Whether you like it or not, TikTok has become a social media juggernaut. It is far and away the fastest growing social media platform, growing by 87% in 2020 alone, and is expected to reach 1.8 billion users by the end of 2022.
Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that marketers are seeing TikTok as an important piece of the social media puzzle. However, TikTok is a relatively new platform when compared with the likes Facebook and Twitter, and there seems to be a lot of conflicting advice on how to actually utilise it properly for business.
While there are many different approaches you can take, I find the best way to get started with a new platform (or to up my game on an existing strategy) is to see examples of brands that are doing it right. That’s we’ve put together this list, so you can see first-hand how successful brands are using TikTok to grow awareness, engage users, and generally amp up their marketing strategy. We’ve also included some key takeaways from each so you can start creating awesome TikToks asap!
Duolingo is probably one of the most well known brands on TikTok, thanks in large part to their famous mascot. The Duolingo owl, Duo, creates a distinct brand identity and gives the company a USP when hopping on the latest trending sounds.
What makes Duolingo successful on TikTok though, as well as featuring Duo, is that they aren’t trying to sell directly to their audience. Their prime goal, it seems, is to make their brand memorable and relatable. Duo interacts with the back office team, using trends to highlight what life working at Duolingo is like in a very tongue-in-cheek way.
It’s Duo’s world and we’re just living in it.
Top TikTok tip: Mascots, when deployed properly, can make your TikTok presence memorable and relatable.
Grammarly is a cloud-based grammar and spelling assistant that is used by students, writers, marketers, and, well anyone who is looking for some writing help. One of the best things about the Grammarly TikTok channel is the way they show how these different demographics use their products. Back to school time? They highlight how college students can benefit. An iPhone user? Grammarly has a new update that increases functionality.
This is all done in combination with trending sounds that speak to a corporate audience, specifically marketers and millennials. Their consistency in posting is also a key metric in their success, publishing videos at at least once a day. If there is anything the TikTok algorithm likes it’s consistency.
Top TikTok Tip: Use trends to showcase the usability of your product for specific segments of your key demographics to create shareable content.
TikTok is about brands showing their personality, and while Shopify certainly does that, they have also found a way to seamlessly blend in their users stories.
Shopify really highlights how all types of businesses, but particularly small businesses, benefit from using their ecommerce platform. They do this by featuring those creators and stories directly on their own TikTok channel. User generated content and content that features customers is valuable, and by putting this on the Shopify channel, they connect with their audience in an authentic way.
Bonus, Shopify also offer tips and tools their team themselves use that also resonate with their audience of marketers and content creators. They blend this with the ubiquitous trending content, both of which are always high-quality and on brand.
Reply to @red_concrete0 this is the ultimate #productivity tool to focus♬ Jazz masterpiece "As time goes by" covered by a Jazz violinist by profession(962408) - ricca
Top TikTok tip: Featuring your users is a great way to connect with your audience and create high-quality content.
The Canva TikTok channel is a masterclass in showcasing your own product. Canva, an online graphic design platform, is a key tool in any marketers toolbox (we certainly love it), and by the looks of their TikTok channel, they know their audience well.
Their channel is built around providing guidance on how to best use their tools in a fun and relatable way.
But it’s not all straight product demos and guides. Canva is really good at blending videos that showcase their product functionality with TikTok trends. They’re able to do this because they know their target audience well, and know that marketers (and other smaller creators) will respond to this specific type of content.
Top TikTok Tip: Knowing your audience and creating content directly for them can actually increase your reach.
Little Moons: @littlemoonsmochi
This one is a personal favourite, having come across it recently. Little Moons is a mochi brand and has grown their following to almost 300k. How? A great blend of people and product.
While it may seem counterintuitive as many food brands focus more on the end user than the back office, Little Moons has given their brand a face and personality through TikTok and combined that with product videos. And it makes sense, their whole brand was built around their people, just take a look at their about us section. So in focusing on the people who bring you Little Moons, as well as the stores that sell them and the users that eat them, Little Moons creates a powerful TikTok channel that many brands can learn from.
Top TikTok tip: Your people are just as important as your product, so make sure you feature both.
The millennial workforce is a big part of the TikTok viewing audience and TL;DV - an online meeting recorder - has cultivated a presence that appeals directly to them. Millennials are largely known for their cynicism, sarcasm, and surviving a myriad of once-in-a-lifetime events, and TL;DV capitalises on those characteristics in their content.
In fact, looking at their TikTok channel, you wouldn’t be sure what their product is at first glance (their software lets you record, highlight, edit, share & download moments from your online meetings), and I mean that in the best way possible. They are more focused on creating content that resonates with their audience. This allows them to build a genuinely engaged online community who will be more receptive to their product-related content when they do choose to post it.
Top TikTok tip: Creating an engaged audience can be more important than featuring your product, just make sure your content is relevant to your desired target audience in some way.
A lot of people think it takes a large team of people to create a Tiktok presence that resonates. While it might be nice to have that sort of resource, Biteable shows us that a team of one can be TikTok heavy hitter.
It does make sense, as Biteable provides top-quality video software, but their seemingly one-woman TikTok team has helped them build an audience of almost 35k. The key to their success seems to be consistency, creativity, and timing. Despite their seemingly small team, Biteable posts 1-2 times daily and they are quick to hop on trends and poke fun at corporate life in a way that a large section of the workforce finds relatable.
Top TikTok tip: You don’t need a big team to make an impact. The trick is consistency and creativity.
What World Rugby gets right is their use of influencers and players to make content that is memorable. A great example of this is their World Cup 2021 content. Like with other major tournaments, World Rugby has devoted almost all of their content resources to this flagship event.
Most memorably, they share and create content from the players themselves, as well as bringing on noted women’s rugby influencers from across the platform. The use of influencers here seems natural, as they have engaged with content creators who not only have devoted followings, but are genuinely engaged with their niche (here, specifically, women’s rugby).
When they don’t have tournament to focus on, they work with players from around the rugby world to create content that fans and non-fans alike can share.
Top TikTok tip: Influencers can help build your brand identity when they fit your market niche and are passionate about your content.
Whether you’re a fan of their approach or not, Ryan Air is infamous on TikTok and for good reason. Known for their slightly abrasive style and perfecting the art of the ‘clapback’, Ryan Air has a distinct TikTok style that has garnered the attention of 1.8m followers.
And it’s not just their ‘interactions’ with passengers that make their channel successful. Like Duolingo, they have a mascot of sorts. Unlike Duolingo, theirs is less a mascot and creative use of a TikTok filter. The eyes and mouth overlaid on a Ryan Air plane is instantly recognisable and helps capture the attention of both their followers and those on the FYP. With a few exceptions, Ryan Air uses this pseudo mascot for all of their videos, whether it’s answering (or not) customer questions or jumping on the latest trend.
Top TikTok tip: Creating a unique brand voice and sticking to it, makes your content more memorable.
TikTok is a relatively recent addition to the Hurree social media arsenal, but in just a short time it has become one of our most popular channels. The key to Hurree’s relative TikTok success so far has been a combination of a few things: consistency (we try to post 5-6 times a week), hopping on trending sounds, and, to be perfectly honest, not being afraid to fail.
Trial and error is something that we’ve embraced at Hurree, and while some videos only get a few hundred fews, others get a few hundred thousand (or 1.3M).
In testing this way, we have been able to narrow down who our audience is and what they want to see, creating a niche. And in doing so, we’ve been able to guide people to other calls to action like free trials and demos (we’ve even been able to supplement our recruitment strategy using TikTok).
Top TikTok tip: Don’t be afraid to test. Not every TikTok is going to have a 1 million views, but the more you try things out, the more you learn what does actually work for you.
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