TikTok – purely a video-based platform composed of short, snappy clips lasting under a minute – is the latest social media platform to take off, boasting 500m monthly users, an average daily linger time of 52 minutes, and 90% of users checking in more than once a day. 

Once ‘the’ destination for user-created content, TikTok has now become a key arena for marketing and advertising, and boasts its own impressive roster of influencers, celebrities and brands. TikTok videos also have a huge potential to ‘go viral’, which could be a great way for your clinic or practice to further its reach and grow its followers and engagement.

1. Know your audience

Nearly half of TikTok’s global audience is under 34, with almost a quarter aged 18-24 (in fact, 41% of all users are aged 16-24). While your digital marketing strategy no doubt aims to target different age groups and sectors, it’s good to know that this social platform is highly popular amongst Generation Z. In addition, the gender split is pretty even, with 56% male and 44% female (almost a reversal of the case on Instagram, which has a 52% female 48% male divide).

2. Know your platform 

With social platforms, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to content, and that’s because each works differently, and the audience, gender and location are split differently, too. What works on one platform may not translate well on another – make a faux pas, and you risk damaging your clinic’s reputation and losing precious followers or bookings.  

With TikTok, you can tailor your content according to the feel and atmosphere of the app:

1) A novel approach: unlike other social brands, TikTok is more associated with fun and humour, possibly due to its heavily-weighted young user base. Tapping into this with a personalised angle (let’s say a viral challenge or staff lip-synch) can build trust with your audience while increasing engagement. Having said that, TikTok’s snappy clips can enable you to create informative content in bitesize form – doctors have used this to great effect to challenge misinformation around covid-19, for example.

2) A tangible authenticity: the most successful content on TikTok isn’t perfectly polished, or filmed with pricey equipment. Typically, footage is more raw, of-the-moment and shot on mobile, so your own content should reflect this approach. Behind-the-scenes style material, or first-person experiences focusing on your treatments or clinic could work well in this format. 

3) The power of viral content:
 many of TikTok’s video posts go viral, and spin-offs are common (for example, brands and users that do their own ‘take’ on a viral post). Even if viral content doesn’t seem to align with your brand or messaging, clever digital marketing strategies use data to their advantage (for instance, if a viral post features an animal, why not tap into this by featuring your clinic’s pet or mascot?).

4) Experimentation & entertainment:
 TikTok is the perfect platform to try out different types of content to find what resonates with your audience, and to capitalise on humour and entertainment value. 

3. Know your content

We’ve already touched on different content working differently on different platforms – so what do we suggest for TikTok? 

Partner up with an influencer – made famous on Instagram, influencers are essential on every social media platform. Often already known and trusted by your following, they can help to build your reputation, increase engagement and boost conversion. If a long-term collaboration doesn’t suit your goals, then an influencer ‘takeover’ for the day could be a softer approach. 

Jump on the ‘branded hashtag’ bandwagon – these are where brands ask users to carry out a task and post about it with a hashtag unique to their business. Many go viral, and with paid advertising, you can even incorporate a clickable banner to encourage action and spread the word. 

Try a tutorial – one of the most popular types of posts on TikTok, these can be easily leveraged by your clinic or dental practice. Consider beauty how-tos, which are easily linked to facial aesthetics; tips for applying home teeth whitening kits, ideal in second lockdown where patients can’t always get to your practice; or clinics tapping into the wellness trend with exercise videos. 

Capitalise on the now – as with all social media platforms, it’s key to identify trends when they happen and react accordingly. Even something as seemingly left-field as a joining in with a dance trend could catapult your clinic to viral stardom, earning leads and bookings. 

Don’t forget native ads – interspersed and sandwiched between user-generator content, these can be one more way to get the word out about your clinic’s treatments and services. But be cautioned – some may be skippable!

4. Know your goals

All good digital marketing strategies are grounded in data and numbers, with a clear vision ahead, and the ability to flex, evolve and adapt as needed. Identify these goals early and plan around them, but don’t be put off by taking a different steer if you’re not seeing the engagement your brand deserves.

If you’re having trouble identifying the direction you need to take to grow your business, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our digital marketing experts. Visit our contact page for details or give us a call on 01159 140 640.