TikTok is the go-to platform for short-form mobile videos, with a global reach of over 1 billion users. And it’s not just Gen Z that’s obsessed – TikTok is quickly gaining popularity with older generations as well.
The platform is unique in that it’s highly engaging, offering a mix of entertainment, inspiration, and information, all in short-form videos.
From their likes and dislikes to their trends and challenges, TikTok users are highly active and vocal, making it the perfect place for brands to connect with potential customers.
Their algorithm is unlike any other. It’s the birthplace of viral content, trends, and memes, offering a never-ending supply of entertainment.
But how can brands take advantage of this?
The answer is TikTok influencer marketing.
TikTok influencers are creative, relatable, and have a huge following of engaged fans.
The Showdown for Short-form Video: TikTok Vs. Instagram Reels
The two hottest short-form video platforms right now are TikTok and Instagram Reels. Both offer brands an opportunity to reach a wider audience and boost their online visibility. But which one is right for your business?
The answer lies in understanding the differences between the two platforms.
TikTok is all about creative self-expression. It’s a place for people to share their stories, talents, and passions.
On the other hand, Instagram Reels is more focused on trends and challenges. It’s a place where people go to discover new trends and participate in fun challenges.
Below is a quick breakdown of the key differences between TikTok and Instagram Reels.
- Launched: 2017
- Video length: 1 to 60 seconds
- Growing ad platform
- Automatic sound play
- For You Page (an algorithm that recommends content based on interests)
- Creator fund
- Drives pop culture and memes
- 800 million + monthly active users (worldwide)
- Skewed toward Gen Z: 69% of TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 24
- Influencer persona: Creative, relatable, real
- Mainly Gen Z, but gaining popularity with older generations
TikTok is a short-form video platform with over 1 billion monthly active users globally. It’s known for its creative and relatable content, as well as its growing ad platform.
Creators gain serious traction on TikTok by posting funny, impressive, or widely creative videos that showcase their talents and passions. The platform is also well-known for driving pop culture and memes.
Hashtag Discovery: Hashtags drive content discovery on TikTok. When you search for a specific hashtag, you’ll see videos from various creators, not just the ones you follow.
Use trending hashtags to get your videos in front of more people, and consider using a mix of popular and niche hashtags to reach your target audience.
Navigation Bar: The navigation bar on TikTok consists of five tabs: Home, Friends, +, Inbox, and Profile.
- The Home tab is where you’ll find the For You Page, a personalized feed of videos TikTok thinks you’ll enjoy.
- The Friends tab lets you see what your friends are up to on the app.
- The + tab is where you can create and upload new videos.
- The Inbox tab is where you can message other TikTok users.
- And the Profile tab is where you can view your profile and stats.
On the Following or “For You” feed, you’ll find the following sections:
- Visit Profile: This is where you can view your profile and stats.
- One Tap Likes: This is where you can like or comment on videos with just one tap.
- View Comments: This is where you can view video comments.
- View Shares: This is where you can view how many times a video has been shared.
- 140 Character Caption: This is where you can add a caption to your video.
- Original or In-app Stream Songs: This is where you can choose to use an original song or a stream from the TikTok app.
- Live Broadcasting: At the top left of the app, you’ll see a “Live” icon. That is where you can start a live broadcast.
The Bottom Line: TikTok is the perfect platform for businesses that want to reach a young, engaged audience. It’s also a great place to test out new content and see what resonates with your audience.
Video length: In September 2020, Instagram lengthened their reel duration to 30 seconds, then on July 2021, they increased reel durations to 60 seconds.
Recently, some users have reported seeing 90-second reel durations in the app.
- Instagram overall has 1 billion + monthly active users
- It can be up to 90 minutes long and can be saved as drafts
- More polished produced videos
- Option to add licensed music or use the original audio
- No “For You” page (yet), but there is a Trending page
- Can be posted to feed, stories, or IGTV
- Can be shared on other platforms like Facebook and Twitter
- There is an Explore page with popular hashtags and creators
- More creative freedom than TikTok (no duets, etc.)
- Heavy Millennial user-base: 35% of users are between 25 and 34
- Influencer Persona: Millennials in fashion, lifestyle, beauty, and travel
Instagram Reels is a new feature that allows users to create and share short-form videos on Instagram.
Reels can be up to 90 seconds long and can be posted to the feed, stories, or IGTV. Launched in August 2020, Reels is Instagram’s answer to the popular short-form video app TikTok.
How It Works:
Users can create Reels by selecting the “Reels” option in the Instagram camera.
From there, they can choose to use existing video or audio, or they can record new video or audio. Once they’ve selected their content, they can add effects, filters, and other editing tools to make their Reel more engaging.
Reels can be up to 90 seconds long and can be posted to the feed, stories, or IGTV.
Instagram handpicks popular Reels to feature on the Explore page, where users can discover new creators and content.
On the left-hand side of the screen, users will see a variety of creative tools that they can use to make their Reel more engaging. These include:
- Audio: Users can select from a variety of licensed music or use the original audio from their video.
- Effects: There are a variety of effects that users can add to their Reel, including AR filters, face filters, and timers.
- Text: Users can add text to their Reel using a variety of fonts and colors.
- Speed: Users can adjust the speed of their video to make it faster or slower.
- Stickers: There are a variety of stickers that users can add to their Reel, including emojis, GIFs, and hashtags.
You can create reels by recording a series of video clips, one at a time, all at once, or using a video from your gallery.
Recording a reel: First, tap the Reels option in the Instagram camera. Then, tap the Record button and start recording your video. You can record up to 15 seconds of video at a time. When you’re done, tap the Stop button.
Activating Influencers on TikTok
With over 1000 million MAUs in 2022, TikTok continues to grow in popularity. And with that growth comes opportunities for marketers to reach new audiences.
TikTok continues to attract talented creators, many of whom have built large followings on the platform. And as TikTok becomes more mainstream, brands are starting to take notice.
Here are some of the attractive aspects of TikTok:
- It’s the birthplace of viral content: TikTok is known for its creative and funny videos. It’s the perfect platform to launch a new product or campaign because there’s a good chance it will go viral.
- It has a young, engaged audience: TikTok has a mostly Gen Z user base, with 62% of US users between the ages of 10 and 29. That is a highly coveted demographic for marketers.
- It’s a great place to test new ideas: Because of its creative user base, TikTok is a great platform to test out new ideas. If it works on TikTok, it has a good chance of working elsewhere.
TikTok’s audience is primarily female: TikTok’s female user base is 57%. That makes it an attractive platform for reaching female audiences.
Also, 60% of TikTok users are Gen Young Millennials, a highly coveted demographic for marketers.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons why TikTok is such an attractive platform for marketers let’s look at how you can activate influencers on TikTok.
Top Brand Categories:
Emerging Top Brand Categories:
- Auto and Transportation
- Technology and Gaming
- Home and Garden
- Service (Financial, Automotive, etc.)
How to Define Your Brand Voice on TikTok
Your brand voice is your tone and personality when communicating with an online audience.
It’s how you make your brand stand out from the competition and build trust with potential customers.
On TikTok, your brand voice should be fun, creative, and relatable. You want to come across as genuine and authentic, not sales-y or pushy.
Your content should be entertaining and informative, not dull or promotional. You want to ensure your videos are shareable and appeal to TikTok’s mostly Gen Z user base.
That said, how you define your brand voice will ultimately depend on your business and what you’re trying to achieve with your TikTok marketing.
Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start creating content that aligns with your goals.
Not sure where to start? Here are some tips:
- Be yourself: Be genuine, authentic, and relatable. Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
- Be creative: Think outside the box and get creative with your videos. Be fun, not a snooze fest or promotional.
- Be helpful: Provide value to your audience by sharing practical tips, tricks, and advice.
How to Activate TikTok Influencers
There are a few different ways to activate TikTok influencers for your brand. You can work with an influencer marketing platform, reach out to influencers directly, or use TikTok’s brand partnership program.
Here’s a step-by-step look at how you can activate TikTok influencers for your brand:
Create Your Brand Page: You should start by creating a TikTok account for your brand. Before you start posting videos, take some time to optimize your page. Fill out your profile, add relevant keywords, and include a link to your website.
As social marketers know, your brand doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You must actively participate in the community to get the most out of TikTok.
Custom Sounds: Formerly Musical.ly, TikTok is huge on music. You can use this to your advantage by creating custom sounds for your brand. That is a great way to get your brand’s name out there and make it more discoverable on the platform.
Alternatively, brands can secure licenses for sponsored collaborations with artists to feature their songs in videos. That is a great way to get your brand in front of a larger audience and tap into the power of influencers.
Music Licensing: When working with verified content creators on TikTok, they have the option to use the Commercial Music Library at no cost. That allows them to access a broad range of well-known tracks, artists to feature in their videos, and lesser-known tracks for more creative content.
Influencer Partnerships: Once your account is live and you have a few videos, you can start reaching out to influencers. You can either work with an influencer marketing platform or reach out to influencers directly.
You don’t want to limit yourself to the Charli D’Amelios of the world. There are plenty of up-and-coming TikTok creators whose content, not just reach, complements your brand voice and values.
Work alongside them to produce creative, on-brand content that will resonate with your target audience.
Community Engagement: When consumers follow your brand on TikTok, they’re not just showing an interest in your product or service. They’re also looking to engage with your brand on a deeper level.
Make sure you’re actively engaging with your audience by liking and commenting on their videos, responding to their comments on your videos, and running TikTok contests and challenges.
Examples of Brands Doing TikTok Right
Now that we’ve gone over some tips on getting started with TikTok marketing let’s look at some examples of brands doing it right.
therealfreal: The milkshake company has found success on TikTok by partnering with popular content creators on the platform.
They’ve also created their own hashtag, #frealmilkshake, which encourages users to share videos of themselves shaking up the Real Freal cup.
This hashtag has been viewed over 123.5 million times, showing the power of influencer marketing on TikTok.
Chipotle: The fast-casual restaurant has been one of the most successful brands on TikTok, amassing over 1.7 million followers on the platform.
They’ve found success by partnering with popular TikTok creators, such as Zach King and Loren Gray.
They’ve also run several successful hashtag challenges, such as the #ChipotleLidFlip and #GuacDance.
These campaigns have helped them to build a strong presence on TikTok and connect with their target audience.
TikTok Dos and Don’ts
- Create a TikTok Brief: Don’t repurpose your campaigns from another social media platform. Instead, you want to tailor your content for the TikTok platform specifically. That means understanding the format, what type of content does well, and the dos and don’ts of the platform.
- The Genius in Simplicity: You don’t need an overly complicated concept to succeed on TikTok. Some of the most successful videos on the platform are shot in one take with little to no editing. Keep your concepts simple and easy to execute to increase your chances of success.
- Culturally Relevant Topics: When creating your content, ensure you’re up-to-date on the latest trends and topics popular with TikTok users. That will help you create relevant and engaging content for your target audience.
- Work with Content Creators that Match with Your Brand’s Voice, Tone, and Values: Not all influencers are created equal. So be sure to work with content creators that match your brand’s voice, tone, and values. That will help you create on-brand content that resonates with your target audience.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously: The whole point of TikTok is to have fun. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your content and try new things. Making mistakes is okay, as long as you learn from them.
- Don’t Stifle Creative Freedom: The creator is the star of the show on TikTok. They have the creative vision and expertise in creating engaging content.
Don’t try to control everything they do, as this will stifle their creativity and prevent them from creating viral-worthy videos around your campaign.
- Don’t Overthink It: As we mentioned before, some of the most successful videos on TikTok are shot in one take with little to no editing.
Don’t overthink your concepts, and try to make them too complicated. Keep it simple and let the creativity of the content creators shine through.
- Don’t Focus on Conversion or Sales: The TikTok platform is not the place to hard sell your product or service.
Instead, focus on creating content that is entertaining and informative. That will help you build a relationship with your target audience and eventually lead to sales down the line.
- Don’t Think of TikTok as a One-off Tactic: TikTok should be considered a long-term strategy.
It takes time to build a following and create engaging content. Don’t think of it as a one-off tactic that you can use to boost your sales quickly.
- Don’t Be Beat Up on Planning: The content you create for TikTok should be carefully planned and thought out. This platform is all about spontaneity and being in the moment, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put any thought into your content.
Take the time to plan out your concepts and ensure they align with your overall marketing goals.
TikTok Influencer Content
What content performs well on TikTok?
There is a wide range of content that performs well on TikTok. However, some of the most popular types of content include:
- Comedy sketches
- Lip syncing videos
- Musical performances
- Product reviews
So, what qualifies as quality content on TikTok?
When it comes to creating quality content, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Is the content original and unique?
- Does the content align with your brand’s voice and values?
- Is the content entertaining or informative?
- Is the content relevant to your target audience?
If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then you’re on the right track.
Now that we’ve covered what kind of content performs well on TikTok, let’s look at how you can use influencers to help you create it.
TikTok Influencer Marketing
There are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to TikTok influencer marketing:
- Make sure the influencer is a good fit for your brand.
- Work with influencers who have a creative vision and are experts in creating engaging content
- Don’t try to control everything they do, as this will stifle their creativity.
- Focus on creating content that is entertaining and informative
- Consider TikTok influencer marketing as a long-term strategy.
- Plan your concepts carefully and make sure they’re aligned with your overall marketing goals.
Now that we’ve gone over some general tips, let’s look at how you can find the right TikTok influencers for your brand.
How to Find the Right TikTok Influencer for Your Brand
There are a few things you should keep in mind when searching for TikTok influencers:
- Look for influencers who have a large and engaged following.
- Make sure the influencer’s content aligns with your brand’s voice and values.
- Look for influencers who are experts in creating engaging content.
- Use TikTok’s search function to find relevant influencers to your industry or niche.
Once you’ve found a few potential influencers, reach out and introduce yourself. Let them know what you’re looking for and see if they’re interested in working with you.
TikTok Influencer Marketing Strategies
Now that you know how to find the right TikTok influencer for your brand, let’s take a look at some specific marketing strategies you can use:
- Collaborate with an influencer on a product review.
- Have an influencer create a tutorial on how to use your product.
- Ask an influencer to mention your brand in their next video.
- Sponsor an influencer’s video.
- Collaborate with an influencer on a comedy sketch.
- Have an influencer lip sync to a song while using your product.