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Tik Tok Roadmap – Noob to Pro 54 Steps
- November 7, 2020
- Posted by: Kotchounian
- Category: Self Improvement
TikTok 101 – All You Need To Know
TikTok is a social media short video creation and sharing app. It started out in China in 2017 and there is now one app solely for the Chinese market and an international version which is TikTok. Users can post videos of either 15 seconds or 60 seconds in length on the platform.
Since its launch TikTok has seen significant growth. There are now over 850 million users across the world and it was the most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2018. During this time there were over a million downloads of the app for both Android and iOS devices.
What is TikTok?
The company behind TikTok, ByteDance in Beijing, China, purchases the app Musical.ly for $1 billion. It kept a number of the features of this popular app and added a few new ones. Users of Musical.ly mainly created lip-sync videos to popular songs. This tradition continues with TikTok but it has a lot more features besides this.
The user base for TikTok is young. Over 60% of the current users are under the age of 30. They like to be entertained and they also like to entertain users themselves. As a result most of the videos are really fun and make good use of the special effect features from within the app.
Not every user creates their own content. Some are happy just to view and enjoy the content created by other users. TikTok uses artificial intelligence technology to recommend new videos to users on their “For You” page. The technology looks at the videos a user has watched in the past and makes recommendations for other similar content.
There is a “Discover” feature where users can search for specific videos. One of the most popular things about TikTok are the hashtag challenges. Here the users are ask to participate in a certain challenge and create their own videos around this.
The host of the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon, initiated a TikTok challenge called #tumbleweed challenge. The idea behind this was for TikTok users to find a public place and then when they heard a piece of music they had to drop to the floor and roll around like a tumbleweed.
This was incredibly popular and resulted in more than 8,000 videos created in response to the challenge. This challenge also created the greatest engagement levels the platform had ever seen at around 10 million. Companies and organizations are now using the challenges for branding and awareness.
TikTok has a very popular feature called the Duet. Here users can create a video that appears next to a currently existing video. This was popular with Musical.ly and now even more popular on TikTok. The most popular of these Duet videos are those that show a user’s reaction to another video.
There are some great special effects with TikTok. Slowing down or speeding up videos is a popular feature. There are also filters and other effects that can really make videos stand out. The majority of the most popular videos on TikTok all use special effects.
Types of Videos
Virtually all of the videos on TikTok have background music. Some users create mini music videos and others make music montages. Funny videos are usually very popular as are dance videos. The more creative and fun a video is on TikTok the more successful it is likely to be.
Take A Look At These TikTok Statistics
If you are new to TikTok then you need to know that it has experienced significant growth in the last two years. In the last quarter of 2018 there were more downloads for the TikTok app than there were for Instagram, YouTube and Facebook for both iOS and Android devices.
On the surface you might consider TikTok to be just another short form video app but it is much more than that and has absolutely captivated its audience many of whom just love to watch videos one after another.
Many brands are now using the app for their marketing success. There are already a number of influencers who are willing to partner up to help you expand your reach on TikTok. In this article, we will look at the most interesting statistics about TikTok which will encourage you to use it for your marketing.
More than 850 Million Users
TikTok now has over 850 million users (October 2020) and this is continuing to grow. When the Vine app was at its peak it had 200 million users. Instagram took 6 years to reach 500 million users and TikTok have done it in 2 years. In the month of December 2018, TikTok attracted 75 million new users!
The United States has over 26 Million Active TikTok Users
There have been more than 40 million downloads of the TikTok app since November 2018 in the United States. TikTok now owns Musical.ly and most of their users are still on TikTok. The number of users in the United States only makes up for around 5% of the overall users but it is growing and still a large amount.
The TikTok Audience is Young
Over two-thirds of TikTok users are currently less than 30 years of age. In the United States 60% of their users are between the ages of 16 and 24. Over half of these young people use Apple iPhones.
It is important that you keep this young demographic in mind with your marketing. They are looking for entertainment and fun so you will probably have to take a different approach than you would on other platforms like Facebook.
Around an Hour Per Day on TikTok
The average amount of time spent by a TikTok user on the platform is about 52 minutes each day. This is very impressive and taking the social media world by storm. In comparison users spend around 58 minutes on Facebook, 53 minutes on Instagram and 49 minutes on Snapchat and these platforms have been going a lot longer.
Huge Increase with In App Spending
A TikTok user has the opportunity to purchase coins in the app which they use on livestreams to send emojis. From October 2017 to 2018 there was a 275% upswing with in app purchases on TikTok.
Hashtag Challenges creating incredible Engagement Levels
The #tumbleweedchallenge created by Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon resulted in more than 9 million video views and more than 8,000 user created videos. Fallon was so impressed he is now a brand partner with TikTok.
Another hashtag challenge that has seen incredible results is the #raindropchallenge. Here users use filters to stop the rain from falling. This challenge has generated more than 690 million views since it started.
How To Get Started With TikTok
Here you will learn how you can make a video and post it using the TikTok app. TikTok is a very popular social media app for short videos and when you create a video you have the choice of making it either up to 15 seconds or up to 60 seconds.
Create your TikTok Account
You will need to download TikTok for your iOS or Android device first. After installing the app you will need to create a free account. You will receive a number of prompts to do this in the app. It is possible to create an account using your existing Instagram, Facebook or Twitter accounts or with an email address.
It is possible to create a new TikTok account using your mobile phone number as well. You will need to verify your new account and then you can change your profile name. The app will check that the name you choose is unique.
Watch some Videos
After creating your account you will see the page to view videos. If you really enjoy a particular video you can tap on the heart icon which is the same as giving a “like” with other platforms. You also have the opportunity to leave comments if you want. There is a “share” feature too so you can send the video to other social media platforms.
On the left of the video you will see an icon for the video creator’s profile. Tap on this and then you will bring up their profile page. Once here you can choose to follow this profile so that you will be able to see their future videos.
The TikTok Menu Bar
The menu bar for TikTok is at the bottom of the screen. You will see 5 icons on the menu bar. The first is a house shape and when you tap on this you will refresh your “For You” page which will use AI technology to present you with recommended videos to watch based on your history with the app.
Next along on the menu bar is the magnifying glass which takes you to the search function. With this you can search for specific TikTok user’s content, search by keyword or by hashtag. The next icon on the menu bar is a “+” which you can use to upload your own video creations.
The last 2 icons on the menu bar are “Notifications” and a person outline which takes you to your profile page. On your profile page you will be able to see all of the videos that you have uploaded to TikTok.
You can also change your privacy settings within your profile page. There are three dots in the upper right hand corner of this page where you can change your account to private if you wish. All new accounts are created as public by default.
It is also possible to specify only certain TikTok users to view your videos and to leave comments on your content. You can also edit your current profile including the description and even the username. If you are a business and want to use TikTok for marketing then you can change to a Pro account from your profile page.
How To Create And Edit TikTok Videos
The TikTok app makes it really easy for users to create and edit their videos. There are a number of features that you need to familiarize yourself with but these are all easy to understand and apply.
You can either record a video “on the fly” from within the TikTok app or select a video you created earlier and then edit this before you post it. The more serious users of TikTok will record videos outside of the app and then edit them so that they are the best they can be. Sometimes on the fly videos can be very entertaining as well.
Recording a Video On The Fly
Open the TikTok app. You will see a “+” icon on the menu bar at the bottom of your screen. Tap on this and you will go to the recording screen. If you have never recorded a video using the TikTok app before you will need to let it find your camera and video recorder in your mobile device.
You can set up a number of features before you start to shoot your video. The “Timer” feature is very useful for hands free video recording. You can also choose from the various filters and beauty effects and when you have made your choices you are ready to start shooting your video.
Now you need to select the length of your video as either 15 seconds or 60 seconds. There is a large red button which is round at the bottom of the screen and when you tap on this your recording will start.
When you have finished your recording it is highly recommended that you choose some music for the background. You will see a catalog of music clips that you can choose from. These are all short clips which you can add to your video.
Now you have finished your video recording tap on the red checkmark to enter the editing page. At the top right of this page you can choose another music clip, cut the sound and change the volume levels.
Finally you can set one frame of your video as the cover that displays on TikTok and you can start to apply other special effects using the two buttons which are located at the bottom of this screen and to the left.
Uploading a Previously Recorded Video
The only difference here is that you will use a video you have already recorded rather than shoot one using the app itself. To do this tap on the “+” icon as before and then tap on the “Upload” icon located at the bottom of the screen on the far right. You can then choose your video from your mobile device.
Using FlexClip to Edit your Videos
If you really want to create a great video for TikTok then we recommend that you shoot your video outside of the app and then use the FlexClip app from Flexclip.com on your computer for some advanced editing.
There are a lot more features you can use with FlexClip that are not available on TikTok. These include the adding of transitions, logos and voice over’s. There is also a wide range of royalty free music clips available to you.
The Best Ideas For TikTok Videos And How To Increase Your Following
There is no point creating a lot of TikTok videos if nobody is going to watch them. In this article we will provide you with some of the best ideas for TikTok videos and also show you how you can increase the number of followers that you have.
The Lip-Sync Video
With the previous Musical.ly app lip-sync videos were very popular and they still are on TikTok. What you can do here is to take a famous music clip and record yourself “lip-syncing” to it. Others will want to see this video and will let you know how well you performed with it.
Reaction Duet Videos
The Duet video is another very popular type on TikTok. All you need to do here is to open the video that you want to create a Duet reaction to and then find the “Share” icon and tap on it. From here you can tap on “Duet” and record or upload another video so that both videos appear side by side.
Videos about Pets
Some of the most popular videos on YouTube feature cute cats and dogs doing funny things. Well guess what? These videos are very popular on TikTok as well so always have your camera ready so that you can record your pet doing crazy stuff.
If there is something trendy going on at the moment, such as a festival for example, you can record your own videos about it. If you attended the festival then you can shoot footage while you are there and upload this to TikTok.
Do you have a particular skill that you want to show off to the world? Maybe you are great at baking or shuffle dancing. Whatever it is you can create a short clip and get it on TikTok. Remember that you can speed up or slow down a video for better effect.
If you are going to be traveling then be sure to take some interesting videos when you are at your destination. Make these as fun as you can. Many TikTok users enjoy watching travel videos so give them what they want.
How to Increase your TikTok Following
The starting point here is to create videos that are fun and entertaining. TikTok users do not want to watch boring videos. You need to be consistent with your video creation and posting. Once TikTok users start liking your content then they will want more and more.
A video series usually works well. If you intend to create a video once a week then keep to this. Create a schedule using a calendar app to receive reminders that you need to create and upload your videos to TikTok.
There are a number of influencers on TikTok that you can connect with to help spread the word about your videos. Approach them and see what they say. Some will be willing to help you by sharing your videos with their following.
We recommend that you share your videos on your other social media accounts. Also upload them to your YouTube channel. Take the time to like and comment on the videos of other TikTok users. Some users will reciprocate with your videos.
Take the time to follow other TikTok accounts every day. Not only does this leave a footprint but a lot of users will follow you back.
Using The Best Hashtags For Your TikTok Content
Like other social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok uses hashtags. Hashtags are very important if you want users to discover your videos on TikTok so it is very important that you use the right ones.
For marketers on the TikTok platform there are a number of ways that you can discover good hashtags which we will explain in this article. It is a good idea to use the correct hashtags to relate to previous posts you have made on the platform.
Why Hashtags are so Important on TikTok
There are a few reasons why using the right hashtags is very important on TikTok. The most important of these is to extend your reach and get more views for your videos. The best approach is to use a hashtag related to the content of your videos. By doing this other TikTok users will begin to trust you are more likely to follow you.
Some TikTok users use misleading hashtags to try and get in on some trend. Usually this results in TikTok users staying away from their content after experiencing videos that had nothing to do with the hashtag used. Don’t do this with your content.
Being successful with TikTok is all about driving engagement. There is nothing wrong with using hashtags from trending topics on the platform as long as your video relates to it. With more views you are likely to get more likes (hearts) and more followers.
A lot of TikTok users search for specific videos on the platform. When you use the right hashtags you can help them find your content. Relevant hashtags are always the best as TikTok users do not like anything that is misleading.
How do you find the right Hashtags?
One of the best ways to find the best hashtags to use for your content is to really know your audience. Find out what hashtags your audience follows and then use these in the right situations. Never be tempted to just use random hashtags or you will end up with a low number of views to your videos.
After establishing yourself on the TikTok platform you can start to create your own customized hashtags and let your audience know about this. If you are new don’t start out by doing this as you will run the risk of nobody finding your content.
Have a good look at what your competitors are doing with regard to hashtags. Identify their popular videos and see what hashtags they used. The best marketers on TikTok always know who their competitors are and what they do to increase the number of views to their videos.
TikTok has a number of influencers that have millions of followers. You can look at their videos and see what they have done to become successful on the platform. Again look for some of their most successful posts and note what hashtags they used with them.
With competitors and influencers you can also learn by their mistakes. Identify some of their posts that didn’t do very well and see which hashtags they used. You can also watch their videos to see if there are any clues to why they failed.
External Hashtag Suggestion Tools
There are a number of external tools that you can use which will suggest hashtags for you. They usually work on the basis of you typing in related keywords for your niche and then presenting you with hashtag suggestions. Two of the best tools for this are “Seekmetrics” and “All Hashtags”.
How To See How Well You Are Doing With TikTok Analytics
When you are marketing on TikTok it is essential that you monitor your performance regularly so that you can make changes to your strategy. If you don’t do this then you have no way of knowing if what you are doing is working or not.
Fortunately TikTok has created a very useful analytics package that you can use to identify all of your important numbers. Success with TikTok marketing is all about engagement and the analytics package will show you how well you are doing in this regard. The analytics on TikTok are a bit basic at the moment but they will certainly improve as the platform grows.
Change to a Pro Account
If you have a normal TikTok user account you will need to change this to a Pro account so that you can use the analytics package. This is really simple to do and will not cost you anything. The analytics will provide you with some great insights so this is definitely worth doing.
All you need to do to convert to a Pro account is go to your profile page and then in the settings tap on “Manage My Account”. This automatically takes you to another screen where you will find the “Switch to Pro Account” link. Tap on this and you will then need to choose the most relevant category for your TikTok account.
TikTok will then want you to enter your mobile phone number so that they can send you a verification code via SMS. When you receive this code simply enter it into the form provided and you are now a Pro account user.
When you first create your TikTok account we recommend that you switch to a Pro account immediately. The reason for this is that the analytics system will not record any of your data until you are a Pro user.
After switching to a Pro account on TikTok you will see an “Analytics” option in your profile settings. When you tap on this you will see your analytics dashboard. If your account is new you will need to wait a few days for data to build up and display metrics for you.
Within your TikTok analytics dashboard you will see 3 categories that you can look at. These are:
- Your profile overview
- Content insights
- Follower insights
There are tabs available for each of these at the top of the screen. When you tap on them you will see more detail and can perform a deep dive into the numbers.
Your Profile Overview
Here you can see how well your TikTok profile is generally performing. The screen displays total profile views, total video views and total followers. You will see the video views first and you can choose to look at these over a 7 day or 28 day period. There is a daily breakdown for most of the analytics.
Next up you can see your profile views and then after this your follower count.
Here you can find some very useful metrics for every one of your video posts. The metrics are:
- Total hearts (likes) for the post
- Total comments for the post
- Total shares for the post
- Total video play time
- Total video views
- The Average watch time
- Sources of traffic
- Audience territories
You will see the audience territories broken down to country level such as United States, United Kingdom etc.
Here you receive a top level view of your audience demographics. You will see audience numbers per country in percentage format and a breakdown by gender.
Using TikTok For Marketing Success
If you want to market your products to a younger audience then there is no doubt that TikTok provides you with a great opportunity to do this. With more than 500 million worldwide users it has surprised many with its fast growth. To get the best out of TikTok you need to know what you are doing and in this article we will explain the best way to approach it.
Understand the TikTok Platform first
Just jumping on to the TikTok platform not knowing what you are doing will turn users away so you need to study it carefully before you get involved. Take a look at the most popular videos on TikTok and work out why users are attracted to them.
You also need to know how to interact properly with TikTok users. If you get this wrong then you will drive users away in droves. It is essential that you realize that TikTok is all about fun and entertainment. There are a ton of mini music videos that do well as well as humorous videos too.
There is no place on TikTok for pushy sales messages. In the United States the majority of users are between 16 and 24 years old and they are not interested in sales pitches. You have to be creative in the way that you connect with TikTok users.
Your Content must be Fun
You have to be prepared to create really fun content for TikTok. Once you get used to doing this you can create really inexpensive videos that have a major impact on the platform. TikTok users are not expecting top quality Hollywood style videos so you can record on your smartphone and this will be totally acceptable.
It really is best to keep it simple and not try to be too clever. Create light hearted videos that showcase your products used in an entertaining way. TikTok users will really appreciate this and believe that you are authentic and will trust you.
Use Hashtag Challenges
Many brands and organizations have had a lot of success with hashtag challenges. You create a branded hashtag and then use this to promote a challenge where users participate by creating their own videos using your hashtag.
A good example of this was the hashtag challenge created by Guess Jeans. Their challenge was to ask TikTok users to create videos of themselves wearing their Guess clothes “their way”. Their hashtag was #inmydenim.
There are already influencers on TikTok that have huge followings of millions. This is a great way to extend your brand reach on the platform. Not all influencers will be willing to work with you. Your brand and style needs to fit with theirs or they will turn you down.
Influencers need to be comfortable with your products. If they like them then they will be willing to showcase them to their audience. Do your homework here and use external tools to check on potential influencer bios before you commit to working with them.
Recently TikTok launched their ads program. Here you can pay for different ad types which are all in short form video format to extend your reach. There are four types of TikTok ads:
- Native Ads (in feed)
- Hashtag Challenges
- Brand Takeovers
- Branded Lenses
By using these ads strategically you will be able to reach out to many TikTok users. There are targeting options for you to narrow down your audience and these will improve over time. Time will tell how effective TikTok ads are.
Avoid These TikTok Marketing Mistakes
Marketing on TikTok can be very rewarding for you if you do it right. The platform already has over 500 million users and is growing all of the time. As a fairly new social media platform it is not saturated with marketers like the others are.
But there are many mistakes that you can make with TikTok marketing if you do not do your homework. While there are a lot of cases of brands using the platform successfully for their marketing, there are many more cases where marketers got it completely wrong. In this article we will discuss the marketing mistakes that you need to avoid with TikTok.
1. Promoting the Wrong Products
You need to understand that the TikTok platform has a particularly young audience. The majority of TikTok users are under the age of 30 and many of them are teenagers or in their early twenties.
They are only interested in products that suit their age group. If you try to promote products which are aimed at older people then you will fail. In time the platform may attract some older users but at the time of writing these are few and far between.
You need to work out if the TikTok platform is right for your business or not. If your target audience is Generation Z and younger Millennials then there is a good chance it will work for you. If you have a more mature audience then you should use another platform where these people hang out.
2. Posting Boring Videos
TikTok is all about fun and excitement. Nobody on the platform is going to be looking for presentation style videos and besides you only have 15 or 60 seconds to get your point across. The majority of TikTok users are going to want to participate on the platform and not just passively watch videos.
You need to plan your videos for TikTok. Take a look at the popular videos on the platform and work out why so many users like them. Are they funny? Do they encourage participation? Are they different? Put your creative hat on and think about how you can engage your audience.
3. Trying to Sell to TikTok Users
Nobody likes to be sold to. This applies to all social media platforms but particularly TikTok. You must avoid using pushy sales messages in your videos. This will not impress TikTok users and they will end up avoiding your content in the future.
There are other subtle ways that you can promote your products without being sales orientated. The trick is to engage your TikTok audience around your brand and products. Make a fun video with someone using your product in an entertaining way for example.
4. Not using a Music Sound Track
TikTok is an extension of the Musical.ly platform. The young people that use TikTok expect to hear background music with most of the videos that they watch. It is so easy to add a good music clip to your vides so make sure you do this every time.
5. Not using the Special Effects
There are a number of special effects available on TikTok. Users know this and expect videos to use at least some of them. You can make your video a lot more fun when you use effects such as speeding up and face filters.
The Lowdown On TikTok Ads
Now there are ads available on TikTok to help you to extend your reach and brand exposure. Back in January 2019 TikTok started experimenting with ads on their platform. This led to the launch of their managed service platform in April 2019. At the time of writing this article TikTok ads are not available in all countries.
As with other social media platforms there is a biddable ad environment available. You cannot self serve TikTok ads at the moment and everything has to go through a representative of the company. This will certainly change in the future.
All available ads on TikTok are of the short form video format. This makes perfect sense as TikTok is a platform that is full of short form videos so any ads will be seamless to users. There are three different models that you can follow with TikTok ads which are:
- CPC (Cost Per Click)
- CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions)
- CPV (Cost Per View where a view is a minimum of 6 seconds)
The targeting features are a little basic right now. You can choose your audience on the basis of age, gender and location. The geo targeting allows you to target down to state level in the United States. In the future you can expect to see more targeting options such as interest and behavior.
Here are the four types of TikTok ads currently available:
Native Ads (In Feed)
Have you ever experienced the story ads on Instagram? These are full screen mode and usually pretty effective. If this appeals to you then you will like the native ads on TikTok. You can add an external link to your website with these ads.
With this type of ad you need to decide on the length of your video from 5 seconds to 15 seconds. You have to create a vertical format video because it is going to display in the “For You” page of your target audience. You can add a call to action such as downloading an app or visiting your website.
Hashtag Challenge Ads
Hashtag challenges are very popular on TikTok so it makes sense to create ads in this format. What you will do here is to encourage the TikTok users in your target audience to participate in a challenge that is centered around your brand or one of your products.
TikTok users really like to participate rather than taking a passive stance. So if you come up with the right hashtag challenge ad you can expect some very good levels of engagement. These ads run for 6 days and a TikTok representative will support you the entire time.
The Brand Takeover Ad
The Brand Takeover ad appears when a user first opens their TikTok app. It is literally front and center on their screen. You can use this kind of ad to send a user to an internal piece of content or drive them to your website.
Brand Takeover ads are permitted on a category basis. Only one advertiser can use this kind of ad for a category each day. We predict that these are going to become the most expensive TikTok ads in the future because of the limited availability.
The Branded Lens Ad
If you go for a branded lens ad you will be able to use face filters, 3D objects and more. The right branded lens app can provide a lot of engagement on the platform so they are definitely worth considering.