Should Brands be on TikTok? The 2024 Guide to TikTok Marketing

TikTok Marketing

Written by Abby Kawamata

With expertise in social media marketing, branding, and graphic design, Abby crafts compelling social narratives that drive engagement and boost brand recognition.

May 1, 2024

If you haven’t heard of TikTok, you might’ve been living under a rock for the last few years. Even researchers in Antarctica are using it to document their daily adventures! As the latest social media titan to grace our screens, it seems like everyone from teens to grandparents are using this hot-button video-sharing platform to share the intimate details of their lives with millions of followers.
And of course, like moths to a paycheque-shaped flame, companies have likewise flocked to the app to promote their products to its captive global audience. The popular opinion seems to be that if your business is not on TikTok, you may as well declare bankruptcy now. But is TikTok really that important for your digital marketing strategy?

Entering the video content era

There’s no fighting it – still images are out, and video content is king. As of 2024, TikTok boasts over 1 billion active users, all clamouring to devour the bite-sized morsels of entertainment its creators provide. And unfortunately for you die-hard photography fans, the video trend isn’t just isolated to TikTok. In a bid to stay competitive, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts quickly jumped on the bandwagon, making resistance seem futile.

The fight for dominance across the social media app market has even resulted in video content algorithm prioritisation on apps other than TikTok. In other words, your content is far more likely to be seen as a high-quality Instagram reel than it would be as a still image posted at the same time.

But note the keyword here – high-quality. As short-form video becomes more ubiquitous, fierce competition pushes creators to be more original, eye-catching, and entertaining in order to secure their audience. After all, no one wants poorly edited, boring videos filling up their FYP (For You Page).

The benefits – and pitfalls – of TikTok marketing

For small businesses, the huge audience that TikTok boasts can prove a budget-friendly opportunity to reach new customers through organic (unpaid) content. The latest crazes spread like consumerist wildfire, boosting sales for the lucky chosen few, albeit usually temporarily. However, this potential for success relies on the assumption that your content will go ‘viral’ – a task easier said than done. If it were so simple, then everyone would be doing it!

Success or lack thereof on platforms like TikTok is unpredictable and often boils down to nothing other than luck. There are some ways to boost your reach as much as possible – including using trending audio, writing interesting captions, and curating quality visuals – but even with all these boxes ticked, there’s a very real possibility of falling short.

TikTok and Instagram’s incredibly complex algorithms work like magicians to serve you content that you are likely to enjoy, which means eliminating poor-quality videos and showing you the cream of the digital crop. And with the sheer multitude of videos out there, it’s inevitable that yours might not be seen.

Low-quality content posted for the sake of it won’t get you very far, and can in fact hurt your brand rather than help it. Just imagine you came across a new clothing brand – sure, their clothes look great at first glance, but then they start posting blurry, irrelevant videos with clumsy transitions and bad lighting.

It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in their legitimacy, and it might even stop you from making a purchase. Every piece of digital content linked to your business should tell a cohesive story, and when one content pillar falls short, it can cause the entire foundation to crumble.

Choosing the right social media platform for your brand

Social media is not one size fits all! Your industry, goals, and priorities should all factor into the decision. If you have a handmade product and love to show your creation process through meticulously edited time-lapses, TikTok videos would probably serve you well.

If you hate being on camera and are short on time, then you might be more suited to Instagram and Facebook. You’re better off not posting at all if your TikToks aren’t meeting the standard that you’ve set for your business, and focusing on developing your brand voice will improve your image far better than any arbitrary video.

While TikTok marketing might seemingly be on the entire world’s agenda, there’s no point in blindly following trends that don’t work for you and your unique situation. So, do you really need TikTok for your business? Well, we’ll leave that up to you and your business to decide!

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