What Are Effective Strategies for UK Brands to Engage on TikTok?

TikTok, a social media platform that has captivated users across the globe with its catchy videos and trend-setting content, is becoming an increasingly popular tool for businesses. UK brands, in particular, are finding innovative ways to use the platform for marketing. The challenge lies in understanding how to effectively leverage TikTok to engage audiences, create brand awareness, and boost sales. In this article, we will explore the best strategies for UK brands to use on TikTok to achieve their marketing goals.

Understanding the TikTok Platform

Before you can successfully use TikTok as a marketing tool for your brand, you must first understand what makes the platform unique. The concept of TikTok is based on short, entertaining videos that users create and share with their followers. These videos can be about anything - from dance challenges to cooking tutorials - which makes the platform incredibly versatile and appealing to a wide audience.

TikTok stands out from other social media platforms because of its algorithm, which uses a user's interaction history to suggest new videos. This makes for a personalised and engaging user experience, and it presents a golden opportunity for brands. By creating content that resonates with your target audience, you can organically reach a large number of users.

Understanding TikTok's unique features and audience behaviour is crucial for brands looking to maximise their marketing potential on the platform.

Creating Engaging Content

A key strategy for UK brands on TikTok is creating engaging content that resonates with their audience. This can be achieved by being authentic, creative, and trend-aware. Unlike traditional marketing platforms, TikTok thrives on casual and fun content. Brands should aim to create lighthearted and entertaining videos that showcase their products or services in a fun and engaging way.

One example of a brand doing this successfully is Gymshark, a UK-based fitness apparel brand. They regularly post workout videos and challenges, which not only showcase their products, but also provide value to their audience. They also incorporate popular TikTok trends and music, making their content more shareable and engaging.

To create engaging content on TikTok, you should pay attention to trending hashtags and challenges. Incorporating these trends into your videos can significantly increase your reach and engagement. However, it's vital to stay true to your brand identity and ensure the trends align with your brand values.

Utilising Influencer Partnerships

Just like Instagram and YouTube, TikTok is home to a plethora of influencers who have built large and loyal follower bases. Partnering with these influencers can help UK brands reach a wider audience and boost their credibility on the platform.

Influencer partnerships involve brands collaborating with popular TikTok users to create sponsored content. This content often includes product placements or endorsements. The key is to collaborate with influencers who align with your brand values and who have a follower base that matches your target audience.

One such example is when the UK-based beauty brand Florence by Mills partnered with TikTok influencer Charli D’Amelio. The collaboration involved Charli creating a series of makeup tutorials using Florence by Mills products. This partnership not only gave the brand exposure to Charli's millions of followers, but it also boosted their credibility amongst the TikTok community.

Engaging with Users

Interaction is key on TikTok. The platform is built on user interaction, and brands should take advantage of this. Brands can engage with users by replying to comments, participating in challenges, and creating user-generated content campaigns.

User-generated content campaigns involve brands encouraging their followers to create content related to their products or services. This can be a highly effective strategy as it not only increases brand awareness, but it also encourages user interaction and engagement.

For instance, the UK-based brand PrettyLittleThing launched a successful user-generated content campaign by creating their own branded hashtag challenge. They encouraged users to create videos showing off their PrettyLittleThing outfits with the hashtag #PrettyLittleThing. This campaign resulted in thousands of user-generated videos, significantly increasing the brand's visibility on TikTok.

Investing in TikTok Ads

Despite the organic reach potential on TikTok, brands can further amplify their visibility by investing in TikTok's various ad formats. These include In-Feed Ads, Branded Hashtag Challenges, and Branded Effects.

Each ad format offers unique advantages. In-Feed Ads appear in the user's "For You" feed and behave like typical TikTok videos, playing between user content. Branded Hashtag Challenges involve brands creating a specific challenge and encouraging users to take part. Lastly, Branded Effects allow brands to create custom filters and AR effects that users can use in their videos.

TikTok ads offer precise targeting options, allowing brands to reach their ideal customers based on various factors such as age, gender, location, and interests. The key is to create ads that are engaging and seamlessly blend with the platform's user-generated content. Remember, TikTok users value authenticity and creativity, so avoid overtly promotional content.

Adopting these strategies will enable your brand to engage effectively on TikTok. By understanding the platform, creating engaging content, utilising influencer partnerships, engaging with users, and investing in ads, you can maximise your brand's potential on this rapidly growing social media platform.

Analysing Performance and Adapting Strategy

As with any marketing campaign, tracking and analysing the performance of your TikTok strategies is a critical step. It allows brands to understand what's working and what isn't, and make necessary adjustments for future content.

TikTok provides a range of analytic tools for business accounts. These tools yield insights into follower growth, profile views, and video performance, among other metrics. Additionally, the platform's algorithm allows brands to see trending content, which can be useful in understanding what resonates with the TikTok users.

The key is to use this data to identify successful elements in your TikTok strategy. For example, if your influencer marketing campaign generates a high degree of engagement, it's likely worth continuing and expanding. Conversely, if your user-generated content campaigns aren't garnering much interaction, it may be time to reassess your approach.

It's important to be adaptable with your TikTok strategies. The platform's audience is dynamic and what's trending can change quickly. Being able to pivot your content strategy based on performance and trends is essential for maintaining audience engagement and growing your brand on TikTok.

With that said, maintaining consistency with your brand identity is equally crucial. Although it's beneficial to adapt to trends and audience interests, this should not compromise your brand's core values and identity. Your brand should remain recognisable, even as you adapt your content to cater to the TikTok user base.

Setting Up a TikTok Business Account

In order to fully leverage and measure the potential of TikTok, UK brands should set up a TikTok Business Account. This corporate profile allows brands to access various features, including analytics, ads, and shopping functions.

A TikTok Business Account is also crucial in establishing a brand's credibility and presence on the platform. It signals to TikTok users that you're a serious, established brand, which can boost trust and engagement. Plus, it gives you the option to include key business information, like your website and contact details, in your profile.

Setting up a TikTok Business Account is a straightforward process. Once you've created a standard TikTok account, you can switch to a Business Account in the settings. From there, you can set up your profile, including your profile picture, bio, and website link.

Remember, your TikTok profile is often the first interaction users will have with your brand on the platform. So, it's crucial to make a strong first impression. Your profile picture should clearly represent your brand, and your bio should succinctly communicate what your business is about.


TikTok presents an exciting opportunity for UK brands. The platform's unique features and vast user base make it an appealing platform for businesses looking to engage a younger demographic. By understanding the platform, creating engaging content, utilising influencer partnerships, engaging with users, analysing performance, adapting strategies, and setting up a business account, brands can truly harness TikTok's potential and succeed in their digital marketing efforts.

The key takeaway for brands is to approach TikTok with an open and innovative mindset. TikTok is not your traditional marketing platform, so the strategies that work on other social media sites may not necessarily yield the same results here. Brands need to be genuinely engaging, creative, and be prepared to invest time in understanding and leveraging the platform's unique features and audience behaviour.

In the world of TikTok, content is king, and user engagement is queen. If your brand can master these two elements, you're well on your way to establishing a successful presence on this powerful social media platform.