TikTok on phone screen

What brands need to know about TikTok

Where do trends start and what is the n°1 entertainment channel for short-form mobile videos? It’s TikTok! Thanks to its unique position in the media landscape a new audience has been generated. For brands this is a great opportunity to capture a new audience. But how can you grab this opportunity and more importantly, what are the pitfalls you need to take into account?

As a brand it’s important to make relevant content for your customers. When TikTok was gaining traction in 2020 the audience of TikTok was quite young, but nowadays the age group is a bit broader. For a brand it’s a good idea to extend their social media strategy with this new platform. Brands such as Boni, Colruyt Group and Colruyt Laagste Prijzen have already succeeded with multiple campaigns.

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Tik Tok Tik Tok, your viral trend is ticking by ⏰

One of the things that makes TikTok so big is viral trends. They focus on becoming popular very quickly through content but do not promise to last for a long period of time. When you make a TikTok for a brand it’s not that easy to hop on the bus of a viral trend. The process of creating a video takes at least 2 weeks from concept to posting the final version online. By then the viral trend is already gone and a new one has started. You can still use the viral trend, but only if it’s a perfect fit for your brand and useful for the result. For example, the viral trend on the song Choices (Nope, Yup) where the music answers the questions that pop up on the video would have been perfect for Colruyt Ecoscore. Because it was viral, it is very recognizable for the TikTok generation so you can use a different song and still link the viral trend to the video.

TikTok’s music library 🎵

This brings us to difficulty number two. As a brand you cannot pick any song you like. Due to issues related to copyright material for promotional purposes, brands can’t use TikTok Sounds library. Therefore, TikTok has made its own TikTok Commercial Music Library with pre-cleared, royalty-free tracks. Most of the time the viral songs aren’t on there. This makes it impossible for your brand to follow the trend with the music, so the challenge is to be inventive and search for fitting music.

What you see, is not what you get. You get more! 👀

A TikTok is not just a video but often a video with copy. Short, fun and simple are the 3 words you should always remember for TikTok! As a brand you need to keep in mind that copy on a TikTok video is not like subtitles. It’s totally different from Facebook or Instagram video’s (exclude the reels). You don’t put everything you already see on the video in the copy because of course users can already see it. The copy on your video should be supporting the video and bring added value to the content. 

Just be real 💁🏽‍♀️

Last but not least is the typical saying: "Don’t make ads, make TikToks". This is referring to the authenticity of your content. If you want to use TikTok for your brand, you have to think just like the TikTok generation and make your footage as authentic as possible. This is how you can do it:

The quality of your phone is almost just as good as a camera and it’s way easier to film with your phone. Your phone will also immediately shoot in a format that fits the feed and you save time while making it more authentic. 

Using influencers for your brand is as authentic as it gets. Ask influencers who are already very active on TikTok for a partnership and let them make content where they use your product/service. It’s important they make the video in their own style and thus they stay authentic to themselves. In Germany and France Advanced Power Solutions nv did it for their batteries and it worked out great.

Errors you can avoid

Quick fixes for your TikTok video ✅

A mistake can easily be made. Luckily, mistakes exist to teach us something. Here are some quick fixes you can implement when using TikTok for your brand:

  • The moment you put your video online, look at the viral hashtags. Is there a relevant hashtag during a certain period of time for example during the Christmas break #Xmas22? Add them to your description to raise visibility.
  • Don’t go for #ForYou, because everybody uses it. It’s not relevant for your content, because you get a mix of all sorts of TikToks when you click on it.
  • Don’t use liquor in your videos when you want to boost them. TikTok does not support it because of the age accessibility of the platform.
  • Make sure your TikTok profile is not linked to a phone number. The contacts in your phone can be targeted on their ForYou-page with the mention ‘via a contact’. This makes your reporting and audience not reliable.
  • If engagement is your goal, mention your question or call to action in the video and not only in the description.

These are already 5 errors you can avoid. Are you interested in using TikTok for your brand, but don’t have the creative concepts, materials or time to do so? 

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