16 Approaches Brands Can Take To Boost Engagement On TikTok

TikTok is the platform of choice for younger generations in 2022, and its influence and reach is only growing. With nearly every social platform making a shift toward featuring more video content, TikTok already offers the most popular features and functions, not to mention legions of global users, making it a great channel for branding and marketing.

While some brands rely on highly produced and polished video content to reach their ideal customers, those with a penchant for down-to-earth production styles and a bit of creativity can help new prospects discover their offerings with a well-planned TikTok content strategy. Below, members of Forbes Agency Council share their best advice for brands that hope to connect and boost engagement with target audiences on TikTok to ensure they take the most effective approach with their short-form video content.

1. Get In On The Trends And Have Fun

You have to have fun on TikTok—that’s why everyone’s there. Get in on the trends, do TikTok challenges and create content around popular music to start getting views. Even if you think your brand’s not “fun” enough to do any of that, behind-the-scenes TikToks that feature staff do very well. Some companies have earned millions of followers this way, reaching a whole new audience of brand advocates. – Nicky Senyard, Fintel Connect

2. Distill Your Message Down To Its Core

TikTok is a platform where users have very short attention spans. Distill your message down to its core, and tell an interesting story. Then, build on it and post as often as possible to grow your following. Don’t get discouraged if growth is slow at first, as every account started with few or no followers. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. – David Kley, Web Design and Company

3. Use Hashtags To Follow TikTok Trends

Use hashtags as part of your marketing strategy on TikTok to follow trends. Follow TikTok trends regularly and be prepared to change your content to keep up with the latest crazes. However, remember that while you certainly need to follow trends, you shouldn’t forget about originality. – Dmitrii Kustov, Regex SEO

4. Grab Viewers’ Attention Quickly

Short video content should be fun, quick, engaging and quickly grab a viewer’s attention, especially since the attention spans of consumers have gotten shorter and shorter. You have one to three seconds to make a positive impression. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC


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5. Find Your Sweet Spot And Stick With It

Speak to your demographic, be real, find your sweet spot and stick with it. Don’t change your brand’s identity or values to gain followers just because you don’t see instant traction; change the way you speak and engage with your audience. Change the way you’re presenting and engaging and stick with it. Make it short, sweet and to the point, and always keep your audience wanting more. – Jessica Kopach, The JKO Agency

6. Keep Building Your List Of Ideas For Potential TikToks

Make sure that you create a long list of ideas about what you can film. TikTok thrives on consistency and frequency, yet I have seen many brands burn out quickly on ideas, then chalk it up to TikTok being a loser for them because their four videos didn’t land. Create a system to consistently come up with an endless list of ideas. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency

7. Create Fun, Engaging Content That Is Authentic To Your Brand

TikTok users want content that is fun and entertaining. Videos from brands should reflect this. Brands not only need to create content that is both original and engaging, but they also need to be authentic to their own brand culture and values. Identify a brand archetype (such as a jester), then deliver content aligned with the spirit and consistency of that brand archetype. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing

8. Have A Strong Hook And Create An Open Loop

Have a strong hook and create an open loop so that you increase the odds of users sticking around for the whole video. When creating your content, three effective video approaches/topics that will increase watch time and shares are videos that break common beliefs, give people an aha!/lightbulb moment or share an inspirational story. As a result, TikTok will view you as an asset if you keep people watching. – Callum Roche, Roche Marketing Group

9. Test And Learn; Rinse And Repeat

Test and learn. Test and learn. Rinse and repeat. By noticing what works, you will learn what the best messaging and format are for the future. Also, note what’s not generating engagement or eyeballs, and do less of that. TikTok can be like a daily focus group for each piece of content you post, with audience members who will vote with their eyeballs and engagement. Pay attention and improve each day! – Nancy Marshall, Marshall Communications

10. Use TikTok’s Unique Elements To Maximize Reach

Use the elements that make TikTok unique to maximize your reach. For example, using audio clips that have already gone viral is a great way to get extra views. Remember that Gen-Z increasingly turns to TikTok for news and information, so another winning tactic for brands is to use the platform to educate consumers about their product with either behind-the-scenes footage or informational videos. – Danielle Wiley, Sway Group

11. Tell A Story And Post Often

In many ways, classic advertising offers the best TikTok advice: Tell a story and post often. Personal stories give a product or service a “face” and a human story, making it easier for audiences to connect with it through a screen. But tell a story to one person—don’t make a viewer feel as if they are part of a massive group. Then, post often. Successful TikTok accounts often post two or three times a day. – Lon Otremba, Bidtellect

12. Leverage Interactive Elements To Get Viewers Engaged

Ask a question for viewers to answer in the comments or by creating their own videos in response. TikTok works especially well when you create your own trends and challenges for others to perform on their own. For instance, create a sound for others to use in their videos to mimic yours. As a result, you’ll create a network. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions

13. Do Your Research And Focus On Solutions And Inspiration

Understand what your audience is interested in and how your brand can align to that. It’s important to offer content that isn’t sales-focused but instead focuses on how your brand’s service or product solves a problem or inspires. Putting these elements together is a winning combination to boost engagement on TikTok. – Donna Robinson, Collective Measures

14. Don’t Try To Make Your TikToks ‘Too Perfect’

Show the real appeal of your company and who you really are in each of your videos. That kind of authenticity is not only perfect for TikTok, but it can also create the kind of emotional connection that turns viewers into repeat customers. – Danny Star, Website Depot

15. Give Your Audiences Something To Engage With

Can your audience do a duet with your content, click a link or (at the very least) consider your message? Your audience needs to have an actual reason to engage with the content. Start testing text overlays, posing questions and tagging people directly if you are responding to a question. This shows that you are paying attention to what your audience is saying. – Bernard May, National Positions

16. Be Real And Authentic

TikTok isn’t about a movie-quality production with amazing lighting and a professional score. It is about taking a video on your phone with some backlighting, getting your info out quickly and being entertaining. It doesn’t matter if you are participating in a trend or trying to sell something to the public; people won’t like it if you’re fake. – Jason Hall, FiveChannels Marketing

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2022/08/18/16-approaches-brands-can-take-to-boost-engagement-on-tiktok/