TikTok is a new social network with over 800 million active users per month. It’s the next big thingand it’s not likely to stop anytime soon. It is therefore an opportunity for all online activities, especially if you offer video or audio content via a streaming platform, whether you want to monetize it or not.
In this article we will briefly introduce you to the social network and above all give you tips to develop your subscriber base in order to convert this community so that they then go to your own streaming platform and consume your video or audio content (podcasts, music etc…).
1. What is TikTok ?
TikTok is a mobile application where users create 15-60 second videos, usually rhythmed by trendy music. The particularity, unlike Instagram, lies in the fact that the content is intended to be particularly creative, and integrates mostly dance, lipdubs, sports & artistic performances or comedy. TikTok’s assumed goal: to entertain and get people hooked.
TikTok is 100% free and only available via a native application on the Play Store and App Store (in 2020 there are more than 2 billion downloads, ahead of Facebook, Instagram and YouTube).
On TikTok, as on other social networks, there are “creators” of content who produce the videos and “consumers” of video content. The latter are moreover mostly “centennials”, i.e. people born after 1995. About 40% of TikTok users are between 16 and 25 years old, which makes its real difference vs. Instagram or Facebook, where audiences are older and more diverse.
In operation, TikTok looks a lot like Instagram, with :
– A Home tab that offers personalized content from people you follow or similar contents you may like
– A “Discover” tab with content sorted by hashtags, and by trend
– A tab for sending and receiving messages
– A “+” button to create content: take or upload a video, add filters, music or edit it.
Engagements actions are quite basics: “like” a video or comment on it.
The main differences and innovations of TikTok are:
– Virtual coins: it is possible to buy a virtual coin to reward creators. It is an original model, very popular in China, which has allowed TikTok and creators to earn a lot of money, without having to offer advertisements.
– Duet: it’s a feature that allows people to make a video by occupy a split screen with someone else, with both videos appearing side by side on screen.
– Reactions: on some contents it is possible to “react” when sharing a video by displaying a thumbnail window superimposed on the video displaying reaction to the content.
2- Why using TikTok when you are a video or audio content creator?
As a producer of audio or video content, whatever its genre (entertainment, training, educational, marketing content etc…), TikTok is a channel that should be considered for several reasons:
– to promote your videos/content
– to make your activity / brand known
– to develop your brand image
to source the next major trends
As for other social networks, such as Instagram or Pinterest for example, TikTok should not be your only distribution channel, but rather a promotional showcase for your content. As we explain in this article, it is indeed important to have your own video distribution platform. And yes! Don’t count on TikTok to give you any information about your users…
Here are some good reasons to open an account on TikTok:
– TikTok is a very popular place where billions of people go every day. Even if you reach 0.0001% of people from this huge community this represents a huge traffic potential for your video business.
– It’s still a new platform, where everything still needs to be invented in terms of marketing, and where it will be easier to make a place for yourself now than in 3 years time.
– It’s a very trendy social network, if your brand or company is on it, you will give a cool and modern image.
– Even if your audience is not so “young”, you could develop your image or make your content known and this target could be your customers or fans of tomorrow. It can definitely be a gamble that will pay off in the medium or long term.
⚠️ Monetization: even if TikTok proposes a virtual money system to monetize its contents, you need to reach hundreds of thousands of fans to really make money with your contents. So keep in mind that this network must be a source of traffic for your business that is hosted externally, i.e on your own video/audio platform of which you have full control and much more flexibility in your monetization strategy.
3 – Tips to develop your community on TikTok and get more traffic on your video platform
As you have understood, developing your community on TikTok will allow you to make your brand or work known but above all to bring this audience to your own broadcasting platform, in order to regain control over your data and better monetize your content. The idea here is to give you some tips to develop your TikTok account in order to send traffic to your video or audio content platform.
Create a great profile and awesome contents
The first step is to create an account for your video business (VOD platform, streaming site, music app…) or for your brand that is well optimized. The profile must be attractive to make users want to follow you on TikTok. Then once there will be part of your community you would be able to redirect them to your video platform (one step at the time).
Add a profile photo or video, and especially in the bio don’t forget the link to your video content platform. Also add your other accounts: YouTube & Instagram.
Then, the most important thing to get known is to publish value-added content. Above all, think about entertainment. Create content that is fun and entertaining. Creating your own content is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to promote your business or brand on TikTok. Moreover, one of the biggest advantages of TikTok is that you don’t need any budget for production, all you need is a smartphone and you can start filming.
Tips: Post your content at peak times to increase the reach of your videos, usually between 11am and 5pm.
Create or actively participate in #challenges
The challenges organized on TikTok are the real difference of the social network and a strong lever of virality. To participate in a challenge, create your own video and target the trendiest TikTok hashtags to make your content more visible and increase your community.
By creating your own challenge on TikTok, all users who want to know more about the hashtag associated with your challenge will be able to discover your profile, since you will be the creator of it.
Capitalize on the profiles of the most popular creators
Subscribe to influential accounts to get the attention of their subscribers. Indeed, as on Instagram, some fans follow users who subscribe to their favorite influencers. Of course, this requires that your account already has video content and an optimized profile to make people want to follow you.
On the same principle: like or leave original or catchy comments to popular creators to try to capture the attention of its community.
Partner with other tiktokers.
Find creators similar to your content or brand: similar in tone, positioning or targeting the same audience. Then propose them to make a video together. The duet mode for example is rather adapted to this kind of partnership.
By creating strategic collaborations, you will be able to reach an already existing community at once. If you’re starting out and they already have a lot of subscribers, think about what you could bring them in exchange:
– premium content (film clips, music, educational content…) if that’s what you’re already producing.
– shooting equipment or facilities
– physical products (if you are a brand)
– contacts (you can open your address and provide contact details if needed)
… and so on.
Be inventive because this lever could boost your account very quickly.
Share your TikTok contents on other social networks
If you are already present on other social networks share TikTok content on these networks and encourage your subscribers to come and discover your TikTok account. Some people don’t know TikTok yet, by sharing content directly to them they will better understand its value and may be fans quickly.
4- How to promote your content offer or your streaming platform on TikTok
You can also use TikTok as an “advertiser” i.e. by allocating a budget on the 2 very classical levers of social networks: influencers and advertising.
Use TikTok influencers to boost your video business
Like on YouTube or Instagram, some very popular creators are real influencers. And as on any social network, you can ask a creator to promote your films, your content, your media or your streaming platform in exchange for a fee. If it is used well (if you target influencers who have the same audience as you and who will know how to promote your content or products) this lever is incredibly effective.
TikTok offers features that allow influencers to add links in their videos to external sites, or to display URLs in a profile page. So they can send traffic on your own platform.
2 main advantages of using TikTok influencers:
– TikTok’s emerging stars will be the next generation of influencers and creators – the stars, artists, singers, filmmakers of tomorrow. By working with them now you can build interesting relationships for the future.
– As TikTok is still growing, the models are still to be found and it is likely that the new influencers do not know all the market prices. What is certain is that the price of an influencer today will necessarily be lower than tomorrow’s, for equal efficiency.
Advertise on TikTok to develop business on your audio or video content platform
Disclaimer: in 2020 TikTok ads are not accessible to everyone, and require significant budgets to get started. It’s also a question of timing: too early the advertisement is not yet effective, too late it becomes very expensive. You must therefore find the “sweet spot” where advertising is more affordable than anywhere else, because very often this moment does not last…
If you have an advertising budget, you can advertise on TikTok. For this, you will need a TikTok advertising account or an account manager. To find out if your company qualifies, you can contact TikTok Ads directly. TikTok offers several options for advertisers to reach their target demographic.
– In-Feed Video : Ads appear in TikTok’s native feed on the “For You” page.
– Brand takeover: The ad appears at the opening of the application and turns into an In-Feed Video ad.
– Hashtag Challenge: The ad appears on the Discovery page. It encourages users to participate in user content creation challenges.
– Branded content: Advertising appears in the form of filters, stickers and other 2D/3D/AR branded content that TikTok users can use in their videos.
Note that in the summer of 2020, ads are relatively expensive with an average cost of $10 per CPM (or $0.010 to reach 1 person), and the minimum budget is $500 per campaign.
As you can see, TikTok is already a social network giant, but remains a platform still growing. As often, the first to arrive are the best served, and TikTok can be a very powerful audience acquisition lever for your content or your streaming platform, especially if your target is relatively young (under 30 years old). But don’t forget that this social network, like the others, must remain a promotional channel, and that you must absolutely build your own platform or streaming media to control your monetization, your contents, and all your users’ data.
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