Consider these facts and statistics about the platform that launched worldwide in 2018 with a focus on short-form videos:
- TikTok reached 1 billion active monthly users in September 2021.
- With 850 million downloads, TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2020 — outpacing tech giants like Facebook, Instagram and Zoom.
- As of late 2020, the platform boasted nearly 70 million active monthly users in the United States.
- According to April 2021 statistics, 48% of American adults between the ages of 18 and 29 used TikTok, and the platform is used by 21% of Americans as a whole.
- The average TikTok user spends nearly 90 minutes per day on the app.
- According to TikTok For Business, 92% of TikTok users say that they have taken actions such as liking, sharing, commenting and following a brand after watching a TikTok video. And 25% say that they have bought or researched a product after seeing it featured on TikTok.
Needless to say, TikTok offers a big opportunity for outdoor brands looking to gain exposure to new audiences — and especially to younger audiences. But for its TikTok efforts to deliver any substantial traction, a brand must use it the right way.
A unique social platform — requiring a unique approach
TikTok is a much different animal than other social platforms — in a number of ways. And as such, brands seeking to gain exposure on the platform must take a much different approach to TikTok than they do to other social media platforms.
The most important elements for catching attention (and going viral) on TikTok are content, sounds and trends. And while TikTok posts and ads can translate out to other platforms well (e.g. via Reels on Instagram and Facebook), ads from other platforms simply don’t translate to TikTok.
6 strategies for TikTok success
To give your outdoor brand a better chance of getting noticed (and liked, shared and followed) on TikTok, consider these six TBA Outdoors-endorsed strategies geared toward creating a winning approach to the popular (and unique) platform:
1. Go native
To succeed on TikTok, your brand can’t make the content it posts there look like an ad — it simply won’t fit on the platform. Rather, spend some time reviewing the content that’s already popular on TikTok, and make your content look similar, and thereby native to the platform. High-level production work isn’t needed — videos using a smartphone will do just fine (and, in fact, will look more at home on TikTok). And don’t focus your content specifically on your brand or its offerings. On TikTok, it’s not about you — it’s about the trends, the users, and how you fit in with them, not how they fit in with you.
2. Actively engage
To maximize your brand’s exposure on TikTok, it’s critical to actively join your potential consumers in their space an participate in the conversation. Engage as much as possible with users on the TikTok app by liking, commenting on and sharing users’ posts — especially when you see content related to your brand and/or what it does. With regular engagement over time, you can begin to build a rapport with your potential consumers, increasing the likelihood that they’ll do business with your brand.
3. Track current trends
As you begin to develop a presence on TikTok and start getting the hang of posting content that’s an organic fit there, start looking for popular content that resonates with your brand — and once you find a fit, get involved. Start commenting on popular and trendy content, mimicking it, and otherwise finding ways to engage with it. Even if a surging TikTok trend doesn’t directly relate to your brand, find a way to associate your brand with it, and get on the bandwagon. Further, think outside the box, be creative and be clever with your comments. The best brand-originated TikTok posts and comments don’t see the company behind them acting like a brand promoting its products and services. Rather, it sees the brand speaking as if it were joking with or texting to a friend, all while maintaining its own, deliberately developed brand persona/voice.
4. … And act quickly
The aforementioned TikTok trends don’t last long. So, if your brand spends a lot of time developing/producing a video clip to “get in on” a current trend, the trend will likely be yesterday’s news by the time you post. The good news here is that, as mentioned earlier, a quick and clever clip filmed with a smartphone will work fine — in fact, it will be a better fit for the platform than a fancy, heavily produced clip.
5. Leverage influencers
To amplify your brand’s exposure on TikTok, work to find influencers to promote it — starting with the users whose posts you’ve engaged with in the past. (On TikTok, influencers don’t have to be famous — they’re often just regular people who have developed a large following on the platform.) Note that you can only message other users on TikTok if you both follow one another — so be sure to engage with your potential influencers and develop a rapport well before you reach out with any partnership proposal. Once you do get influencers working to help your brand, be sure to mutually share one another’s content to maximize its reach.
6. Power up with paid ads
To further increase your brand’s reach on TikTok, tap into the platform’s paid advertising options. As mentioned earlier, these ads won’t be traditional social media ads, rather TikTok videos designed to bring attention to your brand. The platform offers five ad types — In-Feed Ads, Brand Takeover Ads, Top View Ads, Branded Hashtag Ads and Branded Effects Ads — and the TikTok Ads Manager can walk you step-by-step through how to employ each of them.
Could your outdoor brand benefit from working with a team of outdoors-obsessed marketing professionals to broaden its consumer appeal with TikTok? At TBA Outdoors, we’re here to help you create your social strategy, develop TikTok-friendly content, work with influencers and effectively utilize this new channel to expand your audience and grow your revenues.
To get started with professional guidance ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost your outdoor brand’s overall performance and identity, contact us today.