Updated: Sep 18, 2020
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of answers to questions we know brands are too embarrassed to ask when beginning their TikTok journey. These questions are written and answered by our team of TikTok experts at Fanbytes who have worked with over 170 brands on TikTok campaigns. Our years of experience working with both major brands such as Sony, Burger King, and Boohoo to more unorthodox brands such as ACCA, have taught us what brands really want to know about TikTok marketing.
TikTok can be a minefield for brands and creators jumping on the platform in 2020. It’s content, values and functionalities are unlike any other social media platform, so it can take time, effort and resources to get it exactly right. Along the way, it’s easy to run into issues and to have unanswered questions. I’m betting that you even have a few floating around your head right now that you may be hesitant to ask.
Do I have to create videos in-app?
The short answer to this is yes. The longer answer is no, but if you want to be successful on TikTok, then yes. Does that make sense?
Let me break it down.
Ultimately, what works on other platforms doesn’t mean it's going to work on TikTok. The content on TikTok is authentic, creative and quirky so if the content is heavily produced or too focused on the aesthetic value like the content on Instagram, it simply won’t work.
Users can see through overproduced and heavily branded content as it sticks out like a sore thumb when they’re scrolling through their feeds. Instead, your brand needs to mimic the organic in-feed content that is found all over the platform so that you can come across as a 'user' and less of an ‘intruder’. You can do this by creating the videos in-app and by leveraging the native tools and features that TikTok offers.
What’s more, repurposed content tends to be low-quality which the algorithm flags. What’s the point of spending time, money and resources on content for it to just end up sitting in TikTok’s bad books?
So, you need to understand what type of content works on TikTok and employ it in your own strategy as this is the most effective way to build a profile on the app. An example comes from a campaign we activated with Plato, a gaming app, where we asked our influencers to film a video in TikTok and create a comedy skit whilst promoting the app. This paid off as we drove an average watch time of 75% twice the amount of Tik tok and a strong CPI.
Can we still advertise on TikTok whilst banning negotiations are happening?
During this time of ambiguity and uncertainty over TikTok’s future in the US, campaigns are still going ahead. Despite no final deals being made there are rumours circulating about Microsoft, in particular, who want to buy the app and keep the immensely popular social media thriving in the US.
Wallarroo media estimates that TikTok has around 80 million monthly active users in the United States. 60% of which are female and 40% are male. 60% are between the ages of 16-24 with 26% between the ages 25-44. This is a massive audience for brands to leverage and the effects would be devastating for those companies, the millions of users on the platform and the thousands of jobs at TikTok itself.
TikTok’s US general manager, Vanessa Pappas, commented in a recent video that TikTok is not going anywhere: “We are here for the long run. Continue to share your voice here and let’s stand for TikTok,” She went on to say that “Millions of Americans who use TikTok every day, bringing their creativity and joy into our daily lives. We’ve heard your outpouring of support and we want to say thank you. We’re not planning on going anywhere".
TikTok are also being flexible in regards to TikTok ads being run during this period, with full guarantee of a re-executing campaign under any new ownership. This will be voided and companies will see a full payment if they cannot run. Our advice is to continue as usual, as Old Navy, Eddie Bauer and PacSun are doing.
What metrics can you measure on TikTok?
In TikTok analytics, you can get a full profile overview of your channel as well as content and follower insights. All of these will help you have a clearer understanding of your brand’s overall performance on the platform so that you can gather learnings to create a fully-optimised TikTok strategy personalised to you.
Your profile overview on analytics will summarise total video, profile views, and follower count with an analysis of these views over the past 7 or 28 days. This information can also be found on a day-by-day basis. By digging into follower insights, you can see more clearly which videos on which days aligned to follower growth. This will help you inform your user engagement strategy going forward and make the necessary learnings on where you’re going wrong.
To find out your follower conversion rate, you should ask yourself the following questions:
What were your total video views?
How many users visited your profile?
How many people followed your profile?
Content insights are also extremely helpful for brands. With these, you can see post-specific views from the last 7 days and it even shows you which of your videos have made it on the ‘For You’ page within this period. By clicking on a specific post, you can find out the total ‘likes’ and comments received, total shares, video views, playtime, traffic sources and audience territories.
This will give you great insight into who your audience is and whether your message is going through to the right people. It also shows where they are in the world, and whether a piece of content is holding their attention. With this information, you can keep honing the content you create to better target the audience you’re looking for and refine your content creation processes.
In order to better determine your audience’s engagement with your posts, look at your follower insights. There you can see general information about them including how many you have gained or lost over the week. In a similar way to Google Analytics, this section gives you an overview of the gender of your audience, location breakdown and when your followers are active on TikTok. This information will help you to focus on how to best reach your audience and whether you are targeting the right places and people.
The most important area in TikTok analytics to observe is the bottom section, where you can see the videos your followers are watching and sounds they’ve been listening to. This is invaluable knowledge to have as a brand because it can help you when deciding what content to make by giving you an understanding of what content is popular amongst your followers allowing you to jump on what content is already working for them.
How do I tap into Gen Z trends on TikTok when I’m 50?
Despite the majority of TikTok users being between around the ages of 7-24, some extremely popular accounts and viral videos include people outside this age range. Some of the most notable are @WashingtonPost, @grandadjoe1933 and the success that was the #blindinglightschallenge where parents would recreate the dance with their kids.
The reasons why these have done so well on TikTok is because they have understood the behaviours of the platform, its trends, left their inhibitions outside of the app, and put their own personal spins on their content.
TikTok is loved by Gen Z because it gives them a chance to see behind the scenes of brands and gives them the opportunity to see sides of people they rarely get to see. This is why parents, grandparents and older generations are still able to tap into the app by having fun, getting involved with Gen Z culture and expressing themselves through their content.
So, to answer your question, you just kind of do it. Your age doesn’t stop you from getting ‘down with the kids’ on TikTok. To help this, we’d suggest being active on the platform and staying up to date with the trends. If you go onto your ‘discover’ page, you’ll be able to see all of the latest trending hashtags and challenges. Start by watching a handful of these videos to find out what the trends are, why they’ve done so well and think about how you can apply these findings to your own content.
Fortunately, we spend a large portion of time studying the app and send out a TikTok trends newsletter every Tuesday and Thursday where we share all of the trends going viral at the time. We share our expert insights on why they’ve gone viral and how you can replicate the same success. These weekly newsletters have proven immense value for over 1000 brands who have signed up to receive the insights and have been able to take their learnings and action them in their own TikTok marketing and activity.
Is there a way for influencers to drive traffic to our website on TikTok?
Yes, influencers can now input links into their bios or straight into the videos they create. This is especially useful for apps or mobile marketers who are attempting to drive downloads. However, this link can lead to anywhere from your website, app, or ticket purchases.
We have seen larger scale companies do this to promote their products, movie trailers, or even promote an online sale they are having.
No matter what your age or brand, your takeaway from these pointers should be to understand TikTok from the inside out. Nobody has all of the answers as TikTok trends are changing every single day and so the only way to truly make waves on the platform is to be active on the platform. Gather your insights and arm yourselves with the answers to your questions and you should be well on your way to building a killer profile on the app.