TikTok has become the latest sensation on social media, with over 800 million active users and counting. It’s easy to see why; it's fun and creative format makes it engaging for all ages. But what makes TikTok even more powerful is its ability to reach large audiences quickly. Because of its algorithm, content creators can quickly go viral within a matter of hours. But what about franchise marketing? In this blog post we’ll cover how franchise brands can use TikTok to reach new customers and increase sales, how franchise marketers can evaluate if it’s right for their brand, and get a hot take from fellow marketers Adam Sutton of RNR Tire Express, Tina Bacon-DeFrece of Big Frog Franchise Group, and Erin Martin of Netsertive.
Let's dive into what TikTok has to offer franchise businesses.
The Benefits of Using TikTok for Franchise Marketing
TikTok offers several advantages that make it an attractive option for franchise marketers.
Primarily, it’s a hot new social platform with massive (and growing) reach. From a centralized marketing perspective it's free to use and easy to set up. With a few clicks, you can create your own account and start creating content that resonates with your target audience. The key however is that it is only beneficial if your audience is there (we’ll talk about this later in the blog post). Which is why to TikTok or not to TikTok is a hot topic in the franchise marketing community right now.
Another major benefit of using TikTok for franchise marketing is that it allows you to engage with your audience in a variety of ways. You can create videos showcasing products and services offered by each location or highlighting special promotions or discounts. You can also use creative hashtags and challenges to encourage engagement from users who may not have otherwise been exposed to your brand. Finally, If you do test, build a creative that catches attention but stays true to your brand.
Franchise Brands: Top Tips for Leveraging TikTok to Market Your Business
For franchise marketers, this is a great opportunity to get your brand in front of more eyes. With TikTok’s short video format, you can create content that resonates with your target audience while still being entertaining. The key is to be creative and stay up-to-date on trending topics so you can capitalize on them before they become oversaturated and to have a strong video content strategy in place. You can also experiment with different formats such as super speed how-tos, comedy skits, and “behind the scenes” footage to stand out from the competition.
Another great way for franchise marketers to use TikTok is by capitalizing on influencers who are already popular on the platform. Influencers have massive followings that trust their opinions and recommendations. Even better, many influencers offer discounted rates for promotions so you don’t have to break the bank in order to take advantage of their reach. Overall, there are plenty of ways that franchise marketers can take advantage of TikTok in order to grow their brand and create meaningful connections with their target audiences.
To TikTok or Not to TikTok: The Real Deal
The additional complexities franchise brands face when trying to do localized marketing at scale makes TikTok a tricky channel to master. There is a lot to think about; monitoring how Franchisees are using the channel, managing brand compliance, finding resources and talent to test its efficacy before fully investing, and much more. Hear Netsertive’s VP of Marketing, Erin Martin, give her hot take on the channel:
“The first question to ask yourself is is your audience there. If yes, then it could be setting aside a few resources to test it out. If your test works, then you can slowly operationalize and scale. A few more critical pieces to be aware of include your overall video strategy, your specific buyer’s journey, and targeting capabilities.
First, video is absolutely critical to a marketers toolkit right now and if you’re considering TikTok it should be a part of the holistic video marketing strategy, not done in a silo.
Second, you should be meeting your customer where they live online and thinking about their intent when they are on different platforms. For example, people on social platforms are there to socialize and often mindlessly take in content, whereas on search someone is actively trying to complete a specific action. Looking at the holistic customer journey this way can help prioritize which platform and channels to be on with the limited time and resources we all have.
Finally, franchise brands care deeply about hyper-local and hyper-relevant campaigns for each and everyone of their locations, and TikTok is not quite as sophisticated as advertising on Meta (Facebook and Instagram) when it comes to targeting, which can also impact performance. For example, on TikTok you can target by Location (State, City, County and DMA level targeting, powered by Nielsen), Demographics (male / female, age, languages, Interest Behavior (pets, household products, home improvement, etc), and people who have interacted with videos based on type of videos they’ve liked (lifestyle, technology, sports and outdoors, etc). With Meta you can target by all of the above, plus get granular on specific age and specific location, including place, address, and the store traffic objective will use people's location to connect them with nearby businesses.”
TikTok for Franchise Marketing: How to Decide if TikTok is Right for your Franchise Brand
As the digital marketing space continues to evolve, businesses must be agile enough to keep up with the latest trends. For multi-location franchises, this is especially true given their unique set of challenges when it comes to planning campaigns and managing communications across multiple channels. In the past couple of years, TikTok has gained major traction as one of those new channels for connecting with an audience. Still, brands are left wondering if using a platform like TikTok really compares in terms of sophistication and performance potential compared to more established platforms such as Meta. As a business that relies on reaching customers with its multi-faceted approach and timeless strategies, deciding which social media platform is right for you can be difficult—but understanding the nuances and whether an overall video strategy is right for you can help inform your decision making process.