These are the do’s and don’ts for brands on TikTok in 2024

Frank de Wit, Managing Director Team5pm, shares fuck ups and successes

TikTok brings great opportunities for brands. In 2024, even more. And now I can hear you think: “I thought you guys were a YouTube agency?” Correct, we were born and raised on YouTube in 2018. However, we now do much more than only that. And we think that TikTok is extra interesting, because did you know that YouTube and TikTok overlap for 90% with their target audience? Besides being a bomb of entertainment, TikTok – just as YouTube – is also a search engine.. Anyway, reason enough for Team5pm to make big steps on this platform in 2023. And oh man, we’ve learned so much. That’s why especially for you, I made a list of our fuck-ups, ‘aha’ moments and great successes. In this way, you do not have to make the same bloopers and can start 2024 with valuable insights for an effective TikTok strategy. One that can really grow your brand.

#1: TikTok is a huge traffic driver for brands

We all know the American phrase ‘TikTok made me buy it’. Creators that test products in viral videos, resulting in sold out shelves and online stock. But can a brand also do this? Yes, absolutely!

We created a pilot for bol and set up a new TikTok account: bol.finds. Every week our strategists spotted which products were popular among the target audience with the help of our own video SEO software TopicTree. Based on this, we made User Generated Content about these products that were available on bol. Our advertising unit advertised this content among a very interested audience.

We saw the popularity of the LaNeige lip balm among the target audience. That same week we created a video, wherein it was made clear that this product was available at bol. The result? +750% increase in searches on bol’s website. This means that the target audience left the app, to look for the product on bol. 

#2: Use data to rank high and claim a domain on TikTok

A lot of brands forget an important layer on TikTok. The app has evolved into being the new favorite search engine of Gen Z. The platform is the perfect tool to help your consumer in the online orientation phase. But how do you know what your audience is searching for? You know this with data about the search and view behavior of your target audience.

Our tech unit created a tool in which you can continuously analyze this search and view behavior. As the first automated video SEO technology in the market, TopicTree continuously collects data from the biggest search engines in the world, including TikTok. In this way we know which topics and questions are popular among the target audience. We create videos about that. Videos that get a lot of online visibility.

With HEMA, we cracked the TikTok SEO code. Within just one hour we ranked #1 on TikTok. With the help of TopicTree, our strategist Stef identified the ‘bathroom’ and ‘window decoration’ domain as the search domains for HEMA. Read: this is where the consumer was present and the competitor was not (yet). With data, we exactly knew what topics our studio should create videos of. Besides #1 rankings on TikTok itself, HEMA also ranked in Google with their verticals.

And this wasn’t a one-time-thing. HEMA just launched a new batch of life hacks and DIYs – this time within the ‘bed domain’ on TikTok. Within one week, all three videos ranked #1 on TikTok. The videos now already have more than 303.000 organic views on TikTok and on Instagram even 912.000!

Do you also want to rank with TikTok SEO? Read more about the HEMA case here.

#2: Give the right people the right amount of trust to reach Gen Z

Creating a TikTok isn’t rocket science, right? Everyone could do that… right? No. And that is due to various components. It is no secret that UGC works very well on TikTok. Content that does not feel like an ad. And even though this content does not look perfect, it does not mean it is easy to create. It has to feel genuine, with the right voice over and storyline: the one creator delivers fantastic things and the other misses the mark completely. How do you distinguish the valuable from the worthless? And then the edit, TikTok video’s have a certain speed, unwritten rules and specific sounds. Some people have more feeling for that than others. As Team5pm, we have decided to create specific teams: dedicated social units with creators and editors who are deeply immersed in the TikTok culture and speak the language of the user.

My advice is to involve specialists that speak the language of Gen Z and are familiar with tools for observing and understanding view and search behavior. This is how you map out your domain and competitors, and make well-thought-of choices for content. And that takes a bit of trust. I see a big increase in brands that want to reach Gen Z, but struggle with the creative freedom that this group brings. That tension is  felt. On the one hand you have young marketeers, who are full of ideas. On the other hand you have the decision makers, who are more old school, that find it difficult to understand the ‘why’. And that requires a balance. 

#3: Don’t jump on every TikTok trend blindly

Marketeers feel the pressure to do something with TikTok, but struggle with the integration in their media mix. Brands often plan to jump in on viral trends. The struggle is not to get a good amount of views, but after it often the question arises of ‘what did this actually do for my brand?’ Don’t get me wrong, trends could work really well, but it does have to fit your brand. Does your video make the trend grow or your brand grow? Choose for brands that are sustainable. Short hypes can definitely be worth it, if they fit the long term vision of your content.

Take Prime Video. We’ve helped the streaming service for years to create online awareness for their catalog – on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. In the data we saw a lot of online buzz around Prime’s new reality series Good Luck Guys. So called ‘Juice Channels’ came with inside scoops about the cast. A trend that matched very well with the series and the target group of Prime. That is why we decided to jump into this with a TikTok first format – ‘The Juice Box’. The cast takes place in a life size box of juice and shares juicy gossip. The professionally shot TikTok format worked really well among Prime’s target group and went viral. An extra learning is that more different content formats work on TikTok. Not only UGC, but also premium content, cutdowns of big series, podcasts and comedy shorts have a lot of potential.

Ready for an effective TikTok strategy in 2024?

TikTok offers very great chances for brands. You can generate website traffic, rank #1 and claim a domain. Make sure what you do fits your brand. Data can help you with this. And the right people. Give the right creatives, the right amount of trust. We have a lot of great people here within Team5pm, so if you need any help, give us a call :)

Want to know how to elevate your brand using TikTok?

TikTok is more than just a platform for viral dances and memes; it’s a powerful tool for brands to amplify their voice and reach. As your dedicated TikTok agency, we specialize in increasing your sales, leads, and social media presence. Discover more here, and let’s take your brand to the next level on TikTok.

Written by

  • Frank De Wit

    Co-founder / Managing Director Agency


  • Julia Graafland

    SEO Copywriter


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