TikTok for Travel Brands  – How To Get Started

TikTok has surpassed all social media as the number one most downloaded app. Hashtags like TikTok has taken the world by storm since its launch in 2016, boosted by Covid lockdowns and its fun-loving spirit. There are more than 29.B views under the #TikTokTravel and a whopping 72.5B views under #travel. Few DMOs and travel brands are actively using this platform, so there is a huge opportunity to get organic distribution and connect with audiences in a new way.

So how do you go about using the app successfully?

Choose a Niche 

There’s an audience on TikTok for everything, and right there resides the power of TikTok. If you consistently share niche content, your desired audience will eventually find it and you can start building a strong community that extends beyond the platform. To help you find your niche you need to do your TikTok research, spend time scrolling on the app, look at what your competitors or brands in similar categories are doing and define your content plan to make your mark. 

Jump on Trends

Trends are at the centre of TikTok content; they come and go quickly, but gather most of the views and allow brands to have some fun and get creative. Just adapt them to your brand and monitor engagement to assess what works best for your audience. TikTok provides a weekly summary on the Explore page where you can see what’s trending in your country, including songs & sounds and creative effects.

Tell a Good Story 

The key to success in TikTok (or any other social media platform) is to tell a good story. First, plan out your story or the problem you are solving for your customers, then plan your video accordingly and use overlay text to facilitate comprehension. If the audience is watching the video with the sound off, text will help them follow the story and engage with it. 

Authenticity is key, especially when you are starting out on the app. And remember that TikTok is all about having fun, so keep that in mind when creating content.

@haylsa

Save thisssss trust me ✈️ 🇦🇺 #australiatravel

♬ Sail – AWOLNATION

Research and use Hashtags 

People discover content through hashtags, so it’s essential to research what hashtags your audience follows and use hashtags to find ideas and inspiration for your brand. For example, if you are a hotel you would want to use the hashtags #hotel #hotellife or #travel when creating your captions. You can also create your own hashtag to generate buzz around a specific topic and start building your own community. 

Work with Influencers or Content Creators Similar to Instagram or Facebook, users follow and engage with TikTok influencers. Brand engagement is relatively low but slowly increasing with every hashtag campaign. TikTok has invested in its users with the Creator Fund to help them monetize their best content and you can check out TikTok’s Marketplace to find the best talent to produce videos for your brand. Marketplace allows innovative video creators who meet specific criteria (age, followers, video content and engagement) to collaborate with brands on paid campaigns. Check out  Marketplace.

@travellingwithtoddlers

RESORT HOPPING IN DENARAU IS ONE OF THE REASONS I LOVE STAYING IN THIS AREA, SOME HAVE RESTRICTIONS ON ALLOWING VISITORS AT THE MOMENT THOUGH 🏝 #didyouknow #hoteltour #fiji

♬ original sound – TRAVELLING WITH TODDLERS

In addition, you can extend your brand’s reach by working with relevant influencers who love your brand and share your values. Your brand doesn’t necessarily need to film its own content if you organise a group of reliable micro or nano influencers. In exchange for an experience or monetary contribution, they can talk about your product on their page, post it in the video description, or link it to your brand in their account’s description. 

Review Analytics to Improve Performance

TikTok’s extended analytics for Pro Accounts gives insight into performance to educate your next steps. It’s broken up into three sections — overview, followers (growth, demographics, when your audience is online) and content (traffic sources, view time, average watch time, likes). This data is similar to Instagram’s analytics page for Business accounts. Using the app’s specific data can help inform you about how your videos perform in their algorithm. Learn more about TikTok’s analytics here. 

Advertising on TikTok 

TikTok provides a user-friendly advertising dashboard similar to Facebook and Instagram’s Business manager catering for all budgets and providing diverse goals such as traffic to website, online sales or new leads. 

Ad formats include TopView, which appears when the app is opened and takes up the full screen. In-Feed ads are shown when someone scrolls through the content or Branded Hashtag Challenges encouraging people to share a video showing them doing whatever that brand has challenged them to do. 

TikTok has developed a complete Business Learning Centre covering various items like campaign structure, ad format or ad reporting. You only need to set up your ad account to access these free resources. 

Written by Maria Rial

April 6, 2022

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