A guide to creating engaging TikTok content
Is your brand creating engaging content for TikTok yet?
TikTok is a video-hosting social media platform that has proven its effectiveness as a go-to platform in a short span of time and amid multiple controversies. It was the most downloaded app in both 2021 and 2022 worldwide, reaching 672 million downloads in 2022 alone according to Mobile Magazine.
Now, it is being eyed as a lucrative digital marketing platform for businesses.
The platform is home to mostly short videos adherent to the size and orientation of one’s phone screen, with content that can range from viral dances to #CleanTok and more. You’ve likely come across some form of content on this platform. If you haven’t already, consider downloading it. There’s a treasure trove of information as long as one knows how to use it responsibly.
The burning question now becomes: How can my brand use it?
It is true that creating content for TikTok would be one of your best choices for growing your brand. Some benefits include boosted brand awareness; more humanized brand that’s perfect for personalized, purposeful, effective PR; organic consumer engagement; and ear to the ground or knowing what your customers want real-time.
Understanding it is key to proper utilization of it. Here are some steps to help the TikTok newbie.
For several of the processes involved in your brand and business, gathering information is first needed to make informed and wise decisions. Creating TikTok content is no different. To make engaging content, it’s ideal to first research your audience on social media and know the latest trends. This would help you come up with content that would be more tailored to your audience and their interests.
Head on over to TikTok’s search bar using one of your keywords/hashtags and check the first few posts. What is your audience like on TikTok? What are they currently talking about? Do they have any concerns you can answer? Is there a conversation you can participate in?
2. Follow the latest trends
Whether it’s a trending sound, a TikTok-friendly song, a dance accompanying relatable text, or a challenge, it’s always a safe bet to hop on the latest trends. They are trends for a reason, and a lot of users would likely be interested in watching different takes, including yours.
For ideas, you can check TikTok’s Discover page and take some time to scroll. What do you think could fit your brand? Based on what you know about your audience, what kind of take would they find fun or amusing? Put your own creative spin and adapt it to these.
If you are going to hop on a trend with the intention of garnering user engagement, make sure that you make the steps as user-friendly and ‘mindless’ as possible. The fewer, easier the steps, the more likely your audience will participate.
3. Be authentic and relatable
You can never go wrong with authentic, relatable content. Seeing how your video depicts something similar to your audience’s experiences can compel them to engage (from sharing their own experiences to simply agreeing with you) and show them that you understand them well, surely adding to your credibility. This can also highlight the humanity of your brand—at the end of the day, there still are people just like them behind your brand’s name and logo.
One way to do this is by featuring the people working behind the scenes and their unique personalities. You can participate in some trends and challenges, or you can quickly interview them in a single video, asking each of them a question your audience might also have their own answers to.
Use your native language. If you want to be as relatable as possible, tap into the vernacular that your target audience uses. The more tailored it is right down to the slang, the more relatable your content becomes. This way you’re not only garnering views and engagement. You’re also building brand trust and authenticity.
4. Showcase your products/services
Remember seeing a product demo while browsing at a mall, and a small crowd was surrounding the representative as they talked about the product? This method has its own appeal, and you can do something similar on TikTok as well.
Showcase the best features of your product/service: Is it durable? How effective is it? Is it what your niche is looking for? Find creative and engaging ways to test and demonstrate these features to your audience on video—use fun narration, camera shots, audio, or maybe even a bit of acting, depending on your product/service. Sometimes the most common features presented in unique ways garner the most eyes.
You can also give your viewers a glimpse of your process. Modern Nanay Connh Cruz (@connhcruz), for example, treats her 5.7M TikTok followers to frequent kitchen tours and ASMR pantry restocks that many enjoy. Philippine cosmetic brands like Colourette Cosmetics (@colourettecosmetics) and Issy and Company (@issyandcompany) – garnering a couple thousand followers each – also make sure to post content on how to use their cult-fave cosmetics to make it more appealing to consumers. These videos usually reach around a hundred thousand views each, some reaching millions: a clear testament to how this type of content can be fascinating for one’s niche.
5. Engage with other users
Interactions actually go a long way on TikTok. According to TikTok’s own Newsroom, its algorithm takes into account user interactions, such as likes, shares, comments, and content posted. What shows up on a user’s For You page would depend on these.
To take advantage of this, you can engage with your audience and other users not just through replies in the comments section but also through your video content. Viewers seeing your name in the comments section can also compel them to engage with you.
For example, through TikTok’s Q&A feature, you can respond to a specific comment, maybe a frequently asked question or one that sparked an exciting story to tell, in video format as content. There are also the Stitch and Duet features you can use to create videos in response to other content from the same niche or to participate in a trend. Viewers love it when their answers are featured and valued, too!
6. Keep your content short
One of the main appeals of TikTok is its quick, easily digestible content. You can watch a short video noncommittally (compared to a movie or a 10-minute tutorial) and scroll down to watch the next. A survey by Wired.co.uk even reveals that videos longer than 60 seconds can overwhelm users and make them eventually lose their interest.
With these in mind, ideally, try to keep your content around the said length. Use your video editing tools as needed, and pick the most interesting parts of your video to share with your audience. Keep it short and sweet! Sometimes, funny and relatable content works. It doesn’t always have to be an info bomb!
If the content would be longer than this or if the content type encourages a continuation, an option is creating multiple parts—separate videos—that your viewers can find from your profile after they get hooked by a previous part. In turn, this can also help boost your brand’s overall engagement in the platform. Don’t forget to mention that they should watch out for Part 2 (onwards!)
All in all, TikTok is currently one of the best social media platforms you can use to grow your brand and connect with your niche, and the key to thriving in the said platform is creating consistently engaging content: showcase your brand, the people involved, and connect your story through it. With enough persistence and creativity, you and your brand can eventually make the most out of the platform and secure a striking social media presence.
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