It was the platform that was the most downloaded app of 2020.
Sound-on is the norm.
And brands are FLOCKING to TikTok to work with creators (even if they don't maintain a presence there).
If you want to work with brands, TIKTOK is where it's at, y'all.
In the very beginning of 2020 at my day job at Burt's, I listed TikTok as an “observe” platform in our social media strategy, meaning we'd keep an eye on it, but we weren't diving in yet with organic or paid content. Fast forward to March 2021. We've done multiple influencer campaigns, including an official Hashtag Challenge last month that garnered 9 BILLION views so far. You better believe that's going on my performance review this year haha. (It was the #TrulyGlowingSelfieLove challenge if you want to peek at it!)
We're doing even MORE influencer campaigns on TikTok in 2021 and shifting some of our Instagram focus to TikTok. The leadership team at Burt's can't stop talking about TikTok. Retailers can't stop asking what our plans are for TikTok. It's a critical piece of our paid media and our influencer strategy. And we're not the only brand.
Brands are flocking to work with influencers on TikTok. Why? Stats like this:
- 110 million monthly active users
- 392 million videos created monthly
- average person watches 89 minutes a day
In addition, some brands doing have the resources to create unique content for TikTok so they're paying influencers to do it for them.
If you're reluctant to jump into ONE MORE PLATFORM, I get it. I really do. But IF you are interested in working with brands, TikTok can be a great way in. Yes, you have to build an audience there, but many influencers are finding that they can grow faster on TikTok than Instagram.
TikTok is a fresh start where you can build a new niche or extend your current “brand” to a new audience.
If you aren't on TikTok yet, but are considering it, here are 5 steps to getting started on TikTok.
1. Start watching TikToks.
I know this sounds super basic, but watching a few TikTok videos here and there that get shared on other platforms isn't the same. Get IN the app and start with what comes up on your For You page. If you start watching videos and are like “why on earth are they recommending this to me?!” then click the Share arrow on the bottom right and under the share options there's another row of buttons. Tap the “Not Interested” broken heart. If you like the video, tap the heart on the main screen. You've gotta TEACH TikTok what you like and I found this is the fastest way to do it.
In addition, head to the Discover tab and start exploring. There are top TikTok-curating/promoted trends in the rotational banner and top hashtags underneath. It's a good way to see what people are creating (and don't forgot to like the videos you enjoy to help TikTok curate content you'll actually want to see on your For You tab).
2. Learn the basics of TikTok.
The app can look overwhelming at first, but it's actually not too bad to learn. I find it way easier than Snapchat (but that may just be me).
This article from Later covers TikTok marketing and how the algorithm works as well, and there's a tutorial in section 6 that's a good start to making a video on TikTok. This article is from 2020 so the data in there is a little old, but the gist of the article still stands! It's a GREAT article for learning the basics.
3. Consider what content you'd create.
Now that you've played in the app a bit, think about what type of content you want to create. If you're a lifestyle blogger, do you want to cover all those topics? Or narrow down to one topic?
What from your existing content could be turned into TikTok videos? I've seen everything from Canva tutorials to self-care tips to hacks of ANY kind.
Are you a food blogger? Well Gen Z is pretty much only getting their recipes from TikTok and YouTube.
If you can share knowledge about ANYTHING whatsoever, #LearnOnTikTok is a popular hashtag and will be growing in the coming months (that's all I can say for now)!
4. Watch sponsored hashtag challenges.
If you aren't served one on your For You page, you can find them on the Explore tab. There's only one sponsored hashtag at a time, usually shown as the second hashtag from the top. There's often a banner in the rotation at the top too, but not always.
Sponsored hashtag challenge pages have paid creators labeled as “Official” at the top. Underneath those are challenge participants curated by TikTok. They're good examples of how regular users (and influencers joining in organically) interpret the challenge. Anything after that are all the other challenge participants.
The challenge pages are a great chance to see how brands leverage creators for content. You can get a sense of what brands look for and the type of content top creators make, which can help with your owned content or spark ideas on how you can work with brands!
5. Publish your first TikTok!
Yep, publish the button and just do it. It's NOT about perfection on this platform. The Instagram feed for bloggers and influencers is so much about curation and achieving a certain aesthetic (I know not everyone is like this, but that's the fair generalization). On TikTok, it feels more organic and real life, similar to how people are on Instagram Stories.
Don't overthink it. Once you get over the nerves of publishing your first TikTok, the next will be easier, and the next, and so on. You'll learn new tips and tricks with everything you publish.
If you've been hesitating with TikTok, I urge you to give it a try, ESPECIALLY if you want to build another avenue to work with brands.
A Gen Xer who loves TikTok,
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Hey- I'm Melissa! I'm a mom, side hustler, online course instructor, and brand marketer. I run a 6-figure blog helping online biz owners find their a-ha moments with can-do tips, tutorials, and online courses. I also work at Burt's Bees as the Social Media Strategist (yep, it's as cool as it sounds). Jump start your biz productivity with my free worksheet!