TikTok has taken the world by storm and is growing as one of the top popular social media platforms next to Instagram and Facebook. Perhaps you have already used it and you think it’s amusing and sometimes useful but you don’t know how you can use it to boost your business. Either way, read on my friend!
TikTok was originally launched by ByteDance in Bejing, China in 2016. Within a year, they had 100 million users, viewing one billion videos every day.
Unsurprisingly, the founders realized they had to go global in order to have the success they were looking for. They launched TikTok to the International market in September 2017.
TikTok is a mobile app that allows users to create and edit short videos. You can put music in the background, speed it up, slow it down, add filters. You can also add your own sound.
Unlike YouTube where users can upload long format videos, TikTok video’s are easily digestible with a maximum length of 60 seconds. Despite that, TikTok users are becoming stars.
As I write this, it’s only 3 and a half years since TikTok launched internationally. You might be wondering if it’s just a fad. Is it even worth including in your marketing plan? Well, that depends on what you are selling and who you are selling to.
You can use hashtags on TikTok in the same way you would on Instagram. Your videos will be organized and categorized according to the hashtags you’ve used. Users can then find your content when they search by hashtag.
The Discover tab on TikTok features trending hashtags, in a similar way to the Trending section on Twitter. Consider this a free marketing tool! If they are relevant to your video, you can use a current trending hashtag to draw more attention to your content.
The For You page is the landing page you fall on when you open the TikTok app. It’s a curated feed for the user based on the previous TikToks they’ve engaged with and the type of content they consume on the app.
Say you’ve liked and left comments on a few funny cat videos. The algorithm will think: “This person loves cats”, and from then on you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll start to see more entertaining cat TikToks on your For You page every day.
So why is this good for marketing?
If your TikTok post lands on your ideal customer’s For You page then it means they’re likely going to be interested in your content, and therefore, your products.
How to get your TikToks on your ideal customer’s For You page
Be a TikTok user! If you sell phone cases then find other TikTok users selling phone cases. Check out their content, and engage. Think community over competition!
Brands make the mistake of treating TikTok as an extension of other Social Networks if they are even using it at all. Roughly 4% of brands in the US are currently using TikTok. This is great news for businesses who choose to embrace it - more visibility! The time to join was yesterday. Get in there before it gets as saturated as Facebook and Instagram. It’s important to post TikTok’s though, don’t go posting the same style of ads that you do on the other Networks.
You may be put off by a perceived young audience. Perhaps you think they are not your target market. All platforms have a younger demographic at launch but all major trends age up. Older adults are already falling down the TikTok rabbit hole for a chunk of their day. A lot of people were overwhelmed by it in the beginning due to the amount of content but it’s addictive and has experienced explosive growth.
The algorithm will learn what you like. You may sign up and wonder what is going on when you see lots of teen lip syncers but if you search for videos relevant to your brand, TikTok will catch on quickly and start showing you relevant content. Selling food-related products? Then you’ll probably be interested in the thousands of cooking videos that are being posted every day.
On Facebook and Instagram, you will need to grow a huge following if you want anyone to see your posts. Although Instagram has always been an easy platform to amass large followings rather quickly, the changing algorithms require consistent content creation and engagement which in some cases might be too much for some new budding entrepreneurs. On TikTok, it’s still possible to have organic reach with little or no following if you’re using the correct hashtags. TikTok users are very active on the platform which increases the opportunity for organic reach.
TikTok Ads are relatively new and still affordable. Facebook marketing was way more profitable for the businesses who got in there when it first launched than it is now or ever will be again. With TikTok, you still have an opportunity to promote your products at a lower cost per click and higher impressions.
Depending on what you are selling, TikTok may be the only way to reach your target audience. There’s a whole generation who are only on TikTok, they are not using the older platforms that their parents use. Gen Z and Millenials are the most open-minded and willing to try new ways of connecting with the world.
Ads typically just look like TikTok’s. They blend into the rest of the feed, rather than stand out as ads like they do on Facebook. This improves the chances of users watching your videos.
It’s even more affordable to create your ads. The TikTok provided Smart Video Creation Tool will auto-generate ads you can use. They even have a large catalogue of pre-approved music that you can use for your ads, no need for you to buy the rights to it.
We’d love to write up more tips and tricks that you can use to enhance your sales through TikTok marketing techniques.
Ask away! We’d love to help!
Click here to check out TikTok Part 2: Using Sounds To Increase Reach & Traffic
@selfhelpfitness I'm glad that you found some helpful information here! We'd love to know how TikTok has been for your business, feel free to update us on how it's going and if you found some other useful tips that other business owners might be able to use. Happy selling!
Thank you Lilith for your dedication to writing such an exhaustive post. I've read all of your post, it's really helpful and worth saving. Can you share with me some documents related to Tiktok API or Tiktok pixel? It seems that this field is new and not yet exploited by many people. I noticed that on Shopify shop app, there are many apps that support Tiktok pixel? Do you have any suggestions for me about using these apps?
Hi, @joyceyang! I'd love to share some docs here that can help. It is definitely true that Tiktok is underutilized considering that a large majority of spending customers are on the app daily. Since a lot of marketing on TikTok is relatively developing and always changing, I would recommend the links below to help you with getting familiar with the TikTok business side (API, pixel, etc).