By Lisa Zanchi, Director, Digital Marketing

Brands today are built on social, but social media marketing has never been more cut-throat. Every post on every channel needs amazing creative — vibrant creative, excellent copy and to point to high-quality content. They also need paid amplification. The days of “just organic” are over.

In our new blog series, we talk what’s working (and not) across key social channels. We cover Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and now Pinterest, YouTube and TikTok marketing strategy.

TikTok marketing strategy

Its user base is no match for Facebook or Instagram. But TikTok grew to 1 billion monthly active users in only four years (it took Facebook ~eight). With an average session of 10.85 minutes, it’s poised to be the top growing and engaged with platform in 2022.

Hesitancy to add TikTok to the marketing mix is understandable, whether because of a lack of creative resources or general strategic approach. But it’s now a part of the proverbial Zeitgeist.

  • What’s working — adapting trending content: What does Taylor Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version) album and holding a penny up to exposed prongs in a light socket have in common? They both trended on TikTok at one point. While we certainly don’t advocate taking on any of TikTok’s dangerous trends, look for fun ways to use a popular song, theme, or dance on the platform to promote messaging around your brand.
  • What’s working — concise, quality and consistent videos: When it comes to TikTok marketing strategy, balancing entertainment and brand promotion is a thin line to walk. The primary goal is to make content entertaining for users. This is more an art than a science. While videos should ideally be 20-35 seconds, the most successful length is truly dependent on how the story/delivery will keep the audience’s attention. Post consistently and analyze to see what works based on impressions and engagements. Like Facebook, closed captions are a necessary feature.
  • What’s working influencer partnerships: Creators are king on TikTok. The platform was made for influencer marketing, with subject matters like #BookTok perfect for brands like Barnes & Nobles or Book of the Month. It pays dividends to find quality content creators who have overlapping audiences and can naturally use your product or services in their videos.
  • What to try: B2B companies also have a place here. Take Square’s approach. While most SMB customers, especially eateries, don’t fall within the TikTok demographic, Square aptly built a strategy to target its customers’ customers (who do), promoting their storefronts. Duolingo promotes its language-learning app with shots of their owl mascot wreaking havoc throughout the office and capitalizing on trending themes. Want to take a news- or advice-focused approach? Publishers like Washington Post and Morning Brew set the bar, with employees acting out the latest news stories, delivering news in a more channel-appropriate format.
  • TL; DR: If your audience falls in the 10-29 age demographic, you should already have a presence and strategy.

YouTube digital marketing

Before TikTok was the video platform sensation, there was YouTube. Still going strong over a decade into existence, YouTube has 2 billion+ active users.  It’s where social media marketing and SEO truly overlap. Owned by Google and equipped with its very own search engine, marketers compete for their videos to be in the top-ranking spot.

  • What’s working — intent-based keywords: YouTube offers huge opportunity for brand discovery through subject matter expert-focused content. Rankings prioritize content based on relevance, engagement and quality. Match content with the keywords (and queries) you want to rank for and your audience is searching. Ensure the video description and transcript include keywords. And be sure to use closed captioning as the algorithm is designed to pick up it! Like SEO for web content, backlinks and “tags” from other creators/brands can boost ranking potential.
  • Keep an eye on — YouTube Shorts: Google announced they’re focusing on short-form video to compete with TikTok. The service gained momentum this year, up 130% in global daily views over just a few months. Google continues to build out capabilities, mostly for creators, but rolling out advertising on this platform will likely follow. While it may not make sense for every brand, it may be worth exploring partnerships with influential creators with high views on YouTube Shorts.

Pinterest marketing strategy

Despite a 6% y-o-y decline in monthly users, the company reported a 56% increase in annual revenue. The secret to their success despite the lack of user growth? SEO-optimized content and ad placements that look native to the platform.

  • What’s working — keyword optimization and paid: Ensure your organic content can rank on Google. Use SEO-friendly keywords in descriptions and board titles along with keyword research and sites like answerthepublic.com to anticipate what types of content will rank with your target audience. That said, organic efforts on Pinterest probably won’t get you the site traffic and impact your company is reaching for. We highly recommended a paid amplification strategy.
  • Anecdotally: We find Pinterest remarkably effective at driving web traffic in certain sectors (like food and beverage). However, outside of that don’t see a whole lot of clients using it strategically (or much at all). It’s best for categories such as fashion, wedding planning and interior design.

The post 2022 Social Media Trends Pt. 3: YouTube, Pinterest and TikTok Marketing Strategy appeared first on SHIFT Communications: A Performance Communications Agency + PR Firm in Boston | New York | San Francisco.