TikTok 101: A Beginner’s Guide to TikTok Marketing

Visual Freedom

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A few months ago, most people were still discussing whether starting a TikTok account might be worth it, and if the platform is even relevant. Now the majority is already hopping on to the trending platform and at least giving it a try.

“TikTok is at enough scale and it’s young enough to do to Instagram what Instagram did to Facebook.”
Gary Vee

Growing an audience is now easier on TikTok than on any other platform, and tons of experts and businesses are already making use of the tremendous power of the Chinese video app while it’s still relatively easy to grow and build authority in particular niches.

If you’ve, however, missed out on joining TikTok so far, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get started.

1. Create Your First Videos

TikTok is a relatively straightforward platform where you can instantly begin creating content for an audience. Setting up your profile won’t take more than 15–20 minutes, and once that’s done, you’re ready to go and create your first videos.

While most newbies find that the TikTok user interface is too complicated and quickly give up on mastering the platform, content creation on TikTok can actually be quicker and easier than on any other platform.

You can easily create your first videos in less than 15 minutes, and if you do well, reach the masses.

If you’ve never watched TikTok videos before, it might make sense to first browse through the so-called For You page to get some inspiration.

The For You page is a discover page for videos suggested by the TikTok algorithm. The more time you spend on TikTok, the better targeted these suggestions will be.

You can easily switch between the For You page and the Following page with just one click on the upper bar of your screen.

Once you’re following a few accounts, you can also use the Following page to come up with new ideas. Particularly if you’re following accounts similar to yours, the Following page might be even more effective than browsing through the For You page.

While most people still think of TikTok as a platform full of dance videos, it’s actually way more. You can create any kind of video, and if you do well, you can potentially reach thousands or even millions of TikTokers across the globe.

From educational videos to animated ones, you can let your creativity flow and try different video styles until you find certain schemes that fit your needs and your purpose.

When first browsing through the app and looking for inspiration, pay particular attention to trending topics, hashtags, and, most importantly: to trending music and sounds.

By making use of these trending elements, you can increase the chance of your videos performing well and reaching the masses. However, you don’t need to use trending elements mindlessly just to use them. Instead, find ways to incorporate them into your own concept and find ways to use them according to your brand.

If you’re using TikTok just for fun, you might try different types of content and video anyway, but if you’re, for example, trying to build your personal brand within a niche, or if you’re building the TikTok page for a business, you can come up with ways on using trending elements according to the brand.

Once you’ve collected enough ideas and inspiration through the For You page and know what type of content you want to create, you can instantly start filming your first videos by clicking on the plus sign at the bottom of the page.

While content creation on other platforms, such as Instagram, often comes with the need for external tools such as Photoshop or graphic design software, TikTok comes with tons of features to create your videos in the app without the use of external tools.

The blue bar at the top of your screen tells you how much you already recorded and how much time you still have. The maximum length of a TikTok video is 60 seconds, but most trending videos are shorter.

On the right side, you’ll see a column full of features and tools you can use while creating your video.

And right above the red recording button, you can see a grey bar that enables you to accelerate or decelerate the speed of your video.

Now, let’s have a closer look at what all the buttons on the right side of your screen can actually do:

Flip

This is a simple change between the front and the back camera. You can always pause your videos during the recording process and switch from one camera to the other. That’s particularly helpful if you’re talking about something and then showing it to your audience.

Speed

This button allows you to display the grey bar at the bottom of the page. If you click “Speed On”, you can choose from the different options to accelerate or decelerate the speed of your video. If you choose “Speed Off”, the bar will be blanked out.

Beauty

The beauty mode is a simple filter that makes you look better by optimizing the tone of your skin, adapting the light, etc.

Usually, the Beauty Mode is on, so if you don’t want to use the filter, you need to turn it off.

Filter

Here, you can access tons of different filters to use for your videos. You can choose any filter you want before recording a video (or a section) and then adjust the intensity of the filter.

Timer

By using the timer, you can adjust when the camera starts the recording. If you’re filming your videos with a tripod, this feature will save you lots of time and energy because you can simply adjust the start and stop time of the recording with one click. By sliding the red line, you can simply define when the recording should stop. So, if you want to record various sections for your video, you can define how long your sections should be, and the recording will automatically stop at the point you defined.

2. Interact

You can’t build a loyal following without engaging with your audience and with other creators. Publishing content just isn’t enough. Even on fresh platforms such as TikTok, social interaction is crucial.

One way to grow your audience is by making duets with other TikTokers. If you, for example, connect with other creators within your niche (in the best case with some that have bigger accounts than yourself), you might do a duet together and thus benefit from each other’s audiences.

TikTok has an integrated messaging function, so connecting with like-minded creators and with your community overall is pretty simple.

The most important rule in terms of interaction, however, is engaging with your own audience. By answering back to their comments and starting a conversation, you can build strong relationships with those who already enjoy your content and turn them into a loyal community of followers.

Additionally, you can always interact with the content of other creators from your niche. If you’re, for example, posting personal development content, you might leave thoughtful comments on other creators’ posts.

By doing so, you can have two major benefits: the creator might recognize you meaning connecting might become easier, and their community might check out your profile and also become your followers.

3. Create a Consistent Posting Schedule

Just like any other existing platform, TikTok favors consistency. The more you post, the more the algorithm helps you to reach people.

Especially as a beginner, reaching the masses might take some time, thus being consistent and posting a lot is the surest way to get more eyeballs on your content.

The most popular creators are uploading at least one video per day, and that’s also what you should aim for as a beginner. As mentioned above, content creation can be quite straightforward and quick on TikTok, thus, one video per day is a doable amount for anyone.

However, the most efficient way to handle TikTok is by creating videos in batches. For example, you could set one or two content creation days per week and create all videos for the week during these days. Once your videos are ready, posting them doesn’t take more than a few minutes.

Producing your videos in batches will help you to build your presence on TikTok without too much stress and pressure and you’ll instead enjoy the process.

By posting regularly, you’ll either build a gradual following or what might also happen is that one (or more) of your videos goes viral and reach the masses, which again will lead to a quick growth in followers.

4. Adapt

Once you get the basics covered and have set up a consistent posting schedule, it’s all about adapting your content and strategy.

By constantly being up to date on the platform and the trends, you’ll come up with new ideas for posts, captions, and ways to interact with your audience.

TikTok is a fast-paced platform, and by adopting new trends quickly, you can increase your chances of going viral and growing your audience rapidly.

Regularly take time to analyze your own content: see which videos get most views and lots of interaction and keep producing more of what people seem to enjoy.

In fact, making it big on TikTok is a constant experiment between adapting new trends, modeling what works for others, and reproducing more of your own successful content.

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