What is TikTok?
TikTok, a video-sharing social network service, allows users to make and share short-form videos with their smartphones ranging in length from three to 60 seconds.
The app was originally launched in China in 2016, but made it to the United States in 2018 and has gained immense popularity in the years since. It has surpassed 2 billion mobile downloads globally, with about 100 million monthly active users in the U.S. alone.
TikTok videos come in a wide variety, ranging from dancing, educational and prank videos. Some people even set up accounts for their pets.
Build your TikTok presence
For most people, gaining a large enough following to make money off your TikTok account isn’t going to happen overnight. You’ll need to put some time and effort into building up your presence on the app.
Think about what would make you stand out from other creators.The space is not just about dancing and lip-syncing. Zach King, who TikTok dubbed a breakout star in 2019, amassed more than 54 million followers with the help of his quirky digital magic tricks.
From a marketing perspective, you’re also going to need to invest in a few things before you’ll turn a profit.
There are a few essential items you’ll need to get started. Of course, a smartphone and internet connection are the basic requirements.
But if you’re serious about launching your TikTok career, you may consider investing in things like a ring light and a tripod for your phone to help boost the quality of your videos.
You may also want to spend some time familiarizing yourself with some editing software. TikTok has its own in-app basic video editor, but if you want to take your profile to the next level, there are at least a dozen other apps you can download to refine your videos.
Create the content people want
Now take some time to think about your intended audience. Figure out what people like, whether that’s “slice of life” type videos, dance tutorials or heavily edited narrative stories.
There are also some written (and unwritten) rules of TikTok:
- Upload your videos vertically.
- Make sure their aspect ratio is 1080×1920.
- Give them clear descriptions and relevant hashtags.
- Make sure they have an exciting thumbnail.
If you’re committed to growing your following, make sure you are producing consistently. Build a schedule and stick to it so your audience knows when they can tune in for new content and you don’t leave your followers hanging.
As a new user, this means you may want to start out by posting multiple videos a day to gain some traction. You can always prep some videos in advance of officially launching your account so you have a few in the can to keep your supply up as you work on new videos.
Engage with your followers
In addition to curating your videos to your followers’ desires, be sure to engage with them. If you’re talking in any of your videos, make sure you sound conversational.
You should like and reply to the comments on your videos.
You can hold contests or polls, ask your followers questions or encourage them to ask you questions.
Generally, make yourself accessible to others so they enjoy following and interacting with you.
From a marketing standpoint, there are certain hours of the day and days of the week that attract more video traffic. Do a little research about what works for accounts similar to yours and follow that schedule.
How to make money on TikTok
Now that you’ve managed the fun part, it’s time to get down to how to get paid for all of this content you’ve created.
There are a number of different ways you can make money off of TikTok. And we promise they don’t all rely on having an intimate understanding of how the platform works.
1. TikTok ads platform
Are you not entirely interested in specifically creating content? If you work in marketing or have a product to sell and your target audience is on TikTok, you might want to get some of your ads on the platform.
Just like with other popular social media platforms, you can easily sign up to access TikTok’s ads platform and get your ads in front of the right eyes.
2. Influencer marketing
This is similar to running ads on the platform, but it’s a more integrated approach. If you have or work for a brand that has an intended audience that falls in the same demographic as TikTok users, working with influencers is a great way to get your product in front of them.
“TikTok made me buy it” has become a commonly used phrase on the internet.
TikTok creators can collect donations from viewers. On the platform, users can buy a currency called coins. Coins are available in bundles of 100 to 1,000 and range in cost from 99 cents to $99.99.
Once you’ve reached 1,000 followers, you can start to collect coins or virtual gifts every time you go live. Those coins can then be turned into diamonds (one diamond = two coins), which the creator can then exchange for real money using a PayPal account.
4. Manage influencer campaigns
Even if you haven’t been paying attention to the social media trends, you may be familiar with the term “Instagram influencers.”
Instagram users with large followings can become brand ambassadors or market specific products through their accounts. But when they’re super popular, the amount of brand requests these influencers receive can be overwhelming.
Sometimes a TikTok video can go viral very quickly, leaving the creator unsure of what to do with all of the new attention and opportunities. That’s where influencer agencies come in. They serve as the go-between for content creators and the brands that want to work with them.
If you have some skills in this area, there are plenty of TikTok influencers (and brands) that would benefit from you managing campaigns and ensuring all deliverables are met on both ends.