Growing an audience and online presence is not only advantageous to businesses, but it is becoming more and more of a necessity. The coming years will see more businesses than ever begin to push for greater growth online.

If you own a business or work on a marketing team, you know how crucial a role social media can play in digital growth. TikTok is a relatively new platform that offers tremendous opportunities for both growth and discovery.

As you work to find digital success, embracing platforms like TikTok is essential. In this article, we will cover exactly how and why you should leverage TikTok for your online growth.

Why Use TikTok for Digital Growth

Since its release in 2016, TikTok has climbed its way to the forefront of social media.

The video-sharing app ranked as the 7th most popular platform in January 2021 with roughly 689 million active users, according to Data Reportal’s Digital 2021: Global Overview Report.

Here are additional key stats to consider from this report:

  • TikTok ranked 2nd among mobile apps for consumer spending
  • TikTok was the third most popular search term on YouTube in 2020
  • TikTok had nearly 200 million website visits in December 2020

Though the app still ranks below platforms such as Facebook and Instagram in most regards, these stats show its enormous potential. For only being released in 2016, TikTok has shown its capability for massive online growth in a short period.

Connecting with Customers in Younger Generations

The demographics of TikTok have an evident skew towards the younger generations.

According to 2021 research by Pew Research Center:

  • 48 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 to 29 use TikTok, making this the platform’s largest age demographic
  • Narrowing the age range down to ages 18 to 24 raises the percentage of use to 55 percent
  • 21 percent of Americans use TikTok

Though a large portion of Generation Z is still underage, the upper end of this generation is maturing into adulthood.

This new influx of Gen Z adults will have massive impacts on consumer behavior and spending. Thus, connecting with the younger generations should be prioritized as soon as possible – and TikTok is the perfect platform to do so.

How the TikTok Algorithm Works

The TikTok algorithm is a computing method used to analyze user data. These analyses help provide users with content that is relevant to what they have liked and interacted with.

Several different factors can affect how well a video ranks within the algorithm. These include:

  • Sounds: The audio used in the background of videos plays a huge role in how a video ranks on TikTok. Sounds often dictate what becomes a trend, as the algorithm can automatically recognize that a video has used a specific sound. Using the right ones and participating in the trend can gain you great exposure.
  • Hashtags: Hashtags are used widely across social media platforms. They all serve a similar purpose of helping users to filter content according to what they are looking for.
  • Followed Accounts: The accounts you follow will impact the content that is shown on your FYP. For creators on TikTok, it will also impact what communities and niches you get grouped in with.
  • Liked and Shared Videos: What you click like and share on is a major indicator to the algorithm of what you want to see.
  • Location and Language Settings: Lastly, your language and location settings will filter content to show you videos in your preferred language and home region.

Understanding the TikTok algorithm is essential when using the app as a tool for promotion and growth. It will help you to reach larger audiences and better categorize your business on the platform.

Posting Content on TikTok

One of the best ways to achieve growth on TikTok is to post video content. After all, that’s what the platform is made for!

Unlike other social media platforms, gaining views and a following on TikTok is not an immensely difficult task. This is thanks to the app’s algorithm that allows even the smallest creators to show up on many users’ For You Page.

When you create videos to post on the app, you need to consider 3 key factors:

  • Relatability: Users on TikTok search for content they will relate to. Moreover, the TikTok algorithm will show users content that involves the specific topics they are most interested in on the app.
  • Entertainment Value: TikTok centers around entertaining video and audio content. When creating content, you should consider the level of interest you are garnering through your video.
  • Authenticity: Viewers on the platform don’t want to feel like you are selling them something. They come to the app for their favorite creators and to enjoy a momentary escape through laughs and creativity.

Audiences will differ in what content they prefer. The key to posting content on TikTok is to know your audience and what videos they respond well to.

More than anything, you need to be able to communicate effectively with your audience. Developing strong customer communication strategies is paramount.

How Often to Post on TikTok

When it comes to posting on TikTok, the more the better!

For maximum growth, it is recommended to post between 1 to 3 times daily. That’s right – daily.

Posting this often can seem like quite the task. Luckily, the average video length on the platform is only about 15 seconds long, despite TikTok allowing videos recorded on the app to be up to 60 seconds in length.

Additionally, if you have longer promotional videos used on other platforms, you can potentially recycle that content on TikTok as well. For videos filmed outside the app, up to 3 minutes of footage can be shown.

What Type of Content to Post on TikTok

Though all the content is video, there are many different types of videos you can publish on TikTok.

Here are 4 great types of content to post on a professional TikTok page:

  • Trends: TikTok is full of new trends every day. Participating in these trends can not only add entertainment value but can help you to gain much greater visibility.
  • Challenges: Starting a challenge on TikTok is a great way to get users engaging with your content. This includes anything from a dance challenge to a self-improvement challenge!
  • Educational Resources: Creating short snippets of educational information can be massively successful on TikTok. For example, a credit card company could make a video about 3 tips for saving money.
  • Instructional Videos: TikTok offers you a great opportunity to visually demonstrate how to use your products or services. By doing so, you can address potential pain points your customers may encounter and provide an immediate solution in your video.

Finding Your Niche on TikTok

One of the most important factors for gaining an audience and achieving growth on TikTok is choosing your niche.

A niche is a highly specific sub-sect of an industry. Within a niche will be an assortment of customers looking for specialized services and products that fit their very specific needs.

Examples of niches include:

  • Health and Wellness
  • Financial Technology (FinTech)
  • Home Décor
  • Arts and Culture
  • Political Commentary

In truth, there are thousands of different niches – and even niches within niches!

The key is to find the niche that your business fits into. This will help you not only target the specific audience searching for your products but can also aid in building a loyal community and customer base.

How to Find Your Niche

To find your niche, there are several approaches you can take.

First and foremost, you need to determine the overarching industry that your business fits into, such as fitness or technology.

Next, you will need to research the content and sub-groups that already exist in that industry. By doing so, you will be able to identify where you best fit in and where you can best stand out. Plus, you can discover areas of the industry that are overlooked or underserved.

Here are 3 key tips for researching your niche:

  • Search Relevant Hashtags: Hashtags are a great way to find all sorts of content. You can search broad topics or more specific keywords to discover what content is already out there and how well a specific niche relates to your business.
  • Observe Your Competitors: If you have competitors already using TikTok, checking out what they are doing can help you brainstorm ideas for your own page. Plus, you can identify strategies that may not work so well within the niche to avoid!
  • Check Out TikTok’s Discover Page: The TikTok Discover page is often promoting new hashtags and niche communities. Looking at the Discover page regularly is a great way to get new ideas and keep up with different niches.

How to Get Discovered by Customers in Your Niche

Once you have chosen your niche, it’s time to work on getting discovered.

Here are 3 effective methods for boosting your visibility on the platform:

  • Interacting with Your Niche Only: TikTok’s algorithm will use the data on what you like and interact with most to both customize your FYP and determine whose FYP you will appear on.
  • Connect with Popular Creators: TikTok users often return to their favorite creators’ pages daily. By connecting with popular creators within your niche, you can access a much larger scope of users that watch a specific creator you are collaborating or working with.
  • Use Hashtags: We can’t stress it enough – you should be using hashtags. Like on all social media platforms, hashtags are a strong tool for discovery. Using hashtags allows you to target highly specific niches and audiences. It also allows you to access broad audiences as well – for instance, the #FYP hashtag increases your chances of showing up on each user’s For You Page.

Referrals are another great way to get discovered – and social media campaigns are an excellent way to market your referral programs!

By using TikTok as a means to market your referral program, you can reach even broader audiences when users refer other customers outside of the app.

Utilizing TikTok Ads

Like other social media platforms, TikTok offers an ad program for users looking to promote products and services.

TikTok ads are relatively low-cost and can be a great way to gain exposure when you are building an online presence from the ground up.

Not only can TikTok ads help you to grow your audience but they can also provide you with better insights and analytics. This can help you track your customers’ behavior and make smarter marketing moves in the future.

However, you do not need to rely on TikTok ads. TikTok’s algorithm makes it possible for even the smallest accounts to get discovered and gain significant exposure.

Final Thoughts

TikTok is a fast-growing platform that garners a ton of attention from Gen Z and Millenials in particular. As these groups become the dominant force in economies, reaching them and relating to them through TikTok and other social media is crucial.

As we continue forth into the digital age, focusing on your online presence and digital growth is paramount. And there’s no better way to do this than with social media!

Written by Deborah Boyland, Head of Marketing at CPQi, the leading provider of digital transformation to the financial markets.

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