Collabstr | The Ultimate Guide to TikTok for Brands in 2021
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Influencer marketing blog post

The Ultimate Guide to TikTok for Brands in 2021

November 8, 2020

With 2 billion downloads worldwide, and 850 million daily active users as of November 2020, TikTok has become a key component to the marketing strategy of businesses around the world. We recently wrote about Nerdy Nuts, a small peanut butter company based out of South Dakota, they were able to achieve over $500,000 in monthly sales by leveraging TikTok influencers.

Nerdy Nuts is not the only small business to go viral on TikTok, and they definitely won’t be the last. TikTok is unique in many ways, but one thing that makes them appealing is the fact that they offer organic reach that is hard to come by on any other social media platform. TikTok is the only platform where you could sign up, post a piece of content, and wake up to a million views all within your first day of being on the platform. Unlike some other social media platforms that are focused on the pay-to-play model, where one must pay money to receive a certain amount of engagement or impressions, TikTok rewards good content among everything else.

For your brand to be successful on TikTok, it is not necessary for you to have a massive budget, instead it is necessary for you to pump out quality content that resonates with your audience. Once you pump out a piece of quality content, the people will decide whether or not they like it, and TikTok will reward you with more views according to this. Let’s talk about how you can leverage TikTok for your brand.

Tips When Setting Up Your Account

We know this one sounds like an obvious first step, but there are a few things that you need to do once you have created your TikTok account, this will ensure that you have a solid foundation before you get started.

Your Username Matters

Your username is important, the obvious choice is to use your business name as your username, but what happens if this is taken? Well in that case, we need to get creative.

If your business name is not available as a username, there are a couple of things you can do to get a username that still makes sense:

Add Prefix – Simply add a prefix to your desired username. For example, if we wanted the username @collabstr, but it was taken, we could simply do something like @usecollabstr or @trycollabstr.

Add Suffix – A suffix is great for those who have a website, simply just add something to the end of your desired username. For example, we did @collabstr.com, since the username @collabstr was not available.

Convert to Pro Account

The next thing you’re going to want to do is convert your TikTok account to a pro account, this will allow you to add a website and email to your bio, which makes it easier for people to find out more about your business. Pro accounts also give you access to analytics that you cannot access with a normal account; this includes:

  • Daily/monthly video views
  • Daily/monthly follower increase
  • Profile views
  • Trending videos
  • Follower demographics
Analytics are provided with TikTok pro accounts

To convert your account to a pro account, open the privacy & settings tab > choose “Manage My Account” > Tap “Switch to Pro Account”.

Pick a Niche

The first thing you want to do upon creating a TikTok account for your brand is identifying your niche. Serving a specific niche is crucial to your success on social media in general, you don’t want to be a jack of all trades, but rather a master of one trade. Chances are that your business already operates in a specific niche, so this shouldn’t be hard to narrow down.

The first thing you want to do upon creating a TikTok account for your brand is identifying your niche. Serving a specific niche is crucial to your success on social media in general, you don’t want to be a jack of all trades, but rather a master of one trade. Chances are that your business already operates in a specific niche, so this shouldn’t be hard to narrow down.

Quality over Quantity

When it comes to creating content on TikTok, the old phrase of quality over quantity still holds true. Nothing matters more on TikTok than the quality of your content, this needs to be your number one priority. If you provide value through your content you will be rewarded by the TikTok algorithm accordingly, that’s really all there is to it. So, what does it mean to provide value?

Providing quality content does not mean you need to go all-in on a massive production or spend countless hours trying to perfect your TikTok, especially since you never know which piece of content is going to go viral versus which content will be a complete failure. Creating quality content means approaching each piece of content with a specific goal in mind, ask yourself, “Is this piece of content going to provide my target audience with any sort of value?”.

Value can come in all kinds of forms, from entertainment to educational, as long as the content provides some sort of value to your target audience there is a chance it will resonate with them even more.

Know the Trends

An important aspect of creating content on TikTok comes down to knowing what is trending at the time of posting your content. Trends can come in all forms, whether it be using a specific song in your videos, talking about a specific topic that is really popular at the time, or doing a new dance that has just blown up. By knowing what is trending and incorporating these trends into your content, you give yourself a chance to be discovered by more people, as content with trending topics typically gets seen by more people.

Take Collabstr’s TikTok page for example, during the US elections we posted a case study on our TikTok which highlighted how Donald Trump was using the Nelk Boys to gain more support from the younger voters. Since we spoke about a trending topic, which was the US elections, this video went on to gain 5x more views than the average we were used to. A massive boost for our tiny account which we had just started.

How to Discover Trends:

TikTok has great ways for you to find out about new hot trends.

1. For You Page

The “For You Page” is what most TikTok users are familiar with, this is the primary tab that is displayed when you first open up the TikTok app. This is where TikTok shows you a curated feed of content that they think is relevant to your interests.

It’s important to consume some content through the For You page as you’ll be able to see what other people are creating, this will give you an idea of current content trends while also serving as content inspiration for your brand.

2. Discover Tab

The discover tab can be found at the bottom of the TikTok app once you have it opened, this is where you can discover trending challenges and hashtags. Curating content specifically for these trending hashtags and challenges will keep your content relevant, ultimately resulting in more exposure for your brand.

3. Outside of TikTok

Trends are everywhere, and a great place to figure out what topics are trending is through your everyday life. There is always something going on in the world, whether it be celebrity gossip, the US elections, or the COVID-19 quarantine. As a content creator, it is important that you are always keeping tabs on emerging trends in the real world that can be incorporated into your TikTok content strategy.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is the key to success on any social media platform, and TikTok is no different. If creating quality content is half of the battle, the other half is staying consistent with your posting schedule. Try and hold yourself to a posting schedule, it’s best to post at least once a day in the beginning, as this will help your account gain some traction early on.

It’s important not to get discouraged in the early stages of posting content on your TikTok account, especially when you’re putting a lot of time into the content only to receive a hundred views and a couple of likes. The TikTok algorithm rewards those who consistently post quality content, you never know which video might go viral.

Once you accumulate a decent following on your page, things will get easier and videos will begin to receive more views and engagement, the hardest part is getting your page to this point. Let’s talk about some tactics you can use to get your brand in front of more people while you still have a small page.

Use TikTok Influencers

Collabstr's creator marketplace is a great way to discover TikTik influencers

Collaborating with influencers on TikTok is an amazing way to get your brand in front of a new audience. This doesn’t mean you need to break the bank on a celebrity influencer with millions of followers, instead you’re better off collaborating with micro-influencers that would be happy to receive your product and some monetary compensation.

Influencers are a great way to leverage someone else’s audience to boost the growth of your brand, especially as growth can be tough in the beginning. So where do we start?

1. Finding Influencers

The first thing you want to do is find influencers that align with your brand, this is going to be the most important part. You want to work with influencers that have an audience that is likely to purchase your product.

To find the right influencer for your brand, you can browse through TikTok influencers on Collabstr’s creator marketplace. Click through the various TikTok creators and message them directly through the website before purchasing a collab with them. The influencer will then deliver the work through the website for you to review.

Another way to discover influencers would be to manually search for them through the TikTok app. How you decide to go about finding the right influencer for your campaign is up to you. The most important part is that you set the right guidelines for the collaboration. Let’s talk about what kind of guidelines are required when working with influencers on TikTok.

2. Setting Guidelines

Once you have found the perfect influencer, assuming you have already done the initial outreach confirming that they are willing to collaborate, it is time to set the collab guidelines. When working with an influencer, it is important to give them some sort of direction with the collaboration. If you want them to do a video review of your product, you need to tell them this. If you want the influencer to mention your website, you need to tell them this… I think you get the point. By providing these criteria for the collaboration, there should be no surprises when you receive the finished product.

One thing that you don’t want to tell the influencer, is how they should create the content. The whole reason you chose to work with this specific influencer is because you like their content, let them they handle the content creativity, try not to infringe on this side of things too much. Leave the content creation to the creators.

3. Reusing Content

Reusing the content created by influencers for your brand is extremely powerful. User generated content is a great way to market your brand without coming off as too “fake” or “corporate”. So, what exactly do we mean by reusing content?

When an influencer creates content for your brand, it is always a great idea to purchase the rights to this content as part of the deal. This gives you the ability to use this piece of content, whether it be a video or photo, as part of your marketing efforts. If we’re talking about a 15 second TikTok video for example, you can purchase the rights to this video and run it as an ad through your TikTok page.

Not only does this save you time, since you don’t have to create the content on your own, but in most cases user generated content will get a better response from consumers than a generic corporate ad.

If you need some more inspiration for influencer marketing on TikTok, check out these examples of influencer marketing on TikTok.

Final Thoughts

By following the guide above, we’re confident that you can achieve great success for your brand on TikTok. It’s evident that 2021 is the year of TikTok, and it’s about time every business begins thinking about their TikTok marketing strategy. We wrote about how brands like Fashion Nova and HiSmile leveraged the early days of Instagram influencers to build their empires. There is no doubt that we will see a similar story here with TikTok, but this time with some brands we have never heard of.

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