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TikTok as a Marketing Tactic

TikTok as a Marketing Tactic

TikTok’s explosion onto the scene has changed everything we thought we knew about videos. The way they’re made, the way we consume them, and their impact on digital marketing and advertising has essentially been rewritten over the past few years. As we described in our first blog, you can’t go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Youtube without seeing content recycled from TikTok or a direct rip off of something that originally started there. So, as marketers, what do we do? Well, there’s options, and it depends on what you have to offer. There are two main ways to market that are most successful on TikTok and its many clones like Youtube’s Clips and Instagram’s Reels. 

Brand Accounts

As with other social media platforms, you’re free to make an account for your brand. But it’s not as easy as simply logging in, posting, and hoping for the best. What works on TikTok likely isn’t the same type of content that works on LinkedIn, for example. TikTok is unique in a few ways and here’s why. 

TikTok is dominated by Gen Z. Studies show that over 60% of TikTok users were born around 2000, give or take a few years. So, if you’re selling life insurance, you might not be reaching your audience on TikTok. Additionally, “making it big” on TikTok can ironically be either very difficult or very easy. If your video makes it into the “For You” page’s algorithm, you can go to sleep one night and wake up the next morning with 100,000 views. Conversely, if you just send a video out into the ether, there’s a really good chance you won’t be getting anywhere. 

At the end of the day, getting on the For You page is everyone’s goal; but in order to get there, it’s best to start with more realistic ambitions, like finding your community and growing there. And don’t worry: your community definitely exists. Start by searching through relevant hashtags and you’ll soon find what, and who, you’re looking for. Once you’ve found the key players, study what they’re doing and which of their videos have the most views and engagement. 

For example, if you sell shoes you’ll need to find your way into the “sneakerhead” community. You’ll need to study what’s trending in the community, who are the most popular accounts and influencers, what styles of video are most popular (eg., unboxing vs. a demo), and what type of followers they have. With that knowledge under your belt, you can then start to create.

To be successful, you have to position yourself as an “authority” or thought leader of your niche industry or type of product or service. There has to be a reason for people to come to you, rather than your competitors - not necessarily industry competitors, but who you’re up against in regards to reach, engagement, and capability.

Building your brand account requires a lot of work. You have to listen to and engage with your community; you have to stay up to date with the latest trends and memes (which seemingly change every day); and you have to stay organic, natural, and not overly salesy. It all comes down to building brand awareness and establishing that relationship with consumers.


Influencers, or influencer marketing, is defined as “a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements made by people, organizations, and/or groups seen as influential or experts in a particular area.” Bryan Lipiner, Babson Thought & Action (What is Influencer Marketing? An Industry on the Rise).

Influencers are a wonderful option for brands who are looking to reach their audience on TikTok (or other platforms) without necessarily “starting from scratch.” Influencers, as noted in the definition, are already seen as thought leaders—they’ve already attained a following from a community and have established themselves as a trusted source of information. 

Finding your audience through an on-brand influencer

When most people think of influencers, they think of people like Kim Kardashian, Cristiano Rinaldo, Charli D’Amelio, or MrBeast. While they certainly are social influencers, they’re one, incredibly expensive, and two, not an authority figure for your specific brand, product, or service. For most brands, the most reliable influencers are typically what are known as micro-influencers. Micro-influencers fall into the category by having between 5,000 to 100,000 followers. These influencers are ideal because their individual followings are usually more active and involved with the community in which they belong to. 

Think of it this way: you’re in the auto industry and you’ve just created a new product that solves an issue for drivers of Subaru cars. Enlisting Kim Kardashian will certainly get your message across to millions (and probably cost millions), but they’re not there for car parts. They’re there to see behind the scenes of KUWTK or Kim’s newest..whatever. A TikTokker with 75,000 followers who posts installations, DIYs, and repair videos, on the other hand, has thousands of people who are there for the very same thing you’re trying to promote. It’s not necessarily the quantity of followers, but rather, the quality of followers an influencer has.

Sliding into the DMs of an influencer you vibe with

Getting in touch with influencers used to be a chore. You’d have to hope they actually used their email or opened their DMs. Additionally, you had to do the due diligence to ensure they weren’t a brand risk. Fortunately, today’s influencers and influencer marketing are so commonplace on social platforms that influencers now have resources at their disposal to facilitate brand deals, and many work with talent agencies or have management to take care of their communication. 

Savvy influencers know the risk of going off-brand, too. Posting something risqué or that isn’t brand friendly could be the end of a lucrative revenue stream. Who wants to work an office job when you can make a month’s salary from a 60-second video?

The content the influencer creates should have elements of both the brand and the influencer’s ideas. The influencer will likely know what does and doesn’t work better than you do, but any particulars in regards to what points to make and how to use the product or service can be worked out during negotiations. Enlisting influencers doesn’t necessarily have to cost you a large portion of your marketing budget either. 

Products as payment, and hiring the right influencer

For brands with products on the less expensive side, sending samples to influencers and just mentioning how appreciative you’d be of an honest review can lead to several posts for your product by spending no more than the cost of production of your product. It happened for Starface, a beauty brand that sells skincare products. By simply gifting their goods, TikTok mega star Charli D’Amelio (who boasts 129 MILLION followers) posted a review of their product that received over 19 million views which, as you can imagine, led to insane revenue for Starface. 

While Starface was certainly lucky, their success proves that it’s a viable option for some companies. If you have a product or service that works, it could work for you as well.

The Future of Marketing

By now you’re probably overwhelmed and maybe confused. The reality of the situation is, we can try to explain, but if you want to take on TikTok, you have to see it for yourself. It won’t take long to understand what it is, how it works, and how you can make it work for you, either. 

Since the inception of social media from the likes of companies like Xanga and Myspace, and into the future as TikTok continues to flourish and we’re introduced to the Metaverse, having a handle on what’s new, trendy and popular can be a game changer for your brand. Get involved, stay involved, and become a leader in your industry. One way we like to stay involved is by attending events to brush up on our knowledge and learn about new trends and technology. Are you looking to transform your marketing? Reach out to our Digital Marketing Team and explore your options with us.