TikTok Marketing 101

TikTok, originally known as Music.ly, is a Chinese video-based social network. TikTok has around 500 million users with about 41% of their user-base between ages 16 and 24. Like Vine it allows users to create short, original videos.

The NFL recently jumped on the TikTok bandwagon at the beginning of September launching an NFL account and announcing a partnership with TikTok. The first day they unveiled the new account they had gained 260,000 fans by midday. The NFL account also started the hashtag challenge “we ready” which encouraged users to share videos of them preparing for opening day. As of now, the only brand ads on the platform are sponsored hashtags but the NFL’s VP of digital media business development, Blake Stuchin says they plan to create more elements that advertisers can sponsor.

Other brands like Guess and Google have seen success on TikTok as well. Even Jimmy Fallon from NBC’s The Tonight Show has been asking his viewers to participate in challenges that have earned more than 10 million engagements. TikTok has been rapidly growing since 2018 with the app having been downloaded over a billion times. In 2018 it was the 4th most downloaded app, beating out Instagram and Youtube. TikTok is the new big thing and your business needs to become a part of it.

 Here are a few ways you can be marketing on TikTok:


TikTok has already started to have some big influencers on their app with millions of followers. Influencers are a great way to bring awareness to your brand on TikTok. One in three consumers trusts an influencer’s opinion over what a brand says. Micro-influencers are a perfect way to get your product in front of new eyes and are often a lot more authentic and affordable than big-name influencers. Make sure you pick an influencer that aligns with your brand so that you can trust that they will best represent it. 

Original Content 

TikTok is home to a lot of creative and original content so if you want your message to stand out it’s going to take a lot of time and innovation. In order to make sure you get a lot of eyes on your video, you are going to want to create content that is entertaining and doesn’t scream ad. TikTok does not have a lot of brands on it yet so it important that you keep your message authentic and focused around something other than pushing sales. 

Challenges/Hashtag Campaign 

Challenges are a great way to build awareness and engagement for your brand. When creating a challenge it is important you make it something that TikTok users want to interact with. That means you need to have a good balance of difficulty and creativity. You want the challenge to be a little difficult so that it is something that people want to show off. Another aspect you should consider is making sure the challenge is flexible leaving room for people to get creative. Although people like guidelines you don’t want to tell them exactly what to do. The more creative they can get the more TikTok users will participate. Creative challenges also have a greater chance of becoming viral and being shared on other social media networks. To stay ahead of your competition it is important you keep up with trends. Being one of the few brands on TikTok can help you stand out. It will also give you a chance to master advertising on TikTok before your competition even knows what it is.