TikTok is the Wild West of social media: Everything is moving at lightning speed and you only have a blink of an eye to captivate users. If you spend a lot of time on TikTok, you'll know right away if something looks like an ad – even without the "ad" label at the bottom of the screen. Your video needs to be at home in the TikTok universe. In other words, develop an understanding of the platform's aesthetics and dynamics, and adapt your content to fit them. Here are five tips (including examples) from me – not only in my role as a retail editor, but especially as an absolute TikTok enthusiast.
1. Authenticity through viewing habits
What works on Instagram is not automatically a hit on TikTok. People who are on TikTok want to see content that is TikTok-specific. So the first tip is to forget about elaborate fonts and effects. Use the design options that TikTok itself offers. You can also put away your professional camera. Just use your smartphone.
An extremely high resolution or excessive editing will immediately out your video as platform-foreign. I promise you: most users will scroll away immediately. Far before they grasp what your video is about, they'll notice what it looks like. So make sure the visuals are right.
Fonts, image composition, voice filters, music: Anna Rani Specht, founder of RABÈL, makes sure that the trained TikTok eye and ear feel at home.
2. Trend awareness as an advantage
Picking up on trends and themes and integrating them into your advertising gives you the chance to be ranked better in the algorithm. In addition, the current trends always give you fresh ideas for your own content. Know the trends and popular content formats on TikTok like the back of your hand. "Get Ready With Me", "Fit Checks", and "Story Times" are just a few examples that have stood the test of time. Trends are a bit more fast-moving. As I type this article, dancing to Doja Cat's "Paint The Town Red" is the number one trend on my For You page; as you read this article, no one may have been talking about it for a long time.
Keep a close eye on the daily buzz for that reason. However, the above categories have been around for years and you can be sure that you won't go wrong if you use them. Trends, on the other hand, can seem dated within a short period of time – but if you jump on the bandwagon early enough, it could help you become a viral hit.
Sometimes just using trendy sounds can help. Kìléntár, a British-Nigerian fashion label, shows how: The right trend can help your brand capture the For You pages of potential customers.
3. Interaction creates engagement
One of the great advantages of TikTok is the close relationship between creators and viewers. Put that to work for you: Reply to comments, either with a short text response or even with a video. The latter is especially good if some questions are asked over and over again or a comment has received a lot of likes. It is well received if you take the input of your viewers seriously and include it in your work. Many companies already use this feature very successfully to present their brand in a likeable and accessible way.
For any communication with users be relaxed and above all honest. It comes across much more positive if you are open to constructive criticism than if you react defensively. This creates a relationship of trust with your brand. Destructive hate comments, on the other hand, can be deleted at any time and the authors can be blocked.
KIYO Studios manufactures handmade jewelry and responds cleverly to a dropshipping accusation. Criticism can sometimes be a good opportunity to show potential customers one's own work processes in more detail as well as to clarify one's own position.
4. Organic product placement
Bare beauty shots of your product or a "snazzily" voiced advertising text do not work on TikTok. For an everyday platform like TikTok, you should also place your product organically and meaningfully in everyday life or in a situation that people can relate to. For example, you sell lip gloss? Show how great the gloss looks in a makeup tutorial and let it speak for itself. Or your handmade rugs can be the center-piece of a video where you redecorate your living room. If you sell sustainable handbags, use your favorite one as a hook to style a bold look around it.
Get creative. The key is to embed the product naturally and authentically in your content. If you can do that, demand will increase all by itself. A simple call-to-action like "link to handbag in bio" works wonders without disrupting the organic aesthetic of the video.
Fenty Beauty is the makeup brand of none other than global star Rihanna. Even though Rihanna is all about glitz and glamour, we can see a chaotic "Get Ready With Me" on this account. The fact that the person in the video looks likeable and simultaneously does a successful makeup look helps the brand to show its uniqueness and as well as put its products in the limelight.
5. Fun as a factor of success
Finally, the ultimate tip, which I personally find most important: Show that you're having fun! That's already half the battle. Your enthusiasm for the platform and of course your product should be palpable. People are on TikTok to be entertained. So don't be afraid to inject humor and character into your videos. Think about how you can showcase your brand's personality, and experiment with humorous or bizarre elements at times. The most popular brands on TikTok are those that bring their own style and wit without taking themselves too seriously.
Bose is best known as a manufacturer of high-quality audio products. On TikTok, however, their USP is primarily humor. With videos like these, the brand shows that they understand their target group and are not afraid to try something unconventional.
Conclusion: The perfect TikTok strategy
The golden rule in TikTok marketing, in my opinion, is: be yourself, but be aware of where and in front of whom you are performing. Authenticity meets adaptability. Also, remember that people don't just buy products, they buy brands. If fans are excited about your brand's personality, it will quickly turn into a purchasing intent. I can confirm this from my own experience! The challenge here is finding the right balance. You want to be subtle enough so that your content doesn't seem like bold advertising, but still make it clear: You can buy this from me! Get inventive and show your community how you elegantly do just that balancing act. Good luck!