TikTok, a Chinese-owned short-form video hosting service, currently has 1 billion monthly active users. It’s not surprising that high-profile brands are shifting their advertisement campaigns to the app. And you should be, too. There are a few major reasons why it is a good strategy. And if you are one of the sceptical people who still think that TikTok is for teenagers, listen to what Google has to say.

At a conference in July 2022, a Google executive named TikTok their strongest competitor! Google proved their statement with the data that showed that almost 40% of young users used TikTok to look for restaurants instead of Google Maps.

What is TikTok?

Essentially, TikTok is a social media app that allows users to create short videos, which often feature music in the background and can be sped up, slowed down, or edited with filters. 

The amount of time spent on TikTok has reached an average of 95 minutes per day. The majority of TikTokers are between the ages of 18 to 24. TikTok’s star-rocking success among Gen Z is often attributed not only to the short video format but also to the ease of accessing lifestyle-related information, such as where to eat, where to stay and what to cook for dinner.

It is partly because the younger generation chooses quick visual content over traditional long textual search results. TikTok allows its users to easily find reviews of certain cafes and general travel tips . The tools that work as search engines are hashtags, tags and places. For example, one can search the hashtag ‘#foodieMoscow’ to see related videos with good food recommendations in that city.

How are brands using TikTok?

TikTok is a huge hit now, with everyone using it, from teenagers and grandparents to celebrities, professors and actors. It’s no wonder we are seeing brands moving their advertising campaigns to the platform.

TikTok is changing the way brands approach video. Brands now understand that users prefer short-form to large-scale videos. In a way, constantly creating TikTok content might be more time-consuming than filming a one-time video ad. However, making TikToks is still cheaper! 

TikTok users love authenticity, which allows brands to advertise natively alongside entertaining user-generated content. If you do it smartly, your ads will be shared and adored instead of angrily being scrolled past. What type of content performs best on TikTok? When in doubt, go for humour or education, or use influencers.

How to advertise on TikTok?

There are different types of paid ads on TikTok. Please look closely at our article, where we discussed paid advertising on the platform if it is something you’re interested in.

TikTok shopping and ads are important; however, you must remember that TikTok is all about content. One ad will never do what a funny video gone viral could. Only consistently posting great content will make users follow your TikTok page.

How to build a community on TikTok

One of the critical aspects of advertising on TikTok is building a community and increasing brand awareness. No matter what message you want to convey to your followers, you want to involve them. Remember, giving information or a good laugh is a great strategy, but inspiring user-generated content is a winning game.

One of the best ways to build a community on TikTok is to interact with other users. Reply to comments on your page and comment on the videos of others.

You should follow TikTok trends to ensure that your content is always modern and up-to-date. TikTok trends emerge from a viral ‘sound’ and usually have an apparent structure to follow. It can be a dance or a little acting episode. Most trends can be applied to your unique brand vision but still be recognizable as a trend. Check whether a viral sound is licensed for commercial use before creating content that would require you to use it.

Hashtags are another valuable tool for growing your community. You should use a few hashtags related to the video. By using hashtags that others are using you are contributing to dataset building that results in TikTok users abandoning Google search.

TikTok as a Search Engine

As we’ve mentioned, while being a social media platform for sharing short videos, TikTok is catching up with Google. It’s been proven that TikTok is a powerful search engine just as much as a video-sharing app.

TikTok’s success as a search engine is due to its unique algorithm, which provides personalized results based on users’ interests. TikTok is smart and quickly learns what you like, something Google can’t do and would instead show you results you might not want to see.

And as a marketer, you should jump on the opportunity and optimize your content for TikTok. Just think about it, TikTok is promising to show your content to those most likely to be interested! Your content will be shown to someone who has been to a similar place before or bought something from a brand with the same price range. Here’s how to optimize your TikTik page as a search engine:

1. Prioritize user-friendliness

TikTok was built for users. The algorithms work to make the user experience as good as possible. Keep it in mind when creating your content. Think of who your audience is and what they would like to see. Put user-friendliness at the front of everything you do, and you will surely be rewarded by TikTok. Remember that you are not advertising on Google; think of how the two platforms differ. You must create content people want to share with their friends, and that’s how you will be discovered.

2. Spend time reviewing analytics

You should not blindly upload videos to TikTok and hope for the best. You need to be able to measure how well you are doing. You can do it with analytics in the “pro” account. The analytics include essential information, such as how many people have seen your videos, how long they watched and what kind of engagement you’re getting. Use this knowledge to determine what content is performing better than others and try to film more of what users like.

3. Post consistently

TikTok algorithm favors frequent users, so if you want to build a following, you should post regularly. That doesn’t mean that quantity is better than quality, though. quality matters just as much, and the algorithm cares about how engaging your videos are. However, one great video won’t do it for you. Come up with a posting plan and try to stick to it. With thousands of new trends going viral, it shouldn’t be hard to think of creative videos you could film.

Final Thoughts

TikTok is growing and becoming more popular due to its user-friendly algorithms. TikTikers adore their personalized restaurant, brands and recipe recommendations from the app. And marketers should take it into account. If you have been thinking of leaving Google for some time now, TikTok is the place to go. Grow your community, engage with it and constantly upload entertaining, funny, and informative content relevant to your brand. If you can start a trend or make your videos go viral, you won’t even need to pay for your ads, users will follow you, and you’ll get new customers.