TikTok Marketing Tips To Fuel Business Growth
TikTok may be new to the social media scene, but its power can’t be ignored. With a largely young audience, the social media platform has had an incredible impact on culture – and businesses are starting to notice.
If your audience overlaps with the TikTok user demographics, it can be an invaluable marketing tool to fuel growth and brand awareness. Some brands are seeing massive growth from accidental viral videos.
But even if you don’t achieve viral campaigns, you can build a relevant and powerful presence on TikTok. Discover the roadmap to fuel business growth with TikTok marketing techniques.
What is TikTok?
Named for “vibrating sound” in Chinese, TikTok is a social media platform designed for short videos. The videos on the platform typically range from 15 to 60 seconds, so they’re short enough to hold viewers’ attention.
The platform has more than simple video, however. Users can record, edit, and share videos with additional features like filters, effects, music, and aspects of augmented reality.
If you’re new to the platform, learn some of the common terms that apply to most brands and users on TikTok.
- Creators: TikTok users are called “creators” because they contribute to the immersive experience of the platform by creating content.
- Fans: Fans are like followers on other social media platforms – they follow the brands or profiles they like.
- Hearts: TikTok users show appreciation for videos by clicking on the heart icon on the screen, which auto-generates the collection within their profile and saves favorite videos for future viewing.
- Comments: Users can leave comments on videos to provide feedback, show appreciation, or express displeasure. Creators can filter content on their own videos or disable them.
- Private messaging: Much like Facebook Messenger, TikTok has a private chat feature to speak with users privately and exchange content. The settings can be adjusted under the privacy and security settings.
- For You Feed: The For You Feed is a newsfeed on the homepage where new videos are recommended based on past viewing behaviors. This is curated through an algorithm, so it’s important to engage with content to show the platform’s algorithm what you like.
- Duets: This feature allows creators to collaborate with other creators’ videos virtually. Creators must have permission to perform duets, however.
- Reactions: Reactions are used to express emotional reactions to content, such as sadness, happiness, amazement, frustration, etc.
- Challenges: Challenges are viral trends that creators start and take part in. They issue a challenge via video and fans try to recreate it in their own videos.
- Original Sound: TikTok users can create “Original Sounds,” such as dialogue, sound effects, or music clips to use in their own videos or share with others.
What is TikTok Marketing?
Marketing on TikTok is simply using the platform to promote your brand or product. You can use a variety of tools, such as influencer marketing campaigns, paid ads, or short-form video for organic growth.
TikTok has many benefits for businesses, including:
- Increased brand awareness
- Better product sales
- More feedback from customers and prospects
- Better customer service
- Engaged brand communities
- Better product and service targeting
Most TikTok marketing is grouped into the following categories:
Like other social media platforms, influencer marketing is a big part of TikTok marketing. Several influencers rose to fame on the platform, including Zach King and Addison Rae, and can significantly impact a brand’s presence.
Fortunately, you don’t need a mega influencer to find success with influencer marketing on TikTok. You can get your brand in front of the ideal audience with niche influencers, who typically have a dedicated and loyal fanbase.
The TikTok ecosystem thrives on short-form video content. Once you create a TikTok Business account, you can start creating videos to achieve organic growth. Almost anything goes on TikTok, so you can get creative with brand challenges, behind-the-scenes videos, and product demos. Be sure to follow brands in your industry for inspiration.
For example, with our app for driver’s education resources, we might post a video of the app in use or start a challenge for student drivers to share DMV test results.
If you have marketing spend to invest in paid ads, TikTok offers paid advertising that uses a bidding model similar to Facebook and Instagram. Once you have a Business account, you can set up ads in TikTok Ads Manager.
If you’re familiar with advertising on other social media platforms, TikTok’s advertising is fairly intuitive. Like other platforms, TikTok offers a Campaign button with options for Awareness, Consideration, and Conversions. You choose your goals, audience, and placement, fill in the campaign details, then set up your budget.
Set Up Your TikTok Business Account
After the early success of the platform, TikTok opened the hub for business users late in 2020. The business account offers functionality and capabilities that a standard account doesn’t, such as more profile information, audience insights, and real-time metrics.
Here’s how to set up a business account:
- Go to the profile page and open the Settings and Privacy tab.
- Click Manage Account, then Account Control. You can then click Switch to Business Account.
- From there, you choose the category that best suits your brand, such as Fitness or Arts & Crafts.
- Then, add your website URL and email to your profile.
TikTok Marketing Strategies
TikTok operates on trends, so it’s vital to stay current on what’s trending. Your marketing strategy needs to be agile and adaptive to pivot when the trends change, but here are some general techniques to get you started.
Get a Feel for the Platform
TikTok is unique among social media, so you can’t approach the marketing the same way. The best way to learn the platform from a user perspective is by watching videos yourself. Note aspects of popular or trending videos like filters and songs, which you can use in your own videos.
You should also look for branded hashtag challenges, which usually include a challenge to recreate something in the video (such as a dance). This is a type of user-generated content. Once you’re familiar with how challenges work, you can adapt the idea for your own brand and content.
Remember, the more time you spend watching and engaging with videos, the more the algorithm learns about what you like. It curates content over time, so you can see a personalized feed when you open the app.
Use Suitable Hashtags
TikTok users rely on hashtags to catalog content and search for videos that interest them. Videos are sorted by trending hashtags, so it’s vital to choose the appropriate hashtags for your brand, audience, and content.
The right hashtags can do a lot for your brand and content, such as bringing in more followers, amplifying your content’s reach, and identifying competitor brands. Generic hashtags aren’t ideal, so try to use hashtags that are specific to you, but in less popular categories.
Also, keep hashtags brief. TikTok is different from Instagram, so don’t cram as many hashtags as possible into your TikTok video. Focus on a few high-value and relevant hashtags.
Know Your Target Audience
TikTok has its own demographics, typically younger audiences, that you should know before you try marketing on the platform. Before you create content, learn about the typical TikTok users and see which ones are appropriate for your brand.
Though a lot of TikTok users are young, that doesn’t mean that you should avoid the platform if you’re not marketing to teenagers. It’s attracting attention with users in their 20s and 30s, and continues to grow. We can expect the platform to grow with older audiences as well, just like other popular social media apps, so it’s best to get in early.
Another helpful tool for narrowing your audience is considering your audiences on other social media platforms. You may find overlap between them and TikTok.
If you have competitors on TikTok, you could be missing out on valuable marketing opportunities. If your competitors haven’t jumped into the platform, you have a chance to gain a competitive edge.
Be sure to check out direct competitors or similar brands on TikTok and see what they’re doing. You can quickly gain an understanding of what works and what doesn’t. You may also want to check out influencers in your niche for future brand partnerships and audience insights.
TikTok is fun, but you should approach it from a business perspective. Your TikTok marketing strategy should align with your larger business goals and objectives, whether that’s improving your brand image, promoting a product, tapping into new audiences, or building a brand community.
Develop SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals for your TikTok marketing strategy. Set some goals to start and then tweak them as you go.
Fortunately, TikTok has excellent analytics for businesses. Your TikTok analytics are found in Creator Tools in your profile. When you click on Analytics, you can see a range of metrics to measure your goals and success.
Content needs to be consistent on any social media platform, even if it’s raw and off-the-cuff like TikTok. Make a content calendar to plan your content strategy and determine the ideal posting times.
Keep in mind that it’s better to be consistent and post quality content less frequently. If you’re just churning out low-quality content to have something on social, you’re hurting your own efforts.
Encourage Feedback and Engagement
TikTok prioritizes content by user engagement. Comments and reactions are excellent for showing TikTok that users care about your content. Plus, you can start a conversation with your audience and customers.
You can encourage engagement with your content by asking a question of your audience or conducting a multiple-choice poll or survey to be answered in comments. Of course, make sure you respond to comments as much as possible to make it a two-way conversation.
Create Engaging Videos with Clear Descriptions
TikTok videos are short – really short. You don’t have a lot of time to get your message across, so you need to be strategic in your approach. Make your videos visually appealing without looking overly professional.
Also, make sure your user knows what to expect from your video. You may be tempted to tease your content in the description, and while this is okay in some contexts, don’t be so vague that your audience doesn’t know what they’re going to get from your video.
A good description is also important for SEO purposes. You should use keywords and phrases to tell TikTok what your video is about when it indexes it, and hopefully, this means it will be in front of the right users. Choose the most important keywords for your description, but don’t just keyword stuff with random keywords.
Blend in Branded Content
TikTok isn’t about creating salesy videos. Your content should entertain or inform your audience. As you build an audience that’s interested in the value you provide, you can incorporate more promotional videos.
Most TikTok users are young and immune to traditional advertising, so you need to take some time to build authority, trust, and credibility before you start selling. A great way to balance promotion with value is by showing real-life people using your product and talking about its benefits. This helps the user understand how it can help them, but doesn’t come across as traditional advertising.
Measure, Evaluate, and Refine Your Efforts
Analytics are excellent for TikTok marketing. You can see what’s working and what isn’t. Check in with your content once a month or every few months to evaluate your campaigns and see what’s most effective.
Be sure to test different kinds of content to learn what your audience wants to see from you. Sometimes, our best ideas don’t resonate with the audience the way we’d like. Also, remember that TikTok users prefer more authentic content over salesy ads, so keep it real.
Work with Influencers
The TikTok influencers have fun ways to promote your content and brand on the platform. You can find influencers in just about every niche you can imagine, from economics and entrepreneurship to fashion and beauty. Connect with a few of your choice influencers to see if they’d be interested in a brand partnership and content creation.
TikTok influencers are professionals, just like you. Make sure that everyone has clear expectations and guidelines for how your brand will be promoted and how the influencer is compensated.
And remember – bigger isn’t always better. Micro-influencers with a dedicated and ideal audience may get you further than a huge influencer that misses your target customer. Find the best influencer to represent your brand and go from there.
Promote Your TikTok Videos with Email
One of the best aspects of videos on TikTok is that you can download them and reuse them on other platforms. You can download videos and embed them in your emails to send out to your subscriber list and generate more interest in your content.
This also gives you an opportunity to connect with the portion of your audience that isn’t yet on TikTok and possibly sway them to join the platform to see more content. You’ll also increase traffic to your website.
Use TikTok Advertising
Paid advertising on TikTok is a great way to get your content in front of more people.
Types of TikTok Ads
- In-feed ads: Ads you create yourself, including video ads, image ads, and spark ads, which are used to boost existing content. You can also use pangle ads and carousel ads, which are available through separate apps.
- Topview ads: These ads play as soon as the app is opened and aren’t skippable like a YouTube ad.
- Ads for managed brands: These ads are similar to in-feed ads, but offer extra formatting. These are available through a TikTok sales representative.
How to Make a TikTok Ad Account
If you want to run ads on TikTok, you need a TikTok Ads Manager account in addition to your business account. You can create your account easily and fill in information like your business name, contact information, country, and industry.
TikTok is new, so no marketing can say they’ve mastered it yet. Though there’s no formula for success and viral content, you can increase your chances by being creative and listening to your audience. If you try and fail big, use it as a learning experience and come up with something new.
Get Started with TikTok
TikTok is taking the world by storm, and you can’t afford to miss out! The platform offers numerous marketing opportunities for brands, so set up your business profile, start watching and posting videos, and build your TikTok audience.