TikTok has been a controversial social media platform since its launch. In fact, it has been restricted as well as banned in certain countries for varying reasons. However, it is still one of the most popular social media platforms out there, and its impact cannot be undermined by the controversies that surround it. Users, as well as brands, realize that too.
At its peak popularity, the perceived distinction between TikTok and other social media platforms, such as Instagram, had been compared to one traditionally made by critics of Art between high and low art. In other words, TikTok catered to a particular audience that overlapped very little with the user base of other social media platforms. Thus, brands that embraced TikTok were able to tap into very specific groups of the target audience that other brands weren’t able to on other social media platforms.
Therefore, if a brand still hasn’t devised a marketing strategy for TikTok, it’s still not too late, as there is a lot to explore on the platform from the perspective of both brands and creators.
TikTok Marketing Strategies and Case Studies
Here are some TikTok marketing strategies that have worked and examples of brands that have been successful on this platform in their unique ways.
1: Ryanair and Embracing the Gen Z Postmodernist Humor
Embracing the edgy humor of Gen Z memes and absurd filters, Ryanair completely transformed its TikTok page. The Irish airline company took bold social media marketing steps by going further than most brands to incorporate absurdity in their content. Ryanair’s TikTok page is a testament to the fact that brand personalities also have to evolve with time. Content bubbles are constantly changing. Marketers term this phenomenon trends, and most social media marketers aim to go viral by capitalizing on these trends. On TikTok, trends manifest themselves in the form of audio and filters. Ryanair made use of one viral filter that superimposed the user’s facial features on any background. They used this filter on planes and a tiktok video editor accompanied by humor to stand out.
2: UGC Marketing
User-generated content is the bread and butter of TikTok marketers. Of all social media platforms, TikTok is seen as a platform of the people, by the people, and for the people. For a brand that extensively uses user-generated content marketing, TikTok is perhaps the best social media platform for building a presence. Brands can set trends (see Ryanair) and display similar content users generate on their pages. Not only will this make the audience feel engaged, but it will also add personal value to the brand in question. Think of it like this – a brand that does not buy influencers but makes them is a brand that will be trusted more by the general audience. The social media pages of those brands will also be seen as spaces for communities and engagement.
3: Augmented Reality
Content marketing has always been about capturing and retaining the viewer’s attention. One can either do it by creating unique content or by using unique formats. There are certain memes that make use of unique formats and quickly attain viral popularity. However, some creators go a step further to offer uniqueness to their audience. Zara, the multinational retail clothing chain, used augmented videos on social media platforms to showcase their stores and collections. In essence, they offered an immersive experience of being in a Zara store from the comfort of their home. This immersion that accompanies video formats such as AR and VR allows brands to etch themselves in viewers’ minds. On TikTok, Zara’s page features numerous such videos that allow users to experience something that might not be possible for them at that moment. It’s an efficient sub-form of content marketing, and with technological developments on the rise, complete immersion will be the path forward.
4: BMW’s Energetic Edits
In the end, any social media marketing strategy boils down to the kind of content published by a particular brand. Take BMW, for instance. The brand has established itself through traditional marketing methods. Since its inception, the portrayal of the brand has been linked to superiority and luxury. However, content with such an arrogant tone will probably not work on a social media platform like TikTok. And BMW realized that as well. That is why they made highly-energetic video edits for their TikTok page. Shifting the tone of their content specifically to a social media platform helped them establish a following. Moreover, it wasn’t their content that they altered but their tone. Any brand looking to capture a specific audience base on a particular social media platform, such as TikTok, can use this strategy. Not only will this add more dimensions to their brand, but it will also help them maintain a larger and more diverse following.
For small businesses and brands that aim to garner a following on TikTok, this alteration in tone can be done through editing. To edit a video for TikTok, a brand will require marketers that are well-acquainted with the platform. As most of the content that is published on TikTok is in video format and the platform in itself acts as editing software, the post-production process has to be meticulous.
Over time, Netflix has vitalized its social media marketing strategies across channels. TikTok has been no exception. Netflix’s TikTok marketing strategy leans towards more traditional forms of marketing. On TikTok, the brand places more emphasis on user engagement and exclusive content in the form of behind-the-scenes and extra footage. Thus, in a sense, Netflix offers an extension of its main product on its social media channels like the one on TikTok.
TikTok might be a controversial name, but it is still impactful as well as popular. Other than that, a lot still remains to be explored in terms of social media marketing. Many brands still haven’t figured out how to use TikTok for marketing purposes successfully. That makes it one of the most high-potential social media platforms for marketers and brands.