Do you primarily associate TikTok with trendy dances and singing? Then this article is for you. Today, we're hitting on how TikTok works for businesses, but most importantly- is it right for your marketing strategy, or should you be focusing your attention somewhere else?
A Little Background on How TikTok Works for Businesses
TikTok is an entertainment-focused video sharing platform, designed to learn the individual user's likes and dislikes and provide them with a feed of content tailored to their interests. Oversimplified, the longer a user watches videos of certain topics and types, combined with liking, following, commenting, and sharing, of course, the more similar content will be placed into their For You Page. The objective of businesses on TikTok is to create consumable, entertaining content, that then gets traction and interest through the use of popular sounds and hashtags, and produces the content on a steady basis.
With more than 500 million active monthly users, TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform and is one of the most likely to feature quality organic (non-sponsored) content to its users. So the answer to the million-dollar question should be simple, right? There are caveats. Creating content that creates a Return-on-Investment on TikTok requires time, research, creativity, and consistency. Keep reading on how I help clients decide if TikTok is the missing piece to their marketing strategy or if it will end up becoming a dead-end time suck on their resources.
Is TikTok right for my business?
This is a loaded question- in an ideal world a presence on every platform is never a bad idea, but in the real world of limited time, staffing, resources, etc. each marketing effort has to have a return-on-investment and relate back directly to your strategic priorities. When clients ask me, "Should we be on TikTok?", there are a few questions, in this order, that I ask to guide us to an answer:
What are your overall goals with social media?
Typically, the answer is to sell x amount of product, drive qualified leads, and build brand awareness. From there we dig a little deeper.
Who is your key demographic?
Not surprising, but the primary demographic on TikTok is fairly young. If the majority of your target audience thinks TikTok is the sound a clock makes then this app may leave you spinning your wheels with little to show for your time and creativity.
41 percent of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24.
56% of TikTok users are male and 44% are female.
What marketing efforts are yielding the highest Return-on-Investment for you right now?
This may take more than an off-the-top-of-your-head response, but it's an important question to answer because it directly relates to our following questions that will inform the decision. Because of time and resource constraints, if the business or organization isn't ready to completely outsource TikTok content creation and strategy, then something will have to be eliminated off a team member's plate to make time for this new social media endeavor. During this breakdown of results, my clients sometimes find that they are spending time marketing to a specific social media platform with little results, leaving room to make the move to TikTok content creation. It's important to determine what marketing efforts have the highest and lowest yield so attention isn't pulled from the activities that are actually making you money.
How easily demonstrable is your business?
TikTok is a "show and tell" platform, so the more demonstrable your business is, the easier it is to create content.
How much time can you devote to regular research and content creation?
This is the most important question when evaluating if a business should be on TikTok. Just like going to the gym, you don't get results just from showing up and walking in the door. If you're expecting TikTok to support your goals with actionable results, I advise clients to plan for at least 5-7 hours per week on content research and creation. If you go into it without a plan, and time allotted for work within the platform, then the likely result is that you will have wasted time and resources with little to show from it.
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