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FAST Channels: What They Are & How They Work

FAST Channels: What They Are & How They Work

Lots of social media platforms come and go, but some make a mark and appear to be here to stay. TikTok is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media spaces, and brands are eagerly looking for the best way to leverage this channel.

However, generating TikTok content ideas can be tricky. Users on TikTok are predominantly Gen Z (although older audiences are now also flocking to the platform) and they expect very specific types of content both from influencers and brands.

So, before you transfer an existing social content strategy to TikTok, take some time to understand what makes the platform unique, and how your brand can maximise its presence.

The Difference With TikTok Content

Before diving into the specifics of TikTok content, it's essential to understand how creating content on this platform differs from other social media. Unlike many other platforms that focus on polished and curated content, TikTok thrives on raw and authentic videos.

The algorithm prioritises content that resonates with users and encourages creative expression, making it a perfect space for brands to showcase their personality and connect with their audience on a deeper level.

What content is most popular on TikTok?

First off,  you need to have a clear understanding of the type of content that performs best on the platform.

TikTok's popularity stems from its diverse and engaging content, including dance trends, tutorials, “storytimes,” and more. By incorporating these popular content formats into your TikTok strategy, you can leverage the platform's reach and engagement while maintaining a unique brand voice and identity. Here are a few examples:

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Dance challenges are a significant trend on TikTok. Users love to learn and participate in dance routines created by influencers and other users. Brands can join in on the fun by creating their own dance challenges or collaborating with influencers to promote their products or services through dance. That way, you can increase brand visibility while staying true to the TikTok vibe.

DIY tutorials are another content format that performs well on TikTok. Users are always on the lookout for quick and creative do-it-yourself projects and hacks. Brands can showcase their expertise by sharing DIY tutorials related to their industry or by highlighting innovative ways to use their products. By providing valuable and practical information, you can establish your brand as a trusted authority and build a loyal following on the platform.

Comedic sketches are highly popular on TikTok. Brands can create short, comedic videos that playfully highlight their products or services while entertaining the audience. On TikTok, this is closely related to trending sounds that include music and audio clips from pop culture. By using trending sounds and injecting humour into your content, your brand can leave a lasting impression.

Engaging storytelling is a powerful way to connect with the TikTok audience. Brands can tell captivating stories through short videos, showcasing real experiences, testimonials, or narratives that resonate with their target audience. Storytelling allows you to create an emotional connection with users, fostering a sense of authenticity and relatability. 

In an interview with Little Dot Studios, Lucy Banks, TikTok’s Head of Partnership Solutions and Global Business Marketing, had this to say about the power of TikTok:

“TikTok is a hugely vibrant platform. It has the ability to aim itself at different areas of culture and create joyful disruption, particularly among younger Gen Z audiences… [It] has this amazing ability to make consumers feel things and get them to do things in a way that is hugely disruptive to traditional advertising. It can create a connection between consumer and brand.”

Whatever way you decide to take your TikTok content strategy, authenticity is key. TikTok audiences are fairly unforgiving of brands that try to participate on the platform in a generic way. It’s essential to embrace the format and sentiment of the platform to achieve success.

Need a helping hand with your TikTok strategy? At Little Dot Studios, our content superfans know just how to produce and amplify TikTok content to create a true connection with your audience. Check out our TikTok work with Extreme E!

What Brands on TikTok Need to Know

Before launching a TikTok content strategy, brands need to pay attention to a few key factors.

First and foremost, TikTok is predominantly a Gen Z platform with a large segment of Millennial users, too. In fact, 47.4% of TikTok users in 2022 were under the age of 30.

Brands need to tailor their content and messaging accordingly to resonate with this audience. Failure to understand the target audience on TikTok and adapt content and messaging accordingly can have negative consequences. Not only will your content flop, but it can make your brand seem irrelevant or out of touch to these audience segments.

TikTok users are quick to call out a perceived lack of authenticity. When brand content feels forced, it’s not uncommon to receive negative comments and backlash. Worst case scenario, poor TikTok content can actually damage your brand reputation amongst this demographic.

TikTok Content Guidelines

TikTok has relatively strict content guidelines in place for both creators and brands. Failing to adhere to these guidelines can result in shadow banning or account deletion, so it’s important to understand them before you start posting.

When it comes to brand accounts on TikTok, the content guidelines extend to how you advertise through content, too. Here are some examples of TikTok content guidelines you should be sure to follow:

Respect Community Standards: TikTok emphasises the importance of creating content that is respectful and suitable for all users. Brands should avoid sharing content that promotes hate speech, discrimination, harassment, violence, or illegal activities.

Protect User Safety: TikTok prioritises user safety and prohibits content that endangers or threatens others. Sharing content that involves dangerous stunts, risky challenges, or encourages harmful behaviour could result in penalties on your account.

Intellectual Property Rights: TikTok respects intellectual property rights and expects users, including brands, to do the same. Avoid using copyrighted music, images, or videos in your content without proper authorization or licensing.

Transparency in Advertising: Brands should be transparent when creating sponsored or promotional content. TikTok's advertising policies state that it must be clearly indicated when content is sponsored or part of a brand partnership.

Age-Appropriate Content: It’s also important to be mindful of the age restrictions associated with certain content types. For example, content that is inappropriate for minors should be appropriately labelled or age-restricted. Brands should also avoid using language, visuals, or themes that are not suitable for younger audiences.

How to Create a Content Strategy for TikTok

To make the most of TikTok's reach and engagement potential, you need to develop a well-defined content strategy. Your strategy should align with the brand's overall marketing goals while embracing the unique characteristics of TikTok. 

Some brands might shy away from a social platform as unique as TikTok.

“It's about making the most of what you have got in a smart way, and one of the platforms which really enables that is TikTok. Some of the biggest players on TikTok are actually brands not broadcasters, such as Duolingo, Ryanair, M&S Romford. These accounts don’t have masses of content to work from but are extremely smart with what they make. They are taking creative risks which are paying off, and also treating TikTok as a vital part of their strategy, not just ‘sticking stuff on to see how it does’, they are sitting down and having a proper discussion about what can be created.”

                       - Jen Leeming, Senior Vertical Video Producer at Little Dot Studios

Want to learn more about how Jen and the rest of the team at Little Dot Studios maximise TikTok impact for our customers? Get in touch!

Define Your TikTok Goals

First, take some time to clearly identify the objectives of your TikTok presence. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or engage with your audience on a deeper level? Defining your goals will help shape your content strategy.

Understand Your Audience

Are you sure your target audience is active on TikTok? If so, do you know what type of content they prefer on the platform? Keeping an eye on competitors or similar brands who have found success on TikTok is a great way to qualitatively analyse your target audience’s preferences.

Embrace Authenticity

TikTok is all about authenticity and genuine connections. Avoid overly scripted or promotional content and instead focus on creating relatable and entertaining videos that showcase your brand's personality.

Participate in Trends

Keep a close eye on TikTok trends and challenges. By participating in popular trends, you can increase your visibility and reach a wider audience. Put your unique spin on the trend to showcase your brand's creativity and originality.

Collaborate with Influencers

Partnering with TikTok influencers can be an effective way to expand your reach and tap into new audiences. Collaborating with influencers who align with your brand values can provide valuable exposure and credibility.

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How to Plan Content for TikTok

Since TikTok trends are fairly fluid, you need to strike a balance between spontaneity and strategy with your content. Having a general plan in place can help ensure consistency and alignment with your overall content strategy, while letting you stay agile enough with content to keep up with what’s going on. Here are some tips to help you plan your TikTok content effectively:

Research Trends: Stay up to date with the latest TikTok trends and challenges. This can include researching the popular hashtags and content formats that are resonating with your target audience. Incorporating these trends into your content plan increases your chances of going viral.

Develop a Content Calendar: Create a content calendar to schedule your TikTok posts in advance. A content calendar is a great way to maintain a snapshot of your overall strategy and ensure you’re maintaining a consistent posting schedule that covers a variety of topics and formats.

Storyboarding and Scripting: While TikTok content should feel spontaneous, it doesn't hurt to plan certain elements in advance. Consider storyboarding your videos to outline the main shots or sequences you want to capture. You can also script specific lines or dialogue to ensure your messaging is clear and effective.

How to Film Content for TikTok

Filming TikTok content requires attention to detail to maximise its impact. Here are some best practices to consider when filming content for TikTok.

Video Length: TikTok has various video length options, and they change the options fairly regularly. When the platform first launched, the maximum video length was 15 seconds. Then, the 60-second option was introduced followed quickly by the 3-minute duration. Now, you can upload videos as long as 10 minutes to TikTok. That being said, TikTok is still a short-form video platform at heart. So, it’s a good idea to play around with your video lengths over time to see what resonates best for your brand and content style.

Vertical Orientation: TikTok is designed for vertical viewing on mobile, so make sure your content is filmed in portrait mode. This format takes full advantage of the screen real estate and provides a more immersive viewing experience.

Lighting and Sound: Good lighting and clear audio are essential for capturing high-quality TikTok content. Film in well-lit areas, preferably with natural light, and use external microphones or improve the audio quality in post-production if needed.

How to Reach a Bigger Audience on TikTok

While brands may need to pay more particular attention to their content in comparison to regular creators on TikTok, the strategies to maximise reach on the platform remain the same:

Hashtag Challenges

Creating and promoting branded hashtag challenges is an effective way to engage users and encourage them to create and share content related to your brand. Well-executed hashtag challenges have the potential to go viral and reach a massive audience.

Influencer Collaborations

Partnering with popular TikTok influencers allows brands to tap into their followers' networks and increase brand visibility. But, like any influencer marketing strategy, your partnerships need to make sense for your brand and target audiences.

Engage with the Community

TikTok is all about community and interaction. Engage with your audience by responding to comments and participating in duets and stitches. This fosters a sense of connection and loyalty among your followers. Brands can also take this a step further by finding any relevant partners with a presence on the platform and engaging with their content, too.

Our team delivers insight-inspired ideas that are not just stunning to look at but also achieve genuine engagement from millions of people all over the globe. Our data-driven approach combined with our creative expertise ensures your TikTok strategy provides brand and audience growth through education, entertainment and inspiration. Connect with the team to learn more!