When a corporate social media plan is drawn up, it generally focuses on the ‘traditional’ social media platforms, if we can call them that – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram. However, because everyone is using these same platforms to target their potential audience, the belief has been to put money behind everything to ‘stand out’. Ironically, the result is that these platforms have become so saturated with paid material that users tend to just scroll past it.
It’s been over 25 years since Bill Gates penned his famous essay ‘Content is king’, and yet in terms of social media his statement has never been more true. The best way to stand out from the click-bait, the targeted adverts, the spam, and to actually reach your audience is to create content that is powerful enough to stand on its own, unsupported by ad spend.
One social channel that is genuinely driven by content, and yet the most likely to be overlooked by business is TikTok. It started as Musical.ly, a music app that focused on lip-syncing, and only became TikTok as we know it in 2018, and now is helping businesses and ecommerce to flourish. With over 1 billion active users and with incredibly high engagement rates, it can be a powerful tool for customer engagement.
With TikTok, lazy, old-fashioned creatives just won’t cut it. My job is to strategically use social media to reach our business goals and I rely heavily on data (as does most of Ignition) to make these decisions. Paid media specialists really have to dig deep to not only reach but also to impress their target audience – it’s not enough to increase your digital ad spend. This is where ‘TikTok culture’ comes in: the more you interact on social media, the more your audience trusts you. Almost 93% of marketers say that they’ve landed a customer thanks to videos on social media, and 54% of them say that video is the best type of content for achieving social media goals.
A lot of brands shun away from the platform simply because it takes proper, creative marketing, which ironically doesn’t need an entire video team to execute. This is what I love the most about it. People are smarter now and can spot a ‘sell-y’ ad miles away. But what makes TikTok so engaging is that brands sell through entertaining the user.
So, with all of this in mind, is TikTok the answer for your social media content? First up, ask yourself the following questions:
What is your objective for being on TikTok? Do you want to build brand awareness, sell products or services, build engaged communities, get feedback or provide customer service? Setting specific goals will help you create content that aligns with your objectives. Each time you post, it should be done with a specific objective in mind, which will obviously tie into your overall objective.
Revisit your broad and specific objectives regularly, to ensure that they are still accurate and that your content is still targeting them.
TikTok itself encourages its users to think not in terms of demographics but in terms of communities, passions and interests. Heading up social media for a brand like Ignition Group is sometimes tricky because we speak to different audiences, from sales experts to executives and tech and marketing professionals. TikTok is incredibly inclusive and gives us the ability to reach these diverse audiences over one platform.
Start by identifying who your target audience is and what type of content they would be interested in. You want to build relationships with your audience – what passions, interests and communities can you tap into to increase your following? At Ignition we specialise in connecting brands with customers, so TikTok is a natural fit for us.
Build a Narrative
A business needs to communicate its brand values, and on TikTok it needs to identify how to do this through storytelling. This will depend on the audience you have identified, and then on how you plan on connecting with that audience – will you inspire them or educate them, entertain them or make them think. Once that is decided you will have a framework with which to plan your content.
Based on your research and goals, develop a content strategy that outlines the types of content you will create, the tone of your videos, and the themes you will explore. Determine the video format that best suits your content, such as tutorials, product demos, behind-the-scenes footage or funny clips.
Stay up to date with the latest trends and challenges on TikTok to identify opportunities for creating content that will resonate with your audience. Use a content calendar to plan your content in advance, including the video ideas, publish dates, and any relevant hashtags.
The worst thing that you can do for your brand is underestimate the platform and how it can assist you in reaching your business goals. I’m a firm believer of the “adapt or die” concept and if your brand is under the assumption that lazy and old fashion creatives without some form of entertaining element will engage your audience, you are not only wasting your paid budget, but your time as well.
Aishwarya Bedessy is the Social Media Manager for Ignition Group.