Marketing / Social Media

Leveraging TikTok for increased social brand awareness

Beer Singh

Updated: Dec 13, 2023 · 7 min read

Toolkit for download in this article

TikTok social media app

Building brand awareness is essential to increasing conversions and growing your small business. As a marketing strategist, I've seen fierce online competition in nearly every industry, making continuous brand building online critical.

What’s the best way to do this in today’s competitive online ecosystem? Tap into social channels like TikTok for increased social brand awareness. TikTok is the latest and greatest social media platform with Gen Z and millennial users.

If you haven’t heard of TikTok, or explored it as a viable social channel for your brand, you need to immediately. Here are a few TikTok stats to consider:

  • 1 billion daily video views on TikTok
  • 800 million active monthly users
  • 26.5 million active monthly U.S. users
  • 90% of users visit the app once per day
  • 41% of TikTok users are between 16 and 24
  • Even split between male and female users
  • In 2019, the app generated over $115 million in user spend

There are plenty more enticing TikTok stats, but those referenced above are among the most prominent. Should this new social media platform be part of your brand’s marketing strategy? Absolutely. And if you think the audience is too young for your brand, think again.

Master marketer and industry influencer Gary Vaynerchuk said, “TikTok’s success with younger audiences reminds me a lot of Facebook and Snapchat. Facebook first started as a college-only platform and later gained popularity in other age groups. Snapchat did something similar by capturing a younger demographic first, then aging up.”

Brands are beginning to flock to this exploding social app because they see long-term potential. Your brand should be doing the same.

Brands are embracing TikTok

The pace at which TikTok has grown since its inception in 2016, and the projected potential the social app has for mobile marketing, are reasons why brands are going all-in. This holds especially true for brands that cater to the Gen Z demographic. There are also millennials consuming content on the social app.

And you'd be surprised how many parents are also on TikTok. Many of them are using the app with their kids.

Why else are brands leveraging TikTok for increased social brand awareness? To boost their video content marketing strategy. In fact, 92% of marketers that use video say it's critical to their marketing strategy. And they agree that it will be 88% ROI positive for 2020.

Since TikTok is all about video content, it makes sense for brands to implement this social media app as part of their overall marketing strategy. Are you ready to make it part of your strategy? If so, good call.

How to increase social brand awareness on TikTok

Building brand awareness among the masses via TikTok is easier than it seems. But you do need a bit of how-to in order to make your efforts ROI positive. Since this social media platform is the new mobile marketing frontier, there are no rules to follow.

The following is what I’ve found as best practices—my road map to brand success using TikTok. But don’t be afraid to adjust as you see fit. Just like all marketing strategies, let the analytics guide you.

Let’s start with the obvious—paid ads

Paid ads are a great way to build brand awareness on TikTok. And because it's relatively new, ad buys can produce more engagement than other popular social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. This, of course, will change in time.

Big brands such as Nike, Chipotle, and the NBA are using paid ads to boost brand awareness.

However, the price on paid ads is a bit high. Paid campaigns start at a $500 minimum, and the sky's the limit on spend after that. This is probably why most well-established, well-financed brands are using the paid ads option.

The ROI could be worth it if your demographic is Gen Z, since this is the primary demographic. Simply create an ad account to get started.

If you want to test the waters organically before going the paid ads route, TikTok has exceptional organic reach. Many experts agree that TikTok organic reach is reminiscent of early Facebook days.

Let’s look at a few organic brand awareness tactics.

Give TikTok users backstage access to your brand

Online users are becoming more interested with the inner workings of a brand. They want a personalized feel. They want to see that your brand is real, and have a sneak peek into what you do behind the curtain.

TikTok is great for this. You can easily take users on a behind-the-scenes tour once or twice per week. For example, if you sell shirts, take users into the design department. Let them see how the shirt you want them to purchase is created.

Showcasing company culture is also another great way to connect with users. Give your audience backstage access into company culture—a day in the life. This makes TikTok users part of your community.

Here’s one from Nike:

But there's an important aspect you need to remember. Do not sell via TikTok! Save the sales pitch for Facebook. Make your video content fun and inviting, and you'll eventually get the results you want.

Get hashtag challenge ready to take your brand viral

This social brand awareness strategy for TikTok takes those traditional hashtags to a new, viral level. You're probably familiar with hashtags. But what about hashtag challenges?

A hashtag challenge is a social media contest that encompasses a specific subject or trending topic. When a challenge is sent over TikTok, users immediately offer their challenge responses.

One of the more recently popular hashtag challenges is the broom challenge:

To increase brand awareness, have your team get in on the challenge. Or, send out your own branded challenge.

For example, let’s say your brand is about health and wellness. You could issue a TikTok hashtag challenge that involves arranging fruit in an artistic way. Videos will begin to pour in, taking your brand to viral success.

Work with an influencer to maximize brand awareness

Influencer marketing has gone from trend to powerful marketing strategy. When it comes to TikTok, collaborations with influencers on the social media platform can go a long way.

Like Instagram and Facebook, you can access an influencer's loyal following. And nobody knows more about creating content TikTok users will love and engage with than an influencer who has already achieved success on the platform.

To find influencers in your niche, use the search icon in the app. For instance, if you're in the space of footwear ecommerce, you can call upon influencers that are getting creative with shoes.

You may be able to trade products for posts in some cases. Reach out to the influencer and be open to anything, especially when it comes to creating video content for your influencer marketing campaign.

Final thought

There's no limit to what you can achieve leveraging social media platforms such as TikTok. Even if your demographic is not necessarily Gen Z or millennial, forward thinking can go a long way. Remember, TikTok users are the consumers of the future.

Building brand awareness is vital to your business’ success. Don’t let your competitors own the market on this new social mobile app.

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