Effective Brand Positioning on TikTok

With most of the world under strict stay-at-home and social distancing limitations, millions suddenly flocked to TikTok. To ease boredom, to stay connected, and as a new way for self-expression, TikTok is now an 800-million-strong social media app. It recorded 115 million downloads just in March 2020 alone. 

It is so popular that influencers, celebrities, and companies joined the app. The demographic also expanded beyond its typical user base of Gen Xers and younger millennials. Now, the demographic ranges from young to even seniors. It can be a permanent change or a temporary trend, but influencers and businesses are optimizing the trend for brand positioning.

TikTok is no longer just a lip-synching, short-form video app. The more creative, passionate, and technically skilled users have turned into brands themselves and serve as the platform’s major influencers. 

One trend that has changed with the increasing growth of the site is that the types of videos that people post are now more diverse. They are not all music content anymore. We see all sorts of artists from singers, actors, stand-up comedians, and even niche artists such as magicians, skaters, and the like. We now see corporate brands gracing the feeds of TikTok. 

TikTok has become a viable way to showcase talent, brand, and opportunities. Even recipes are now squeezed into short-form videos that are widely clicking with audiences because of content value in such short videos. Content has diversified in this app, also improving the number of brands that want to advertise on the leading social media platform as of date.

How Does TikTok Work? 

Founded in 2016, TikTok became public in 2017 and just a year later, merged with Musical.ly, a lip-syncing app. Today, tragedy turned into an opportunity for Tiktok because the pandemic made it popularly downloaded even more than Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. 

TikTok is the leading social media platform for mobile short format content capturing moments of creativity, entertainment, and education worldwide. Videos on TikTok can be between five and 60 seconds long of varied content. 

TikTok enables users to create short loop videos with playful effects, transitions, musical overlays, AR filters, and text overlays. Like other Social Media platforms, hashtags can be added to make video search easier, especially the viral or trending ones. 

There is a special tab for challenges marked by themed hashtags.  It can be a trending song or dance craze, a stunt, a prank, adding their creative flavor to it. Users can do duets on challenges too.   

The most popular video on TikTok as of July 2020 is from @JustMaiko, doing the Ahi Challenge down an escalator.

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Jimmy Fallon, a famous American host in 2018, encouraged his viewers of The Tonight Show to compete in his #tumbleweed challenge.

Challenges can trend whether it is organic (unpaid) or inorganic (paid). Trending branded challenges today include Colgate’s #MakeMomSmile, and an organic challenge trending as well are the #LevelUp challenge and #thePushupChallenge, to name a few. 

Challenges further encourage user-generated content from the community that matches your brand. TikTok challenges can gain popularity and go viral. Brands must leverage challenges for brand promotion

Whether you’re a brand aiming for more audience engagements, or a creator looking to hop on the next TikTok trend challenge, there’s plenty to gain from TikTok challenges. 

As more and more companies come to TikTok, these challenges are being used for brand positioning. Brand positioning is how a brand designs its company’s image and what it offers to occupy brand territory in the mind of the target market. 

Krystal Wu, HubSpot’s Social Media Community Manager, mentions that even unlikely brands are now leaking into the brand territory. 

For example, the news agency, Washington Post, is followed by more than 54,000 users and optimizes the TikTok app to share light, behind-the-scenes content. These posts include scenes from the newsroom and funny off-cam stories. 

New Zealand and Australia are not immune to the worldwide phenomenon. TikTok has over 1.4 million monthly active users in the region. Statistics show that, on average, each user has 1,300 views and 46 minutes of watch time. 

Content consumption made easy through vertical video and sophisticated AI, powers TikTok’s content recommendation algorithm.

The app is growing local talents like Olivia Plant, who has one million followers, and Nick Rowley, parkour pro with more than 760 thousand followers and counting. Brand positioning through local talents such as them is becoming a trend on TikTok and other social media platforms. 

McDonald’s is the first famous brand in New Zealand to optimize TikTok for brand positioning. Its campaign for the McDonald’s Spicy McChicken garnered a remarkable organic social reach of almost a million views and 90,000 likes. It also increased the sales for the product across New Zealand. 

Know how to go viral and effectively promote your brand on TikTok. Optimize the app’s algorithm for your brand today. 

Kinds of Brand Campaigns on TikTok

  • Organic

 

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The development of an organic channel on TikTok enables brands to have a consistent presence on the platform that can serve as a consumer destination. As with other social media, the size of organic content can be difficult if the company isn’t already famous for TikTok. 

TikTok’s beauty is that the product team has purposefully built flexibility into the platform so users and brands can easily (organically) share video content online – whether through YouTube or Facebook, giving paid and organic content a chance to move further. 

  • Paid

 

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TikTok has a variety of advertising types. 

  • Infeed Native Content: It is like Instagram or Snapchat story ads and supports website backlinking and app downloads. 
  • Brand Takeovers: This type of ad allows brands to take over TikTok for the day. Brands can create images, videos with embedded backlinks to landing pages, GIFs, or hashtags challenges. 
  • Hashtag Challenges: Hashtag promotion to get more engagement. 
  • Branded Lenses: It is like Snapchat’s 2D and 3D glasses for faces and photos. 

Ads from TikTok can help you reach more users. Using accurate targeting, you can even confirm your ads to achieve your desired market for better brand positioning. You will get more conversions from your TikTok ads if your brand territory is precise. 

Ads can be purchased for operation in most western markets directly on CPC, CPV, or CPM versions. Profiles such as age, interest, and CRM lists are also available to the goal. TikTok will usually partner with the marketing agency of a company, producing all-inclusive packages that combine paid ads with influencer ads. 

10 Ways of Effective Branding Positioning on TikTok

  • Create a TikTok Ads Account

The method is not as autonomous as Instagram or Facebook since TikTok’s advertisement platform is still relatively new. Visit the homepage of TikTok advertising and press the “Load an Ad” button. A form will appear when you press the button, asking you for details about how to set up your account. Fill it out and apply it, and within five business days, a TikTok member will contact you to let you know if your company qualifies. 

To obtain your account, it can take up to 48 hours. If you do, the ad development process is reasonably straightforward. 

  • Master How TikTok Works

The key to successful brand positioning on TikTok is organically trending in the community if you want your paid content to trend as well. Learn how content on TikTok is generated and how best to engage with audiences. Practicing social media etiquettes help you gain credibility and engagements. 

  • For You Page: You will see here what is trending. You can watch trending videos, whether you are subscribed to the user’s channel or not.
  • Following Page: The tab shows the latest videos created by TikTok users you follow.
  • Discover Page: On this page, explore the trending challenges that you can create content for.
  • Create Fun and Engaging Content

Video content is more engaging than traditional text or image content. On TikTok, you do not need high-resolution videos to trend. Even amateur videos and mobile photography and videography can trend.  

The way to trend is to create entertaining videos that can generate engagements with the community. Originality is also well appreciated among TikTok users. The more unique and funny your videos are, the better. 

  • Create an Ad Campaign

Once you are inside the dashboard for TikTok Ads, you’ll have to click on the “Campaign” tab and then the “Create” button. TikTok organizes its advertising in three levels: campaign, ad groups, advertisements

Choose a goal for your ad. It can be for traffic, conversions, and app downloads. Now you’re going to have to pick the entire campaign budget. Choose between the options “Daily Budget” or “Total Budget.” 

  • Set Your TikTok Ad Placements, Details, and Targeting

Effective brand positioning involves advertising, as well. The next part is to make a campaign ad placements and pick your details and target. One of the TikTok Advertising dashboard’s most useful features is that it lets you select the exact channels you want your advertising to run. 

These include not only TikTok, but also the entire family of applications such as Vigo Video (only India), BuzzVideo, News Republic, and many others. 

You should follow the prompts when you have selected your desired placements to enter all the information required to start screening your ad. It includes URLs, display names, photos, and categories. 

Section Targeting lets you identify the target audience for your advertising. To bring the best audience for your ads, set criteria for location, age, gender, languages, interests, devices, and more. 

 

  •  Set the Campaign Details

 

Choose the ad group budget in the section called “Budget & Schedule.” It is your choice of how you are willing to spend every day or how much you would like to pay for the campaign period. 

Then pick the dates you would like to be involved in the campaign. The “Dayparting” choice allows you to create particular times of day or weekdays to view your adverts. 

You can then pick the optimization goal for the ad group: 

  • Conversion: Your ad will show people with the greatest likelihood of making a conversion operation for your product or service. You can create conversion events and track them using a pixel to track movements that require a transition.
  • Click: Your ad will be intended to capture as many clicks as possible and will be paid using a payment model cost-per-click (CPC).
  • Impressions: Your ad will be designed to appear as many times as possible and will be paid based on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) payment impression model.

 

  • Design Your Ad

 

Video Creation Kit includes video templates and photos that you can customize with your videos. Furthermore, it also has over 300 free background music options. 

Another useful tool is Automatic Creative Optimization, which enables you to upload up to 10 pictures, five videos, five ad texts, and one call to action. Then the machine combines these to generate multiple advertisements. The tool will then test these ads and use the most powerful variations. 

Lastly, you can also use the homepage to Video tool, which captures high-quality images from any landing page URL you have, and then instantly combines these images with music to create video advertisements. 

 

  • Suitable Hashtags

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TikTok users, like so many other social media platforms, rely on hashtags to archive their videos and look for clips by topic. Clicking on the “Discover” magnifying glass just at the bottom of the screen will show you a list of videos categorized by trending hashtags. 

Some of the advantages a company uses hashtags for TikTok are: 

 

  • Enhance the scope of your ads 
  • Identifying Rivals 
  • Seeking more people 

Even so, you should include specific hashtags on your posts. The most common generic hashtags probably should be avoided. The more likely your videos get overloaded in a sea of content. It’s safer to make your videos stick out in categories slightly less common. 

 

  •   Follow Current TikTok Trends

 

 

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Another way to use hashtags is to keep a closer eye out for trending hashtags as part of your marketing campaign. Then you can make and share videos related to those trending videos. 

Note that patterns can shift quickly. Keep an eye on TikTok trends periodically, and be ready to change your content to stay current with the craze. 

If you’re sharing a trending video-style clip, don’t just make it a copy of the videos that everyone else has. Find a way to make it exclusive to your video. 

 

  •  Incorporate TikTok Influencers in Your Campaign

 

It’s no accident; some people are becoming influencers on social platforms. Typically they develop a reputation for the quality of their material. For most businesses, therefore, it pays to establish good working relationships with the people who affect their future clients. 

TikTok has raised a new wave of influencers who have more clout with their audiences than a traditional movie or television stars. These are precisely the sort of people you want on your side when you run your TikTok brand positioning campaigns. 

Conclusion: TikTok is great for branding

TikTok has an extensive global presence, but consumer behavior varies from one market to the next. Before brands advertise on TikTok, they should identify their desired and needed outcomes to ensure that they use the right tools to capture those outcomes, whether they be mobile app downloads, sales, or brand impressions. 


Mayleen Meñez worked for seven years in TV and Radio production, and also as a Graphic Artist/Editor. Finding her true passion, she devoted 15 years in NGO and community development work, where she experienced being a coordinator and teacher, travelling both in the Philippines and countries in Asia. She homeschools her three kids and reinvents Filipino dishes in her spare time. Writing has always been a hobby and pursuit, and she recently added content writing with Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand up her sleeve, while preparing for her next adventure in the nations.

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