Marketing Your Brand on TikTok

If you haven’t been on TikTok yet, well you are missing out on some of the most creative, most entertaining humor out there in the digital universe. You’ll find yourself watching some of the videos repeatedly and you might even catch yourself belly laughing at the messages because some of it is that funny. As you probably know, the content is being created and consumed by one of the youngest groups on social media.  It is no surprise that celebrities, well-known influencers like Gary Vee, and even marketers have jumped on board and are trying to ride the wave of this fast-growing channel.   

I have to admit I was looking forward to seeing some of the celebrity content expecting some great entertainment.  After all, they are celebrities and they have been so successful at Insta posts and stories. Well, I have been highly disappointed.  I started having the conversation with my daughter about her thoughts on this somewhat hidden cloud where teens get to hang out without the boring, adult-minded content, every adult I know is on here feed.  I started questioning why no one has been good at creating engaging content like high school/college-age users. The answer from my 15-year old daughter – “They aren’t relatable”. That’s it! An obvious answer but not something that we always force ourselves to take into account on the other platforms.


What makes the content so funny and entertaining is that it deals with all the uncomfortable,  repetitive, everyday moments that everyone deals with. It is almost like the thoughts you have but never really say out loud.  The content is quite clever and these kids are great at it. All the hours of being on their devices have paid off! They have mastered a platform that few adults have come to understand. 

Okay, so what about brands and marketers?  That is what most of us are interested in because most of us are trying to sell something.  Yes, it is important to jump on a growing channel quickly, master it, and build an audience while it is new.  We have to keep this in mind though – audience and content matter! We can’t just jump in there and try to simulate, replicate, or worse yet, just bring our Insta stories style over to TikTok to give it a new home.  All we are going to accomplish with that strategy is to scare off the users to move on to the next thing. Plain and simple, we’ll be known for ruining yet another good thing. It’s a space safe from tons of sales ads and pushy material. 

So what can we do and how can we reach the TikTok audience?  First of all, you have to think and see things just like the audience. So if you are still in high school and living an everyday teen life in 2020, go for it, use your creativity.  Otherwise, find one. The brands on TikTok with engaging content have not created it or posted the content themselves. It’s UGC (user-generated content). The users speak about their product experience with things like Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, and clothing brands. It is very unlikely that the audience will listen to the brand directly because THEY DON’T WANT TO BE SOLD TO.  Remember, this is supposed to be fun. Let’s keep it that way.


Second, please, please be relatable.  If not, it will come off as not funny, not entertaining, or that you are just trying hard to fit in.  It all comes down to the human connection. We all want to be part of a group of people like us or that at least understand us.  The TikTok content gives the audience the feeling of “Yes, that’s my life right there! or I know exactly what that feels like! It wasn’t fun, but now that you mention it, it is funny you were thinking the same thing.”

Third, just be funny and creative.  No talking heads and no show-offs. If you are flashing something, make it realistic and downright real. Nothing is perfect so don’t make it look perfect.  There has to be a funny anecdote in there somewhere. If someone is buying a new car, throw in some humor on the miserable moments that someone has to go through, like a sketch of “Let me talk to the sales manager” process.  It is still storytelling but it is just being done in a new way.

So if you are on TikTok or plan to get there with your brand message keep these things in mind.

  1. Young audience = young perspective
  2. You have to be relatable
  3. Be funny and creative

Written By Maria Salazar

Hi! My name is María. I am a co-owner of Balcón217 here in the Austin area. Together, my husband Adrian and I, founded our business to help small businesses tell their story. We passionately believe that any business that is looking to grow should have a message and presence that establishes a human connection with their customers. We focus on strategic branding and online experiences that communicate a solution for the needs of those whom you serve.

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