Is TikTok the not-so-secret marketing tool your brand is missing?

  • Categories:

    Social Media, Media Strategy

  • Date:

    November 17, 2022

Is TikTok the not-so-secret marketing tool your brand is missing?

Social Media Media Strategy

This post was updated on October 24, 2023.

“Think like a marketer. Act like a creator.”

That quote is a great summation of how brands can harness the power of TikTok. Recently, Wray Ward partnered with the Home Improvement Research Institute to produce an exclusive webinar on the world’s hottest social media platform.

So, how can home and building brands leverage TikTok as a powerful marketing tool? Our agency’s own John Dasher, integrated media strategy group director, and Karen Bryant, social media director, explored the world of possibilities, specifically how marketers in this category can use TikTok to reach their key audiences and increase brand awareness.

Want to utilize this fun, creative environment to engage audiences in a way that informs and entertains? Keep reading.

Approaching TikTok From a Marketing Perspective

As John Dasher pointed out, social media changes every day, and it can be hard to stay on top of trends. Especially on a newer platform such as TikTok, there are media and advertising features that may not be implemented today but could go live tomorrow.

Still, TikTok provides robust ad solutions that marketers can use to create targeted campaigns, including those that speak to DIY homeowners and home and building professionals. Tactics could include behavior targeting based on users consuming category-specific content on the platform or building look-alike audiences using your existing CRM data.

As with any emerging platform, marketers must be willing to test and learn to find success. Here are a few ways to get started:

Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks

While there are ways to advertise and execute a media strategy on TikTok, approaching ads in the same way you would on other platforms is not the best strategy. Users flock to the app for entertainment and inspiration. Since 60% of users access TikTok for funny and entertaining content, creating the same old ad will miss the mark.

TikTok has a variety of engaging ad formats to choose from, such as:

  • In-feed ads

  • Branded effects

  • Branded hashtag challenges

  • Spark ads

  • Top-view ads

Consider building a branded hashtag challenge that puts your brand at the center of a cultural movement while providing active engagement via participation. By leveraging a hashtag that includes your brand name, you can harness the immense power of TikTok to not only drive awareness of your challenge, but improve ad recall.

You could also consider a top-view ad, where your target audience sees your TikTok content first thing when they open the app. The key is to make it an engaging experience that they won’t quickly pin as advertising and swipe away. Your content should be fun, exciting and designed to help the right people relate to your brand.

Like all paid strategies, it’s best to experiment to see what works and what doesn’t. Then, use that information to enhance your approach. It’s also critical to stay current on what is available or upcoming on TikTok to ensure your brand is utilizing every possible opportunity — if it makes business sense, of course.

Approaching TikTok as a Creator

TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users. Furthermore, 90% of these users access the app every day, consuming 22.9 hours of content each month. With such meteoric numbers, the app and content creators are doing something right.

I love how Karen Bryant summed up the platform’s creative energy:

“TikTok puts the ‘social’ back in social media.”

To successfully use TikTok as a brand, you must embrace the language of its users and be willing to participate in the latest trends. You have to consistently create organic content that is new, fresh and entertaining. This means engaging with your community — not only your audience but also other brands — by liking and commenting on content that is tied to your brand or industry.

TikTok is an extension for humanizing your brand. Create content that entertains and brings users joy — exactly in line with the app’s mission statement. Employ trending transitions to show impactful before-and-after home transformations that use your product. Walk through how-tos, share hacks and provide informational tips and tricks that will help your DIY audiences do more.

While crafting informational content that is also entertaining can be a challenge, when you think like a creator, you can come up with new, engaging ways to package and present your content that are informative and enjoyable.

Working With Creators

Just like on other platforms, influencers and creators are the lifeblood of TikTok. Partnering with these creators can help further your brand’s credibility within the community and spotlight your product in a fun, authentic and entertaining way.

If you consider TikTok’s algorithm, it excels at showing users content that aligns with their unique interests, and the platform also quickly learns what users like.

By partnering with creators that align with niche, segmented communities, marketers can target audiences and get products in front of them through what users consider to be “trusted resources.”

Didn’t get a chance to attend the webinar? Download the presentation below for ideas on how to harness the power of TikTok for your brand. Questions? Email me.

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