Want to understand more about TikTok than just its synchronized dancing? Here’s a deeper look at TikTok marketing and some answers to your most pressing TikTok questions.
TikTok launched in 2017, but only recently, marketers started to take it seriously. (Maybe something to do with its 1 billion global users?) TikTok took fourth place in the list of most downloaded iPhone apps for 2019. In fact, the only apps with more downloads were Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. It even beat Facebook, Gmail, and Netflix!
In my last article, I looked at TikTok marketing essentials and shared a sneak peek into the videos that went viral on the platform. Now we’re switching up a gear.
As director of marketing agency Contentworks, I get a lot of questions about social media marketing—especially about the TikTok platform. So, in this article, I’m answering your top TikTok marketing questions, giving you advanced TikTok marketing tips, and showing you some cool tricks for TikTok. Let’s do this!
1. What Is a TikCode? And How Do I Use It?
The TikCode is a unique QR code assigned to your TikTok account. In my experience, these are more popular in China and Japan than in the UK and Europe. However, they are widely recognized and used. As a TikCode is unique, you can use it to promote your TikTok account.
Here’s how to get your TikCode:
- Go to Me on the menu bar.
- Next to your name at the top, tap the three dots.
- Click on Manage My Account.
- Select My TikCode.
- Save QR Code.
And you’re done! Now you can add your QR to marketing materials so people can find your channel.
In the same area of your app, you can also scan QR codes to enable you to follow users on the platform. For example, hovering my phone over this QR code below, takes me to its TikTok profile.
TikTok marketing takeaway
You can share the QR via your website, email, in magazines, on business cards or even at expos. TikTok users can scan the TikCode to quickly see your TikTok profile and easily follow you. If your target market is young millennials and Gen Z, incorporating TikTok QRs is something to consider.
About advertising … Many of you have asked me about TikTok advertising, so here’s a quick update on that. In April 2019, TikTok launched a beta of its “managed service platform,” which brought TikTok into the biddable ads space. Annoyingly, though, it still requires reps to run the ads. In other words, you probably can’t run your own ads yet. Check back in the coming months to see whether this changes.
2. What’s TikTok Duet? Should We Use It?
A TikTok duet is a video that gets placed beside another, so they can be watched simultaneously in the app. (A split screen, to put it another way.) The duet might be with your own videos or other TikTok users. If you haven’t disabled the feature, then your videos could be picked up.
Here’s how to duet with another user:
- Find a video you want to duet with–this bored kitty below, for example!
- Tap the Share button on the right of the video. (It’s grayed-out if the user has disabled duet.)
- Tap Duet, and the screen will split into two with you on one side like this:
- Record a clip by tapping the red Record button.
- Edit it by adding your usual effects like sound or filters.
- Tap the Next button.
- Adjust your preferences to private or public.
- Hit Post to publish your Duet.
The Duet is then available to your fans and to the fans of the original video creator.
TikTok Duet example
Global potato chip brand Lay’s launched the Smile Deke Dekho Duet Challenge on TikTok. The video featured brand ambassadors Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt sharing smiles with their fans and followers. The challenge urges users to share as many smiles as possible in less than 10 seconds. The challenge got five billion impressions and 10K user-generated videos from all over India in only 72 hours. The global LAY’S Smile campaign also featured limited-edition Lay’s Smile packs. It’s a clever way to merge digital with a physical product!
Sachin Sharma, director, sales and partnership, TikTok India, said, “We are thrilled to have once again collaborated with Lay’s for this unique challenge. This campaign is a reflection of TikTok’s mission to inspire creativity and bring joy.”
The Lay’s official India channel is inspirational for brands looking to utilize TikTok marketing.
TikTok marketing takeaway
Challenges are a big part of TikTok culture, and Duets are a great way to increase your brand’s exposure. How good the duet is, will, of course, dictate its reach.
If your brand is looking to go viral on TikTok, one of the best ways to do this is to do a duet challenge. A word of warning, though: Opening your Duet option also opens your brand to videos of ridicule or criticism. Consider public sentiment surrounding your brand, and, if in doubt, disable the feature.
Brand tip: Always think global. Your target audience might be in the UK, but that doesn’t mean users from around the world won’t want to participate. Keep your topics inclusive and available to everyone. Just like the smile campaign above.
3. How Do I Add Music to My Videos?
Before I start on this one, let me just point out that no other social media app allows users to add music to their videos. In fact, Facebook and Instagram will block out music based on copyright issues even if it’s just playing softly in the background. So again, TikTok is a trendsetter.
When you record a video, you can select background music from TikTok’s vast music library. Helpfully, the app has created music categories such as Viral, New Music, UK Hot 40, and even trending hashtag music like #IsolationGames.
Scroll down a little further … Now, TikTok also suggests popular music for different brand niches like Fashion & Beauty and Sport Energy.
Brand tip: If you want to create a sharable video, consider choosing the Viral option. This will resonate strongly with TikTok users who will be keen to share trending tunes. TikTok users can search for videos using a particular song via the Discover screen.
You can, of course, choose your own song by searching the TikTok music library. Here’s a short vid I made on video script writing featuring Benny Hill soundtrack. Sometimes, it just works!
Brand tip: If you have your own brand music or perhaps, you’re a musician, then you need to get your music on TikTok. CD Baby delivers songs to TikTok (also Spotify, Instagram, Apple Music). Once you’ve done that, you can search your own music and add it!
TikTok marketing takeaway
TikTok is on trend regarding music. Your social media team will want to check in with the latest trends before making a TikTok video. It’s also worth noting that trends move fast, so forget sitting in a board room discussing ideas for weeks. In fact, just forget sitting in a board room at all!
4. Should I Share TikToks to Other Channels?
The short answer to this is: Yes! Why not?
Of course, the aim is to keep all your channels firing with original content. But if you want to migrate a few fans from Twitter or Instagram over to your TikTok channel, you can do that in several ways:
First, you can place your QR code on another channel.
You can upload TikTok videos to your Instagram channel, but be aware that the viewing dimensions are slightly different. TikTok videos are vertical or 9:16. But Instagram doesn’t allow you to share full 9:16 videos.
The maximum size for an Instagram Post is 4:5, so TikTok videos are automatically cropped. This only matters if you have added text annotations or stickers in the top or bottom areas of your video. You can check out my earlier attempt here to see what I mean. Live and learn, right?
You can create a GIF from a TikTok video too! Simply tap the Share button on the right, select Share as GIF and then edit and Generate to save to your device. You can use GIFs on your Twitter channel with a CTA to check out your latest TikTok.
Tiktok marketing takeaway
If you’re marketing on TikTok, you should include the channel in your overall marketing strategy. That means the channel has its own purpose, focus, and KPIs.
Remember your audience on Facebook is now unlikely to be the same as your audience on TikTok. So, sharing TikTok videos to Facebook probably won’t be a useful exercise. The closest channels in terms of audience alignment are Instagram and TikTok whose users are predominantly millennial and Gen Z.
5. Should I Care About TikTok Analytics?
If you’re a brand, then you should care about your channel analytics, and TikTok is no exception.
Additionally, you can only see analytics if you open a pro account so it’s important to remember this if you’re there for business. Already set up a personal account? Go to your profile settings and tap the Manage My Account option. On the next screen, tap Switch to Pro Account. Simple.
In comparison to other networks, TikTok analytics are not especially advanced right now. I say right now because I fully expect this to change throughout 2020. Brands can view the location and gender of their followers. They can see which content they engage with best and at what times. They can also view other videos favored by their audience. This gives content creators a basic understanding of audience preference and ideas for future videos.
Brand tip: If you’re seeing high levels of engagement with a region you are not actively targeting, consider supporting it with additional marketing resources. For example, below you can see that 56% of my personal page fans are from Russia. I could, therefore, choose to add a Russian language landing page to generate more leads from fans.
Tiktok marketing takeaway
The Followers Graph is probably the most significant part of TikTok’s analytics. It shows your total follower count over a 7 or 28-day period.
So, by looking at the days you publish content, you can see whether your content was engaging enough to drive users to follow your brand.
6. What Do Tiktok Users Like Watching?
This should always be our priority. Understanding the demographics of a platform and their likes and dislikes need to be key considerations when we create a strategy. After all, there’s no point in uploading unpopular content!
- Creative challenges. TikTok users are creative and energetic. and love to be challenged by brands. Creating rewards and incentives for fans is a great way to go. Consider crafting a competition to vote and reward the best.
- Pets. Just like on Twitter, Instagram, and, well, every channel, TikTok users love their pets, especially cats. Videos including hashtags #cats #cat #catstagram #catlovers #catsoftiktok have over 5 billion views.
- Humor. The top viral Tiktok videos have included humor. Combine it with pets, and you’ve won! Check out this example that snatched 2.1 million likes!
- Music and Dance. Challenges featuring music and dance are huge on TikTok as you can see below.
- Authentic content. If you’re planning on crafting a carefully scripted video featuring your CEO then think again. There is nothing more appealing to TikTok users than a brand that is authentic. Think behind the scenes, secret insights, hidden camera. Washington Post, for example, provides exclusive looks into breaking news stories whilst combining humor. This positions its brand as relevant and entertaining.
- Keep it simple. TikTok videos are either 15 or 60 seconds long, but that’s the maximum. Trying to cram too much info, too many stickers, or too much text into one video is a killer. Stick to one message, and create a series of videos if you need to explain multiple concepts.
Brand tip: Want to find a good hashtag for your campaign? Check out https://tiktokhashtags.com/. Here you can check which hashtags are popular for your campaign and how many people are using them. You don’t need me to tell you to use hashtags with your videos!
Brands are switching up a gear on TikTok, and campaigns are becoming more polished and strategic than before. My prediction is that the channel is going to move fast in terms of advertising and analytics, so it’s essential brands get up and running. Did you enjoy reading this article? If you did, then hit share. Or tweet me your TikTok marketing questions.
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