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TikTok Marketing For Business: A Comprehensive Guide

Published December 21, 2023
/ Updated January 19, 2024

TikTok is the social media platform for Gen Zs and young millennials. According to Statista, 70.2% of its users are between 18 and 34 years old. If your target audience fits this demographic, you should use TikTok marketing for your business.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to use TikTok to fuel your marketing and grow your business.

Getting Started With TikTok For Your Business

You might not know much about the TikTok platform if you’re a baby boomer or Gen X— we’ll begin by familiarizing you with the app.

Launched in 2017, TikTok is a popular social media platform focusing on short and engaging videos, typically lasting 15 to 60 seconds.

The platform is known for its entertainment videos, silly dances, and viral challenges. Many popular viral challenges, like the cha cha slide and milk crate, started on TikTok.

As of July 2023, TikTok had 1.081 billion monthly active users, making it the sixth most popular social media platform globally. This massive audience has helped TikTok become an important social media marketing platform.

Recommended Reading: YouTube Marketing For Business

What Is TikTok Marketing?

TikTok marketing is using TikTok to market a brand and its products. It’s ideal for brands targeting Gen Zs or young millennials because most of TikTok’s users are younger.

Why Use TikTok Marketing For Business?

Beyond its substantial youthful user base, below are four reasons to use TikTok for business marketing.

Why Use TikTok Marketing For Business?

  • Create Short Videos
  • Favors Casual Videos
  • Has Huge Viral Potential
  • Highest Engagement Rate
  • Create Short Videos: According to internal data shared with TikTok creators, the sweet spot for TikTok videos is 21 – 34 seconds, which is great if you only have the bandwidth to create short videos. However, the TikTok app lets you upload up to 10 minutes of pre-recorded videos. This 6+ minutes post with over 123k views proves long-form videos can also get substantial views on the platform.
  • Favors Casual Videos: TikTokers value casual over highly polished videos. Social media experts like Jamal Meneide say users often scroll past videos that appear professional because they assume it’s an ad. This makes the TikTok content creation process less intimidating because you don’t need professional videography skills or equipment to film your videos. For instance, this video by Noble Leather Co., a leather wallets and belts brand, shows the behind-the-scenes of its production process. Nothing elaborate. Yet, it was its most viewed video in 2021, with over 29 million views, 2.7 million likes, 14.1k comments, and 57.8k saves.

Source

  • Has Huge Viral Potential: TikTok’s algorithm promotes content quickly. Even small businesses and accounts with few followers can go viral if their content resonates. For instance, Lala Hijabs, a hand-dyed hijabs brand, had a viral video in its early days. The video got one million views and got them 50k new followers. The result? Business blew up. According to the founders, they get all of their site traffic organically from TikTok!
  • Highest Engagement Rate: From a 2022 Statista statistic, the average engagement rate per post on TikTok was 4.25%. This figure is over 7x, 28x, and 85x the average engagement rate for each Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter post. Translation: TikTok is the perfect social network for building brand awareness.

How To Set Up TikTok For Business

Complete the following three tasks to set up your TikTok for business.

Create A Business Account

TikTok offers both a personal and business account. The business account has enhanced analytics features and a music library approved for commercial use. It also lets you add multiple links, which drives traffic to your site or other social platforms. Here’s how to create your business account.

  1. Download the TikTok app.
  2. Sign up with your business email.
  3. When prompted to create a username, use your brand name or a slight variation.
  4. Once signed in, click the menu (three dots) on the top right of the Profile page.
  5. Go to Settings & Privacy
  6. Click Manage account
  7. Select Switch to Business Account.

Optimize Your Profile

Add your profile picture: Ideally, your business logo should be your profile picture, as this helps you grow your brand recognition.

Fill out your bio: Provide a short description of what you do so your audience doesn’t have to figure it out on their own. To make your bio more eye-catching, consider including an emoji or two. Note that TikTok bios have an 80-character limit, so make it count.

Add a call-to-action (CTA): What should your audience do when they visit your profile? Book a free consultation? Shop with a coupon code? Follow your account? Whatever it is, tell them.

Connect other social accounts: As mentioned earlier, TikTok lets you add clickable links to your profile. Ideally, you should link your website homepage. If you’re adding multiple links, consider using link aggregator tools such as Linktree, Lnk.Bio, or Milkshake.

Learn How To Track Your TikTok Analytics

Your TikTok Business Account provides detailed metrics for measuring the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Important metrics to watch include:

  • Engagement: Includes likes, comments, and shares.
  • Reached audience: The number of unique individuals who watched your videos.
  • Follower growth rate: Shows you how your follower count has changed over time.
  • New followers: Reveals total followers gained within your specified period.
  • Video views: Total number of times your video was viewed.
  • Profile views: Total number of users who viewed your account.
  • Average watch time: The average time users spend watching your video.
  • Audience demographics: Includes info like the location and gender of your viewers.
  • Follower activity: Reveals what time your followers are typically online, which guides you on the best time to post your content.

This video by Social Media Examiner goes deeper into how to use TikTok analytics to improve your marketing.

How To Build A Strong Organic & Paid Marketing Strategy On TikTok

Millions of businesses will compete with you for your audience’s attention on TikTok. To win, you can’t just post and pray. You need a strategy. Our recommendation? Start with organic marketing. After getting a feel for what works, show your videos to more viewers with paid ads.

Regardless of the path you take, here are a few principles to keep in mind:

  • Start with goals: State what you aim to achieve. Drive site traffic? Grow brand awareness? SMART marketing goals are your foundation for success. Without it, you’re like a ship with a rudder — you’re going nowhere.
  • Analyze competitor content: Before you start posting, spend time analyzing content by your competitors. This helps you understand how they earn their followers’ attention and engagement. That way, you can apply the same ideas when producing your content.
  • Keep things light. The top two reasons people use TikTok are for mindless entertainment and comic relief, according to New Consumer’s 2023 Consumer Trends report. This finding is consistent with a 2020 Nielsen survey that found people use TikTok primarily to “lift their spirits.” As a brand, this means entertaining content isn’t just welcome; it’s crucial. And as mentioned earlier, users prefer authentic videos of people in real-life scenarios over polished videos. So, tell real stories, highlight genuine moments, and infuse humor in your educational content if you can.
  • Use hashtags (thoughtfully): TikTok uses hashtags to understand, categorize, and promote your videos to viewers interested in a topic but not following your brand. Using relevant hashtags also makes your content discoverable when users search for that hashtag.

Once you’re ready to run ads, you’ll need to set up an ad account via TikTok Ads Manager. Promote — an in-app tool — can turn your most viewed videos into ads. Or you can create new ad videos from scratch.

This video by HubSpot discusses the different types of ad placement options available on TikTok and the best use for each one.

10 Unique Ways To Market Your Business On TikTok

1. Collaborate With Influencers Who Have A Strong Presence On TikTok & Align With Your Brand

TikTok has a thriving influencer community with creators across various niches. Leverage the power of influencer marketing by partnering with influencers on the platform. If you sell a niche product, use the TikTok Creator Place to find influencers with niche expertise whose personality aligns with your brand, goals, and budget.

In the example below, RedBull collaborated with Keeoh, a popular gaming streamer, to make a funny, non-salesy video about the energy drink.

TikTok is big on trends, and it rewards trend followers. Incorporating trending songs and effects in your TikTok videos increases your content’s discoverability and makes it more relatable to TikTokers.

The easiest way to find trending sounds is by using TikTok’s search feature. Tap the magnifying glass icon. Next, search “trending songs,” “viral songs,” or any other similar keyword in the search bar. Once the results appear, tap the Sounds tab. You’ll see a list of songs and the number of times they’ve been used.

Top trending sounds on TikTok

3. Optimize Your Captions For TikTok SEO

A Google executive remarked that TikTok is fast becoming the primary source of information for Gen Z. TikTok is already aware of this and has been making algorithmic changes to ensure searchers get the most relevant responses to their queries.

Hashtags are TikTok’s equivalent of SEO keywords. So, by optimizing your captions for search, you position yourself to rank on top of TikTok search results for relevant queries.  Bottom line: Learn and apply TikTok hashtag best practices.

4. Regularly Monitor TikTok Analytics To Understand What Works & What Doesn’t For Your Audience

Check your analytics at least once a week when you’re just starting. Your goal is to get a good grasp of what content types resonate with your audience. Review your posts and ask questions like:

  • Which videos had the best reach and engagement and why?
  • What do the highest-performing posts have in common? Video length? Topic? Hook? Tone of voice?
  • Does our viewer demographic reflect the audience we want to target?
  • What are the audience retention rates for our videos?
  • When do viewers drop off, and can we identify reasons for this?

Answering these questions will help you improve the return on your marketing efforts. Once you’ve begun seeing the results you want, you can reduce your TikTok analytics review to twice a month.

Recommended Reading: LinkedIn Marketing For Business

5. Host Live Sessions To Interact Directly With Your Audience

Accounts that have a minimum of 1,000 followers can host TikTok LIVE sessions.

These sessions help you foster community and forge deeper connections with your audience. Use this time to answer questions from followers, teach something (as you would in a webinar series), or host fun games. You can also collaborate with other creators to spruce things up.

6. Offer Exclusive Deals Or Discounts To Your TikTok Followers

Popular cleaning product company Scrub Daddy produced Halloween costumes for sale. However, it only made it available on its TikTok Shop. The exclusivity of this deal can help drive engagements while rewarding its TikTok community.

7. Develop A Content Series To Keep Your Audience Coming Back For More

A content series is a sequence of related videos with a common theme, story, or format. When viewers enjoy one episode in a series, they’re more likely to anticipate and check out the next episode. The key to success with this strategy is to choose a topic users care about.

Chipotle recently ran a five-part series on “Dips you should try at Chipotle.” The first video got the most views — 2.5 million. The second and third videos in the series were also a hit, having over 500k and 900k views, respectively.

8. Use Educational Videos To Provide Value To Your Audience

There’s an enormous place for educational content on TikTok, especially if you can pass the message in a fun way. Take Kat Norton, for instance, who became famous for providing engaging, bite-sized Microsoft Excel tutorials on TikTok.

9. Use The ‘Stitch’ Feature To Integrate User Content Into Your Videos

Stitch is a popular TikTok tool for combining another video on TikTok with the one you’re creating. Here’s how it works:

  • Tap the share icon on the side of the video you want to use a clip from
  • Tap Stitch in the menu bar that appears.
  • Using the slider at the bottom, select the start and end point of the portion you want to use, then tap Next.
  • Record your TikTok video, then tap the check mark.
  • Watch the preview, edit your video, then tap Next.
  • Add your caption and tap Post!

10. Try Tiktok’s ‘Shoppable’ Feature To Directly Sell Products Through Your Videos

TikTok Shop is a built-in e-commerce solution for selling directly to customers on the TikTok app. Besides providing a store where users can browse your products, it also lets you add product links to your LIVE sessions and video content, turning every content piece into a sales opportunity for your business.

According to the TikTok blog, 39% of TikTokers first discovered brands and products they’d never heard of before on TikTok, and 47% of users say they had bought something they saw on the app. Plus, Bloomberg projects that TikTok will reach $20 billion in gross merchandise in 2023. This suggests TikTok will provide more tools and optimizations to help you monetize your audience.