You can roll your eyes all you like, but it’s time we all started taking TikTok seriously. What was once the exclusive plaything of online teens is now a platform that people of all ages accept.
It’s where millions of people spend hours, trapped in an endless scroll of content. And if you’re not marketing your brand here, you’re missing a massive open goal.
So here we have an ultimate guide to TikTok marketing. You’ll learn what makes it unique as a platform, who’s using it, what kind of content to make, and—perhaps most significantly—how to direct people away from it and onto your landing page.
What Makes TikTok Different (And So Powerful)
For many people—particularly people who have moved on from adolescence—short-form content like TikTok and Vine seemed like an insult to their intelligence. TikTok is a watershed moment that signifies the end of intelligent civilization, right? Wrong.
It’s easy to take a punt on content that lasts 30 seconds. It’s like playing with house money: Even if the video doesn’t rock your world, you’ve only given up a minuscule amount of time. There’s more of a commitment to more traditional forms of content—blog articles, ebooks, videos, and white papers.
The short length of TikToks videos is what makes them so powerful. Even if you see one you don’t like, you’ve scrolled past it in seconds: no harm, no foul. The second magic trick the app plays on you is the auto-plays and auto-loops. They’re relentless, leaving you chasing the next laugh, then the next laugh, and the next one.
Social media platforms are designed to keep you scrolling and engaging. TikTok is the undisputed champ at this. (And although you may see TikTok dabble in longer-form content in the future, short-form is where TikTok shines.)
It’s like when someone who knows you brings you something you want without you even asking for it or without you even realizing you want it in the first place. Chances are you’ve gone onto YouTube to watch a film trailer only to find yourself looking at recipes for chicken tikka masala 45 minutes later. It happens to the best of us—don’t worry.
And one final thing to consider: Even if you don’t have TikTok, you’ve seen TikTok content, and you’re going to see it again. Such is the porous nature of online life. The best of TikTok gets reposted onto YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, and other platforms you visit.
Who’s Using TikTok?
As of last year, TikTok had been downloaded more than 3.3 billion times, with more than 1 billion active monthly users currently—and with over 1 billion video views per day!
One thing that you might be interested to know is that 59% of TikTok users are female. So if you want to market to women (especially those aged 19-29), this is where you’ll find them!
It grew in a big way during the pandemic. Not just in viewership but in demographic diversity too. In the last 18 months, adult users have increased 5.5 times.
- Under 18: 28%
- 19-29: 35%
- 30-39: 18%
- 39+: 19%
These new mature users are not just passive observers either, boasting an engagement rate of 17.99%! They’re out there making original content.
How to Make Sense of the Algorithm
It’s essential to understand how the TikTok algorithm works if you want to run a successful marketing campaign on the platform. But don’t worry, you don’t need to be a coding or math wizard. You just need to have common sense, intuition, and a dash of problem-solving.
Initial exposure is based on geographical location. After that, exposure is based on performance to a limited group. “Performance” is complex. It’s an undefined calculation affected by the number of watches, likes, shares, comments, and saves.
Hashtags on Instagram and Facebook aren’t very fashionable. However, on TikTok, hashtags matter. What’s also curious is that presumed dormant volcanoes can erupt at a moment’s notice. In other words, old TikToks can sometimes magically go viral again.
Which Type of Content Works (and How)?
Here are examples of the most solid options for dispersing your message to your target demographics through TikTok marketing.
In-feed ads are the traditional method of getting your brand out there. Like a banner in a newspaper or an ad on TV, you can pay to have your message put on people’s screens.
This is a good tactic because it guarantees exposure to your chosen demographic. However, it does cost money, and people might feel negative about your brand breaking up users’ experiences.
Unfortunately, you can’t yet utilize keywords for Tiktok ad content. However, a cool trick you can use for your ads is to have your content appear in the “search” section, above the “what others search for.”
This effectively does what properly tuned keyword placement does: It puts your brand on your target audience’s feeds.
And now that you’ve got your brand’s image in front of the right person in the right place, you need to get the content right. If it’s a generic “please buy” piece, people will ignore it like traditional advertising that is distracting them from their in-app experience.
The trick is to make content about how to solve problems your target audience has or how they can achieve their goal. Once you’ve then caught their attention with that, you direct them with a CTA to your landing page, where they can fulfill what they were searching for in the first place.
So for example, you could get more people over to your landing page with content titled like this:
- How to fix your (x) with (your product)
- How to make (x) with (your product)
But how much will this cost you? Well, prices start at $10 per CPM (cost per 1,000 views). However, this does require you to spend a $500 minimum on each campaign. So if you have little to no marketing budget you need to carefully consider if it’s worth your time.
Influencers are all over the internet, and no place more than on TikTok. You can collaborate with popular content creators on TikTok to use or endorse your products.
Of course, the more authentic and sincere the collaboration, the better because a transparent paid promotion is a hollow promotion.
Suppose you can collaborate with an influencer with knowledge, experience, or a consumer tie to what you do. In that case, it will bust an association with trust between their followers and your brand.
This is where a high-quality landing page is essential to secure the sale after they’ve followed the sponsor’s link. Check out this Blow LTF landing page as an example of our unique service and product pages.
Lots of brands have their own TikTok channels, from Apple Music to Chipotle, The Washington Post, and ESPN.
You can give your brand an energetic personality and an exciting voice. However, make sure to respect the spirit of the platform. It’s a short-form content platform meant to be homemade, retractable, and conversational.
Just check out Unbounce’s branded Tiktok channel for Smart Copy. Here we have humorous content that addresses our target audience’s problems in a relatable and funny way, providing the solution as the subtext. What’s best about it—and what makes it successful—is that the channel isn’t directly selling anything. It offers relatable content that people actually want to see and the bio directs to Unbounce’s product landing page!
@trysmartcopy my first business it took MONTHS! have you tried this website yet?!? 😍 #smallbiz #smallbizowner #freelancer #businessownerlife ♬ you belong with me – sia
Pro tip: Writing snappy copy for your posts can be a handful. Did you know you can use Smart Copy to generate TikTok ideas for your business? Try it out for free today!
As we said before, hashtags matter. So, of course, add relevant hashtags to your content consistently. However, you’re also going to want to make your own.
For example, say your target audience is older: You’ll need to find the hashtags they use. TikTok revealed that the following hashtags have so far received the following views:
- #family – 67 billion views
- #momsoftiktok – 44 billion views
- #dad – 25 billion views
- #momlife – 20 billion views
- #familytime – 8 billion views
- #parenting – 4 billion views
So, in short, making your product or content relevant to these popular hashtags will put you in their line of sight.
A solid example would be what Adweek called “the most influential campaign on TikTok” from e.l.f. Cosmetics and their #eyeslipsface campaign. They amassed over 4 billion views with over 5 million video contributions—wowza!
Make the Most of TikTok with Optimized Landing Pages
Tiktok marketing matters because its popularity is increasing in all demographics. There’s a very good chance your target audience is using it—so you should, too!
You also now know that the best way to expose your brand to them is using in-feed ads, influencer marketing, branded content, and hashtags. However, the bounce rate for TikTok is higher than other forms of social media, which is why you need a solution designed to keep people from leaving your landing pages.
Unbounce is useful for TikTok marketing as it reduces bounce rates on an app designed to stop users from leaving. With Smart Builder, you can create unique high-converting landing pages with instant copy generation that generate up to 30% more conversions. And more conversions mean more leads, sales, and signups!