Using TikTok for Business as Part of Your Social Media Marketing
Discover if using TikTok for Business could benefit you. Learn what options are available and how to leverage Influencer Marketing in your campaigns.
Launched in 2018, TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform and probably the easiest one for marketers to find success. The low cost of entry, the ease of market penetration via trends, and the general addictiveness of the platform mean that creating and deploying a successful TikTok strategy is easier than Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter combined – but only if you know what you’re doing.
One of the tools available to users is TikTok for Business, a feature on TikTok designed for advertisers that provides a road map to businesses interested in using TikTok as part of their social media marketing strategy. TikTok for Business includes several options business owners can use when reaching out to their audience. However, while having a business account on most social media platforms is a must, TikTok differs in some key ways. It is often suggested that small businesses forgo a company account in lieu of, for example, the CEO of the company promoting the brand with an individual account. Individual users have fewer restrictions regarding copyrighted music than corporate accounts, a significant advantage with culturally relevant music being a huge part of TikTok culture. But more importantly than how to use TikTok, is discovering if TikTok is even a viable option for your business.
What TikTok for Business Has to Offer
Rather than companies devising their own strategies from the ground up, TikTok for Business guides users through the TikTok ad process, including ad creation, budgeting, reaching an audience, and campaign data analysis.
TikTok for Business also offers a few tools for users to foster engagement and increase brand awareness:
Top View Ads
Top View Ads are video ads lasting up to 60 seconds that show up once per day when a user launches the app. Since the duration of these videos is longer than normal TikTok videos, Top View Ads have the potential to advertise products that may require longer periods of attention. They often look like more traditional commercials, including professional production and editing.
In-Feed ads appear on a user’s For You Page, the area of the TikTok app where a user first lands when they open the app. TikTok’s algorithm determines what will show on the For You Page based on their browsing activity, attempting to connect users with ads they are more likely to interact with.
With a looping video length of 5-15 seconds, In-Feed ads can be used to drive conversions as they support Call to Action (CTA) prompts, like links to an online store, an app download, or a landing page when making an exclusive offer for TikTok.
Hashtag challenges, which run for six days, allow businesses to customize challenges and invite the TikTok community to create content around the challenge. When your business uses this format, you have exclusive access to the hashtag, a feature not in place on other social media platforms.
Currently, the most successful hashtag challenge on TikTok is #GuacDance, created by Chipotle. The restaurant chain partnered with influencers to gain initial traction as they asked their audience to create a dance to get free guacamole when they ordered online. The hashtag has 1.1 billion views as of this writing.
A TikTok brand takeover is a full-screen dynamic display, which can be an image, a .gif, or a 3-5 second video. The image or video pops up when the user opens their feed, a very effective way to grab attention.
One of the more successful examples of a brand takeover ad was with Pepsico of Australia’s TikTok campaign to raise awareness for new flavors of Pepsi Max. This was their first time working with TikTok and the ads had a 24% Click-Through Rate (CTR).
Branded effects are in-app 2D, 3D, or AR effects where content creators can add images of brands or products to their TikTok videos. You can create a sticker of your product or even design filters that can be used when making videos.
As an example, Netflix Germany ran a campaign on TikTok for a new show, Tribes of Europa, in which they hired 10 TikTok influencers to lead the campaign. The influencers promoted it by choosing what tribe from the new show fit their style and asking their followers to “join their tribe” by creating videos of their own using bespoke animated effects of the challenge, the show’s logo, and the symbols for each tribe.
TikTok Influencers as a Marketing Tool
As a business owner, any social media strategy fares better when you partner with established communities, no matter what social network you’re trying to break into. This is especially true if it’s a new platform in which you haven’t yet established your own community. You may have noticed that most of the successful TikTok marketing campaigns, in any format, included reaching out to influencers.
TikTok Influencers currently cost less to work with than other social media platforms and may have established audiences of millions. Being able to reach that kind of an existing user base is invaluable for whatever strategy you decide is right for you. Having an experienced and popular TikTok creator duet your videos, participate in and promote your hashtag challenge, or even appear in your TikTok Business account’s content or ads can go a long way towards boosting your audience engagement, views, and click-through rate.
Influencer marketing on TikTok has other advantages, specifically, audience engagement. A recent study shows that TikTok influencers have an engagement rate of close to 18%, significantly higher than that of Instagram or YouTube.
Is TikTok advertising Right for Your Small Business?
When a new internet trend emerges, past experience shows that early adopters can gain an advantage over their competitors who fail to recognize the opportunity. However, every business is unique with varieties of different needs. Determining whether TikTok advertisement could be beneficial to your online marketing efforts or not could give you that advantage or, alternatively, keep you from wasting time spent on the wrong audience.
TikTok marketing is an absolute boon for any marketing campaign trying to reach a younger audience. Currently, roughly 43% of TikTok’s global audience is part of Gen Z, between 18 and 24 years old, with 32% of TikTok users aged between 25 and 34 and only 3.4% older than 55. Another important demographic to keep in mind is that, worldwide, TikTok’s user base is 57% female. Looking at the US alone, that number jumps to 61% female. If that sounds like the audience you’ve been trying to reach, you may want to consider giving TikTok another look!
The TikTok algorithm favors active users. Posting 1-2 times per day is certainly not unheard of and is a soft requirement for success, given how fast new trends emerge and disappear. Success on TikTok does require a significant investment in content creation. There is no other marketing platform that rewards creativity more than TikTok, allowing you to reach potential clients with marketing that doesn’t look like marketing. Conversely, just following current trends can also lead to success, allowing you to put as much or as little effort into your content as you see fit.
Even with all of the advantages TikTok offers for digital marketing, it still may not be a good fit for your business. Of all the social media channels available, TikTok may be the most unique in terms of what is required for a business to be successful on the social platform. You simply may not have enough time to create the amount of content that would optimize your campaign, or the type of content that succeeds on TikTok may not fit your brand’s voice. Funny, quirky, or irreverent are not universal traits for advertisers. Additionally, your target audience may not match the current demographics of the app. That’s not to say that, as the platform grows, it won’t eventually be adopted by your target audience. Having an established presence for when/if that happens might be strategically sound in theory, though sometimes it’s difficult to justify the time and effort when there aren’t immediate rewards. In those cases, forgoing TikTok for Business in favor of slowly building a community with an individual account might be the better route.
First Media Helps You Reach Your Target Audience Where They Are
If you need a partner when it comes to finding success on TikTok, First Media has a long and proven track record of working with clients to create and deploy video content that suits your brand’s voice and your business’s needs. No matter your vertical or goals, we can work with you to create a winning TikTok strategy in just weeks.