In 30 seconds:
- So, you’re ready to grow on TikTok? A TikTok marketing strategy that can send you viral is one thing, but keeping up the momentum requires a different kind of work.
- A successful TikTok growth strategy should take into account your content, your partnerships, and your timing, to make sure you get the most out of your audience.
- But never fear – whatever your aims, we’ve got the know-how brands need in order to develop and grow on young people’s favourite social media platform.
Trust us – your TikTok growth strategy is the most important cog in your social media marketing plan.
Design it well, and it will form the basis of your TikTok content’s forward momentum, become the key to your social media content plan, and the thinking that will get you the most results – now, and in the future.
Going viral on TikTok is one thing. But gaining lasting success? That takes prolonged, strategic planning.
At Fanbytes by Brainlabs, we’ve helped loads of brands grow their TikTok accounts: getting bigger audiences, higher engagement, and more offline impact to boot. Now, we’re sharing our top tips for developing a growth strategy that really works.
What are the benefits of a TikTok growth strategy?
If your TikTok marketing strategy describes your individual posts or campaigns, your TikTok growth strategy refers to the overall trajectory you’re hoping to achieve.
There are more reasons to pursue TikTok growth than just the online name recognition, of course – although that’s no bad thing. After all, we recently wrote about how to increase your TikTok SEO, given new studies which show more and more young people are turning to TikTok over Google to research products and services. Increasing your share of voice on TikTok means your brand is what they’ll find – and buy.
Coming up on top of a search is one huge benefit of getting big on the TikTok app, but growing your TikTok presence can also help you do the following:
1. Raise brand awareness
The natural result of a growing TikTok profile is that more TikTok users will know who you are.
This is useful for obvious reasons. More brand awareness means more potential customers, and more sales. Nielsen recently found that a 1% increase in awareness drives a 1% increase in future sales – which is a great north star for marketers developing upper-funnel campaigns.
And on TikTok, that brand awareness can be even more powerful – because of its heady blend of user-generated content (UGC) and video.
62% of consumers watch product review videos before making a purchase. 84% of consumers surveyed were convinced to buy a product or service after watching a brand’s video. 97% of video marketers reported that video increased user understanding of a product or service, and 76% reported video helped them increase sales. Add to this UGC’s ability to increase consumer trust and boost conversion rates and the potential for a direct line between TikTok video awareness and sales is clear.
2. Enhance perception
Raising awareness is vital for small businesses and new brands building their voice, as well as established brands establishing new projects. But TikTok growth can also help build brand-consumer relationships in the longer term. It’s the enhanced perception you can gain amongst young people through marketing on TikTok that makes TikTok marketing so exciting.
When you consider the demographic the platform attracts, their size and their buying power, you can understand the value of attracting them to your brand. TikTok has over a billion downloads and boasts a majority Gen Z user base – a generation with an estimated spending power of at least $140 billion, who are still growing into their full buying power.
But, in order to be these younger generations’ first choice, you need to succeed on a platform which is unlike any of its competitors, and which demands an entirely different kind of brand marketing.
Fanbytes’ Senior Creative Strategist, Hannah Cole, says “On TikTok, everyone responds to each other”. It’s one reason why authenticity is such a key buzzword amongst marketers. It’s by embracing this authenticity that you’ll show TikTok users that you understand them – in turn, finding it easier to attract them to your brand.
3. More effectively market new launches
Another side effect of a bigger, more engaged audience? Better momentum to your new launches.
Given its video-first approach, TikTok is a powerful tool for marketing new products: 91% of young people say that they prefer video to other marketing formats.
When speaking about how to approach campaign launches on the platform, Hannah recommended brands consider using the variety of paid media options available to TikTok users. Paid media “ensures that the content’s going to the right people”. It also means that brands “learn more about the audience, and have the data about who is engaging with that content so that you can target them further.”
Boosting a campaign at its launch ensures higher video views, which gives your campaign a momentum that can dramatically drive other business KPIs. To learn more about TikTok advertising, you can read our breakdown of paid ads on TikTok here, or explore our introduction to the new shopping and listing ads.
4. Increased traffic to direct routes to sale
Growing an audience on TikTok is an effective way to widen your content reach and direct users to your own storefronts and websites – but don’t forget that it’s an e-commerce platform of its own.
Utilising the choice of in-app selling features on TikTok is a great way for business accounts to maximise the effectiveness of their social reach.
97% of Gen Z use social media as inspiration for purchases, and a full third of those on TikTok say they actively use the app to stay up to date with the latest trends and purchases. Let’s not forget that it’s also this group who are leading the charge into social commerce (that’s buying directly from within social media platforms rather than on ecommerce websites), so optimising your TikTok presence to prepare for this shift in consumer behaviour stands your brand in good stead to win their custom.
With a bigger audience through TikTok growth, that’s a lot more potential business for your brand.
Another benefit of social commerce is that it provides a more direct route from inspiration to checkout – meaning a lower likelihood of losing potential sales as users negotiate cumbersome websites and e-commerce checkout solutions.
If you’re wondering the best way to get involved, we’d recommend starting with How to Get Sales from TikTok – our definitive guide to selling on the platform.
5. Learn from your brand community
When you grow your TikTok community, it allows you to get a deeper understanding of how they use TikTok – which is knowledge you can then begin to leverage to your benefit.
Growing on TikTok means establishing a brand community hub on the platform – somewhere where users can learn about your brand, follow you to stay informed and entertained, and connect with other, like-minded people. And all this activity is incredibly valuable as in-depth information on your target customer’s characteristics, desires, beliefs and interactions.
You’ll be able to better understand how your audience interacts with both your account and one another’s. From there, you can see the kind of content your target audience is interested in and which they respond the most positively to – all vital considerations which you can then prioritise within your content strategy.
The more you grow, the more data you’re able to collect, and the more you’ll be able to refine your brand’s online content proposition. It’s a cycle that keeps giving; establishing your brand amongst your target audience and helping you to really reach the users you most want.
It feeds a flywheel of stronger brand community and stronger campaign activity – and as brand communities are vital in securing customer loyalty and decreasing churn, it’s a learning that brands cannot ignore.
How to grow on TikTok: A TikTok strategy for brands
As we’ve proven, taking a strategic approach to your TikTok is well worth the effort.
So, how can brands grow on TikTok? Here are our top four tips to include within your TikTok growth strategy.
1. Create a strong content identity
TikTok – and specifically, the TikTok algorithm – loves consistency. But don’t let this scare you into creating only one kind of video: instead, making sure your content is underpinned by your wider brand strategy means new areas of creativity can still create a sense of sociable brand voice and purpose – which will make users want to click that ‘follow’ button.
“A lot of [TikTok success] is down to test and learn,” Hannah advises. Brands should consider what’s working, and experiment with different styles, “vlogs, styling videos, educational content… You can see what’s working well, and what isn’t.”
Once you’ve identified successes, build on them. Videos can be picked up by the algorithm at any time, which means you need to make sure that your brand page is full of the kind of content you want to be known for.
“If you have a hit video, you want people to come to your page and find more to look at,” explains Hannah. She cautions against, “jumping on any old trend and then having a confusing page that doesn’t show people what you want to achieve.”
This is where strategies such as content pillars and content series can really help to drive TikTok growth. With an ongoing series, you create a destination for the audience, giving them a reason to come back to your page. Of course, a content series has the added benefit of taking away the pressure of planning completely new content for every post – allowing you to be more consistent with a posting schedule, as well as beginning to ‘own’ that content in the eyes of your audience.
TikTok is, “a very saturated platform,” says Hannah, “so give people a reason to check their following page, as well as the FYP.”
2. Boost high-performing content
Once you have more idea of which type of content your TikTok community responds well to, strategically boosting high-performing content is one of the most effective ways to leverage your entire brand profile.
TikTok allows you to easily boost your existing videos using a a TikTok ads solution: TikTok spark ads. You can learn more about TikTok spark ads here.
According to Hannah, paid ads “create a buzz. The more you create in a short amount of time, the more you saturate people’s feeds.” Using in-feed ads to showcase your hero content is one of the first steps in ensuring further success. That’s because you can “ensure the content’s going to the right people, learn more about the audience, and have the data about who is engaging with that content so you can target them further.”
The key is to use your high-performing content, which you already know is landing well with audiences. This way, you show off your brand in a good light, and give users a reason to visit your account.
3. Work with (the right) TikTok creators
Influencer marketing is huge on social media – and for good reason: influencers are trusted more than traditional ads.
Influencer marketing on TikTok is the best way to engage with new audiences, because their engagement rate is so high. On TikTok, UK influencers boast an engagement rate of over 17%, compared to averages of 4.7% on Instagram and a meagre 0.19% on Facebook.
Of course, you’ve got to choose your influencer partners carefully, because it’s their personality you’re relying on when you hand over the task of content creation.
“You have to let them do their own thing for the content to be successful,” says Hannah. “The content that lives on an influencer’s channel versus your brand channel should be very different. Let them introduce their personality – it won’t be your brand TOV, but that’s the point.”
Hannah cautions that creative freedom should be championed by brands in influencer partnerships; “There’s nothing worse than watching someone do something and thinking about how awkward it is – because it’s inauthentic. People can see through it now.”
But, should you find a partnership that works for you, “Using recognisable faces and voices on a brand’s account drives awareness more. There’s a higher growth on the account.”
This is something we’ve seen many brands stumble on. TikTok influencers aren’t just beneficial for marketing on their own channels: their videos also perform very well on brands’ own TikTok accounts to help grow them. Their content lends a relatable face to the brand, helping to build its identity while making the page feel more dynamic and interesting. Over time, brands can work with the best performing influencers for more long-term partnerships as brand ambassadors.
Get in touch to find out about how we find the perfect TikTok influencers for any brand or growth campaign.
4. Join TikTok trends
Scrolling through your For You Page (FYP), you’re likely to come across one or two TikTok trends. TikTok trends are a type of video – or videos – that gains popularity through many TikTok users recreating them.
Brands who were able to effectively jump on these trending videos have experienced huge growth and increased brand perception in the eyes of TikTok users, who appreciate their engagement with the TikTok ecosystem.
There are various elements in any TikTok video, and any one of these could spur a TikTok trend. These include TikTok sound trends (or sound memes), TikTok hashtag trends, and TikTok challenge trends (often taking the form of hashtag challenges), dance trends, stitch and duet trends, and simple content trends.
Leveraging tactical moments is a cost-effective way to grow an audience, as you can rely on the algorithm to boost content that’s having a ‘moment’ on the platform. It also, as Hannah explains, “ensures that you’re culturally relevant amongst the TikTok world.”
Trends work well for TikTok growth because they’re leveraging something that TikTok users already like, meaning the algorithm is more likely to serve it to more users – meaning more exposure. But the TikTok UI also helps: whenever users tap on a trending sound or hashtag – and increasingly, hyperlinked text as TikTok breaks into Google’s SEO territory – TikTok will show users the best-performing content using that element. This means these videos get even more views.
But that also means that the worse-performing TikTok videos for a given TikTok trend – or even videos that join the trend too late – can get easily buried or lost. Our free TikTok trends newsletter is a great way to make sure you’re always on top of which trends are still growing – and how to create videos that master the trend.
Hannah also cautions that in order to see success with this strategy, brands need to think carefully about their content aims. “Don’t just do it for the sake of it,” she says. “Try and own a conversation. What does viral mean? Your content is always going to land on someone’s FYP. So hop onto trends at the right time.”
Successful attempts to leverage a tactical moment fit within the brand’s overall content strategy, supporting their brand voice and remaining consistent with the content their audience is proven to enjoy.
If you’d like to read more about TikTok trends, check out our article, TikTok Trends: How to Find the Best Trends + Use Them For Your Brand.
TikTok growth in action: The Casio case study
Fanbytes was approached by watch brand Casio. The brief? To petition G-SHOCK as the go-to watch brand for Gen Z audiences, and to build a community of watch lovers on TikTok.
Our goal was to drive awareness on TikTok, and grow the G-SHOCK account by 4.3k new followers per month. However, using our TikTok growth strategy outlined above, we overachieved massively.
Using a combination of extreme sports and lifestyle influencers, all posting under the #NeverGiveUp hashtag, we showcased the watch’s ability to withstand any activity – while still highlighting its attractiveness as a fashion accessory. We finished the campaign with 25.1k new followers to the G-SHOCK account.
Brand learnings for TikTok growth
“When it comes to driving account growth, one way people go wrong is: they talk like a brand,” says Hannah.
Authenticity is so vital to TikTok success – it’s one of the main things users search for from the brands on the FYP. Other crucial elements are: community, creativity and consistency.
Working with established creators can help with the latter two, but in order to grow on TikTok, creating a brand community should be a key goal of your growth strategy.
“Platforms like Reddit do this really well,” says Hannah. She also recommends looking for inspiration in influencers’ pages. “You see people talking in the comments, DM-ing for advice. On TikTok, you have Q&A responses, video responses… That same thread of conversation.”
Brands should aim to “own a conversation.” Once users know what they’ll get from your brand, and as long as you consistently deliver it, growth will follow.
If you would like to strategise on how your brand can grow on TikTok, get in touch. We have a proven track record of establishing brands on the platform and turning their presence into wider brand growth.
Want to learn more? We’re sharing our TikTok expertise with brands in our guides – or get in contact to learn about how we can create a bespoke growth strategy for you: