Note: We've updated this article to reflect the most recent TikTok statistics for 2023.
The number of TikTok users is projected to grow by 35% within the next four years, reaching a global total of 2.5 billion. Despite its immense potential for enhancing brand visibility, driving web traffic, and increasing sales, it's worth noting that, as of 2023, only 26% of marketers worldwide are incorporating the platform into their marketing strategy.
TikTok's unique combination of rapid growth and relatively low adoption among marketers positions it as a game-changing opportunity within the digital marketing landscape. However, it does come with its own set of challenges. The short-form, lo-fi video format can be a steep learning curve compared to the more polished and curated content brands are used to, and many of the best practices from other social platforms may not apply.
To help you better understand the platform and develop an effective TikTok marketing strategy that can boost brand awareness and drive sales, this article will cover the following key areas:
TikTok marketing is the strategic use of the TikTok platform for brand promotion, which includes creating engaging, short videos related to your brand, using paid advertising options, collaborating with influencers, running user-generated content campaigns, and leveraging e-commerce features.
TikTok can be used as a marketing tool for brands, influencers, and creators alike. It's an effective way to connect with a younger, engaged audience and showcase brand personality plus creativity. To be successful, understanding the platform, its user base, and its unique content culture is essential.
But, understanding these factors can be a massive obstacle for many brands. Luckily, Dash Hudson offers a TikTok Insights solution that houses a suite of features to simplify understanding your audience and marketing on TikTok.
Marketing on TikTok is important because it can reach a vast and engaged user base. A user base that skews toward a younger demographic – which can be difficult for some brands to reach. A few key benefits of TikTok marketing include:
All these benefits make TikTok marketing a valuable tool for enhancing brand visibility and increasing sales.
TikTok is a unique social channel widely used by many generations, with over 1.7 billion monthly active users in 2023. While Gen Z is the most active on TikTok and makes up almost 40% of the user base, there are opportunities for brands to interact with all types of demographics on the app as popularity increases. Regarding gender statistics, it’s a pretty even split between male and female users in 2023.
Jumping onto another social channel as a brand can be scary, but TikTok isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The fast-paced, entertainment-focused content that comes from TikTok is redefining what users want to see from brands. Brands can showcase a different side of themselves on TikTok compared to how they are portrayed on other socials like Instagram.
Take Duolingo, for example. This brand has built a new reputation by embracing TikTok marketing. They stepped outside the corporate box that many brands fall into by participating in popular TikTok trends and occasionally pushing the envelope. Does this sound like something your brand is ready to do? Let’s start with setting up a business account.
Setting up your TikTok Business account is one of the most manageable parts of the process. All you have to do is select the menu option in the upper right-hand corner of your profile. Next, click ‘Manage Account’ then ‘Account Control’. Here, you will see the option to switch to a business account. Congratulations, your brand is ready to execute the perfect TikTok marketing strategy.
Enhancing brand engagement and growth through TikTok is a compelling strategy for brands, both established and starting from scratch. The TikTok growth journey can be fruitful and successful if you consider the following while building out your TikTok growth strategy.
First and foremost, think about your ‘why’ for showing up on these channels. Audiences flock to short-form video to see their favorite creators and brands showcase authentic, inspiring, educational, and funny content. Leverage this channel to grow your brand voice through product reviews and user-generated content (UGC).
The lo-fi content you create for TikTok is a perfect opportunity to show your audience what goes into building your brand. Offer behind-the-scenes impressions of what it’s like; whether it's from influencers or employees, this content will be a hit.
Top-performing content includes footage of campaign shoots, influencers unboxing products, lip-syncing to relatable sounds and employees having fun on the job. Brands should also use TikTok SEO strategies to optimize their account and content, encouraging users to find your account and increasing the chances of it appearing on the For You Page (FYP). People come to TikTok for lighthearted entertainment, not produced videos. Luckily, lo-fi short video is easy to film — all you need is your phone.
Influencer marketing has evolved into a creator-driven space, and consumers are now looking for content on TikTok that entertains and educates. Your brand should reinvigorate your influencer strategy on both TikTok and Instagram by working with creators who can bring your message to life in meaningful ways.
“We started contracting TikTok influencers to create content for us and then add it into our own team’s content plans.”
— Dana Nolan, Vital Proteins, Social Media Coordinator
Just as you would with any other channel, segment your content to see which creators drive results for your brand.
Jumping on trends and contributing to the conversation is one of the most important things to pay attention to when figuring out how to go viral on TikTok and when building out your TikTok growth strategy. Pay attention to what’s trending on the For You and Discovery pages to tailor content to fit your brand voice.
There’s always something that your brand can take advantage of to grow reach. Figure out creative ways to include your brand in ongoing TikTok trends and stand out from the crowd. Bookmark our blog, Top TikTok Trends for Brands to Follow, (we update it monthly) to save yourself time when searching for what’s trending. Dash Hudson also offers a Trending Sounds feature to simplify your work life.
TikTok is designed around scrolling from video to video; you only have a few seconds to make a first impression on your viewer. You need to keep your content front-loaded on entertainment to stop people from scrolling past and keep them focused on your brand.
It’s natural to expect your Instagram and TikTok accounts to have some crossover in content. Be strategic when filming so that you can show up with original content in both places without spending a ton of extra time creating content for your cross-channel marketing strategy. Food52 shares the same recipes to each channel, but the team knows that on Reels, people will engage with visuals of food and recipes alone, while on TikTok, they can lean into their personalities a little more.
To grow your following and engagement on each channel, you need to show up for Instagram and TikTok users with something (at least slightly) different in each social channel.
“We’ll do a couple different shots so that the Reel works for Reels and the TikTok works for TikTok. We don’t want each platform to feel the same.”
— Patrick Moynihan, Food52, Director of Social Media
Creating beautiful content that gets you noticed is the goal, but it’s the data that lets you know how it landed. With the launch of Dash Hudson’s Insights for TikTok, YouTube and Instagram Reels, brands now have all the metrics they need to output video supporting a holistic social entertainment strategy.
Use the same approach when planning your marketing strategy by opening up your TikTok analytics and paying attention to the posts generating the highest reach, video views and shares. You can switch to a business account (pro account) to see even more analytics for your brand. Analytics can also inform when the best time to post on TikTok is so you can figure out when your audience will engage with your content the most.
Look for similarities of top-performing posts within each app to help inform your strategy for curating a high-performing and visually pleasing feed.
When considering short-form video, the focus should be on audience enjoyment. According to a survey conducted by Marketing Week, the majority of Gen Z (74%) and those aged 26 and above (72%) say what they most want to see from brands is funny content. These statistics indicated an opportunity to experiment, take risks and have fun with new types of videos you’ve never made before, such as hashtag or dance challenges. Take a look at what TikTok influencers are doing. Their videos could give you valuable insights, and consider incorporating user-generated content into your strategy.
TikTok's video editing tool has many native effects that you can use to enhance your content and make it more attractive to audiences. Have fun with stickers or emojis to create fun and trendy videos or describe what’s going on with text. Experiment with the effects that drive the most engagement for your brand.
One of the best ways a brand can optimize its TikTok marketing strategy is by utilizing TikTok advertising. Why is TikTok good for advertising? Because of reach. Since TikTok is so popular, the possibilities are endless. Various ad types allow brands to tailor their advertising campaigns on TikTok to precisely what they need.
Now that your brand has a clear list of TikTok marketing action items to implement, it could feel overwhelming. A social media marketing tool is the key to launching a successful TikTok marketing strategy. With a tool like Dash Hudson as a part of your social media arsenal, you can schedule posts in advance, create a unique link in bio with Likeshop, manage relationships and UGC, track campaign success, and more. Beyond these features, your brand will have access to next-level reporting and thorough social analytics and benchmarks that matter. These exclusive features are exactly what your brand needs to see massive success with your TikTok growth strategy.
As time progresses, TikTok’s rapid growth in popularity shows no signs of slowing down. Social entertainment and short-form video will dominate the landscape of marketers' social media campaign strategies for the foreseeable future.
In light of this, it has become increasingly imperative for brands to utilize TikTok and develop a comprehensive, long-term marketing strategy for this platform.
To excel in creating a TikTok strategy with exceptionally engaging ad campaigns and captivating Reels, brands must harness the potential of the latest trends, tap into the creative force of TikTok content creators, and incorporate TikTok analytics to steer their approach. To learn more about building successful TikTok marketing strategies, check out our TikTok Marketing Playbook, or schedule your Dash Hudson demo to see how our TikTok Insights feature can benefit your brand.
TikTok videos can be between 1 second and 3 minutes long; however, they should typically be between 10 to 15 seconds long for optimal performance. Ideally, you want your videos to get to the point quickly to stop viewers from moving on to the next.
TikTok recommends posting 3-5 times per week, similar to other social media platforms. Posting at a cadence less than that makes it difficult for your brand to be discovered in the TikTok algorithm, and on the other hand, posting more than five times per week may be too much for some of your followers. If you want your content to be seen by more people, consider investing in TikTok ads.
According to TikTok, sticking to 2-3 hashtags helps your posts perform best — and no, using #fyp won’t up your chances of hitting the For You Page. The TikTok algorithm is difficult to predict, but you’re better off using hashtags more relevant to your post to find your ideal target audience.
Your TikTok videos should have 9:16 dimensions and a full-screen, vertical, 1920 x 1080 crop. You can play around with the size, but your video will either not take up the full screen, or the top and bottom will get cut off, so it’s best to stick with the aspect ratio that’s native to the channel while video editing.