A little over a month ago, I decided to start a TikTok channel so I could test a new strategy for my business. Within a month, I had amassed over 10,000 followers and over 1M views. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to start a TikTok channel for your business, let me tell you why you should just go for it.
Although I had a TikTok account for over a year, the account wasn’t really growing. Even when I was consistently sharing content, using trending sounds, finding the best times to post, etc.
Ironically enough, I shared my frustration with my kids and they told me that my account wasn’t growing because my content was not relatable. They told me “Mom, people don’t like to see a teacher.” So I asked them to put together a list of videos from creators that looked like my age that they considered relatable. That’s when I understood the assignment.
I thought that funny videos were relatable. But it turns out that funny videos are not what my audience wanted from me. So if you’re taking notes, please write down this one: your audience might need substance more than a good laugh.
What does relatable content mean?
Relatable content means content that creates an emotional connection with the user. In simple words: it’s content that triggers a reaction, beyond a like.
Tips to create relatable content:
My team was totally right. I did a “story time” sharing a very personal story when I was dealing with my rebellious-teenage-daughter, while growing a business. Oh my!
I freaked out
My story time was taken the WRONG way. Many women criticized me for prioritizing my business over my daughter’s needs. But the algorithm did its thing and found me the other group of women who actually came to the story and left me supporting comments. My friend, I felt like I was on Judge Judy’s show.
That’s when I learned how TikTok’s algorithm works, firsthand! I was amazed to see that story going “viral for me” and attracting women who were going through what I went through. Keep in mind, “viral for me” means that generated more reactions than any other video.
That very first “viral for me” video gave me a sense of community. I was able to connect with powerful women, right away!
People kept asking me for more parts of the “story time” video. And that into a whole series of videos where I was sharing my experience, my lessons, and every bit of resource I had on my toolbox that could help other women who are going through the same situation.
That natural progression gave my TikTok channel over 1M video views!
And, of course, the forensic marketing strategist in me forced me to come up with a clear goal for this channel, which is, for now, my very own case study. I want to be able to show step-by-step, how to grow from zero, build a community, and monetize it.
If you know the MFG-SEO story, then you know that I built Austin Networking Group from zero by leveraging event marketing and a Facebook Group. The group has been fundamental to the success of our marketing agency. The best part? It has been 100% organic, using attraction marketing. We don’t need to “sell” anything. We lead with value. So I’m taking the same approach with this new TikTok channel. I know that if I create high-valuable content, the audience will come for more. In fact, I just launched a Podcast a few weeks ago, so I can answer questions and create longer talks, based on the TikTok topics. And following a TikTok marketing strategy, the little podcast is growing organically!
You might not think that an app full of 15-second videos is the place to sell your product or service, you’d be surprised. TikTok can actually be a great place to market your business—if you do it right.
First, let’s dispel a common misconception: TikTok is not a direct sales platform. You’re not going to make a sale by posting a video of yourself holding up your product and saying, “Buy this now!” And that’s okay. Not every social media platform is conducive to making an immediate sale. That’s not what TikTok is for.
Instead, TikTok should be used as a way to build relationships with potential customers and create an emotional connection with your brand. If you can get people to like and trust your brand on TikTok, they’re more likely to buy from you. And this is where a marketing funnel comes in handy.
A social media marketing funnel is a path that your customers move through at each point of the user journey. You should have a social media marketing funnel as part of your TikTok strategy. If you need help with coming up with your strategic marketing funnel, this is an area where our MFG-SEO team can help tremendously.
Create a personal account and use the search bar to explore topics. TikTok uses SEO tools to facilitate users. You can use long-tail keywords, which are great for specific questions. You will get suggestions as you type, and the “people also asked” section. Notice that I am recommending starting with a personal account first. The main reason is that you want to create a solid content strategy before starting your channel.
You can niche your content according to problems faced by the target audience. For instance, if you are a money coach, search for a relevant keyword such as “money problems in relationships.” Then, you can find questions you think potential customers want an answer to and make content accordingly.
After choosing your “winning” topics, you can select a video style. In my opinion, this is the most crucial step to drastically increase your growth. Many business owners mistake relying on sounds and trends and mimicking their niche. Avoid this mistake. Study accounts that talk about the problems you solve. But now, don’t just pay attention to the topics. Identify which videos generated the most comments and the video style they used. Here are a few questions you could use when trying to choose your video style:
These lengthy steps might sound daunting to you, but believe me, I managed to boost my followers from 0 to 10K by following these steps in only a month. Plus, remember that you don’t have to do any of this. You can totally delegate it to an amazing team (hello MFG-SEO!).
I’ve noticed that the quality of the video impacts the performance. Especially lightning. Also, add both, open captions and closed captions.
While audio might play a role in your video views, I’ve not seen consistency. In my channel, the videos that have generated the most views have been the ones with higher watch time.
Having a powerful thumbnail is essential. It’s quite interesting seeing how TikTokers love “clickbait” practices, especially when you push emotional boundaries.
TikTok’s search engine is very powerful. Not only takes the content of your video by what your audio is about, but also using the text in your caption. I try to write down short lists.
Hashtags are also helpful. Pick your hashtags according to the customers’ problems you want to discuss. For instance, an author should use #booktok, #authorsoftiktok, etc. Keep in mind that viral hashtags such as #fyp won’t work.
Growing your TikTok account requires consistent posting and engaging with the target audience. You must post 3-4 times a day for positive results. Here is the cadence I use on my channel:
Remember that once you have questions from your audience, those will become your content. There are days when I have 20 questions that are worth an answer.
This strategy might work on Instagram, but TikTok is different. You should avoid “follow for follow” as you are not using Instagram. Search topics, engage with creators, and pay attention to your FYP. These actions will help you to make new and relatable content.
Never ignore questions from users in the comment. When you respond to your users, they will feel valued and engaged with your content.
TikTok’s algorithm suggests posts for boosting. I highly recommend following those suggestions as the algorithm understands which content has the potential to reach more. The healthy budget to start with post-boost is around $5 to $10 per day.
The short answer: monetization.
TikTok has created a virtual gift economy for influencers that allows them to monetize their videos. Creators can earn money by streaming, tipping viewers with imaginary cash or coins (which are converted into real-world currency when gifted), and offering subscriptions where fans send payment in exchange for badges that you can customize with your brand.
TikTok requires that creators have a certain number of followers and views to access these features:
No wonder you see so many creators doing livestreams with neon backgrounds!
Starting a TikTok channel for your business is a great way to reach out to new audiences, promote your products or services, humanize your brand, and have some creative fun. And you don’t need any fancy equipment or editing skills—all you need is a smartphone and a willingness to have a good time. And of course, if you want to secure your TikTok marketing success, consider hiring MFG as your social media team.