6 Tips For Maximizing Engagement On TikTok

Photo by Antonbe, Pixabay


The last three months have been huge for TikTok, with the app now reaching beyond 2 billion downloads. It should come as no surprise to hear, then, that every day we’re hearing more and more from brands who are looking to embrace TikTok as a new platform for influencer marketing. 

For this reason, we want to share a few tips on how you can best use TikTok to inspire more meaningful interaction with TikTok’s engaged, youthful audience.


1. Catch Your Audience From the Beginning

By TikTok’s design, users will never run out of content to watch. From the moment the app is opened, users will face the “For You” page with a neverending feed of videos from TikTokers around the world that they can swipe through with ease. Because of the wealth of great, creative videos, brands, and influencers must capture the audience’s attention from the beginning and hold on to it.

This can be done in many ways. You could use a catchy song or sound, include a title that builds intrigue or make a promise about what will happen in the video, simply use captivating images, or add engaging filters. If a video seems aimless and amateurish, audiences have no reason to invest extra time to see what will happen. 

Remember that you’re competing against millions of other videos for your audience’s attention. Hook your audience in the first three seconds and you’ll be more likely to get them to continue watching until the end. 


2. Keep It Short and Simple

Another effect that the wealth of content has on users is that attention spans are much shorter. Therefore, one factor to consider is that TikTok users are on average under 20-years-old, which is a demographic that many have argued are losing the ability to stay focused for longer. 

While TikTok videos can be up to 60 seconds long, we’d recommend sticking to videos that are closer to 15 seconds long. This might force you to keep your ideas diluted to their core message, but time and time again we’ve seen that this is what audiences are responding to the most. 


3. View Your Audience From a Different Angle

If you’re experienced with using influencer marketing on Instagram, you’ll know that there are a number of approaches you can take to target particular demographics. This might be through using Instagram’s Analytics tools to refine your message, and through recruiting collaborators with an in-built audience that matches your desired demographic.

As we mentioned above, TikTok’s userbase tends to be younger and, therefore, at a different stage in their life than Instagram’s users. For this reason, we suggest creating brand messages that appeal to much broader demographics, with under-20s being the anchor point for your targeted audience. By researching the values, buying habits, and social media trends amongst these users, you can then work on aligning your brand’s message or advertised product with something that will appeal to this group. 

Besides that, a noteworthy amount of TikTokers doesn’t even have an Instagram account anymore and even though they do, social media consumers tend to switch between apps regarding what they want to consume at that exact moment.


4. Move the Masses

Once you can start looking at your audience as a broad demographic, you can work on the content that will inspire the masses to act. Because your content could be shown to everyone instead of just your followers, there’s little value in producing niche content for a select few.

Last week, we covered Chipotle’s TikTok summer campaigns that revolved around a lid flip challenge and a guacamole dance. Both campaigns were incredibly successful as most everyone could participate in the challenges. There was nothing about them that could alienate certain viewers or cause offense – the aim was simply to create something fun and boost sales in the process. And it worked. 

Overall, comedy is top trending on TikTok in all age groups, and therefore it’s important to keep in mind that the approach is very different from Instagram.


5. Be Spontaneous

Unlike Instagram, TikTok trends can develop and rise up on a daily basis. So next to planning highly-valued, thoughtful, and detailed campaigns with influencers, use developing trends to kick off a campaign – try to be very quick in adapting these to stay ahead of current trends.

This could include selecting a song or sound at the last minute that appears to be blowing up or piggybacking on a currently trending dance challenge. Keep your finger to the pulse of what is going on in TikTok and be ready and open to adapt.


6. Use the Masses

Whereas on Instagram followers look to influencers to be the source of their content and for trendsetting, TikTok generally is at its best when regular users contribute their own content. For this reason, TikTok can almost provide a kind of experiential marketing opportunity, where regular users can engage with a brand’s message or challenge prompt in a personalized way.

Use TikTokers to spread your brand’s message within influencer campaigns by providing them with a broad and rough brief that leaves enough space for creativity. Work less on creating perfect videos and focus more on creating authentic ones. 


Things to Remember

Keep in mind that the number of followers on your TikTok account doesn’t really matter. What is important is that you are creating content that captures your audience’s attention and inspires them to engage with and share your message. Generating likes and comments will tell the TikTok algorithm that the video is engaging and will help land it on other user’s screens.

TikTok may be a relatively new frontier, but this doesn’t mean it should be daunting. TikTok requires both brands and influencers to create content and share it in an entirely new way that, done effectively, could change how your brand is perceived by a new generation. Don’t be afraid to shake things up regarding your traditional brand expression – TikTok represents the future and it’s here to stay.


What’s Next?


Already 11 million monthly active users in Germany and the growth doesn’t seem to stop anytime soon – TikTok continues to surge in popularity and you may be wondering whether it is time to pivot your attention to the short-form video platform.

“Leveraging the Power Of TikTok With Influencers” – Sign up for our webinar for free, taking place on Thursday, the 25th of June, from 5pm-6pm and get more information on how to integrate TikTok in your influencer marketing strategy. By guiding you through its possibilities as well as discussing their experiences and views on TikTok, our team of experts will help you to understand how to build a successful TikTok campaign.