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TikTok took everyone by surprise—probably the creators as well. What seemed to be just a silly lip-syncing app for teenagers that many saw as a failed attempt to replicate Vine became one of the hottest social media apps.
By 2018—two years into its existence—TikTok amassed 500 million users worldwide and surpassed both Facebook and Instagram in the number of downloads.
It’s still a new platform, and there doesn’t seem to be any definitive step-by-step manual on how to get TikTok famous, but then again, people like Addison Rae Easterling and Charli D’Amelio figured it out and have made millions of dollars in the process.
What does this mean for businesses? If you thought your brand should not be interested in Gen Zers who’re into TikTok dances, you’d be wrong. You’ll miss out on a large audience and a new generation of customers.
Building popular TikTok accounts for brands has become a new challenge for marketing professionals, and we’ll show you how you can do it for your company.
While the approach to monetizing your TikTok success is different for individual influencers and businesses, there’s no real difference to growing your audience. The main reason for this is that getting followers on TikTok relies on creating content that’s TikTok-specific.
You won’t find much joy reposting the same content with the motto you used on Instagram or Facebook.
To build up a TikTok following organically, you need to:
If you want to succeed on TikTok, you mustn’t overstretch and be all over the place. You should find a niche that:
For instance, Zach King is one of the most successful TikTok creators, and when you visit his profile, you’ll see all of his uploads are based around the same concept. TikTok users who love a bit of video-editing magic know they will find that in Zach’s posts, which allowed him to gain 67 million followers.
Source: Zach King
As a company, you should find a content format that allows you to represent your brand in the best light without being too heavy on the promotion—remember, TikTok is mostly about fun and games.
Zach already has 67 million followers, so he doesn’t have to dance in public or do trending challenges. As a newcomer to the platform, this is what you should focus on.
The beauty of TikTok for businesses lies in the For You page. TikTok’s algorithm doesn’t promote posts from the most famous influencers. Instead, it uses the For You page to showcase content that users would find relatable based on their chosen interests or videos they usually engage with.
You have no way of knowing whether something you post will go viral or not. What you can do is find what is already trending and jump on the bandwagon hoping for the best.
You can use the Discover page to find out what is currently popular on TikTok, where trends don’t stick around for too long. You can use a song or effects that feature in a lot of videos or try to incorporate hashtags (where they make sense).
Shut up, brand! is a Twitter concept that hasn’t reached TikTok (yet), and according to the platform, 61% of users actually enjoy it when businesses give their take on a trend.
Still, you shouldn’t go too much out of your way to participate in a trend. If you’re a clothing company, a food-making challenge won’t make sense, but a quirky office dance never hurt anybody.
Source: Aaron Weiss
It’s important to consistently upload new videos on TikTok to stay current with your followers. If you upload sporadically, you will not only fail to reach new users, but you will also lose the ones that know about you now.
|Day||Time of Day (Eastern Standard Time)|
|Monday||6:00 a.m.||10:00 a.m.||10:00 p.m.|
|Tuesday||2:00 a.m.||4:00 a.m.||9:00 a.m.|
|Wednesday||7:00 a.m.||8:00 a.m.||11:00 p.m.|
|Thursday||9:00 a.m.||12:00 a.m.||7:00 p.m.|
|Friday||5:00 a.m.||1:00 p.m.||3:00 p.m.|
|Saturday||11:00 a.m.||7:00 p.m.||8:00 p.m.|
|Sunday||7:00 a.m.||8:00 a.m.||4:00 p.m.|
Consistency in uploading can be more important even than the quality of the videos you upload. While you shouldn’t post something with zero value, consistent uploading will help you remain in the minds of your followers, and they will develop a habit of viewing your videos.
You can play around with different challenges and formats (be it a 15-second video or a 3-minute one), but you should always remain consistent with your uploading schedule.
Another great, organic way to find more followers is to interact with other TikTokers, be it influencers or regular users with fewer followers. This will allow other users to learn about your existence on TikTok, and you can use the platform’s native tools to add your own creative take to someone else’s post.
The easiest way to engage is by using options like:
Sharing is the obvious one—you can share someone else’s post, and they will most likely feel grateful you did it.
Stitch is a popular tool brought to TikTok in 2020. It allows you to take someone else’s video—or a part of it—and incorporate it into your own while providing something new. TikTok uses it to republish already existing content, and users can get a lot of views if they add an original or a funny twist.
The best example is Khaby Lame, who became famous by using the Stitch feature to mock life hack videos.
Source: Khaby Lame
A Duet is a split-screen feature that allows you to react to someone else’s video while showing the original video simultaneously. You can use Duets to engage with other users’ content or to incite others to react to yours.
A classic example would be giveaways that many companies offer, especially clothing brands, where other users use Duets to respond to a challenge, usually filming themselves doing a specific activity with that company’s product.
If you’re looking for a quicker way to reach your target audience and create a follower base, you can do that by using TikTok’s paid advertising. The minimum daily budget per ad campaign is $50, meaning that a ten-day campaign will cost at least $500.
If you’re able to finance such expenses, you can use the following ads:
These are the ordinary paid-reach ads you’ve encountered on other social media platforms. You pay TikTok to display a selected post. The difference between them is how and where they show up, as shown in the table:
|Type of Ad||Format||Location||Goal|
|Brand takeover||A full-screen static image, GIF, or a >5-second video||Shows up on the screen when users open TikTok||Brand awareness|
|Top view||15-second videos||Shows up on the screen as the first in-feed post after 3 seconds||Reach and engagement|
|In-feed ad||15-second videos||Between other content on the For You section||Traffic to your TikTok account or an external landing page|
Content ads are more creative than the standard ones as they allow other users to interact with your ads more directly. Content ads include:
Hashtag challenges can be extremely powerful if executed properly. They show up on the Discovery page as promoted hashtags and serve to invite other TikTok users to create content using your hashtag.
If you get your hashtag trending, you can reach thousands and millions of users, with others doing the creative work for you. One amazing example of a hashtag challenge is Chipotle’s #GuacDance, which reached 1.1 billion views!
Branded effects are similar to a hashtag challenge in the fact that other users use them to promote your business. They are less effective—and cheaper—but can have a great influence on your brand awareness and engagement on the platform.
Branded effects can be:
Source: Ivan Samkov
Perhaps the most effective form of advertising on TikTok is influencer marketing, i.e., reaching out to influencers and paying for a sponsored post. A lot of top TikTok influencers are a part of the Creator Fund program, meaning that their content is more likely to get recommended.
Before you pay someone to post something about your brand, you should do your research and find the influencer that best suits your company’s needs. It’s no use paying top dollar to Bella Poarch if her audience won’t respond to what your company has to offer.
You need to have a clear picture of your target audience. What is the core demographic? What type of content do they respond to? What influencers do they follow? Why would they be interested in your company, and what problems can you solve for them?
Once you establish who your audience is, it’s time to move on to defining exactly what your goal is on TikTok. Do you want to raise your brand awareness or boost your sales?
If your goal is to get as many people as possible to hear about you, then a macro- or mega-influencer with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers will get you that. Otherwise, you’d be better off with a smaller influencer who can reach your target audience and has better engagement rates.
Remember, TikTok doesn’t prioritize famous TikTokers. Someone with an average following can still get millions of people to view their posts.
Influencers’ rates vary depending on their following:
|Tier||Number of Followers||Price per Post|
|Mid-tier influencer||50,000–500,000 followers||$125–$1,250|
|Mega-influencer||More than 1,000,000 followers||$2,500+|
If you can afford $2,500+ per post, you should still consider reaching out to several mid-tier influencers, which may yield a better ROI than paying for a single Zach King post.
You can use the Discovery page to find influencers for a specific keyword. For instance, if you’re seeking someone from the culinary world, you can type in “chefs” and see what profiles pop up first. This way, you’ll see who the most popular creators are in your niche.
Another way is to use Google or TikTok’s Creator Marketplace, which is dedicated to finding influencers and shows their stats, such as engagement, the number of followers, etc.
Once you find the perfect influencer, you can reach out to them with an idea of how exactly you want them to promote you. You can choose the format of their video, depending on your company’s needs, including:
Another way to interact with influencers is to visit their livestreams and send Gifts. Gifts are essentially donations that you can purchase within the app and then send them to the creator of your choice.
As a company, you’d want to do this because you can get a shout-out during a livestream for little money. It’s important, though, to choose the right livestream and think about why you’re gifting someone.
An influencer’s viewers may sense that you have no real attachment to the streamer, and they will not appreciate you showing up just to get your name mentioned.
Social media platforms are overflooded with businesses fighting for users’ attention that grows slimmer by the day, especially when it comes to paid posts and brand messaging. It’s difficult to build a following on established platforms like Facebook, let alone a new one that relates mostly to the younger generation.
With TikTok, you need to be bold and ready to step out of your comfort zone—it might feel wrong and cringeworthy to post a silly dance video as a company, but that’s what TikTok users want to see.
Still, TikTokers will easily recognize when someone is posting a video for the sake of it. To succeed on TikTok, you need to have patience, money, and expertise. One of the biggest challenges with TikTok marketing is that everything is so fast-paced. Trends and challenges can last for no longer than a day, and you can miss out on huge viewing figures if you don’t have a team that’s always on top of the latest crazes.
A social media team within a company dedicates its time to several social media channels and then has to work on developing a content strategy, engaging with fans, creating content, and making sure it’s done on time.
Sounds impossible? In most cases, it is.
Putting all the pressure on your social media team is exhausting and usually yields poor results, regardless of the investment. Kubbco can help you save both time and money by making sure you don’t miss out on potential customers.
Our team of experts knows what it takes to succeed on TikTok—we’ve done it before. The way we approach building someone’s TikTok fame is from scratch.
We go to the drawing board and make a clear short- and long-term strategy about what you want to achieve and what type of content will get you there.
Thanks to organic posts and paid ads, we can reach your target audience in record time by consistently posting new videos and using analytical tools to make sure they perform optimally.
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When we get a client on board, we do everything to get them to a place where they wish to be. Our content strategists create excellent plans, our team of photographers, video producers, animators, and graphic designers create killer content, and we execute optimal paid campaigns.
Together with our friends at OLAPLEX, we managed to get 22,000 new followers and 5.1 million new views and get two videos viral in under five weeks! One of the 28 videos we created reached 2.3 million views and 87,000 likes in such a short period.
If you want to reach such numbers in no time, you can contact us and share your ideas and needs, and we’ll make your brand a real TikTok star!
Featured image: Amanda Vick