By Colleen Fahey
TikTok has turned on the sound in social media. It’s sweeping aside the old beliefs that social media is a “sound-off” medium now that 88% of users believe sound is essential to the experience.
TikTok creators love to start with music, soundtracks, product noises, funny voices and mispronunciations (try searching for “lippick”) and then build new videos using that sound, but starring themselves. Sounds get carried to the ends of the earth, and those include brand sounds – just ask Home Depot whose beat has inspired 400,000 dance videos earning over 2 billion views.
So, how can brands use TikTok to their advantage? Here are some things to consider when determining how your brand will show up on the app:
1. CREATE CUSTOM SONGS AND MUSIC TO INSPIRE CREATORS
Sound inspires creativity, so don’t make it an afterthought. Are you offering a kit of branded musical snippets and songs for creators? If you don’t, they’ll at best make their own, and at worst wander off. Sound scores with audiences. According to a study from the data and insights company Kantar, 73% of respondents said they would “stop and look” at ads on TikTok with audio.
2. HELP CREATORS PLAY WITH YOUR PRODUCT SOUNDS
They’re already making videos using the squirting of Reddi-Wip and the shaking of snack boxes, so why not make those identifiable sounds enticing and well-produced? You could create a suite of original sounds, that include opening pops, shaking bags, sizzling, spritzing, fizzing and plopping, to complement your video content, that can ultimately be used by other creators . Don’t think of your image, think of the fun you’re inspiring.
3. FOLLOW THE TRENDS
TikTok is dominated by viral trends related to songs, dances, memes, jokes and more. With more than a billion people on the platform, there might be thousands or millions of users making TikTok videos with the same score at any given time. The key is to grasp the trend as it’s developing and produce content that goes along with it. TikTok’s algorithm deliberately favors what’s trending, so if your content aligns with that, your post will be put in front of more users.
4. ALIGN WITH THE INFLUENCERS
Built-in audiences cluster around popular creators, and they aren’t often the obvious celebrities. Consider approaching creators who personify your brand archetype. You may find you’re getting ideas and taking brand-expanding risks that might never have occurred to you while developing your marketing comms plan.
5. STAY CASUAL
Brands need to align with TikTok’s everyday life aesthetic. This can be surprisingly hard to capture because companies are so used to fine-tuning their content for external use. TikTok videos feel more real when they have an unpolished, DIY quality to them. Shoot your brand’s videos on your mobile phone – high quality clips just don’t feel as if they belong.
6. BE PERSISTENT
There’s no way to be sure that your videos will go viral on TikTok. But this can be a good thing, because it means all brands and marketers have a level playing field. Unlike other platforms, TikTok’s discovery algorithm gives every video an equal opportunity to go viral, regardless of how popular the account or creator is. Patient persistence pays. If you continue to try new trends and tactics, the higher the likelihood that one of your brand’s videos will go viral.
Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash