Whether you’re a brand or an influencer, TikTok can be an excellent marketing tool to reach your target audience. With more than a billion users worldwide watching the app and U.S. adults spending nearly 56 minutes per day on it, per Insider Intelligence, the opportunities for promotion are endless. So how can brands and influencers make the most of their posts on an app that has more engagement than even Instagram or YouTube? Follow these TikTok best practices to increase your chances of grabbing and holding users’ interest without breaking any rules.
1. Create high-res content in portrait mode with audio
TikTok users’ preferred viewing mode is portrait, so it’s best to create videos in a 9:16 aspect ratio. This will allow your content to take up the entire screen, boosting your chances of catching and maintaining your target audience’s attention.
Beyond format, quality matters, with 83.2% of top-performing TikToks boasting a resolution of at least 720p.
It’s also vital to add audio, whether trending TikTok music, a voiceover, or simply speaking to the camera, as videos with no sound tend to perform poorly by comparison.
2. Keep videos under 34 seconds
Although video ads can be between 5 and 60 seconds, TikTok’s Ads Manager recommends short videos of 9 to 15 seconds. As you might suspect, the short-form video app caters to short, snappy videos.
While 9 to 15 seconds is suggested, approximately 25% of TikTok’s top-performing videos run between 21 and 34 seconds.
So, it’s okay to go over 9 to 15 seconds but keep it under 34 seconds.
3. Avoid stagnant backgrounds
While simply talking to the camera can certainly add to an influencer’s authenticity, when working with brands, it usually pays to switch up the scenes with different angles and settings and some transition footage.
It’s not just a theory. Nearly 100% (99%) of top-performing e-commerce videos mix up the scenes in their content to provide variety, and TikTok reports that this mix has produced a 40.6% lift in impressions.
4. Be authentic
One of the biggest advantages of influencer marketing is its authenticity. When surveyed about who they trust more regarding brand, product, or service recommendations, 62% of consumers said they trust influencers over A-list celebrities.
When working with influencers on TikTok, it behooves brands to share their goals, ideas, and parameters but not to take complete control away from the influencer.
After all, brands who have done their homework chose their influencers for a reason. Give them the creative liberty to create content that promotes your brand while maintaining their authentic voice and style.
5. Research potential partnerships
Whether your brand is working with a nano-influencer new to marketing or a more experienced creator with hundreds of thousands (or millions) of followers, do your research first. There are plenty of resources to help you find a personality who aligns with your brand in terms of voice, goals, values, and expertise. You can use influencer marketing software like IZEA Flex to aid in your search too.
Of course, researching potential partnerships is a two-way street. Influencers, too, should dig into the brands looking to match up with them for TikTok campaigns. Taking every brand partnership offer may benefit your bank account but is detrimental to your reputation if things go sour.
6. Post frequently
Posting frequently helps both influencers and brands stay top of mind with their audiences, but it can also provide great insight. Use the opportunity to test out different types of content, days of the week, and times of day or night. The results will provide feedback for future campaigns and help you determine if and how you should adjust what and when you post.
7. Balance promotion and entertainment
The best TikTok content is entertaining, informational, or both. Leaning too heavily on promotion can leave viewers feeling like they’ve just watched a standard advertisement. Instead, look for ways to organically highlight the product or service, including its features and benefits, without filling the entire clip with ad-speak.
8. Include a call to action
What’s the point of creating great content to promote a brand if viewers don’t know how to buy it, enroll, grab a free sample, or download the app? Ideally, influencers or brands should mention the offer in the video and share a unique promotional code or link to a designated landing page for tracking.
9. Add closed captioning or on-screen text
Mentioning your call to action and including it in the copy is essential, but TikTok recommends including closed captioning or at least on-screen text as well. Why? The platform’s metrics show that displaying a call to action on screen has given videos a 55.7% lift in impressions compared to those without it.
10. Be transparent
The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on advertisers, influencers, and other endorsers regarding properly disclosing recommendations and relationships to stop deceptive ads.
As a general rule, influencers must disclose if they have any financial, employment, personal, or family relationship with a brand they’re promoting. This includes receipt of payment, discount and free products, or other perks—even if evaluations are unbiased or negative.
Consider adding #ad or #sponsored graphically to the video, or if you’re live streaming, repeat the disclosure periodically.
By following best practices for posting on TikTok, brands can increase their chances of experiencing a successful campaign, and influencers are more likely to increase their engagement and number of followers while complying with the law.