advertising campaign on TikTok went viral with millions of views, positive comments, and thousands of users wearing the # showing their favourite brand of clothes. In 6 days, users made more than 5550 TikTok videos, with over 10.5 million views, an increase of 14.3% in engagement and more than 12,000 new followers for the Guess TikTok account. A complete success.


TopView ads


This type of ad is similar to a brand takeover ad, but instead of showing up as soon as a user opens TikTok, it comes up shortly after in the feed. You can have up to 60 seconds of content time, powered by auto-play and sound.


Branded Lenses (or Branded Effects)


Brands can also create special effects for TikTok users to use. This format can be in special video filters, video effects or shareable stickers and emojis. 


Why is TikTok good for marketing?


While you are not obliged to include TikTok as part of your marketing mix, this social network’s allure and prowess cannot be denied. If you are looking for a verified TikTok marketing expert, be it influencer marketing, content creation or ads experts, you can find world-class TikTok marketers on Traktion, a platform that verifies marketing freelancers with a proprietary four-step process.


Take your marketing knowledge to a higher level and learn from the industry experts at Media Training about the fundamentals in social media, SEO, email marketing, social media graphics and more.


by Stefan Bardega | 26 May 21

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