Marketing on TikTok brand image social media platform

Does Your Brand Need A TikTok? 4 Questions to Ask Yourself First.

TikTok came onto the social media scene in 2018 and since then, the video-based app has created a huge following and has maintained an incredibly active base. The app is available in over 150 countries and as of April 2020, has over 1.5 billion users. TikTok has been downloaded over 130 million times and boasts 60 million active monthly users in the United States alone. 

These numbers are no joke, and the potential for advertising on this platform is massive. TikTok is increasingly becoming Gen Z’s favorite social media platform so it is a great place to market to the generation that will soon make up 40% of US consumers. But, brands have to be careful with TikTok marketing. The generation that has been exposed to internet ads since birth are highly savvy to obvious marketing tropes and do not appreciate traditional advertising strategies. Gen Z values authenticity over everything, so brands must be authentic to attract attention. 

Some brands that jumped on TikTok early and found success include Chipotle, Crocs, Levi’s, Gymshark, and even the Washington Post. These brands have had success on the app with mostly created content but there have also been great successes from branded hashtags, and work with platform influencers. 

But, there are some key questions that you must ask yourself as a brand before jumping onto the TikTok bandwagon. 

These questions should be the starting point for your TikTok marketing strategy conversation. The last thing you want is for your brand to end up on a “fail” TikTok compilation video.

1. Does your brand have a Gen Z audience or are you looking to build a Gen Z audience? 

If your brand cannot answer “yes” to this question, go ahead and stop reading now. If your product or service is not targeting consumers between 15-25, you should not add a TikTok line to your marketing budget. A better plan of action will be to continue with your current marketing efforts or build up your presence on other social media platforms. Not every brand will translate to every platform. Remember to meet your target audience where they are.

One of the most important things to Gen Z is authenticity, both online and in person. This is the generation that has never seen a world without the internet and thus, they are social media natives. If your brand does not genuinely reach the Gen Z audience, creating branded TikToks will end up looking inauthentic. The TikTok platform is all about videos that are raw and highly creative. If what you are promoting does not translate, it will not be a fruitful use of your precious marketing resources. 

If you have a Gen Z audience or you are looking to build one, TikTok is a great place to start. Keep running through these questions to make sure it is the best fit for you and your brand.



The internet is wild ##oneyearoftiktok

♬ #Me at the concert – #someonelikeyou

2. Does your content translate well to video format?

Again, if your answer to this question is “no,” you need not read further. Gen Z loves watching video content and especially video content on mobile devices. It is estimated that Gen Z spends approximately 23 hours a week streaming video content on their mobile devices. 

Videos are the centerpiece of the TikTok experience for users. In-app the users can scroll through other’s videos, upload their own, record original content, and even duet with other user’s videos. TikTok calls itself the “destination for short-form videos” in its mission statement. You can think of these short, comedic videos as a cross between Vine and Youtube.

So, can your product or service be showcased in a dynamic or humorous way? Is there a behind-the-scenes angle you could show? Could your product be shown or reviewed by already popular video creators? What you are selling does not need to be sexy in itself, just ask, could you produce video content that would be interesting on this platform? If yes, let’s move on.

3. Can you be authentic to your brand voice while fitting into the TikTok world?

This is an important note to take into consideration. Do your research in-app and then take a good look at your current brand voice across other social media channels. This is what your target audience has come to know. Can you remain authentic to your current brand voice while building out a TikTok strategy? 

Like we have discussed above, authenticity is everything to Gen Z. Can you remain authentic to who you are while building out a TikTok presence? Will the content you produce for TikTok look discordant from your other promotional materials? 

TikTok is a trend generator with new jokes emerging quickly out of the old. It is important for companies that want to build out a TikTok strategy to stay up to date on the trends. This will be the only way to ensure the smooth integration of your branded content. Take stock of the trends and then ask yourself how your brand could position itself inside of the established TikTok framework. 

If you will appear forced or fake, TikTok might not be the best place for you to take your brand. 



Didn’t expect that…##gushers ##foryou ##comedy

♬ original sound – therealgushers

4. Can your brand become an entertainment brand?

In a world where content is king, any brand can be an entertainment brand. This question is basically asking can you make content that is entertaining? Can your product or service be promoted in a comedic or heartwarming way? Can you make branded content that people will want to engage with?

TikTok itself is an entertainment platform. People go on the app to laugh or be moved. The users, especially the large Gen Z portion of the audience are not looking to be advertised to. This means that brands have to do their research and put out content that is interactive or entertaining or risk being scrolled away without a glance. This kind of content will again come from in-app research. If your brand is ready to make a move on TikTok, either consult with the experts on exactly how to get it right or devote a serious portion of time to understanding the format. 

If you answered “yes” to all four of these questions, it might be time for your brand to start getting a TikTok campaign together. TikTok is an exciting new social platform and the advertising potential is nearly limitless. Remember to be authentic, creative, and unique. The platform will do the rest.

Ready to get started with your own TikTok campaign now? Let’s chat. 



The ##ThousandDollarCrocs challenge starts today. We can’t wait to see what you guys come up with! @adamw

♬ original sound – crocs