Best of DS at Home: How to Leverage TikTok in Your Marketing Strategy

February 2, 2021

Highlighting some of our favorite sessions from Digital Summit at Home. If you’re curious about whether your business or brand should have a presence on TikTok, all-star DS speaker Carlos Gil breaks it all down for you. Enjoy his session from DS at Home from December 2020, with key points and tips outlined below!

TikTok has exploded onto the social scene in the past year, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to endless hours of entertaining video content. The platform’s audience is growing rapidly, requiring serious consideration from brands and marketers. 

Carlos Gil is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and award-winning storyteller, and he has come to discover the immense potential that TikTok offers as a marketing platform. In this session, Gil breaks downs the ins and outs of TikTok, what it is, how it works, why it has become so popular, and how it can integrate into digital marketing strategy.

The “New Normal” of Marketing (4:00)

It’s no surprise that the concept of “normal” has been flipped on its head in the past year. Everything from how we entertain ourselves, how we work, how we interact with family and practical everything in between is very different than it was in 2019. The same goes for how brands should view their digital marketing practices. Gil makes the point that marketing has shifted towards brands being a part of the conversation in specific moments rather than a constant flood of content to make noise. The catalyst for this change is people and the different ways that they are creating and engaging with content.

PRO TIP: As a brand marketer, find ways to do what other people and influencers are doing on TikTok and other social platforms to ensure that you are top of mind in these “moments.” For example, identify trends (like TikTok challenges) that align with your brand’s personality and goals.

TikTok Isn’t Just for Kids! (14:00)

While the user demographics of TikTok currently skew younger, the same could be said for each social network when they first launched. TikTok has a rapidly growing contingent of older users and this presents an opportunity for brands to reach their targets as more and more consumers sign up for the platform.

PRO TIP: Give some deep thought to your brand’s audience and connect the dots to see if they are or soon will be using TikTok to determine whether or not the platform is right to add to your marketing mix.

TikTok as a Storytelling Platform (20:15)

Gil makes the point that TikTok is not a platform for sales and marketing content; rather, it is an outlet for creative storytelling and short stories that can emotionally engage with users through visuals and music. The TikTok community hates to be “sold to,” and this needs to be top of mind for marketers looking to make a splash on the platform.

PRO TIP: Have FUN when creating content for TikTok, leveraging trends and including captivating visuals and music, to engage with your audience.

Influencers, Not Brands, Rule TikTok (26:00)

Influencers present an extremely powerful marketing opportunity on TikTok. Currently, these influencer personalities are the driving force behind engagement and views on the platform, and brands should connect with creatives that are already posting content that may resonate with their desired target audience.

PRO TIP: Search for content creators who are speaking to a like-minded audience to your own, leveraging hashtags and trending topics, to discover the right partners.

TikTok Tips – A Cheat Sheet (26:00)

Gil provides a concise cheat sheet on the key factors to consider when launching a brand on Tik Tok, which includes the following tips:

  • Keep posts under 30 seconds
  • Use trending/viral music
  • Use trending hashtags
  • Re-purpose viral content multiple times
  • Teach or inspire with your content
  • Leverage most engaged TikTok content across other social platforms, like Facebook and Instagram

After this session, we hope that you have a deeper understanding of how TikTok works and how people are using it, as well as the benefits that the platform may provide to your brand. TikTok appears to be here to stay, and the opportunities are plentiful for marketers who invest the time and energy into creating a strong, well thought out presence.


To hear from experts like Carlos and hundreds of others that teach at Digital Summit, check out our 2021 calendar of virtual and in-person events, including our upcoming DS at Home event happening Feb 24-26, with a special focus on Content, Social, and Creativity. 

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