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With one billion global active users and more expected in the coming year, TikTok is driving significant growth for brands of all sizes and industries.
From transforming side hustles to successful businesses to immortalizing a pug named Noodle, TikTok’s unconventional virality is creating tangible, real-world opportunities for brands. The social platform even inspired millions of people to recreate an ASMR salmon bowl video (which, according to Instacart, spiked ingredient orders by 97% during the trend’s peak).
Unlike legacy platforms like Facebook and Twitter that have become “cheugy”—a word coined on the platform itself and is associated with things that are out of touch and outdated—TikTok rewards originality over volume of spend, enabling any brand to reach a targeted and engaged audience.
In short, TikTok creates moments—moments that become experiences enjoyed and shared around the globe. More than a marketing channel, TikTok is a key to the future for brands. Here’s how your brand can lead TikTok in 2022.
Champion the next generations
The future prosperity of brands relies on reaching new generations.
With over half of Gen Z consumers using the platform daily, there are long-term implications to winning on the platform and they shed a light on the future of marketing—the importance of creating a moment or experience for users that form a connection and loyalty over time.
Especially as it rises in engagement and legacy platforms lose share to their younger counterparts, TikTok is the key to reaching younger demographics that are gaining significant market power.
They’re culturally driven and outspoken, and as a result, they’re turning to their trusted brands and peers on TikTok for recommendations on everything from cleaning products to travel hacks, and even how to invest in the stock market.
Denny’s, for example, is featuring student athletes to celebrate the accomplishments of underrepresented groups and connect with younger diners. Brands have an extraordinary opportunity to champion these young customers as key influencers and make a powerful impact that goes beyond a product launch.
Bring your brand personality to life
Understanding that audiences on TikTok respond better to authenticity instead of hard selling, successful brands on TikTok harness the power of entertaining content to create experience and drive engagement.
For social media marketers, this marks a new approach to content creation. When in doubt, unhinged and comedic content is the answer.
Violating all previous norms of social media marketing, Duolingo’s TikTok is the perfect example of the impact this strategy can have on a modern brand. Racking up over 58.6 million likes since February 2021, Duo the Owl pines for Dua Lipa’s love, mocks the brand’s legal team and trolls users and celebrities.
Just like the other social media platforms, TikTok is saturated with branded content, making it critical for marketers to change up their typical approach. Going beyond the scope of what the product is, marketers create exponential opportunities for content that are geared towards entertaining and engaging users and thus driving brand awareness.
Success on TikTok is driven by consistent engagement, and sometimes you have to be a little unhinged to achieve it.
Create a moment, not an ad
TikTok’s interest-based algorithm allows brands to create a moment by reaching targeted audiences in a more impactful way.
Dunkin’s partnership with TikTok superstar Charli D’Amelio is a prime example. Dunkin’ tapped into the Gen Z zeitgeist at peak popularity, leading to hundreds of thousands of drinks sold across the nation.
But you don’t have to be Dunkin’ to hit big ROI through influencer partnerships. TikTok provides a unique opportunity: A creator doesn’t need millions of followers to go viral.
Engagement is the holy grail of TikTok and should be your brand’s main focus. An influencer partnership, innovative product or unhinged video should merely be the tipping point in a larger strategy.
Ask yourself questions like: How can users duet this video to continue the conversation? How can this tag capture the attention and engagement of our target market? Is there also an opportunity to raise visibility or support for a cause that ties into the brand’s mission?
From there, you’ll be able to create true moments and experiences that lead to lasting connections for brands and fans will help spread your message.