There’s no denying that TikTok is the must-have app of our generation. With over 1 billion monthly active users – 80 million in the US alone – the short-form video platform has become the place to be for endless streams of engaging personalized content – and for brands looking to target a Gen Z audience.
A huge part of TikTok’s success is that it exists, first and foremost, as a content-creation platform. Equipped with countless creative editing functions and features – and an algorithm that favors user interests over follower count – it enables anyone to become a content creator, and a really successful one at that.
Due to its immense popularity – particularly with the Gen Z demographic – brands have quickly followed suit in building a presence on the platform. TikTok’s affinity for authentic, unpolished content makes the app a perfect place for brands to engage with their audience in an honest and relatable way, showing a more human side to their company.
The impact of this move is already clear. The app achieves an average of 118% organic reach for brands, over 100% more than Facebook. Combined with influencer partnerships and paid advertising content, brands have potential to achieve significant success on the platform.
So where to get started? Here’s everything you need to know about creating a TikTok video as a brand in 2022. All you need to bring is the creative genius!
Getting started with TikTok
First things first, you’ll need to set up your TikTok account.
- Download the app from the App Store or Google Play
2. Sign up within the app – via phone, Facebook, Apple, Google or Twitter.
3. Create your username. This will accompany your account and appear alongside all of the content you share – including on the ‘For You’ page (FYP), where new customers can engage with your account for the first time. Make sure to make it memorable, related to your content and reflective of your brand image.
4. Choose your interests – this will guide the content that appears on your own FYP. You can change this at any point in your account’s settings, but TikTok’s algorithm will continue to adjust based on the content you like to watch and engage with.
Use this page to keep an eye on what your followers and competitors are up to. Is there an industry trend you can jump on? A customer video you can respond to? Some friendly banter with a key competitor? Get as creative as you can in what you post and share – it’s what TikTok was built for!
5. Get started by scrolling content on your FYP or exploring the other pages within the app.
6. Set up your TikTok for Business account. Here you can gain access to further analytics on the performance of your account – from audience engagement to account reach. It’s also the place where you can run TikTok ads to accompany your organic content further down the line.
To make the switch, simply go to your profile page and select Settings and Privacy > Manage Account > Switch to Business Account.
If you’re a brand looking to get started with the basics of TikTok Marketing, check out our full guide here.
Creating your first TikTok video
Now you’re all set up, it’s time to get started with your first TikTok video – you’re officially a TikTok creator! There are countless content options available within the app, but here we’ll run through the basics to get you started.
How to make a TikTok video
To start creating your first TikTok video, click on the + icon from the panel of options at the bottom of your screen.
Here you can upload photos and videos from your phone’s photo library or film content directly in the app. To record directly in the app, simply select the red record button in the bottom center of the screen and tap again when you’re finished.
The default ‘quick’ option will film automatically for 15 seconds, or switch to the ‘Camera’ tab at the bottom of the screen to film for up to ten minutes.
On this screen, you can also explore a whole host of initial editing functions and features. These include adjusting the speed, applying filters, experimenting with enhancements and setting timers.
Most importantly, you have the option here to ‘Add sound’, which will take you to a library full of songs, sound effects, and user-generated audios. As a brand, you have the option to switch to ‘Commercial Sounds’ to browse audio which is licensed for commercial use. TikTok points you in the direction of its most popular songs, allowing you to explore by ‘TikTok Viral’, ‘New Releases’, ‘Emerging Artists’ and a variety of industries and genres.
TikTok’s use of audio is one of the most crucial elements of the app’s success – so choosing the right song or voiceover can make a huge difference to the reach of your content. Trending sounds will give you a much higher chance of landing on users’ FYP, as TikTok will look to share your content with the people who are already engaging well with that particular audio.
You can add your audio before or after filming, depending on your content type. If you’re a fashion brand creating a dance video to show off your new clothing line, you might want to add the audio first to keep in time. For a catwalk show, you might want to film first and then browse to find the audio that fits perfectly.
Filming TikTok videos in-app vs uploading content
The first decision to make when creating your first TikTok video is whether to upload content from your phone’s library or film within the app. There are benefits to both and, again, these depend on the type of content you are filming.
Filming TikTok videos directly in the app is useful if your video content is synchronized with the audio – take the dance video example we just mentioned. Being able to add your filters and effects before you start filming often makes this method more time saving too.
If your video is more complex – for example, piecing together multiple clips – it’s often easier to film off the app and then clip and edit it together in TikTok afterwards.
After you’ve captured your content, you’ll be presented with an extra layer of editing tools and functions. Including the filters and effects from the first screen, you’ll have the additional options of adding text, stickers, audio captions or experimenting within TikTok Studio.
TikTok Studio is TikTok’s advanced editing software. Here you can split videos, sync audios and overlay other video and audio clips. This is also where you can create duets, transitions and voiceovers to really make your content stand out from the rest. Check out some of these content types in our guide: TikTok 101: A marketer’s guide to the app taking Gen Z by storm.
What kind of content should I be creating on TikTok?
TikTok’s success is built on its authenticity as a platform. Content shared is typically much less polished than what you’d create for Youtube or Instagram, and designed to be honest and relatable. Here are some points to consider as you start creating your TikTok content:
Find your niche – TikTok is home to a whole variety of communities, from art and sustainability to cooking and travel. To create winning content, it’s worth considering which of these categories you fall into and how you can tailor your content accordingly.
For example, if you are a skincare brand, you might tap into the global #SkinTok community by creating tutorials with your products, showcasing skincare transformations or inviting your followers to share their own skincare tips and tricks.
Tap into your audience’s interests – Once you’ve settled on your target audience, it’s important to understand the kind of content they typically like to engage with. TikTok makes it easy to research on the platform through its set of discovery tools. Clicking the search icon at the top of your FYP allows you to search for accounts, keywords and hashtags to see what’s popular in your niche.
Carrying on our skincare example, you might want to check out some of your competitors and which of their content is the top performing. If you are a skincare brand focused on nature-based products for relaxation, it might be that relaxing demonstrations with calming music are the most popular. If you are a brand using medical-standard ingredients to banish skin conditions such as acne, users may prefer more detailed advice-style videos, comparing products and outcomes.
Get creative – While we recommend scoping out the competition for inspiration, and tuning into the content your target audience likes to see, it’s important to keep your content as creative as you can. Think about how you can change up your angles, use different backdrops, experiment with transitions and find new ways to jump on existing trends.
One brand killing it in this field is clinical skincare brand, The Ordinary. Sharing a mix of informative and funny videos and finding clever ways to jump on trending videos and audios, it has racked up an impressive 356K followers, making it the most followed skincare brand on the platform.
Posting your TikTok video
How to post your TikTok video
Once you have filmed and edited your video to your liking, you have the option to ‘Post to story’ or click ‘Next’.
‘Post to story’ will share your video on your account for 24 hours. Instead of appearing on your grid, a blue circle will appear around your brand’s profile picture which anyone searching your account can tap to watch. It will also appear within the ‘Friends’ page of anybody that follows your account.
Clicking ‘Next’ will enable you to construct how your video will appear on your account and, (hopefully!) others’ FYP. Here you can write a caption to accompany your video, add hashtags, mention other accounts and tag any brands or partners who are in the video with you.
You can also set your videos to share automatically to Instagram, Whatsapp, and Snapchat, all of which are jumping on the short-form video content bandwagon. If you’re still pondering a great caption, then you have the option to ‘Save to drafts’, otherwise, click ‘Post’ to share your content with the world.
Best times to post on TikTok
When looking to increase the reach of your TikTok videos, it’s worth considering the timing of your posts. As with all social media platforms, exact timings change constantly, but following general trends can make a big difference.
From a study of over 100,000 TikTok posts, recent research from Influencer Marketing Hub found that Tuesdays at 9am EST, Thursdays at 12pm EST and Fridays at 5am EST are some of the best performing times.
Now that you’re well-versed on TikTok’s editing features and functions, let’s consider how you can optimize your content for TikTok’s acclaimed ‘For You’ page (FYP).
As we mentioned earlier, TikTok’s algorithm allows anybody’s content to reach a wide audience, thanks to its focus on user interests and engagement over follower count. If you create an engaging video which genuinely captures the interest of new and existing users, it has the potential to be seen by millions.
While there is no sure-fire route to a viral video, here are some ways you can increase your chances of landing on others’ FYP:
Audio, audio, audio – We’ve said it once, we’ll say it a thousand times. Choosing the right audio is so important when it comes to creating a viral-worthy video. If TikTok sees that someone is engaging well with a particular song – i.e often stops on these videos, or watches them a number of times – the algorithm will keep presenting them videos with the same song. If you can match these audios with creative content that’s in tune with the interests of your TikTok community, you’ll have a much higher chance of landing on more FYPs.
Jump on trends – TikTok trends are another key driver of virality, and of TikTok’s success overall. They are a fun way for communities to engage together, whether it is finding new scenarios for a comedy voiceover or learning a popular dance routine to a trending song. If you can tap into these trends, or explore a new take on them that hasn’t been done before, you’ve got a good shot of increased engagement.
Use hashtags – Hashtags are another key way to increase your reach on the platform. As users can search hashtags from the FYP, you’re opening yourself up to being discovered by creators on the hunt for your kind of content. They are also another feature which plays into the TikTok algorithm. If a particular users engaged frequently with videos including the hashtag #GymTok, the app will continue to show them other gym-related videos with the same hashtag.
Branded hashtags are also an option for brands to increase the reach of their content. Read more about these in our 2022 Guide to TikTok Ad Features and Formats.
Challenges – A final way to increase viral potential – one particularly popular with brands – is through TikTok challenges. This could mean jumping on an existing challenge or setting your own.
Many brands have gained impressive success through challenges, one of the most notable being Chipotle with its ‘#chipotlelidflip’ challenge. This challenge invited followers to take the bottom of their takeout burrito bowl container and ‘flip the lid’ and make it land on top. In just 6 days, the challenge generated 110,000 videos, and record level digital sales of Chipotle’s viral burrito bowl.
Working with TikTok Influencers
While TikTok gives brands the potential for much higher organic reach than any other social media platform, true success on the app is often achieved through a combined approach of organic posting and partnering with TikTok influencers.
By collaborating with content creators that are native to the platform, already have a highly engaged and trusting following, and are embedded within your target community, you have the opportunity to generate wide-scale interest from just a single post.
The success of TikTok Influencer Marketing is based on the transfer of trust from influencer to brand. Influencers gain loyal followers based on their honesty and transparency. If the influencer decides to endorse a particular product, their followers are much more likely to get behind it because of the long-standing trust they have built with that particular creator, much like they would respond to a recommendation from a friend. Due to its prime focus on authenticity, TikTok generates a higher ROI for influencer-generated content than any other social media platform.
How to find TikTok Influencers
There are a number of avenues brands can take to find TikTok Influencers. The first option is TikTok’s Creator Marketplace. Here, you can browse creators, invite them to collaborate on campaigns and monitor analytics all within the platform.
A second option for finding TikTok influencers is through Aspire’s set of Influencer Discovery tools. With our newly-launched TikTok integration, you have the ability to search thousands of TikTok influencers and invite them to join existing and upcoming campaigns, while generating 24/7 inbound interest with our own (aptly named) Creator Marketplace. Differing from TikTok’s marketplace model, our marketplace is a space for brands to share upcoming projects and let influencers come to them – doubling the chance of campaign success.
As the preferred partner of Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube, Aspire also allows you to manage all of your influencer marketing campaigns in one place, centralizing your influencer marketing strategy across all social media channels. See the Aspire tool in action →
Of course, kicking off your TikTok influencer marketing strategy is not as easy as selecting influencers you like the look of and hoping for the best. Finding influencers with a strong brand-audience fit is crucial. Read more about finding the right TikTok Influencers in our ebook: The Ultimate Guide to TikTok Influencer Marketing.
There you have it. A step by step guide to creating top quality content on TikTok. Download it, experiment with it, and, most importantly, get creative with it! We’d love to see the content you create – follow us on @aspire.io.
In the meantime, we’ve summarized our key takeaways for making a TikTok video as a brand in 2022.
- Make sure you’re set up with a TikTok Business account
- Find your TikTok community
- Prioritize audio
- Consider influencer-generated content
Interested to see how our TikTok integration can work for your brand? Request a demo