Updated: Oct 4, 2020
A few months ago we wrote a short post asking ‘Can Recruiters Use TikTok?’. The short answer was yes, but the tools available are still evolving.
In this post we will revisit the topic and look exactly how companies can get the most out of TikTok’s new advertising products or just the platform more organically.
Why should I care about TikTok?
Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram...why do I need another social media platform for my employer branding strategy?
Simply put, the structure of the workforce is changing faster than we often acknowledge. According to a Catalyst report, Gen Z or ‘post milennials’ will soon be almost ⅓ of the global population and ¼ of the workforce. As a generational cohort, they are “digital natives, they have never lived in a world without the internet and are bringing both their technological experience and their technological expectations to the workplace”.
In employer branding terms, this means catering your social recruiting or recruitment marketing efforts towards Gen Z friends platforms. TikTok has become the most recent success story in this regard, with brands fighting to build exposure amongst the platform’s captive Gen Z audience.
Paid advertising options on TikTok
Since the last post, TikTok has introduced formal advertising options for brands. This has been a natural progression for the platform following its explosion in popularity.
For companies with a larger budget to experiment tapping into TikTok for employer branding and filling the top of their funnel, here is how the advertising options work:
TopView - Similar to in-feed native video, this option gives a company complete prominence on the ‘For You’ page by being shown when TikTok users open the app. Brands can create a full width video ideally starting their own viral challenge or catering to the most recent trends. For your employer brand, think about how you can combine your company culture with a TikTok trend to create a friendly but informative way for Gen Zers to engage with your company.
Brand Takeover - This three second offering lets companies show a full width video ad as soon as the user opens TikTok, and then merges into the native feed. This offers an incredibly powerful few seconds of ‘takeover’ in the user’s mind, and can link to a website or hashtag challenge. For your employer brand, try to think of an overall campaign that this takeover can link towards. Let users tap onto your profile and see similar content, or maybe even get involved themselves. Even if they won’t become part of your talent pipeline, they may remember you for the next time they are seeking a job.
In-feed ads - Build a native feed style video and advertise on the ‘For You’ page. Unlike TopView, this option can show your ad at any point when the user scrolls their feed but offers an organic way to build reach. For your employer brand, be creative about how you want to build reach on the ‘For You’ page and what you want to achieve when a user taps to see more about your company.
Branded lenses - From creative face filters to animated objects, users can radically change their environment with their smartphones. TikTok offers the possibility to create and use 2D, 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) for the platform For your employer brand, think about an organic way to get people engaging with your face filter. Be fun and be different!! Remember you aren’t trying to directly sell your company but build greater bond to what your brand represents.
Hashtag challenge - Hashtag challenges can be started by users or brands by creating a short video with music and asking other users to create their own versions. Whilst a lot of these challenges do go viral, there is the risk it won’t. With that in mind, TikTok has introduced a sponsored hashtag challenge. This means that the brand’s challenge is placed on the discovery page for six days, providing the opportunity for maximum reach and engagement. For your employer brand, be as fun as possible with your hashtag challenge. Once again, don’t sell your company as bricks and mortar. Sell it for the culture, the vibe and the types of activity Gen Zers can begin to associate with you.
So there you have it...TikTok for employer branding. These are the latest paid options available to budget-owning hiring managers looking for new ways to cultivate a talent community. As the workforce changes, be ahead of the curve and embrace TikTok as an organic channel.
And even if you don’t have a budget to spend on recruitment marketing, TikTok holds a certain magic that allows even the least known accounts to go viral. So get on there, get creative and keep trying until something works!