TikTok Marketing: Is It Right For Your Business?

Marketing gravitates toward the hot platforms of the moment, and nothing has captured the attention of the social media world over the past few years like TikTok. 

The social media platform where users create bite-sized videos is all the rage, where everything from pranks and dancing to educational content and tips and tricks suck users down never-ending rabbit holes of content.  

And like other social media channels, opportunities are rich for building brand awareness, reaching your target audience, and creating opportunity. TikTok’s user interface is designed to keep people in the app for as long as possible. And it does: on average, users spend 45 minutes daily in the app. But with small, bite-sized videos, competition for attention is vast, and brand awareness can be a concern. In a platform where users are asked to consume content seconds at a time, how do you get people to remember you? And more to the point, can you advertise on it?

The good news is you don’t have to drop thousands on a TikTok marketing agency to have a high-performing presence on the platform. But while some of the methodologies are similar to other social media platforms, TikTok has its own particular style. 

Is TikTok a viable marketing channel for enterprises?

In short, yes. TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users, according to HootSuite. That’s a LARGE potential audience, and with the launch of TikTok Shopping, opportunities are only getting more plentiful.

And TikTokers spend, too. According to research from Adweek, nearly half of TikTokers make purchases from brands they see in the app. You can certainly add value to your inbound marketing efforts, whether you’re running ads on TikTok, building a user base through video creation, or engaging with influencers to market your product or service.

How do you use TikTok marketing to drive traffic? Lead generation? Creating customers?

It all starts with getting your content out there. If you want to gain traction, you need the right resources. A performance-focused creative staff with the right skills and tools to enact your marketing strategy. Fortunately (or perhaps not), that doesn’t mean expensive equipment. With TikTok, it’s the moments that count, so what you can come up with in the moment is at a premium.

The “right here, right now” nature of the platform means creativity is at a premium. Even more than other channels, TikTok lends itself to instant gratification. There’s another funny bit, another distraction, at the end of each swipe. 

TikTok is about moments, and you can create content that can go viral in seconds. Your video content can be virtually anything: a how-to video, a slickly edited piece detailing your company’s presence at a convention or trade show, or a TikTok influencer discussing using your product or service (and believe it or not, you don’t need to go to an influencer marketing agency to make this happen). You can even reuse video content you already have if you edit it right.

The platform is designed to run on videos created by smartphones and tablets, so you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment if doing it yourself. Editing software, filters, and other accessories are included right on the app, so virtually anyone can learn to use it.

The platform’s simplicity can be a double-edged sword, though. With so much content out there, how do you keep your brand from being lost in the shuffle?

The key: don’t worry about the shuffle. Think less about going viral, and more on providing sound, consistent content. Depending on your business, this could mean things as simple as how-to videos or advice. Because TikTok engagement has the potential to be personal, it’s easy to engage with your audience. Just be yourself.

One easy way to adapt your content is just sharing industry-specific skills you have. For example, a search marketing agency could offer a series of tips based on some of their blog articles, or show a visual progression of a revamp of their company’s website. Or you can chronicle a special project, create a roll from a team-building event, or show off some of the tools you use. The idea is showcasing your company and its capabilities. 

What strategies can get you followers on TikTok that will lead to revenue?

(Embed video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JeZTJlrDxM)

Find Your Niche. There really is a place for every business. You just have to find it. Seek out hashtags that would be attractive to your target audience, and use them. Sounds simple…and really it is. Just do what you do, but do it on TikTok. You know what your customers value.

Provide Value. Of course, this is true of any social endeavor, but TikTok’s unique model means you really need a renewed focus on what your audience values. Short and punchy is the rule, and what constitutes value is wide-ranging on this platform. The ability to break your business problems down into smaller bits creates flexibility and allows you to create more content quickly, so do so.  

Show the human side of your business. TikTok users value real human interaction, and displaying your human side will gain you more interaction than a cold, agency-style advertisement. Show them what you do, but also show them there are people behind what you do. 

Post often. How often is up to you, but daily isn’t out of the question if you have a solid strategy. Remember creating content can be simple and fast, and as long as it aligns with your strategy, it’s possible to conceive of an idea and have it posted in just minutes. Also you can–and should–go live on TikTok.

What are TikTok best practices?

Use portrait orientation. TikTok is meant for vertical viewing, so landscape fans turn that phone back upright. Sprout Social reports vertically-based videos have a 25% higher six-second watch through rate. 

Use the Features. Using the installed features makes your videos more discoverable. Take advantage of the sounds, music, challenges, stitching, duets, and the other tools at your disposal.

Use captions and accessibility features. It doesn’t just make your videos more accessible, it allows more people to watch. Think people who watch with the sound off.  

Repurpose Your Content. More reach for less work. You can use the same video on multiple platforms and have unique content by doing something as small as adding text or music. 

Create a bio. This is your storefront for your brand, so make sure you put some effort into maintaining your profile. Create a strong company message and make sure it represents your brand well. 

Hit the time sweet spot. Videos can be up to 1 minute, but the best videos are much shorter. Current guidance indicates between 11 and 31 seconds is optimal. You can vary your video lengths in certain circumstances, but try to hit this range for most videos.

Check analytics. TikTok offers 3 campaign goals: traffic, app installs, and online sales. The TikTok for Business Ads Manager allows you to track KPIs including impressions, clicks, spend, and conversions. Learn what content is performing well, then make more like that. 

For marketers, jumping into a new social media platform can be challenging, and without a good survey of the landscape, you’re likely to struggle. But with a little attention and a lot of creativity you can find marketing success on TikTok and turn it into a viable, revenue-generating channel for your business. 

Author avatar
Megan Hackman