We all know that creating show-stopping content that keeps us watching is an ongoing challenge. This is especially true on TikTok, where the competition is fierce and it’s easy for your ads or videos to get lost in the mix.
But here's the thing: how do you define great content? After all, one person's entertainment is another’s snoozefest.
Whether you're a seasoned digital marketer or someone who just loves to post videos, you can always maximise your TikTok engagement and reach. We've compiled 12 of TikTok's best practices to help you create stand-out content, reach a bigger audience, and increase engagement.
Know Your Audience like the Back of Your Hand
Your target audience are the ones who will appreciate your videos. But if you don't know who they are, you'll fail to consistently create videos that resonate with them. It'll be hit and miss, with some videos or ads achieving success, and others falling flat.
Our first best practice for maximising TikTok contact and reach is to know your audience. By researching the types of video they like to watch, you'll gain valuable insights that can be used for current and further ad campaigns. After all, you wouldn't target Generation-Z if your content is tailored for professionals in their 40's, and vice versa.
So how do you find your target audience? Use TikTok analytics:
Utilise TikTok analytics
If you have a TikTok business account, you can access TikTok analytics.
Click on the 'Followers' tab and see your followers demographics, like location, gender and interests. You can even see when they're most active, so you know when to post to get the most reach and engagement. With a proper schedule in hand, you can optimise your timing for new content.
Furthermore, you can use the 'Content' tab to find out which of your videos are performing best. Group them and analyse their common elements. What are their themes? What pain points does your brand solve? Do they invoke emotion through music, visuals, and text?
By identifying commonalities, you'll have a broader understanding of what resonates with your followers and future viewers.
Engage with Your Audience
Your TikTok audience can make or break you. They're your biggest cheerleaders and defenders, so regularly engaging with them can retain their loyalty. This applies to content creators and brands alike.
To engage with your audience, it's exactly how it sounds; interact with them. This can be as easy as replying to comments, accepting feedback (good and bad), answering questions, giving shoutouts and so on. You can even run polls and surveys to see what content topics they would like to see more of.
Once you've connected with your audience, you'll quickly discover your diehard followers will try harder to engage and promote your TikTok videos or ads. They'll become your biggest advocates, and are more likely to share your content and tag their friends, helping your reach grow.
Just be authentic when communicating with your followers. After all, they're people just like you, and relatability is a big part of the TikTok experience.
Promote Your Own Hashtag Challenges
There's nothing like a hashtag challenge to really build buzz and excitement in the TikTok landscape. Anyone can join in, and that's the beauty of them - you'll gain exposure from TikTokers who are outside of your following.
Hashtag challenges also provide an enormous amount of user-generated content, substantially boosting brand awareness and increasing engagement.
So how do you go about creating a viral hashtag challenge?
There isn't an exact science to it, but by following a few of our pointers, you can drastically increase the chances of success:
Follow TikTok trends: Is there an event or topic that's captivating people right now? Use the trending topics to create your challenge and draw attention.
Be original: Sure, you can capitalise on trends to create a challenge that's related. But originality is key - don't be tempted to copy other challenges, as it could backfire.
Incentive: Give users and your TikTok followers a reason to participate. If you have a giveaway or contest, people will be more inclined to give it a real go. You'll have high-quality submissions that you can then republish and promote.
Be yourself: You want organic followers who genuinely like your brand and video content. Don't create a hashtag if it goes against your ethos or values.
Keep it simple: Your hashtag challenge should be simple and memorable enough for users to understand and follow.
Let Audiences Get to Know the Real You
Do you know why day in the life videos are so popular? Because it gives followers a window into your life. And it doesn't have to pertain strictly to your business either; you can use TikTok to show the real you and your hobbies, values and interests.
These videos give a human touch to the brand owner or content creator, allowing audiences to connect with you on a personal level. And it's not just about you; you can build up the other people in your life such as family, friends, and co-workers.
So what type of videos allow audiences to find out the real you? Try these TikTok content ideas to get started:
Day in the life: A TikTok video that follows your daily activities, whether it'd be your hobbies, work, or family.
Behind the scenes: Show fans what goes on behind closed doors and give them a sneak peak of what happens behind the camera.
Office tour: Tour your facility or office to really showcase where your brand’s magic happens.
Meet the team: Introduce your co-workers and give them a face to associate with the brand.
Post TikTok Videos Frequently and Be Consistent
Normally I’d say to concentrate on quality rather than quantity, but TikTok recommends posting 1-4 times daily. And as creators are encouraged to post so frequently, you can test out different types of videos or ads and see what sticks.
Now, obviously 1-4 times a day is excessive for most people. However, by posting frequently, the TikTok algorithm is more likely to favour your content, meaning it will be shown more often to a larger audience.
For content creators, we personally recommend at least posting 3-5 times a week to give your viewers something new. This will also keep your TikTok profile active and you won't be forgotten about - as content is generally fleeting. Lastly, you can track each video's performance via views, clicks, likes and comments to further hone your content strategy.
Leverage user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is basically content created and published by other users. These could be your followers, customers, influencers or even just everyday people. Unlike content created by your own company, which has an obvious agenda, customers trust UGC more since it's from a neutral source.
Starbucks for example, often, showcase UGC in the form of glowing testimonials. These users then use branded hashtags, which further increase the company’s reach. It also provides the brand social proof, driving more customers and boosting sales.
To get started with UGC, you can ask followers or industry influencers to create engaging content using your brands. Naturally, you'll want to provide an incentive to encourage users, via giveaways, contests or anything else that gets them excited.
Here are a few ways you can leverage UGC:
Share UGC on social media: Share user-generated content on other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You can then attract users from these platforms to your TikTok account.
Use UGC in advertising: UGC can be incorporated into your ads to help reach a wider audience. This type of content feels more organic, as it's coming from real people who genuinely enjoy what you offer.
Incorporate UGC into product stories: If you're selling a product, feature users who love your product. These can include tutorials, reviews or simply how they use your product in their lifestyle.
Research Your TikTok Competitors on TikTok
Your competitors are more than obstacles between you and success. They also provide inspiration, ideas and techniques to drastically improve your content and ads.
By researching your fiercest rivals on TikTok, you can do the following:
Discover trending hashtags and TikTok trends: Find out which hashtags your competitors and see if you can use them too. Also find what TikTok trends are in your industry.
Uncover the type of content that performs best: Track TikTok engagement rates on your competitor's top-performing videos. See what time length, music, tone, visuals and more are resonating with their viewers.
Explore influencer collaborations: See who they're collaborating with. Does your competition have the same influencers? If so, reach out to them or similar influencers to form a partnership.
If you want to discover what your competitors are doing, use the MagicBrief Chrome extension. You can then save TikTok videos into the MagicBrief's TikTok Ad Library and compare videos for your ad campaign.
Do Live Streams to Interact with Your Followers
To really connect with your audience, there's no better way than hosting a live stream.
Live streams are TikTok video sessions where content creators speak directly to the people who watch them. You can build meaningful relationships that go beyond the platform, and in turn, increase loyalty. Conduct a Q&A, talk about the latest industry news, do product reviews or just hang out.
Live streams create a sense of urgency and exclusivity which regular videos can't replicate. They're also live, so if your users are not on the stream, they could potentially miss out on something. It also allows content creators to give their live audience the latest news before anyone else.
Finally, you should let your followers know you're going live to begin with. Create a feed-post and announce your stream’s date and time. That way, you've given yourself the best chance for followers to tune in.
Stitch & Duet With Other TikTok Users
Stitch and duet is exclusive to TikTok, making it a must-have in your content creator's toolbox. Stitch involves trimming a user's video, and adding your own content to that video. The duet feature, meanwhile, lets you combine your video with another side-by-side, creating a split-screen effect.
By using these features, you can efficiently collaborate with TikTok users to create unique pieces of content. Some examples of this could include:
- Duetting a popular TikToker's video and critiquing (respectfully of course) or praising their product.
- Stitching two posts together to continue where a user left off.
- Creating a comedy or musical duet that showcases the very best of both video producers.
Overall, TikTok's Stitch and Duet features are one of the more creative and fun ways to interact with TikTok followers and users. You can create content that appeals to multiple audiences, allowing you to get followers from your collaborator's fan base!
Use TikTok Ads
Now, if you're a brand showcasing their products or service in TikTok, it's almost impossible not to consider TikTok Ads as part of your social media marketing strategy.
Target your chosen demographics, and get noticed by potential customers and boost engagement. It also lets you measure your ad campaign's performance in the form of impressions, clicks, conversions, and so on.
If you’re unsure on which TikTok Ad format to use, it pays to do a little bit of research.
If you want to emphasise storytelling, use a TopView ad to explain your product or service. These last up to 60 seconds, giving you ample time to convey your creative messaging. If your goal is brand awareness on the largest possible scale, use BrandTakeover ads to boost TikTok engagement.
Besides ad formats, ensure to use the right ad specs. This ensures TikTok approves of your ad, and is shown at its absolute best - no pixelated videos, please! Use Tiktok Creative Center's feature to explore the top ads on TikTok and choose the right one for you.
Create Thumbnails that Can't be Ignored
When users visit your profile, they can see all of your videos in a gallery. And as they scroll through them, it's your thumbnails that will grab their attention.
Creating eye-catching thumbnails is one of the easiest and effective ways to get eyeballs on your videos. And it's not just on TikTok, but on Youtube, Instagram and other social media platforms, too.
When choosing a thumbnail, use high-quality images relevant to your video's content. Include a short text that will captivate audiences and want them to click.
So, for example, instead of writing 'how to get more followers on TikTok' you could write "How I got from 0 to 10K followers in a week". The latter is more engaging and specific, and will trigger a sense of curiosity from your audience.
Always Include a CTA that Matches Your Goals
Creating eye-catching content is great, but even if your target audience watches your video in its entirety, you'll get fewer clicks if they have nothing to do next.
That's what Call-to-actions (CTAs) do. They let viewers take further action, whether it's visiting your website, installing your app or subscribing to your newsletter. It's highly effective in generating leads, turning a casual viewer into a potential customer!
When adding CTAs, ensure that it's relevant to your actual goal. You wouldn't say 'Download Now' if you're trying to directly sell products. It'd only be applicable if they're visiting your site to download an app, which can then lead to a purchase.
Besides the CTA itself, find out when in your videos it works best. While most TikTok brands put their CTAs at the end, there are times where a mid-roll CTA can work. Let's say you're featuring multiple products on a long video, you can include a CTA in the middle where viewers are most engaged.
Whatever CTA approach you take, it helps to check what your competitors are doing. That way, you can skip the trial and error phase and get the most clicks from your videos!
While our best practices for increasing TikTok engagement can seem daunting, you can slowly incorporate them into your marketing and content strategy.
Start small and measure your results, then scale up as needed! With a bit of creativity and analysis, you're sure to get real results in your social media marketing journey! But if there's one takeaway you should take, it's that understanding your audience goes a long way in increasing engagement on TikTok.
With that said, it's time to go and start creating amazing content on TikTok! Good luck!