TikTok is grabbing the reins of social media as studies are predicting the popular app will outweigh 1.5 billion users in 2022.
There’s more to the content creator other than the passion for entrepreneurship; the “creator” has been around for about a decade, where qualifications in writing, editing, filming, and designing are essentials to the role.
But the dynamics of content changed over time, especially during the pandemic; the content creator boomed as it was a way to make money right at home. Today, more than 50 million people consider themselves to be creators and businesses are planning to spend $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022.
This means it’s probably time to consider including TikTok as a potential platform for marketing efforts. Take Grace Hayes, for example; this talented singer from Reno, Nevada, recently earned $50,000 from the MACRO x TikTok Black Creatives Grant to help produce her dream project in children’s entertainment. There’s nothing funnier than a song about a one-star Yelp review about a local McDonalds; with more than 4.9 million likes on the app, Hayes is one of the top ten users nominated for the grant supporting creative people of color.
Hayes is performing all of the content creator job duties solo as she continues to build her empire. When it comes to individual or influencer marketing, we asked Hayes to share some of her tips on how she markets her work on her own and how paying close attention to the algorithm could be a game changer to marketing practices.
1. Assemble your TikTok Creator Starter Pack
The essentials for this kit should not be an expensive investment, said Hayes.
“I used to think I needed the best equipment and software to begin posting videos in general but now I know that’s detrimental to the artistic process and leads to stagnancy,” she said. “If you wait to have the best of everything, you’ll never start.”
A solid ring light and a smartphone is best for the most important trend on TikTok: short-form videos, content that’s no longer than one or two minutes. In HubSpot Blog’s 2022 Marketing Industry Trends Survey, 51 percent of marketers are planning to use short-form video to boost investments in the new year.
Hayes uses her iPhone to record and edit all of her videos. She doesn’t have to worry much about mixing sound, as most viewers are tuning in with external speakers or headphone audio.
“TikTok is constantly evolving and I’m looking forward to the changes it will bring,” Hayes said. “I really couldn’t tell you, the Internet is a curveball.”
2. Study the trends
TikTok’s algorithm favors artists and fosters creativity, so you have to let the content speak for itself.
It’s also known as user-generated content, where the goal is to evoke emotion.
Hayes calls it the “shareable sweetspot;” combining relatability with something that’s never been done before. The Internet loves the unexpected.
“Watch time is a pivotal component to the TikTok algorithm, so captivating the viewer in the first half-second is key,” Hayes said. “Whether that’s by immediately giving a reason to keep watching, or making the viewer wonder if there even is a reason to keep watching.”
Consumers and users look for more authenticity in content, which ignites trendy videos such as behind-the-brand, explainers, interviews/duets, and product teasers. One big trend Hayes believes the world will see in 2022 are more celebrities taking up acts that are more commonly filmed among regular users, such as comedic songwriting.
“If you can make someone feel, your likelihood of getting shares is elevated,” Hayes said. “Choose which emotions and reactions you want wisely.”
3. Connecting algorithms
Hashtags work by finding relevant ones for posts, based on the hashtags that are used.
If you want your content to flow with the algorithm, Hayes suggests using five or less hashtags in comments or captions. She’s used many popular, generic ones like #songwriter, and made up her own for her fans, #gracecanyouwrite.
“But copying someone’s video word for word is a big no-no,” Hayes said. “Or not crediting sounds or ideas to their original authors.”
But why stop at TikTok? The next challenge is distributing your content throughout all platforms to gain traction—and to make sure no one is experiencing any FOMO.
All social media channels have different audiences with different expectations. Hayes said one of the easiest ways to promote your content beyond TikTok while keeping followers engaged is by taking up some new features the platforms offer, such as Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.
“Each platform has its own vibe or flair, if you will,” she said. “With each app, I try to check in on my audience insights for optimal posting times to make sure they get a good head start.”
We can assume majority of the hashtags for the new year will be #newyearsresolution, but what else is after that? According to a report by Fanbytes, 60 percent of users are Gen Z and are looking for ways to start #healthyliving, #fitness, and #cleaneating.
The report also mentions well-known hashtags that are pivotal to a digital media agenda.
- #LearnOnTikTok: Established in 2020, the hashtag gained attracted more than 159.3 billion views, featuring recipes, meal planning, crafts, and other life hacks. Think more of education and learning rather than advertising.
- #ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response): from molding sand to popping bubble wrap, these things help people to relax, whether its sight or sound. According to the report, the hashtag reached more than 4.1 billion views and more than 123 million likes in 2021 alone.
We know not every single brand is going to prosper on TikTok but it’s not too late to plan ahead for the right approach. It’s possible TikTok will surpass 2 billion active users by 2023, introducing more content strategies worldwide with endless potentiality for marketing in the near future.
Follow Hayes’ handle @Graceorsomething on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.