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A Guide to Using TikTok for Business

By August 5, 2021Digital
How to TikTok for Business

Yes, you should be paying attention to TikTok and TikTok video engagement. The social media platform has exploded over the past year, and there is no sign of that traction slowing down.

Industry professionals like Hootsuite have highlighted how the app has over 2 billion downloads worldwide and a lot of brand recognition across all age groups.

But before you jump head first into doing some dances, you should evaluate whether the platform is right for you, and how you should approach using it to best accent your marketing efforts.

Determine if Your Organization Would Benefit From TikTok

Many organizations can thrive on TikTok with the right strategy in place. E-commerce sites, non-profits, small businesses, and even government agencies are some of the most common and notable brands present on the platform.

For e-commerce brands and those with an online storefront, TikTok bestows a great avenue to demonstrate and showcase products and services directly. This can be done in several ways, which we will touch on later in this blog. .

But marketing on the app is not just for those concerned with “sales, sales, sales.” Engaging and interactive content from non-profits, such as the San Diego Zoo, can reinforce the image of an organization, generate good PR, and enact donors to support their mission.

Furthermore, marketing for government agencies on the platform can help humanize departments struggling to connect with potential audiences.

One of our favorite examples of this is the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. By creating entertaining and informative content, they educate the general public about their conservation mission while promoting in-state and out-of-state tourism.

Find Your Community Niche

If you want to move forward with using TikTok for your brand, make sure you identify what TikTok community your content should be a part of.

When finding a specific audience, you can tailor your content to  bolster your brand’s presence on the app. Additionally, it makes generating hashtags and staying ahead of trends easier.

To find a community, simply go into the app and start searching for hashtags related to your organization. It may be helpful to add “TikTok” or “Tok” to the end of a hashtag, as that is often how communities coin terms for themselves.

Some examples of popular communities include:

  • #BookTok
  • #birdtok
  • #TikTokRecipe
  • #PlantTikTok
  • #HomeImprovement

Offer Content Your Audience Wants

With TikTok, users want to be informed, entertained, and engaged in ways that are unique to the platform.

As an algorithm-driven, mostly mobile platform, people tend to scroll quickly through content, only stopping when something seems interesting to them.

By uploading short, quick, snappy videos (in a vertical format to match the TikTok aspect ratio), you have a better chance of catching users’ attention and getting them to engage with the content. If your audience likes, comments, or loops the video, it triggers positive feedback for the algorithm, helping you grow organic reach.

Above all, do not be afraid to try something new, and do not be discouraged by poor results. There is no perfect formula for the app, so it takes a lot of experimentation to find the right viral content mix.

Consider a Paid Content Strategy

Like other social media platforms, TikTok offers paid advertising through their Business Center. Much like Facebook, you can target users based on age, interests, and location, even though TikTok does have less detailed targeting options.

Ads appear as a video on user feeds as if they are organic content, albeit with a sponsored tag and a link button. An alternative way to advertise would be to hire an influencer through TikTok’s Creator Marketplace.

Influencer marketing on TikTok can be a great avenue for building brand awareness and driving conversions.

From micro-influencers to celebrities, there are a lot of options for using someone else to promote your brand to their already established audience, which could save time down the road for content creation, and increase followers for your profile.

What is most enticing about TikTok advertising is its wide audience. Even with the minimum required budget, you can yield large results for your brand.

Match Your Brand’s Voice on All of Your Platforms 

TikTok is best used as a tool within your overall marketing strategy. Many brands feel they have to immediately scrap their typical messaging in order to succeed on the platform, but that is not necessarily true.

Instead, you can adapt your brand’s voice to the platform while keeping in mind the best practices for making TikTok videos:

  • Create short videos with entertaining content.
  • Avoid “selling” your product or service like you would in a traditional advertisement.
  • Subtly include your branding, like on clothes or in the background.
  • Use sounds and songs that are trending on TikTok.
  • Capture your audience’s attention in less than two seconds.
  • Film your videos in the app, or at least vertically.
  • Add auto captions in the video editor.
  • Place popular and brand original hashtags in the post.

By intertwining your brand voice with the short, behind-the-scenes nature of the app, you can create content that maintains brand standards without going unnoticed.

And, as all social media platforms do, TikTok is constantly changing. What works for marketing on the platform now may not work in the future. By working with our social media strategy experts, you can worry less about following trends, and more about getting results.

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