Eight Ways Brands Are Using TikTok to Market Themselves (and Why It's Effective)

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With over a billion monthly active users worldwide, it’s no surprise why TikTok would be such an appealing platform for businesses looking to get in front of as many eyes as possible. However, expanding an audience isn’t as straightforward and simple as creating a TikTok account and posting a video. In order to leverage the platform to its best advantage, marketers need to post with purpose.

To help get you started, the business leaders of Rolling Stone Culture Council share the ways they’ve seen brands leverage TikTok for marketing and explain why those methods are so clever and effective.

By Leaning on Fun, Accessible Education

With all the community guidelines on many social media platforms banning even the mention of cannabis, there are some very unique ways both businesses and influencers are leveraging TikTok to get messaging out. Some of the best accounts I’ve seen lean heavily on fun, on-trend, accessible education — which is a great angle from both a responsible use lens and a brand recognition lens. – Jenna Valleriani, Canopy Growth Corporation

By Tracking Rising Hashtags

The best user of TikTok’s data and marketing may be TikTok itself. Take the partnership with the Union of European Football Associations, or UEFA, for the Euro 2020 championship. TikTok said they pursued the partnership (and others like it) after realizing the meteoric rise of the #football hashtag among users. Follow TikTok’s own lead and track those rising hashtags to capitalize on consumer movements. – Jeffrey Zucker, Green Lion Partners

By Creating an Emotional Spark

I’ve seen some really great TikToks where they’re short and to the point, but still create an emotional spark. I love the up-and-coming singers and artists who have conversations with their family members about their songs playing in the car. Simple execution, maximum impact! – Karina Michel Feld, Tallulah Films

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By Producing Tutorials

It’s easy to believe it when it’s easy to see it. Producing tutorials on TikTok means you could reach millions of people who don’t know, who want to know or who could benefit from your product or service. Showing tutorials, examples of your service or testimonials from real people, especially public figures, is extremely effective. It increases sales, increases engagement and generates followers, likes and shares. – David Castain, David Castain & Associates

By Providing Expert Information

Doctors and other health care providers have been very clever with how they’ve created informative, relatable and useful content on TikTok. I have seen medical doctors and nurses with huge followings covering topics like rare diseases, hospice care, mental health and more. I think TikTok has a real opportunity to be a platform where experts can be heard. – Cynthia Johnson, Bell + Ivy

By Leveraging Influencer Endorsements

I’ve seen a business identify a micro TikTok influencer who has a large following and similar demographics and then pay the influencer to create a video endorsement for the company’s brand. This investment enabled the brand to be seen by tens of thousands of people which increased awareness and sales. – Jason Hennessey, Hennessey Digital

By Making a Premium Brand More Playful

It may be surprising to see a brand like Gucci on TikTok, but they are reaching new audiences at scale. Gucci creates playful content, from the minute details of how a product is made to viral dance moments with unexpected characters, adorned in the brand’s latest clothing and accessories. It leaves you with the feeling that Gucci is a brand that is inclusive, even accessible, and that displays a sense of humor. – Michael Klein, Trees Corporation

By Utilizing a Unique Brand Voice

There was a particular company that shared a video campaign promoting its products with an ad strategy that utilized a unique brand voice and gave voice to consumers. Instead of just providing a product description, the campaign featured an unapologetically funny parody of a current movie, in which the “consumer” tries to figure out what is actually “biting them” on their face. This made the company really stand out. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day

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