Feb 26, 2020 by zkipster Editorial Team

TikTok Marketing: How to Leverage TikTok to Maximize Event Visibility

Staying abreast of current trends in social media is crucial for event planners and marketers. But we live in a digital media world where trends come and go quickly — often on a whim.

Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are solid social media apps to build a foundation on, but they’re a saturated market. Users become blasé when they are inundated with the same content over and over.

When event marketers want to hit that next level experience for their guests, they have to delve further.

That’s when TikTok marketing comes in. 

Once considered yet another useless app for teens, it is now a must for planners looking to target a younger audience, especially since this market is traditionally tougher to reach and impress.

Using TikTok strategically can maximize your event’s visibility, particularly when you integrate it with the usual social media advertising campaign.

TikTok Explained

How to Use TikTok

What makes the use of TikTok as a legitimate marketing app so ironic is that it started as a trend for lip-syncing teens called Musical.ly.

Adults paid minimal attention to this ultimately harmless fad until the Chinese tech company ByteDance acquired Musical.ly. They renovated it, combining it with their version of something similar called Douyin.

They released the new creation, TikTok, in August of 2018. Less than a month later, it was a viral success with close to a billion downloads.

Today, TikTok remains wildly popular with the prime Gen Z demographic. The ease of use, fun 15-second video clips, and viral capability have attracted users in many other target markets, too.

How to Use TikTok 

Much of TikTok’s success comes from the simplicity of the app. You don’t have to be a techie to use the features to their maximum effectiveness. And it piggybacks off of other social media platforms that users may already be familiar with.

A quick overview of TikTok’s setup looks something like this:

  • Download the app and set up a free account.

How to use TikTok for event marketers

  • Usernames default to a generic selection based on the user’s info given, but you can change this in the Profile Settings in the bottom right corner.
  • If you want to, you can add personalized info to your profile, such as a bio and picture. Here is where you’d adjust your privacy settings, too.
  • Like with Instagram and Tinder, the swipe feature is used to navigate around. The default option is a selection of videos generated by TikTok based on the user’s preferences. A left swipe takes you to any accounts you’re following.

How event marketers can use TikTok

  • Hearts are used to “like” a video, arrows let you share posts with other users, and the spinning record tells you what song is playing. A hard press brings up the Not Interested button to remove a video from your feed for good. Hard presses can also be used to bookmark favorites.

Using TikTok to promote events

Tricks to Leverage TikTok

Maximizing Your Event

Like its predecessor, Musical.ly, TikTok started as a way for people to share short little snippets of their lives. But companies quickly caught on to using this platform as a way to market to their target audiences.

Hashtag challenges and giveaways became inexpensive forms of advertisement that could go viral fast.

But if you’re a legitimate professional with a specific brand voice, the basic TikTok videos won’t be enough. You’ve got to leverage the app strategically.

Maximizing Your Event 

Sure, you can use the default video from your phone, but then your brand will look amateurish. For better video quality, use a high-resolution camera and upload the file to the TikTok app.

Keep in mind the max file size is 287.6 MB for iOS and 72 MB for Android. But with 15-second clips, that should be plenty. The app accepts both mp4 and .mov file types.

If your event planning marketing strategy requires more screen-time, combine stories to display up to 60 seconds of feed. TikTok users are attracted to short memes and quick videos, so use each second with intention.

The length of your video is just the first part of knowing your audience.

What do they want in their user experience?

How can you use those expectations to attract them to your event’s promotion?

Because TikTok doesn’t focus on monetization through popups and ads, you have to really know your target market. Personalization and authenticity are crucial factors if you want your video seen and shared.

As an event promoter, your job is to engage your target market without going overboard. Your audience wants to know what you’re showing is real; they’re looking for authenticity and chances are, they can spot fakers from a mile away.

Authenticity related in a flash impression is a complex concept. You want to interest people in your event and intrigue them enough to watch your video and share it. But if they don’t know you, you have to build that relationship in 15-second snippets.

Brands That Use TikTok Right

It's All in the Presentation

Less than 60 seconds may not seem like enough time to get your point across, but it’s possible.

Just ask rapper Lil Nas X, whose short meme led to a remix of “Old Town Road” with Billy Ray Cyrus. The clip ended up topping Billboard charts and sparked a viral dance trend.

This bit of pop culture history showcases the viral capabilities of TikTok. Major corporations are jumping on board the marketing train with the app and using it to showcase different voices.

It’s All in the Presentation

Every major corporation has an overlying theme that defines their brand. Some are known for their humorous approach to their business, while others base their reputation on being taken seriously.

How your TikTok ad is received by the audience depends almost solely on the presentation style you choose. Here are some examples of successful uses of this platform to generate an intentional voice:

Humor

A successful example of a brand that used authenticity combined with personalization in their TikTok ads is Chipotle. The popular Mexican food chain knows how to use humor to authentically engage with their target audience. Tortillas chips singing and dancing to hit music resonate with the chain’s trendy, hip target market.

Hashtag challenges became popular after the clothing brand Guess used one to get audience attention. The fashion label started the #InMyDenim challenge, asking users to post videos of themselves.

The requirement was that they had to be someplace interesting, wearing the Guess brand and using the song “I’m a Mess” by Bebe Rexha as their background music.

It was an almost instant hit, and other big companies quickly followed their lead. If your event lends itself to a specific hashtag challenge, this is an easy one to lead off with.

Inspirational 

Whether you’re into sports or not, the NBA account is a winner. Over five million followers check in to the famous TikTok channel for its strategic combination of game highlights and inspiration.

The posts mix popular music and celebrity basketball players or team mascots doing their thing or showing off bloopers.

But more importantly, these videos are integrated with inspirational quotes to impact viewers in a lighthearted way.

Done right, this type of ad can generate a massive response since motivational videos are a multi-billion dollar industry today. Condense your keynote speaker’s best inspirational quotes into a few bite-size moments alongside a montage of appropriate background music.

Informative

The entire goal of certain companies is to inform people about serious matters. It may seem contradictory, then, for these brands to use a sensationalistic platform to get their message out, but it can be done well, as the United Nations has clearly shown.

One of UN’s agencies, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), uses TikTok to fight world hunger. It’s a group that spotlights causes related to rural agriculture.

Instead of taking a serious topic and making it humorous, IFAD uses informative videos to motivate viewers to make a difference. Other videos teach them about agriculture in general and its impact on the world.

Your ad doesn’t have to spark a global desire to change the world, but it can be informative. Share a sneak preview of a highly anticipated part of your upcoming event to build excitement and let viewers know what they can expect if they go.

While your marketing event may or may not be as big as Guess, Nike, and Chipotle, these brands have paved the way for you to use these strategies. Your audience will already be comfortable with them.

How to Connect With Influencers

Influencers Build Trust With Your Audience

How do you build trust with an audience who knows nothing about you? That’s where influencers come in. If you have something solid to offer them, influencers may team with you for more exposure.

Some of these influencers may already be on your guest list, or you can find them on TikTok and other social platforms. Many marketing hubs cater specifically to matching businesses to their complementary influencers.

When you connect, you can advertise with four major types of promotion on TikTok:

1. Hashtag challenges
Make use of currently trending promotional hashtags to get more users.

Use TikTok hashtag challenges to promote events

2. Brand takeovers
An in-your-face attention-getter, brand takeovers are full-screen ads linked to your event that are displayed immediately when your guests open the app.

3. Infeed native content
Just like it sounds, these ads show up in your targeted audience’s feed and encourage them to click on your link or download your app.

4. Branded lenses
Snapchat made filters an everyday term. Marketers can use this popularity to advertise their event through branded 2D and 3D lenses on TikTok.

Use TikToks branded lenses for event marketing

While anyone can use these methods of advertising, the connection with an influencer ensures wide reach for your event.

How to Use TikTok to Promote Your Event

Engage Your Viewers

Putting all of this information together means you have the know-how to advertise your event.

So what’s next?

The technical knowledge is simple, but the content is up to you.  Once you have the viewer, you need to engage them.

Doing this is a long-term process. Like in the case of the Old Town Road meme, you can’t just throw out your main event and hope for the best.

Lil Nas X, even as an amateur, used a savvy business strategy. He got his followers hooked on the trending meme of “yee yee juice” with the song in the background. Once it was a viral meme, he combined the song and his historic dance.

You can use the same strategy or broaden it to work with your goals. The meme route isn’t for every business. But it’s not the only avenue that works with TikTok.

You can also highlight past events in musical snippets or post videos with hashtags relevant to your event. Get your followers to tag their friends and post your ad on their social media feeds by starting a challenge.

In other words, create something interesting in a bite-size candid format that’s easy and palatable for your viewers to swallow. When you’ve gained your following, you can promote upcoming events with teasers, trailers, giveaways, and exclusive offers.

Use strategic placement of prior event videos mixed in other forms of engagement to build excitement for your next event. Your followers won’t want to miss out.

Conclusion

Post Consistently and Often

The type of ads you use and how frequently you post them determines your marketing campaign’s strength.

Keep your audience interested and your business always visible, even between major events. A daily or weekly post ensures your brand is always at the back of their minds.

These posts have to be relevant, though. Include post-event highlights, like recaps of the coolest moments from a past event. This helps build forward momentum for your next event while everyone is talking about the last one!

The greatest aspect of TikTok, besides its simplicity, is that it encourages experimentation. If something doesn’t work, try, try again!