In 2020, Yahoo News joined TikTok. It seems like an odd combination. Yahoo is the old-school, relatively forgotten internet domain from a bygone era in the internet’s young history. TikTok is the trendy social media platform full of short, fast-paced comedy and music clips.
Less than a year later, Yahoo News had over 1 million followers on TikTok. It’s a success story that few saw coming. But Yahoo’s success on TikTok is no accident. They’ve wielded the platform with a savvy strategy to catch the attention of its audience and keep them engaged. Here are some things we can learn from Yahoo’s TikTok strategy.
TikTok Marketing Success
Yahoo News has more TikTok followers than many other established news sources in the U.S. While Yahoo has remained a popular news source online for years, its demographics have always skewed older. TikTok, on the other hand, is a platform predominantly used by people under 30. So what has been the key to Yahoo’s TikTok marketing success?
If there is only one lesson to take from Yahoo’s TikTok success, it’s that leaning into a format helps. The app is known for its short, playful video content. And while Yahoo uses the platform to cover serious topics, it often does so in ways that are fun. Even when the content is too heavy to be “fun,” Yahoo still strives to be engaging.
For their part, Yahoo attributes its success on the platform to its use of TikTok’s built-in features. Most of Yahoo’s content is under 30 seconds long and is often formatted to fit the platform’s style. They use closed captioning on most of their content because they believe it helps viewers engage with the content more readily. And TikTok’s live-stream feature offers a direct, personal presentation of the news that many young viewers appreciate.
While the specifics of Yahoo’s success on TikTok are not universal, their strategy is something that any business can use. Yahoo took note of the style of content that thrives on this new platform. They then tailored their own content toward that style. This sort of awareness, of how the audience interacts with content, is a critical lesson for any business operating online.
How Yahoo Appeals to TikTok Followers
Yahoo’s success on TikTok is more than just leaning into the format. As a news provider, they have plenty of competition, both on TikTok and elsewhere. According to Yahoo, one of the keys to their success is their focus on engaging their audience. TikTok followers are mostly younger users. Yahoo’s audience is mostly young people with an interest in political, social, and economic events. With so much competition, Yahoo stands out by offering its audience a straightforward and personal take on the news. They encourage comments and reactions to their content, and they regularly engage directly and in real-time with their TikTok followers. The result is a very honest and trustworthy product for much of their audience. Yahoo’s followers appreciate that a real person is operating the account.
That personal touch is certainly a big part of their success on the platform. And it’s something that all businesses should take note of. Transparency and customer engagement can go a long way to establishing a rock-solid brand image.
Strategic Marketing, Anytime, Anywhere
If you’re marketing a business, you don’t need to get on every social media platform. What matters more is understanding how to utilize each platform you are on. Yahoo figured out a unique way to use TikTok to captivate a wide audience. The key for other businesses is to identify unique ways to represent their own brand on different platforms. It’s about quality, not quantity. Smart, engaging content should always rise to the top.