A Beginner’s Guide to TikTok
by Abby Esteireiro, Digital Content and Social Media Marketing, Innovate By Day
TikTok may feel like a completely different planet to those of us who grew up with MySpace or no social media at all. Platforms come and go these days, but unlike the early pandemic bread-making trend, TikTok is still around and here to stay. Here’s why you should get on TikTok and learn to wield its power:
TikTok 101: What Is TikTok? Why TikTok?
TikTok is not just a kids' playground. Recent data has shown that while most users on TikTok are under 25, 42% of users are 35+. People of all ages are beginning to assemble on TikTok, and it’s becoming a serious competitor in the social media landscape.
In 2021, TikTok became the 6th most used social media platform globally.
The app has several unique features— detailed filters, trendy music, and the ability to duet someone else’s video, to name a few. These built-in features grant any user the power to create short and engaging TikToks in a super accessible way.
More accessibility = more people using the platform = more diverse content types like vlogs of various styles, thirst traps, tutorials, POV videos, montages, and the list goes on. Many niche communities, like #Booktok or bartending TikTok, have found a place to express themselves and tap into a worldwide audience.
When On TikTok, Do As The TikTok-ers Do
For your brand to succeed on TikTok, it’s critical to think and create like a TikTok-er. On this app, creators walk a fine line between authenticity and performance. Users can easily differentiate between organic posts and advertisements, so speak to them in their visual language.
Let’s take a look at some of the top techniques used on TikTok and how you can use them in your next marketing campaign:
Duets - Akintoye, Content Creator
Duets and stitches are some of TikTok’s most unique features. If you’re stuck on ideas for content, they’re a great tool. Your TikTok can be as simple as reacting to someone else’s video using Duets. Or take it one step further and respond directly to their video by using a Stitch.
Akintoye is a Toronto-based rapper that went viral on TikTok by dueting viral videos or other people’s musical beats and creating original raps on top of them. He has mastered the art of user engagement by using interaction as the foundation of his content, and you can too!
Text-to-Speech - Marvel Studios
Text-to-Speech is an easy way to make your video more TikTok friendly. If you’re making a listicle-style video like Marvel or a tutorial, this feature is the perfect way to guide the audience, similar experience to traditional narration. So many TikTok creators use it that the audience is quite used to the chipper robotic tones of the available voices.
Capture the viewer’s attention using an enticing title and accompany your narration with captions. (Bonus points if Oscar Isaac is in it.)
Trending Audio - Entertainment Tonight
Working with a piece of long-form content as your source material? No problem. There are endless storytelling opportunities, especially if you use sound to your advantage, like in this video by Entertainment Tonight.
Use trending audio to do most storytelling work for you (and help boost your video in the TikTok algorithm). Audios like the one above, “Married Life” from Up, can elevate your footage by evoking mood and tugging at the heartstrings!
But tread carefully when using trending audio in branded posts, especially anything with a paid element behind it. As with any artist, ensure you are crediting (and paying) for their work— especially smaller creators.
Vlog - Selena Gomez, Actor
Have some unique personalities on your team or people with amazing comedic chemistry? Lean into that!
Only Murders in the Building star Selena Gomez captures short behind-the-scenes clips on her phone of comedy legends Martin Short and Steve Martin. No special effects are needed with two powerhouses on your side!
Use a direct-to-camera style vlog to connect with your audience personally. Put them right into the action, and talk to them as if you’re 1-on-1 with a friend. Direct-to-camera vlogs are a great way to connect and build long-lasting audience relationships.
Punchy Clips - Community (TV Series)
Got a movie, TV show or web series to promote? Here’s a simple but effective way to share original clips in a TikTok-friendly way:— choose a short, snappy clip from your content and add dialogue captions directly in the TikTok app.
If your source audio is particularly funny and memorable, you might find it gets re-used and re-shared by other users in their videos. Some of our current favourites are the “Don’t Be Suspicious” audio from Parks and Recreation or “She’s Really Good” from Disney’s Camp Rock.
Like all new platforms, TikTok can feel overwhelming -- it’s unlike anything that’s come before it. It’s already spawned a high-profile imitator in Meta’s Reels (aka Instagram and Facebook). It can be hard to judge whether or not to break into a new space, but with its incredible growth over the last couple of years (due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic), it’s a platform with a tremendous potential audience and a style all its own. It’s an especially good fit for the creative industries. If the content is strong, on-brand, and fits with your target audience, we can help you grow your audience with a well-executed targeted content campaign.
Interested in TikTok but not sure where to start? Book a meeting with the Innovate By Day team for a tailor-made TikTok strategy.