TikTok: The algorithm and how to expertly target your audience

TikTok is taking over, and you could be too. With millions of “For You” pages complete with an endless scroll of creators sharing their best financial tips, go-to college hacks, or nutritional info you never knew you needed, the TikTok algorithm is a lucrative system that underlies each video. Notably complex yet able to deliver such carefully tailored content to each individual user, the algorithm can be a powerful tool to utilize for your brand, but it’s imperative to first understand “why” and “how” to keep up with where your target audience spends the most time.  

What is the TikTok algorithm, and why does it work? 

As one of its most lucrative features, the TikTok algorithm is unique from the other social media platforms it supersedes due to its ability to actively track and curate each individual user’s feed to deliver highly relative content each time they open the app. Through the use of specific hashtags, keywords, and topics embedded in both the caption and the actual video itself, TikTok’s system is able to quickly capture the information and immediately recognize the type of audience – demographic and psychographic – that it may be meant for. From this point, it works to deliver the TikTok to a small group of that target audience and when successful, sends it out to an even larger group with the domino effect continuing – as long as engagement does.  

To put it simply, if you were to make a video on the “Top 5 Studying Tips for Online Educational Institutions,” the app would recognize what the video is about (studying tips), what type of audience has previously interacted with that topic (younger-aged college students) and their preferred video style (quick, friendly, and to the point), then serve it to them. Though not able to promise star level virality and sensational engagement each time, you can imagine the sense of community and well-paired following this type of targeted algorithm can help a brand create, and that’s just the beginning of its power.  

So, how can I utilize it? 

As a brand likely searching for the most suitable platform for greater brand awareness, TikTok can be utilized to create a new and emerging type of video content, one that you may not find on the previously championed Instagram and Facebook. To do so, it’s all about creating an un-produced, short-form video with the aid of human elements. Audiences on the platform don’t tend to favor perfectly lit, studio-set ads, but instead prefer natural and to-the-point recommendations that may be a fit for them. To target this audience and join in on the algorithm, it’s important to use relevant hashtags and keywords that relate to your video and industry, a title and some information on the video in the caption, as well as some version of a brand ambassador or influencer that is a match for both the brand and audience. These few but crucial factors will work to deliver your content to the right audience through both the algorithm and TikTok’s search functions, helping make your mark on the platform.  

If you’re looking to bring your brand’s presence to TikTok, consider taking advantage of its expansive algorithm and find your niche audience on one of the most powerful platforms of today!  

If you would like help with marketing and advertising, feel free to contact us. We offer a variety of services like digital marketing & analytics, marketing & brand strategy, and more to small and large companies.

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