TikTok has been on an absolute tear since 2018. I will admit, at first I wrote it off as a platform in 2019 when I first discovered it. Since then it has taken over how social media is digested and how social strategy is executed. Instagram and Facebook are both modeling their platform after the success of TikTok in order to keep relevance in the market.

At a high level, it looks like a fun app for dancing and lip-syncing, but it is also an incredible place to showcase your brand’s value, products, and services. TikTok is giving small businesses an outlet to create fun and creative content to connect with their core market.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is the mecca of short, digestible mobile videos. TikTok has taken social by storm by being a blend of Instagram and Youtube. TikTok is a search engine of sorts to many users as a way to learn new things or to get insights into brands and products. Videos can be anywhere from 5 to 60 seconds long. TikTok also has an extensive music library so that you can add songs to your videos.

What is special about TikTok is that it has an AI algorithm that recommends your content to users who are not currently following you, through their “#ForYou” page. The AI recommends to users new videos and users they should watch based on their past viewings. This makes it easy for users to discover new content.

Some cool stats about TikTok

  • 1.65+ billion downloads
  • Avg user opens the app 8+ times a day
  • Demographic: 18-24 year olds, followed by 13-17 year olds
  • 60% of users are female, 40% male

How to use TikTok

You can easily create a small business account and begin engaging with the platform to see what the buzz is all about. TikTok is NOT a platform for jumping straight to selling your product or service. TikTok is a place where you can tell a story. In our ultimate guide to marketing with $0, we break down some great TikTok video ideas for small businesses to help you jump-start your strategy!

Once you have registered, explore around and see what other brands are doing to get a feel of how small businesses are executing on strategy and telling their story!

What is GREAT about TikTok is that the platform is not about professional video and design. The platform has most of its content shot from a mobile phone, which has an authentic and direct connection feel. Users of TikTok expect and enjoy the content that comes directly from the phone of someone on the other end. This is a great low-budget way to connect with your audience in an authentic way!

Hashtags on TikTok matter

To get your content discovered, you will want to do some hashtag research to start. Look into what kind of hashtags are trending and what your audience is engaging with. Hashtags should relate to the video you make. Only use relevant hashtags so that when people encounter your video, it is relevant to their interest and hashtag search

REMEMBER: TikTok is primarily for amusement and entertainment, not pushing and selling products. So if you are attempting to sell something, you need to get VERY creative.

TikTok Business Advertising

Businesses can now advertise on TikTok, just like they can on other social media platforms. That’s a great method to encourage new users and prospects to notice your brand. There are four major ways to promote on TikTok for your business:

  • Brand Takeover – When a user first opens TikTok, the brand takeover ad appears before any other user content. If you’re creating a unique TikTok offer, you can link the ad to a landing page.
  • Native Ad: This is an ad that appears in the middle of user content. Keep in mind that consumers can quickly skip this form of ad by just scrolling past it.
  • Sponsored Hashtag Challenge: Businesses can sponsor a specific hashtag challenge and advertise on the Discover page with a sponsored hashtag challenge. This is a fantastic approach to increase brand and hashtag interaction.
  • Branded Lens: A branded lens is a type of filter that your company creates for people to use on their videos. It’s ideal to choose something that is relevant to your company and resonates with your target audience.

The Takeaway

TikTok is an incredible way to get your brand discovered in the sea of businesses in the marketplace. What I love about TikTok is that once you create content, you can then also share it across other social channels.

Show off your creativity, what makes your brand unique, and that you have humor. So many brands are stiff as a starched tie (young people may not get that, haha). Create fun and engaging content that lets the world know you have a fun-loving and human side to your brand. As I always say:

Do not save your best funny and relatable marketing for the Super Bowl.

– Bobby Shell

Check out TikTok’s Business Learning Center and learn more. If you would like help on strategy or a game plan on how your brand can take over TikTok to better tell your story and differentiate yourself, just give us a shout below and we will be happy to help!

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