Right now, everyone’s talking about TikTok. But it’s not just silly dances – it can be a powerful tool for promoting your company too. If you’re thinking about putting content on TikTok as an entrepreneur or business, or perhaps you have reservations because you have a bad impression of TikTok, read on to learn more about how you can grow your business with TikTok.
Before we get started on the best strategies to deploy, let’s step back a little and talk about TikTok’s algorithm.
You might not have thought TikTok would be good for business, but there’s much more to TikTok than funny cat videos. Your niece, nephew, son, or daughter is probably already hooked and consuming content at an alarming rate. But while you might often see young people laughing at funny TikTok videos, it’s important to remember that while young people are also consumers, they generally don’t look for the same things that adult consumers want and need. Adult consumers are also increasingly using TikTok though, you just have to find them with the right TikTok strategy!
If you created a TikTok account today, you would be recommended content that’s relevant to you. Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur – you like artisan food because your business is baking and that’s your passion, and you also like to keep fit and healthy. After less than 24 hours, you will start seeing content related to your interests without even searching for it.
That’s because TikTok’s algorithm is learning about you from the minute you sign up to TikTok. TikTok’s algorithm pays close attention to content that you watch and interact with. The more you use TikTok, the better the algorithm gets at knowing what you like and don’t like. So you’ll hardly ever look for content – it’ll be shown to you on your feed, which is your For You Page #fyp on TikTok.
There are a few different strategies businesses can use to benefit from TikTok. Here are some of the best:
You can run ads on TikTok and reach new audiences, even without a TikTok account. But first things first: let’s talk about demographics. On TikTok, the majority of users are under 30, but other age groups are rapidly increasing on TikTok too. The largest age demographic on TikTok is 20-29 year olds, with 35% of the platform, but age demographics above 30 still make up 61.3% of the platform.
So there’s great potential to connect with older audiences, and not that many people are exploiting it yet, which makes it much less competitive than Facebook or Instagram in some ways. The best part about running ads on TikTok’s platform is the ad placement. When you run ads on the platform, similar to ‘top of the page’ for PPC, your ad will be shown as soon as the user opens the app or between organic videos.
You want to make your ad stand out within the first 3 seconds, and make the content of your ad similar to the content your audience likes to usually see on the platform. If it looks too much like an ad, they are less likely to interact with it, and you won’t get good results.
You’re probably familiar with the concept of sponsored content, as you’re likely to have seen this on Instagram. You can also create sponsored content with influencers on TikTok.
For the most part, you want it to look organic, so your approach to sponsored content should be tactical and not completely obvious. But when it comes to working with influencers/creators, the one size fits all approach doesn’t work. You’ll need to source the right influencers to work with, based on your business identity and business goals.
You should be aiming to work with influencers who have the right audience to help you succeed with your TikTok strategy and objectives, whether that’s reach or brand awareness! The trick is to make your sponsored content that looks and feels natural and like an organic post rather than an advert, and to aim for influencer with audiences similar to your ideal customers.
Did you know you can actually partner with TikTok to create branded content or contests? This gives influencers/creators the chance to partner with your brand, which is not too dissimilar to brand ambassadors for your business! This benefits both the influencer and business alike, because it enables influencers to monetise their platform and explore different types of content, while also helping businesses to attract potential customers.
And this is done by leveraging the influencer’s followers and audience, which the business didn’t have access to before opting for branded content. You can discover which influencers are available in the TikTok Creator Marketplace.
Remember, branded content must be shown as an advertisement! With sponsored content, you can get away with not placing #ad in the hashtags, but branded content must clearly show the partnership between you (the business) and them (the influencer).
In this section, you’ll begin to understand how you can drive traffic to your website. When you sign up for TikTok, the content you will see is either from a personal account or a business account. Influencers usually have business accounts, if they are monetising their platform, and businesses must be on a business account – that’s completely free! The downside to having a business account is you must reach 1,000 followers before links can be added to your bio/description.
So you must get over the hurdle quickly to ensure you’re not not missing opportunities and ROI on TikTok. You can do this by creating a TikTok content strategy, which should include benchmarking against your competitors, and by having a good understanding of the content that’s popular on TikTok. Remember, it’s ok to learn from your competitors, so check out what’s working best for them!
Your TikTok content could be shown to hundreds of thousands of people, and potentially millions. People are more likely to stay connected with you if your content has an emotional reaction. If too many people are swiping your content, it means you need to revisit your TikTok content strategy. The better your content is, the more likely you will get page views that can turn into ‘clicks’ to your website!
My personal favourite promotional strategy is hosting live events or going live on TikTok. Remember there’s two different types of accounts – personal and business. There’s also two different types of content – pre-recorded content and live events. With live events, you’ll be featured in the live section of TikTok, and have the opportunity to be featured. You can also promote your live events too.
In this space, you can send and receive TikTok Gifts during a live video. As a Host, you can turn comments on and off, filter comments and block comments that contain your chosen keywords/phases. One of the best parts of going live is TikTok’s LIVE Replay, which allows you to download your live once it’s ended. All you need to do is go to your settings and privacy and find LIVE Replay.
Ideally, you want to promote your live event beforehand and plan your live content. You’ll need a CTA to make your live event valuable for your business. And don’t forget to look at the analytics to monitor the ROI of hosting live events on TikTok! You might find that posting less recorded content is better as you have higher results in your Analytics for live events.
Trends come and go on TikTok, but the really good trends will be plastered across the platform for weeks, if not months. Most trends are easy to learn, but it will require knowledge of the TikTok platform and insight into how to use the trend properly. If your video editing skills are nonexistent, you have two options: learn by yourself or hire someone else to do it for you. Do you have a team member that can support you with content creation on TikTok?
If you’re not ready to invest time in this and don’t have other team members to help, your best bet may be to hire an experienced marketing agency to help. It’s great to put yourself out there, but if you don’t quite understand the trend or how to create content that’s compelling for your audience, you run the risk of missing out on an opportunity or doing more damage than good for your brand’s reputation.
TikTok has almost 2 billion users on its platform with 1.2 billion monthly active users (Q4 2022), which indicates the engagement rate of its platform and the potential audience you can reach for your business.
If you haven’t used TikTok before, just like most social media accounts – it’s free to create a TikTok account, so why not get started today? Explore the TikTok app, discover which of your competitors are using TikTok, and more importantly, how they are using TikTok. Because of TikTok’s algorithm, your TikTok account has the potential to gain a lot of engagement from the platform. But how will you use that engagement to turn your page views, likes, comments, and followers, into promising leads and sales for your business?
How you approach TikTok will have a significant impact on your strategy, and it’s important to remember it will require a different strategy to succeed on it to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn… after all, it’s a different social media platform, with a different audience and algorithm, and that’s 100% video-based.
As always, if you have any questions, or if I can be of help in any way, drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’d like to get some expert help or talk more about how I can help your business grow, feel free to book in for a quick virtual coffee with me HERE.