How to build an effective marketing strategy on TikTok?

How to build an effective marketing strategy on TikTok

Are you considering implementing a marketing strategy on TikTok for your business or organization? Find out how to make the most of this social network to get your business off the ground.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a video-sharing social media that first found massive appeal among Generation Z users. It is best known as the home of viral dance trends, challenges, and lip-sync videos.

ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, first launched TikTok as Douyin in China, before launching the TikTok app in international markets in 2017. Both Douyin and TikTok use the same software today but maintain separate networks to comply with China’s censorship laws.

In late 2017, ByteDance bought, a social media platform that allowed users to create and share short lip-sync videos to popular songs, giving TikTok a whole new set of tools and a golden ticket to enter the U.S. teen market.

By 2020, TikTok was a runaway success, not only with teens but with users of all ages. Celebrities, publishers, and brands took advantage of the opportunity and used TikTok’s easy-to-use video editing tools to create entertaining videos that became an overnight viral hit.

Why is TikTok a valuable platform for brands?

TikTok is currently experiencing a period of exponential growth; meaning that there is a huge audience ready to be tapped by creative and innovative brands.

With TikTok you can:

  • Increase your brand awareness
  • Create engaged communities
  • Sell products and services
  • Get feedback from customers and the public
  • Provide customer service
  • Advertise products and services to target audiences


By using TikTok for your business, you can:

Leverage influencer marketing

TikTok’s influencer marketing is an important part of the app’s ecosystem. Mega-stars like Charli D’Amelio, Addison Rae, and Zach King can have a huge impact on a company’s success (tens of millions of users view their content every day).

TikTok quickly identified influencer marketing as a key component of its e-commerce offering for brands. TikTok recently launched the TikTok Creator Marketplace, an “official collaboration platform between brands and creators”.

Influencer marketing on TikTok may not be as efficient as it is on other platforms like Instagram. However, TikTok has almost unparalleled reach and constantly evolves in terms of data and conversion tools. Thus, it should be monitored.

Create your TikToks

This option gives you the most freedom. Open a professional TikTok account for your brand and start creating your organic content.

You can broadcast interactive posts such as product and service introductions, videos of your daily vibe, and even dance challenges. Spend some time browsing your “For You” page to find inspiration.


TikTok ads are already a proven marketing strategy for many brands. For example, Guess used TikTok to promote its Fall 2018 Denim Fit collection, encouraging the TikTok community to transform their style by wearing Guess jeans and using the hashtag #InMyDenim.

To meet the needs of businesses, TikTok offers different types of ads.

Here are all the types of ads you can run on the TikTok ad platform and its family of apps. Note that some ad types are not available in all regions.

  1. In-feed ads: 

These are ads that you can create yourself through the TikTok Ad Manager interface. In-feed ads include the following types of ads:

Image Ads: 

These work only in TikTok’s News Feed apps (BuzzVideo, TopBuzz, and Babe), and include an image, either a brand or app name and ad text.

Video ads: 

These are delivered as 5 to 60-second full-screen videos in the user’s “For You” feed. Each ad includes a video, display image, either a brand or an app name, and ad text.

Spark Ads: 

These allow your brand to boost organic content from your account or other users’ accounts. TikTok’s research shows that Spark ads have a 24% higher completion rate and a 142% higher engagement rate than standard In-Feed ads.

There are also Pangle ads and carousel ads, which are only available in TikTok Audience Network and News Feed respectively.

2. Brand takeover 

The brand takeover is an advertising format that appears in full screen for 5 to 60 seconds when users open the TikTok application. This format is particularly effective for boosting your brand awareness, promoting a product or service, or announcing an exceptional offer.

However, this format is ephemeral, you can only use it for 24 hours. After that, your advert will be transformed into a standard in-feed video.

3. Branded Hashtag challenge  

Hashtag challenges are probably the most popular TikTok ad formats. They allow users to actively engage with brands by participating in a challenge. Simply create a hashtag for your campaign or brand, accompany it with a video and a song, and encourage users to add their creative touch using the hashtag.

4. Branded effects 

Just like the Augmented Reality effects that Instagram and Snapchat offer, TikTok’s branded effects also use the same principle by adding 3D objects, filters, or stickers to engage TikTokers with your brand.

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What can we learn about content marketing from TikTok?

Generation Z: the consumer of tomorrow

For the first time, TikTok was able to reach a target that for years has been a demographic group considered unattainable: Generation Z. Although they were deemed too young to be a valuable consumer, by next year they will represent 25% of the purchasing power. This shift in buyer profile to a “younger” age group should no longer be ignored and proves that future marketing strategies must take their preferences into account.


The 8-second rule

If TikTok can teach us one golden rule of content marketing, it’s speed. With a never-ending stream of consumable content at our fingertips, there’s no denying that audiences have an extremely fine filter for retaining only what interests them, and quickly. If long, tedious white papers and guides contain valuable information for your target customer segment, try evolving the format in which you present that information. Infographics, short, punchy videos, and a web page that announces key benefits will be the surest way to gain a competitive edge and an impressive conversion rate.


Emotional marketing: A cause to support

For today’s consumers, a single product is not enough. They are now looking to actively support a brand that contributes to charitable causes or includes ethical donations in its pricing. The TikTok platform has been endorsed for its ability to spread positive messages, such as the #YouCanCryChallenge, where 3,000 users promoted mental health awareness through the creation and distribution of creative content. This form of activism creates a human relationship with the audience based on trust.

How to create a marketing strategy for TikTok?


Get familiar with TikTok

You shouldn’t approach marketing on TikTok the same way you would on Instagram or Facebook. TikTok is an entirely different social network, with unique trends, features, and user behaviors.

Explore the different features available on the TikTok app and note what filters, effects, and songs are trending. Also, learn about TikTok’s algorithm. Analyzing and understanding how TikTok ranks and displays videos in the “For You” tab can influence your content, hashtag, and engagement strategy.

If you want to learn more about TikTok’s algorithm, you can take the TikTok Business Learning Center courses:

Define your target audience

Who are you hoping to reach on TikTok? Before you start creating content, learn about the demographics of TikTok and identify who might be interested in your brand. TikTok is most popular among teens, but it would be a mistake to think of TikTok as a teen app.

Spend some time studying your audiences on other social media platforms and look for commonalities with TikTok. Don’t exclude new or unexpected audiences; your current audience may not be on TikTok, but there may be subgroups with related or slightly different interests on the platform. For example, a children’s book publisher’s audience could be authors on LinkedIn, readers on Instagram, and illustrators on TikTok.

Once you’ve targeted a potential audience, research the types of content they like and engage with. Then start brainstorming content ideas for your brand.

Conduct a competitive audit

Whether your competitors are on the platform or not, find at least three to five similar brands or organizations, and monitor what they are doing on the app. Try to learn what worked and what didn’t work for them. If it helps, use S.W.O.T. analysis to identify each competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Since TikTok is a creator-driven platform, don’t rule out including TikTok stars and influencers in this exercise. Find personalities who specialize in your area of expertise to identify creators you may be interested in.


Set goals that align with your business objectives

Whether you plan to reach a new audience, improve brand image, promote product awareness, or strengthen customer relationships through engagement, it’s important to justify your efforts. Consider using the S.M.A.R.T. goal framework to set goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

Like most social platforms, TikTok provides analytics for business accounts. You can check them to get a clearer picture of your goals.


Track your progress

Doing analytics is an important way to evaluate whether your strategies are effective or not. Check at least once a month to see if you are meeting your goals and if your content is interesting. If not, consider testing different types of posts to improve your performance and keep an eye on the trend.


Are you interested in creating advertising campaigns on TikTok? Eminence can help you set up your content strategy. Contact us for more information.

Do you want to implement an effective social media strategy and achieve your business goals?

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