One of the most common questions we get from clients is how to create branded TikTok videos.
Everyone knows that TikTok is booming — the app has over three billion downloads worldwide, 150 million monthly active users in the US alone, and the average person uses the app for an hour and a half per day.
But creating high-quality branded TikTok content can be a challenge or a mystery for many brands.
So, we consulted members of our content production team to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about how to successfully create branded TikTok content.
If you prefer to read along, we’ve summarized many of the highlights of the discussion in this post.
Who Can Brands Put in Their TikTok Videos?
As a brand, figuring out who will be in your TikTok videos is important. Unlike image- or text-based content, video content can rely heavily on having talented people and personas on camera.
Luckily, there are some workarounds if you don’t have someone to put in front of the camera. TikTok video editing features many great features, like voiceover, filters, and greenscreen, that can help you make videos without showing someone’s face. There are also interesting ways to film videos that don’t feature people, such as a whiteboard-style video that uses text or a POV video that features someone’s hands or your brand mascot.
TikTok is a very creative platform, so you can use many options and video styles when you don’t have someone to feature. Using diverse video styles can also make your feed more interesting.
How Do I Know if My Audience is on TikTok?
TikTok is known to have young users, so many brands assume that it isn’t a suitable space for their brand. They are worried about doing the trends wrong and getting made fun of.
However, data shows that 56% of TikTok users are age 25 or over, as of 2022, so it is not just “kids.”
Also, the most popular content types are humorous, creative, and relaxing — not trendy.
Instead of worrying about jumping in on all the latest trends, we recommend that your brand get on TikTok to focus on making content that authentically fits your brand. Focus on what your brand brings to the table — what unique things do you have to say? What is your unique perspective and sense of humor? These types of things will differentiate your brand from others.
If you make consistently authentic content, your audience will find you. The algorithm is excellent like that.
What Are Good Content Ideas for Brands on TikTok?
We’ve noticed several types of content work well for brands on TikTok.
Utilize User-Generated Content (UGC)
First, we see positive results from UGC on TikTok. Features like reposting, duets, and stitches make it easy for you to engage with UGC and repurpose it to tell your brand’s story. Getting real users to talk about your brand typically reads as authentic and can increase people’s bonds with your brand.
Furthermore, people love to be recognized by brands and be featured on other pages. Of course, always get permission first when appropriate.
UGC should probably not be used as your entire TikTok strategy but can be a great addition to your rotation.
Capture Behind the Scenes
A popular content style gives a behind-the-scenes look at your brand.
If you have team members comfortable on camera, you can have them shoot a day-in-the-life video. If you make products, you can show a behind-the-scenes of how your products are made. There are many things you can do here and have some fun.
TikTok is a great place to give more of an inside look than other platforms.
Create How-To Videos
Another popular category of content is How-To videos. People love going to TikTok to learn about new products, skills, and more. It is a great form of “edutainment,” where the content is fun but also provides an educational benefit.
For example, if you have a cooking brand or do a lot of recipe content, recipe how-tos and cooking hacks do well.
People also love seeing product demos, product highlights, and more.
For example, a makeup brand can show off the texture of their product, do some swatches on your arm, show the lip color on several employees, and so forth. Figure out a way to show your product in a really fun and appealing way.
Engage with Communities
If you have trouble brainstorming ideas for your brand’s TikTok, turn to relevant communities. TikTok has become a true social hub, so there are communities for everything: GardenTok, BookTok, CardTok, MovieTok. You name an interest, and there is probably a corner of TikTok for it.
Find a way to tap into these conversations and see what people are discussing. That can be a powerful and more natural way to find concrete, useable content ideas instead of trying to brainstorm things off the cuff.
Start Brand Challenges
Consider starting a brand challenge. A brand challenge is an opportunity to have fun with your followers, utilize the TikTok community, and increase brand engagement.
There are several ways to do a brand challenge. For example, you could encourage people to duet your video and share their favorite way to use your product. You can make it into a contest to encourage participation.
This last one isn’t really a content category, but it is important to have fun on TikTok. The app gives you so much freedom and creative opportunity, and your brand can take full advantage of that.
For example, the Duolingo team has a lot of fun on TikTok, and their account is very popular because of it.
So, remember that you don’t need to create high-budget, commercial-level videos for your brand. Be creative, make quality content, but also have fun with it. Do some fun transitions or develop a funny voiceover style.
You have so much creative freedom on TikTok, so lean into it.
What Should Brands Avoid Doing on TikTok?
Don’t Chase Trends
As we’ve said above, don’t chase trends or get obsessed with trying to go viral. This can be “cringey” and off-putting. Instead, focus on your authentic brand voice and what your brand brings to the table.
It is better to have 100 high-quality views than to get 10,000 views from people who will never buy.
Follow Commercial Music Licensing Rules
Avoid using trending audio and music in your branded TikToks if you don’t have permission from the artists or the platform. This can get you into legal trouble and is not worth the consequences.
Instead, create your own unique sounds or utilize TikTok’s royalty-free music library for businesses. Take the lead: combine royalty-free music with a voiceover to create an original sound that people want to use, which can become a trending audio.
Don’t Blindly Repurpose Content Across Platforms
Instead of developing a TikTok strategy, some brands take the easy way and try to just repurpose their Instagram Reels and other video content onto TikTok. However, this isn’t ideal.
If you want to be engaging on TikTok, creating content specifically for the platform is best. Engage with the community on TikTok and create original content around what that community is talking about and interacting with.
Also, remember that the commercial audio library on TikTok and Instagram are different, so you can’t seamlessly post videos with licensed sounds from one platform to the next.
Key Takeaways: How to Create TikTok Content as a Brand
TikTok is a hot platform with a ton of potential for brands to get into. It provides a ton of creative freedom and room to strategically try out some new, original things for your brand. When used well, it can be a fun and strategic platform that lets you connect with your community in a new way.
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