April 1, 2024

Building your TikTok empire: 5 tips for domination

Jenna Mason & Christian Jaekle

It may be unwise to kick off a thought leadership piece by calling out an entire industry … but HEeEEeERrrEe we GoOoo.

It’s exhausting to hear our fellow advertising pals complain about not understanding the Gen Z audience while refusing to fully embrace TikTok. We all know that if you want to understand the next generation of consumers – you’ve got to meet them where they’re at. Therefore, if we’re taking our own advice, an earnest effort on TikTok is the cost of entry.

Leaps off double-wide soapbox.

We understand that jumping into a new platform that knows you better than you do can be intimidating. Here’s the thing though, once you wrap your mind around how to win on TikTok– these lo-fi efforts can have HUGE returns. That’s why we’re sharing the crown by spiling our five spiciest TikTok secrets. 

Don’t overthink it

The good news: Gen Z has no secrets. Everything from the brands they love to the niche pop-culture moments they reference to the core philosophies they subscribe to are all on full display. You just have to take a lil time each day to laugh, learn, and dance. From there, pick a few sounds that made you smile, ideate around how the trend can be ownable to your brand, film it, and then send it into the world like a tiny bird. If you’re looking for real-time feedback, the algorithm will let you know if you nailed it within a few hours. And no worries, we all produce our fair share of flops – leave ‘em up and keep practicing.

Tap your Gen-Zers

Not all thought leadership comes from the top. Making short, viral content comes naturally to Gen Z, it’s ok to ask them to help lead your company’s TikTok initiatives or film and edit. It’s not ok to have them take the lead and not understand how the platform works. Chances are, your interns don’t have the same marketing expertise you do – killing it on TikTok is a cross-gen effort. Plus, when they move on at the end of the semester, you still gotta be viral and dangerous.

Don’t Michael Bay it

TikTok is NOT the place to show off your flashy new :30. It’s the place for commentary about how the campaign came to life or eye-catching BTS over a thumping beat. Truth is: as soon as TikTokers see your perfectly produced new brand campaign, they’re gonna scroll right past it. That’s not what they’re here for. Which honestly, is great news for you – not every post needs to be or should be perfectly manicured. Show us the realness. Show us the setup then the final shot. Show us the crazy rig it took to capture it. Show us the creative process behind the spot – just leave all that branded stuff to other channels.

Social is the new search

Gen Z is all about gathering inspo from influencers. In fact, over 40% of consumers use TikTok as a search engine. Optimizing your TikTok content to be SEO (search engine optimization) friendly is crucial for a successful channel. Use keywords in your on-screen text, caption copy, and voiceovers to ensure your content lands on the FYP (For You Page) of your target audience. Off-the-cuff testimonials on TikTok have the potential to outperform any paid media plan when (and if) they fall into the right feed.

Get comfortable un-processing

Maintaining a TikTok presence is all about walking that fine line between process and agility. Having a regular meeting to discuss trends and plan out content is a great way to ensure you’re posting around 6-7 times per week. That being said: Having a calendar is great, but don’t be afraid to grab a quick 15 with your team to strike while the iron’s hot. Letting a trend slide 2-3 days is an eternity in #AlgorhythmLand. Finally, inviting the whole company to your TikTok meeting allows insight into everyone’s FYP and gets your entire team comfy with the creation process. The more creators you have on your roster, the more dangerous you are. Plus, we believe great ideas can come from anyone at any level in any department.

That’s it! You’re now ready to build your own TikTok empire. If you have more questions once you get your boots on the ground, shoot us an email at qustioneverything@curiosity.fun. May the algorithm work in your favor.

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