Since launching in late 2016, TikTok has become a major player in the social networking space. In the U.S. alone, there are 100 million active users that tune in on a daily basis to view and share short-form videos.
A 15-second or 60-second video can go viral on the platform regardless of how many followers a user has. And this is because TikTok’s algorithm truly works.
The app’s creators have built a system that accurately tracks which types of content an individual user wants to see based on how they interact with videos on their feed. As users spend more time actively on the app, the recommendations become more curated.
Content categories range from entertainment to education, but the defining feature of every video is brevity. Content creators — whether social media influencers, brands, or marketers — get their message across in a way that is casual and concise.
TikTok is a (relatively) new frontier for marketers and brands looking to build their audience and drive engagement.
This article touches on the best practices for creating TikTok content and expanding audience outreach.
What You Need To Know About TikTok’s Content-Driven Algorithm
TikTok is a social realm where songs, dialogue reenactments, tutorials, and other trending videos circulate to users based on relevance.
With YouTube’s algorithm, it’s borderline impossible for a YouTuber with three subscribers and one upload to be recommended to a viewer looking for similar content. Videos by YouTubers with high engagement rates and consistent performance are usually the first to be recommended to viewers.
But TikTok operates differently.
Whether you just created an account or have been using TikTok for years, any video can go viral on the platform if the content is relevant to a mass audience.
The algorithm customizes each user’s “For You” page based on the content that they dwelled on and liked in the past. This machine learning process begins as soon as a new user downloads the app.
To give TikTok’s algorithm the data it needs to start sharing related content, new users are asked to select a few general categories that interest them. From there, the algorithm becomes more attuned to the users’ interests and disinterests.
Tik Tok also tests new content that doesn’t have a lot of likes but is relevant to your interests. That’s why you’ll see videos with 300 likes on your For You page. That lets content from unknown or new creators blow up.
Growth Potential of Your Platform: TikTok Users Are Aging Up
While a majority of TikTok users (60%) are classified as Gen Z, the platform appeals to users of all ages. Business professionals and marketers are taking advantage of the app’s wide-spread popularity, creating ads, hashtags, and branded content to share with millions of users.
In 2020, popular brands like NYX Professional Makeup and L’Oreal ran campaigns on TikTok that encouraged TikTokers to collaborate with them. Users created content and put their own spin on the brands’ #ButterGlossPop and #LetsFaceIt hashtag challenges.
The platform enables brands, public personas, and anyone else to connect with their current audience and expand outreach at the same time.
As far as content distribution goes, this source found that posting several times each day on the platform can expedite growth. By sharing quality content consistently, you’re able to reach more people in less time.
The Top 5 TikTok Influencers 
To give you a better idea of the type of growth that is possible on the platform, we’re sharing five of TikTok’s most popular content creators (as of early 2021) below.
Ranked #1: charli d’amelio
Followers: 107 million+
Likes: 8.6 billion+
Ranked #2: addison rae
Followers: 75.9 million+
Likes: 4.8 billion+
Ranked #3: Zach King
Followers: 56 million+
Likes: 679 million+
Ranked #4: Bella Poarch
Followers: 55.2 million+
Likes: 1.1 billion+
Ranked #5: Spencer X
Followers: 51.2 million+
Likes: 1.2 billion+
TikTok Content Strategy & Collaboration Going Forward
All signs point to continued growth for TikTok. And the creators behind the app are making strides to ensure that the platform’s growth is sustainable.
To incentivize its top creators to continue making videos, the company has developed a $1 Billion Creator Fund. This is a strategic move for the platform, especially since it’s competing with long-standing platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
The company has also developed the TikTok Creator Marketplace to promote collaboration between brands and creators. This resource helps facilitate new partnerships by enabling brands to view growth trends, top-performing videos, and more.
TikTok has garnered a lot of success over the last several years, but the company is actively looking for new ways to improve the app’s performance. Giving users the ability to create longer-form videos (up to three minutes) is one potential change that is being considered and tested.
The more intentional you are about creating valuable and relevant content — and forming new partnerships — the better positioned you are to increase your brand’s audience growth and engagement.
About the author: Mackenzie Scott is a copywriter with Soundstripe, a royalty-free music and stock media company. From royalty-free rock music to stock video, Soundstripe provides creators with the resources they need for video and podcast production.
Image Credit: Denys Prykhodov – stock.adobe.com