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Why use TikTok for back to school marketing?
TikTok’s younger community makes it ideal for ‘back-to-school’ marketing campaigns. A third of the community is aged 13-17, and 42% are aged 18-24! If you run seasonal campaigns for kids heading back to school or college, there’s no way you should skip TikTok in your marketing mix.
It gets better: TikTok users are also incredibly engaged, and spend a daily average of 46 minutes in the app. The COVID-19 lockdown has increased the time younger people spend on TikTok, especially as they’re forced to connect with their friends entirely digitally.
This creates the ideal environment for brands wanting to capitalize on back to school hype. A scroll through the #backtoschool2020 hashtag boasts a whopping 2.6M views, indicating young people are excited, and paying attention.
So, read on to discover top 3 secrets to nailing your back to school marketing campaign on Tiktok.
1. Understand your audience
TikTok definitely has its own unique culture. There’s a younger, highly engaged audience, as mentioned previously. The TikTok algorithm does a lot to ensure users keep scrolling several times a day. However, beyond this, the Gen-Z TikTok audience has a strong preference for interactive, ‘unfiltered’ content as compared to the perfectly curated aesthetic seen on Instagram.
So, what does this mean for brands? It’s your responsibility to take the time to understand and respond to your audience and show them what they want to see! Brands may need to alter their tone and content and show a slightly different side of themselves on TikTok.
Need inspiration? Our work with the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACCA) is a great example of a formal, educational brand really fitting in on TikTok. We understood that the tech-savvy Gen Z audience doesn’t respond to traditional advertising, so we used an innovative, interactive approach. Not only did we create an AR filter for users to participate, we also encouraged influencers to talk about ACCA qualifications on Snapchat and TikTok.
The result? Millions of views, tons of engagement, and a new generation seeing ACCA as an energetic, relatable brand – instead of one that’s dull and outdated. ACCA successfully showed Gen Z a side of them they rarely see in traditional search ads, or on Facebook and Instagram.
2. Create native content by leveraging ‘life hacks’ and ‘pro-tips’
Brands new to TikTok often make two crucial mistakes. The first one is repurposing content from other platforms, and expecting it to do well. As we’ve discussed, this simply won’t work because TikTok users expect creativity, interaction and humour from branded content. This means that you have to create content using TikTok’s vast library of effects and popular soundtracks – this acts like an ‘I come in peace’ sign, letting the audience know you ‘get it’, and can exist ‘peacefully’ amongst the users and brands who do ‘get it’.
The second mistake brands make is not using viral trends to their advantage. A format that works particularly well for educational brands is sharing ‘life hacks’ or ‘pro-tips’ content. We used life hacks to successfully drive traffic when marketing a website helping students save money on textbooks. We partnered with influencers to share the website with their following, framing it as an insider ‘life hack’.
As a result, we were able to drive 1.2M+ views and over 186K+ hearts on their content. This equated to a staggering total watch time of 6K hours.
The very organic style of content was very effective and sat very naturally in the hashtag feed. This meant it was very engaging and didn’t make people think it was an advert. The #collegehacks is still on the trending page of TikTok and has now amassed a huge 32M views.
Our client also reported an increase of 40% traffic to their website within 48 hours of the campaign going live. Due to the contextual nature of the campaign and it showing up in college hacks trends, they also reported an average increase of 28% traffic to the site for the next month of the campaign going live.
Using life hacks and ‘pro-tips’ in your back to school marketing content can help make it less obvious that you’re selling a product or service. This case study demonstrates how this appeals to a younger audience who are put off by traditional ads, and expect useful or entertaining content from brands.
3. Keep it real: use cultural references and relatable voices
The real icing on the cake for Gen Z is when brands are authentic. Your back to school marketing can really shine if you include pop culture references, and feature ‘relatable’ voices in your campaign.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes: you don’t want to look dated, or out of touch. You also want young people to ‘see themselves’ and align with your brand. You can win serious brownie points by actually integrating funny pop culture references or memes into your TikTok content. However, don’t do this unless you’re sure you know what you’re referencing – you really don’t want to come across as an awkward older person trying to fit in with the kids.
An easier way to make your brand relatable to Gen Z is to feature influencers they care about in your campaigns. The younger generation cares about brand values, and who you work with – especially as regards diversity. Feature influencers who might be going back to school themselves, for example. When kids can see themselves reflected in your brand, they’re more likely to respond positively to your content.
It can be difficult to find the right influencer for your brand voice, but we’re here to make that easy. We have Bytesights, our in-house analytics tool which also happens to be the first ever TikTok influencer discovery platform where we use 200+ data points to find the best influencers for our clients’ campaigns. If you’d like to find out more, then feel free to get in touch.
School's almost in
We hope these top three secret tips level up your brand’s presence on TikTok. If you’re ready to take your TikTok campaigns to the next level, get in touch with our team for a strategy session.