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Almost overnight, TikTok has become one of the hottest marketing channels around. Brands are trying to capitalize on its popularity to drive awareness and increase sales. And it’s no surprise. The app has now been downloaded upwards of 2 billion times — a huge potential reach.

Where many brands get stuck, though, is not realizing TikTok isn’t like other social media channels, and TikTok marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. What works for one brand won’t necessarily work for another. In fact, trying to replicate something could come off as disingenuous and hurt a brand’s reputation, or just fall flat.

TikTok users want authenticity. They’re not looking for the polished perfection often found on Instagram, a platform filled with curated content. They want to see honest, creative, relatable content.

It takes a unique creative spark inspired by uniting a brand’s values with the audience of the creators to stand out.

The Key to Marketing on TikTok

As with any social media campaign strategy, the success of TikTok marketing depends on your approach. Do your research first. Get to know the platform, audience, and how other brands are already marketing on TikTok. Then, define what you hope to accomplish. Is it to generate brand awareness? Is it to promote a new product? Is it to drive sales by going viral as often as possible? Then try to identify a handful of creators to test with who could help support this goal.

The real key to success on this platform is to empower the creator community — that’s where you’ll start to harness the benefits of using TikTok. Then, give creators license to share their versions of your story. Let them experiment and flex their creative muscles, since each new video also has the potential of going viral. Virality is almost always determined by a video being engaging, worth watching all the way through, and being a good match for the initial audience that sees it.

Take e.l.f. cosmetic’s “Eyes.Lips.Face” campaign. There was a definite production to the video; the company commissioned an original song and enlisted the help of some prominent influencers. But it was the video’s originality and authenticity that led to it becoming a viral sensation. Nearly 18,000 user-generated videos came about because of this hashtag challenge.

Understanding the TikTok For You Page

Unlocking the secrets of the For You Page for marketing on TikTok start by having a basic understanding of the technology that makes everything work. TikTok’s For You Page takes advantage of 3  technologies.

  • Computer Vision
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Meta Data

How does the TikTok Algorithm Analyze Creators Content?

TikTok utilizes advanced technology to determine which videos will land on the For You Pages of its users. The 3 main technologies at work are Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, and Meta Data. 

Computer Vision is used to identify the content inside a post. This allows the TikTok system to know that there are certain physical objects and activities in a video. Like in the below slide from one of our recent webinars. 

It also uses Natural Language Processing to convert the audio in the video to text so that machine learning and AI can understand the content of the video accurately. 

Lastly, it uses what is referred to as Meta Data, or things like the caption, the name of the creator, music used, the number of times the video is liked, shared, commented on, and views to completion. 

The ForYouPage Funnell 

When you think about the For You Page as a series of funnels it becomes a bit easier to understand.

First, the algorithm uses the technologies mentioned before to try and match content to the viewer based on what it knows you’ve viewed all the way to completion in the past.

Second, it looks at the Meta Data associated with the post itself to analyze it’s performance. if that post is performing well with a test group, it’s shown to a wider audience. This process continues continuously – ensuring that engaging content is widely distributed, and content that is not interesting to the people it’s shown to quickly loses any chance at wider distribution. You can see this process visualized in the chart below.

One thing to note is that creators with large audiences skip a few stages of the funnel, they have such a large audience that engages with their content on a regular basis that they don’t need to go through a testing phase. Their followers will usually be shown their content on their own FYPs thus driving the algorithm to distribute that content to wider audiences.

These creators typically know how to make engaging content, that’s how they have such large audiences in the first place, so they’re set up quite well to take advantage of this system on a daily basis. Gaining more followers and distribution every time they post. 

How Brands are Teaming up with Heartbeat

Having a big budget can help, but it isn’t always necessary to reap the benefits of TikTok. Brands are working with us in a variety of ways to go to market fast on TikTok.

The $25k TikTok Test Bundle

Heartbeat’s package that gets brands started on the platform quickly with over 25 pieces of content. With over 30 pieces of content and an AVG CPM of $6.05 and estimated cost per views below $0.02, brands are loving quick results with enough content to kick their pages off quickly.

Creative Concepts Sourced from Top TikTok’ers – Learn More

Heartbeat found that many brands were seeking more market intelligence before launching their first TikTok campaign around what message to go live with. The Creative Concepts initiative is a $3,000 package that can be rolled into larger purchases that helps brands unlock ideas from actual creators registered with the Heartbeat Marketplace. Our targeting lets brands source concepts from their target audience, and with this package, a brand can quickly identify 3-5 creative ideas to test or scale with their campaign.

TikTok 360 

While the demand for TikTok planning and execution has gone up since the start of Q2 marketing departments unfortunately across the board have seen a reduction in headcount. The need for a trusted partner to help source creators, plan creative, and execute campaigns has skyrocketed. Heartbeat offers a program that can help your brand plan quarters in advance in order to maximize ROI, sales, and awareness on TikTok via authentic creator campaigns.

Stay tuned for more from us at Heartbeat! Looking to learn more: Get in Touch!