The Best Ways to Use TikTok to Promote Your Business
Discover why you should be using TikTok as part of your digital marketing and how to best utilize TikTok videos and influencers to reach your target audience.
TikTok is more than just the latest social media craze: It’s a platform offering a path to digital success for small and large businesses alike. The value of TikTok extends past the advantages it lends to building a following – it’s a formula for expansive audience reach, customer connection, and more.
Perhaps one of the most obvious signs of TikTok’s impact is the way other social media apps have modeled its features following its success. YouTube added “Shorts” in 2020, offering a time-limited video platform within the app, much like TikTok’s. Instagram “Reels” is a carbon copy of TikTok’s famous “For You Page,” suggesting videos based on users’ preferences.
Social media is recognizing not just the importance of video content, but the understanding that TikTok knows how to do it – and do it right. It’s up to you to take the opportunities TikTok offers and use them to build your business.
Why TikTok Should be a Focus of Your Marketing Strategy
With 656 million downloads in 2021 alone, TikTok was the most downloaded app of the year. The notably high average active user session on TikTok (10.85 minutes) also speaks to the level of engagement the social platform provides – and with engagement comes the chance for successful marketing opportunities.
The app is an important tool for digital marketing because of the unique set of options it gives you. From its engagement to its variety of advertising formats to its lucrative space for influencer and video marketing, TikTok has so much to offer. When you use the app to promote videos, you’re doing more than showing a few short videos to your followers. You’re showcasing your brand to a highly engaged TikTok audience that is ready to make those clicks – and you’re staying ahead of the curve while you’re at it.
Does TikTok Promotion Work?
TikTok plays a special role for ecommerce brands. Even without looking deeper into its more subtle benefits, it offers unlimited value because of one simple fact: it’s widely used and just won’t stop growing.
And, with multiple avenues of advertising, TikTok offers an opening for small businesses of any budget to find a seat in the race. You don’t have to spend big bucks on TikTok advertising to win followers and website visits.
It also helps that TikTok has become a social media platform that values promotion and purchases. There is an extensive culture of product promotion within the app, whether it’s micro-influencers sharing their favorite products with their followers or users requesting the purchase link for a product casually displayed on video. In fact, 67% of TikTok users report that the app inspires them to shop.
That path to purchase pipeline isn’t all. Users also report feeling more closely connected to brands they engage with on TikTok versus other platforms, proving the potential benefit for brand loyalty and a faithful customer base when TikTok is used effectively.
In short, promoting on TikTok works – when it’s done creatively, methodically, and with the right team.
Ways You Can Promote on TikTok
Like other platforms, TikTok offers a variety of options for brand promotion. Each of equal value for different needs, you can choose or combine promotions on TikTok to create a strategy that gets you more brand awareness, visits, and loyal customers.
TikTok offers a few different ad campaign choices, including:
- In-Feed Ads: In-feed TikTok ads include image, video, and Spark ads. They appear on the For You Page (FYP), located between two videos recommended to the user by the TikTok algorithm. Because users can quickly scroll through in-feed ads, creating engaging content with trending sounds, memes, or hashtag challenges is a must.
- Brand Takeover: Brand takeover gives off the same feeling as a TV commercial. When users first open the TikTok app, they are usually presented with an ad with no other competing content to scroll through – but the video settings are typically limited to 3-5 seconds. The benefit of brand takeover advertising is that it promises a broader audience reach – but it does come with a higher cost as a result.
- Top-View Ads: An evolution of brand takeover, top-view ads offer the same distraction-free advertising but give users a bit more time to settle into the app experience. Top-view video ads can be up to 60 seconds, with a proportionately higher cost.
The newest feature advertising brands have access to on the app is TikTok Promote, released in late 2021. Promote allows you to boost your previously posted videos, placing them on the FYPs of more audiences for more views, likes, clicks, follows, or landing page visits.
The Promote feature can be used by any TikTok account, including non-business accounts. You can easily access it through your Creator Tools, Business Suite, or by clicking on a video you’ve already posted.
Like TikTok’s other promotional venues, Promote offers a range of benefits for your brand, starting with expanded reach. Promote lets you get your video in front of more audiences without affecting your organic views, extending your opportunity to reach a larger set of viewers. And, with the option to choose from three different goals: more views, more followers, or more website visits, you can tailor Promote to best fit your marketing efforts.
Influencer marketing is as formulaic as other promotion strategies on TikTok, but it also incorporates an authentic touch that audiences connect with. After pinpointing your goal for an influencer marketing campaign, identify high-performing content creators with a reach in your business’s niche. You can find relevant creators by scrolling through TikTok, looking for popular creators within the industry, and finding people already interested in your brand.
Reach out to TikTok influencers who match your values and goals with detailed information on your campaign strategy. Ask for their media kit to ensure it’s the right fit – what is their audience demographic, and does it match your target audience?
Influencer marketing can also take the creative weight off of your team. If you strategically choose influencers that match your brand value and voice, you can trust that their experience with your target audience will lead them to create content that resonates with it. You might even gain some valuable insight into what works for reaching audiences and apply that to your other TikTok marketing initiatives.
How to Effectively Promote on TikTok
Developing an approach to TikTok for business involves the same strategic decisiveness that both traditional and overall digital marketing relies on. Your strategy should extend from identifying a goal all the way through the review and revision process to ensure that it develops with the ever-changing social network. Every brand will find a unique development process, but it can be helpful to follow these five framework steps:
- Identify Your Objective: Whether you’re using ad campaigns or TikTok Promote, you must choose an objective that matches the capabilities of the approach and the needs of your brand.
- Explore Your Target Audience: Using strategies like customer journey mapping, outlining buyer personas, and exploring the demographics of TikTok users, you can find the perfect bracket to target your efforts.
- Develop Your Strategy: With multiple options for promoting on TikTok, you have the opportunity to develop your strategy to best match your brand’s needs and current place. Consider your options, work with external teams that know TikTok best, like First Media, and use all the gadgets in your toolkit.
- Create Content: We’ll cover some of the best practices and expert strategies for content creation next. Overall, whatever you produce should be authentic, engaging, trend-focused, consistent, and data-driven.
- Evaluate and Review Performance: Promotion on TikTok is most effective when it realizes the varying nature of the app itself. By designing a strategy that includes time for evaluation, review, and revision, you ensure your promotion lends you the best long-term power.
Best Practice for TikTok Video Promotion
At First Media, our understanding of quality content has grown with the emergence of TikTok, and we’ve seen firsthand what works on the app. Like other social platforms, TikTok comes with its own success metrics, and it’s up to brands to use their knowledge of the app to perform well. From our experience, everything you want from TikTok – more views, followers, visits, and pushes down the customer funnel – can be attained with a few easy rules:
Create Content Unique to TikTok
Inauthentic content can be spotted from a mile away, and TikTok isn’t the place for it. Users see videos on their FYP that are crafted and chosen just for them in mind, and they’ll scroll past videos that seem gimmicky or sales-y. Similarly, we’ve found that content repurposed from other platforms doesn’t do as well as content explicitly produced for TikTok. When planning content, remember: make it engaging, authentic, and tailored to TikTok.
Follow TikTok Trends
TikTok’s algorithm is excitingly easy to maneuver, and trends make it simple for brands to step right into the TikTok world. Having an approximate understanding of TikTok trends – their turnover times, relevancy, etc. – can help you make the best possible content to get more video views.
Incorporate Video + Sound + Other Features
TikTok offers the ability to combine visuals, sounds, and written media into one robust piece of content that captures audiences in a way other formats cannot. To make the most of this power, employ hashtags, trending and original sounds, and high-quality videos in every piece of TikTok content.
If you’re familiar with online content, you already know it’s not a one-and-done deal. Part of the process for an effective social media strategy is establishing a timely plan with a long-term approach. The only way to gain and retain followers on your TikTok account is to regularly make engaging content that your users are excited to see.
Connect with Followers
Connecting with followers via messages, comments, and other features can increase your engagement rate while developing brand loyalty. Spend time designing a plan for how and when you will engage with followers and commenters.
Partner with Influencers & Other Brands
Industry relationships are your best friend, and you can build and maintain those partnerships using TikTok as a tool. Keep your eyes out for opportunities for collaborative relationships that can lead to earned media and additional connections. Again, effective promotion on TikTok can’t happen in isolation – using the established success of other creators offers a more thorough benefit.
Base Decisions on the Metrics
TikTok offers a few resources for business accounts you can use to enhance your media strategy on the app – along with external research done by your team, as described above. On the app, your Creator Tools allow you to check on metrics like profile and video views, trending videos, number of likes, new followers, and more.
The time to develop a TikTok promotion strategy is now. As the app continues to grow, your brand’s opportunity to find promotional success grows with it.
If you’re ready to take on TikTok, consider partnering with a team who can lead you down the path to success. Our extensive experience in engaging short-form video with action-driven content at the front and center of our performance abilities has given us an understanding of how to produce the most successful marketing on TikTok. We offer that experience, along with human ingenuity and constantly evolving AI, to all our partners.Learn more about partnering with First Media and discover how high-value content can aid your efforts on TikTok and beyond.