Today’s brands are built on social, but social media marketing has never been so cutthroat. Every post on every channel needs incredible creativity – dynamic creative, great copy, and high-quality content. They also need paid amplification. The era of “just organic” is over.
In our new blog series, we talk about what’s working (and not working) on major social channels. We cover the marketing strategy of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and now Pinterest, YouTube and TikTok.
TikTok marketing strategy
Its user base is no match for Facebook or Instagram. But TikTok grew to 1 billion monthly active users in just four years (it took Facebook about eight years). With an average session of 10.85 minutes, it is poised to be the fastest growing and most engaged with the platform in 2022.
The reluctance to add TikTok to the marketing mix is understandable, whether for lack of creative resources or general strategic approach. But it is now part of the proverbial Zeitgeist.
What works — adapting trending content: What do Taylor Swift’s album Red (Taylor’s Version) have in common with holding a penny to the exposed prongs of a lamp socket? They both trend on TikTok at some point. While we certainly don’t advocate following dangerous TikTok trends, look for fun ways to use a popular song, theme or dance on the platform to promote messaging around your brand.
What works — concise, quality and consistent videos: When it comes to TikTok’s marketing strategy, balancing entertainment and brand promotion is a thin line to walk. The main goal is to make content entertaining for users. It’s more of an art than a science. While videos should ideally be 20-35 seconds long, the most successful length really depends on how well the story/stream will hold the audience’s attention. Post regularly and analyze to see what works based on impressions and engagements. Like Facebook, subtitles are a necessary feature.
What Works — Influencer Partnerships: Creators are kings on TikTok. The platform was designed for influencer marketing, with topics like #BookTok perfect for brands like Barnes & Nobles or Book of the Month. It pays to find quality content creators who have overlapping audiences and can naturally use your product or services in their videos.
What to try: B2B companies also have their place here. Take the Square approach. While most SMB customers, especially restaurants, aren’t part of the TikTok demographic, Square has wisely strategized to target its customers’ customers (who do), by promoting their storefronts. Duolingo promotes its language-learning app with photos of their owl mascot wreaking havoc across the office and capitalizing on trending themes. Do you want to adopt a news or advice-oriented approach? Publishers like the Washington Post and Morning Brew are setting the bar high, with staff interpreting breaking news, delivering information in a format more suited to the channel.
TL; DR: If your audience is in the 10-29 age bracket, you should already have a presence and a strategy.
YouTube Digital Marketing
Before TikTok caused a stir on the video platform, there was YouTube. Still going strong for more than a decade, YouTube has over 2 billion active users. This is where social media marketing and SEO really overlap. Owned by Google and equipped with its own search engine, marketers compete for the top spot for their videos.
What works — intent-based keywords: YouTube offers a huge opportunity for brand discovery through content focused on subject matter experts. Rankings prioritize content based on relevance, engagement, and quality. Match content with the keywords (and queries) you want to rank for and your audience is searching for. Make sure the video description and transcript includes keywords. And be sure to use closed captioning because the algorithm is designed to capture it! Like SEO for web content, backlinks and “tags” from other creators/brands can increase ranking potential.
Keep an eye on – YouTube Shorts: Google has announced that it is focusing on short-form video to compete with TikTok. The service has grown this year, with a 130% increase in global daily views in just a few months. Google continues to build capabilities, primarily for creators, but the advertising rollout on this platform will likely follow. While this may not make sense for all brands, it may be worth exploring partnerships with influential creators with high views on YouTube Shorts.
Pinterest marketing strategy
Despite a 6% year-over-year decline in monthly users, the company saw a 56% increase in annual revenue. The secret to their success despite the lack of user growth? SEO optimized content and ad placements that look native to the platform.
What works? Keyword optimization and payment: Make sure your organic content can rank on Google. Use SEO-optimized keywords in descriptions and table titles, as well as keyword research and sites like answerthepublic.com to anticipate the types of content that will rank with your target audience. That said, organic efforts on Pinterest probably won’t bring you the site traffic and impact your business is looking for. We strongly recommended a paid amplification strategy.
For the record : We find Pinterest to be remarkably effective at driving web traffic in certain industries (like food and drink). However, other than that, few customers use it strategically (or at all). It’s best for categories like fashion, wedding planning, and interior design.
This article was originally published by our sister company SHIFT Communications on SHIFT Insights.