How to make your brand thrive on TikTok

brands and tiktok - Image by Kon Zografos of Pixabay

TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world right now and businesses are flocking to the video sharing site.

It is a marketing dream to get your brand seen and valued in the right way on this phenomenal platform, although it’s one that requires a bit of thought and strategy.

So we asked Tom Jarvis, Founder & CEO at indy brand agency Wilderness to give us his inside track on how to get the most out of the TikTok space…

tom jarvis wilderness on tiktok
Tom Jarvis, Founder and CEO, Wilderness

It’s no secret that TikTok is now a global powerhouse on the social media scene. Many feel like this mobile-first app is just for Gen Z, but actually, people around the world from different backgrounds, age groups and communities have found success on the platform. 

Lately, we are seeing many brands jump the bandwagon. But how can brands that are yet to take the plunge fit into this space and be successful?

What can TikTok do for brands?

TikTok is dominating this space with 60% of users reporting a sense of community on the app, and most stating that time spent on TikTok is “time well spent”. 

The majority of users joined the app for the sense of community, but stayed for the creativity, inspiration, and feel-good content. 

TikTok is a place for positive experiences, so users scroll longer and dive deeper into the content. 

The fun and free vibes prompt users to take action, from participating in hashtag challenges to exploring new brands and products.

How can brands be successful on TikTok? 

TikTok is driving change. It’s changing the way brands can deliver content to users with a more personal approach, rather than just simply broadcasting adverts or repurposing previous content.

There are five creative elements to help brands achieve TikTok success. These include: video, audio, community, advertising and creators. 

These can help brands increase audience engagement whilst also building an audience that supports the brand.


Reply to @siggy1997 here’s another lesson for you: How Levi’s went from workwear to high fashion 🔨👖 #history #liveinlevis

♬ original sound – Levi’s

But let’s dive in for a closer look at these elements:


Video content gives brands the opportunity to do something new, fresh and innovative. It challenges them creatively. 

Remember TikTok only shows vertical videos as its designed for mobile use, so that’s a starting point. And the content tends to be shot on the fly, not usually mass produced or created in a studio. 

So, brands need to remember to keep videos short but original. It’s a storytelling app, use what’s available to you to do just that.  


Everyone is listening. Incorporating music and other audio can make or break content for a brand, especially as 88% of TikTok users said that sound is essential to the TikTok experience. 

When users open the app, sound plays automatically, instantly catching the user’s attention and drawing them into the video. 

Brands should capitalise on this by using top tracks, global hits and playlists, as well as licensed free music. Research has found that 65% of users prefer content from brands that feature original sounds. 

Some 68% of people remember brands better if they feature songs that they like in their ads, so brands should apply this to their content if they want to remain relevant with their audience.


Find your niche and subculture. Subcultures have become incredibly popular on TikTok, from fashion lovers to home decor enthusiasts. 

The algorithm can drive relevant people to your feed following the content you explore, like and comment on. 

This allows users to get involved with their own niche passions and become part of a community with similar interests. 

These modern tribes have exploded across TikTok. 

tiktok sponsors african football lead
Fans on TikTok: As reported by Mediashotz this week, CAF joined with TikTok to unite fans.

Brands can also partner up with creators within these communities (given they share similar interest) by creating fun content via authentic, genuine partnerships. 


Make TikToks. Not Ads. TikTok is the number one global platform for ad equity because users are happy with the authentic and entertaining videos rather than a glossy advertisement. 

There are three ad formats on TikTok industry: Infeed/Takeover, which grabs the user’s attention in the moment as soon as they open the app. 

The second is the Hashtag Challenge, where brands challenge users to participate in a branded challenge using a certain audio and/or hashtag. 

The third is the Branded Filter, this allows users to interact with AR effects from advertisers in their TikTok videos. 

These three formats can all help brands showcase products and messaging in a fun, original and appealing way.


These are the life and soul of TikTok’s entertainment. Brands need to take advantage of the wealth of creators available on the app, especially those who have established their own niche. 


meet dog my turtle

♬ slay a lot of people used this sound – ♡︎

Collaborating could potentially be very beneficial for the creator and your brand. 

Where is TikTok going?

TikTok is expanding by building out ad formats and creative solutions for brands, which include live shopping. 

By the help of a seamless link added to the video, this could help guide users to purchase products smoothly. With these new features, the platform is continuing to grow.  

TikTok is a positive platform with an uplifting experience, allowing brands to connect with this feeling of joy. 

As many users state that time on the app is “time well spent”, it’s great for brands to jump in on the positive creative content. 

TikTok welcomes everyone and brands can grow and achieve results whilst inspiring creativity. 

So, over to you, brands, it’s time to get creative and join in on the fun!

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