TikTok, a Chinese video-focused social media platform, has surged in popularity over the past two years, making it a crucial promotional tool for artists worldwide. Boasting over 1.2 billion monthly active users, TikTok has evolved from its origins as a platform for dance challenges into a content-rich environment that fosters community engagement and serves as a discovery platform for artists, especially musicians.
Unlike traditional social media networks, TikTok stands out as a creative digital space that encourages users not only to consume content but also to actively participate in content creation. As of March 2023, a staggering 83% of TikTok users are content creators, emphasizing the platform's interactive nature. TikTok's user-friendly interface facilitates quick content consumption, allowing users to engage with a vast amount of content in a short span.
An integral aspect of TikTok's appeal for artists lies in its Artificial Intelligence-driven recommendation engine. The algorithm aims to give every video an opportunity for visibility and popularity, irrespective of the creator's initial audience. When a video is released, the AI engine tests it with a small audience, gauging engagement metrics like likes, shares, comments, and completion ratio. Successful content is then progressively suggested to a broader audience, enabling creators to amass thousands or even millions of views, exponentially growing their fanbase.
Although TikTok was initially targeted at Gen Z when it was launched in 2017, its appeal extends across generations. For older artists getting acclimated to the platform, there are straightforward steps to explore TikTok better and master the art of promotion.
1. Get ready to create your videos
Before delving into video creation, adequate preparation is crucial. Consider aspects like lighting, sound quality, and invest in equipment like a high-quality microphone, ring light, or video editing software (e.g., Davinci Resolve, Final Cut PRO, Canva).
Creating a TikTok account is the next essential step. There are two types of accounts – Personal and Business. While the Business account offers analytics and insights, it restricts access to the complete TikTok Music Database for commercially popular songs. It's recommended for artists to start with a regular Personal account to showcase their music effectively.
2. Select a particular theme and stay consistent
Consistency is key in content creation. Align your content with a specific theme, showcasing your characteristics, artistic personality, and the music or art you want to highlight. As an artist, focus on categories such as music production tips, comedy sketches, choreography, behind-the-scenes content, and more.
3. Use the right hashtags
Hashtags play a crucial role in TikTok's discoverability. Utilize popular and trending hashtags to increase the chances of landing on the 'TikTok Discover' page or 'For You' tabs, gaining more views and engagement. Be mindful of relevance, and avoid overly targeted hashtags like #foryou or #foryoupage.
4. Follow current trends and challenges
Stay updated on TikTok trends and challenges, leveraging the platform's dynamic nature. Engage with popular challenges and trends aligned with your content category. Additionally, follow labels, bands, and artists in your genre for inspiration and potential collaborations.
5. Put your music on TikTok and make use of the song official page
Feature your music on TikTok by using a music distributor, ensuring official distribution to the platform's music library. This allows your music to have an official song page linked to your TikTok and Apple Music accounts, enhancing visibility and engagement.
6. Share your TikTok videos on other social media platforms
Exploit TikTok's content download feature to share your videos on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. Cross-sharing maximizes your reach, views, and engagement across various social networks.
7. Make the best out of TikTok Analytics
For business accounts, TikTok Analytics provides valuable insights into engagement, content performance, followers, and live videos. Utilize this data to refine your strategy, understand your audience, and optimize your content for maximum impact.
8. Select your target audience and network with relevant influencers and creators
Identify your target audience using TikTok Analytics, and connect with influencers and creators aligned with your content. Collaborate on challenges to increase visibility and gain new followers.
9. Spend time on TikTok to get familiar
Invest time in understanding TikTok's unique communication and interaction style. Actively engage in trends and challenges, allowing your audience to shape perceptions and conversations around your content.
10. Follow the rules and regulations of the platform
Abide by TikTok's guidelines to ensure user safety. Avoid offensive or spammy content, refrain from using banned hashtags, and steer clear of copyrighted material to prevent potential account bans.
In conclusion, TikTok presents a powerful platform for artists to promote their craft, engage with audiences, and explore creative possibilities. By following these comprehensive steps, artists can harness TikTok's potential and navigate its dynamic landscape effectively.