Establishing your brand’s niche is social media 101. Having a unique voice and tapping into a particular audience on all platforms will change how your audience perceives and interacts with you.
Think about a niche like this: if you find yourself in a noisy room, why bother trying to shout over everyone else when you could just find a smaller room?
TikTok is no exception. In fact, it’s almost more important for brands to tap into a specific niche with their TikTok marketing. Thanks to its powerful algorithm and massive user base, the platform has developed countless niche communities over the past few years.
If you, as a brand, can nail your TikTok strategy and tap into your specific niche, the benefits are enormous. So let’s dive into how you can find your niche, identify the right influencers to work with, and get your TikTok account booming.
Why should brands use TikTok?
TikTok is a unique social media platform. It's surpassed its reputation as an app for teens doing dances and has become a juggernaut; nearly half of all American adults between 18 and 29 years old use the app.
And for brands, it presents an incredible opportunity for experimentation and growth.
Its algorithm rewards experimentation, and brands can have their videos organically pushed to a vast audience even with only a handful of followers.
While other social media platforms tend to have similar content, there’s a lot on TikTok that isn’t shared anywhere else.
• Journalists and media outlets sharing breakdowns or explanations of news stories
• Beauty influencers sharing quick and easy makeup hacks with trending audio
• Raw, unfiltered content
• Storytime and Point-Of-View (POV) content
• Outside the box content that users feel safe sharing thanks to the app’s anonymity
When a new user downloads the app, within 30 minutes, TikTok will be serving them niche content that’ll resonate, getting more and more specific as the user scrolls. As a result, TikTok presents an excellent opportunity for brands to reach a whole new audience.
Finding your brand’s niche on TikTok
Now we know the importance of finding your niche, so how do you lean into it? Here are some things to help guide you.
Use TikTok differently
It’s easy to approach TikTok the same way as other social media platforms, sharing the same content to all users. But, the most successful brands on the platform know that they need to implement a different strategy and produce TikTok specific content.
It’s not just a new audience on TikTok; people use the app differently from other social media platforms. The content on photo-sharing apps is polished, edited and aspirational; TikTok, however, is less polished, more realistic and down-to-earth. The most successful brands on TikTok are the ones who have quickly learned this and adapted their strategy accordingly.
The Washington Post is one such brand; their Instagram is as straightforward, informative, and serious as you’d expect, but their TikTok is a whole different ball game. The content is still about the day’s headlines, but it’s fun, engaging, and trend-driven.
Experiment with your content
A lot of brands that have found success on TikTok have done so by adopting an experimental mindset. The algorithm will quickly reward videos that your audience watches and engages with, pushing them out to a wider audience.
The more you experiment, the more you understand your niche and what its audience responds to. Once your experimentation reveals what works for your brand, double down on it!
Understand the niches on TikTok
When talking about niches on TikTok, we don’t mean broad categories like fashion, beauty, fitness or food. Instead, the TikTok algorithm supports far narrower subcategories, like ethical acne treatments, dark academia fashion, at-home apartment workouts and gluten-free, vegan cooking.
Users tend to find themselves in these niches without doing any work to get themselves there. Their scrolling habits help the algorithm determine the content they like and decides what they want to see more of. As a brand, you might start out working within a broader subcategory (e.g. fashion), make content for a handful of smaller niches (e.g. sustainable fashion, festival outfits, capsule wardrobe basics), and then let your videos speak for themselves.
If you nail your TikTok strategy, you’ll be able to see which of your videos resonate best with your niche’s audience and build your future content plans around that.
Make TikToks not ads
Yes, TikTok has a paid advertisement programme where you can place sponsored videos into users’ For You Page. But you can also benefit greatly from letting the algorithm work its magic on your videos. The more organic nature of these posts may also resonate with the user who is on the platform for entertainment, not commercial reasons.
Showcase how your product/service can improve someone’s life
There are many examples of product videos organically going viral within a TikTok niche due to creators followers engaging with the content. The hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit stretches across every category and niche, from fashion and skincare to kitchen gadgets.
Cerave became a massive skincare favourite, Aerie leggings sold out after TikTok users shared their love for them, and videos featuring Zara must-have items are always floating around the platform.
Find the big small players in your niche
While there are massive influencers on TikTok with millions of followers, it’s often the smaller, more specialised creators who have the best engagement and relationship with their audience.
Take a look at how they create content that is relevant to their niche, giving their viewers valuable and enjoyable videos.
@bauerbeauty is an esthetician who does great skincare reviews and tutorials, with an ongoing series about affordable drugstore products.
@madebyblitz makes cheap, easy, and quick vegan food with a great personality and zippy editing that keeps people engaged.
@jnacryn is passionate about sustainable fashion, sharing thrift shopping hauls, DIY clothing hacks, and product reviews.
@danaimak_ makes fitness fun with her high-energy videos that offer modifications for all levels while also hopping on trends and sharing recipes.
Finding creators to help achieve success on TikTok
Collaborating with creators is key on TikTok; investing in these partnerships is crucial for success on the platform. But you can’t just choose random creators and get them on; it’s essential to find the right individuals who align with your brand.
Just like with other platforms, an influencer’s relevance is far more important than their reach. A high follower count is secondary to how a creator engages with their audience. TikTok creators have spent time and effort building up a relationship with their followers, and it’s a relationship built on authenticity.
When you’re ready to start working with TikTok influencers, have a read through our deep dive about influencer marketing and how to implement a strategy for your brand.
If you are ready to leap into the world of TikTok, you can find individual creators through the TikTok Marketplace and work with them one on one. But, if you want to make a splash on TikTok, we recommend working with multiple creators within your niche and scale your campaign together. In doing this, you can really own the share of voice, get trending hashtags started, and find a whole new audience for your brand.
This is where TRIBE can help you take your TikTok strategy to the next level. TRIBE helps brands unlock instant branded content from talented and influential creators who already use and love their products, get in touch today to learn more about the TRIBE platform.