using tiktok for business marketing

TikTok now has a billion active users every month. So if you’re wondering “is my audience on TikTok,” the answer is undeniably: YES! Using TikTok for business in 2022 gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience in a whole new way. 

Brands large and small are already optimizing TikTok’s potential in innovative ways. You can follow their lead by tapping into trending topics, sounds, and hashtag challenges. Even as a small business, you can experiment with TikTok live streams, editing tools, and effects to create short, high-energy videos that tell your story in a way that resonates with your target demographic.

If you’ve never used TikTok, getting started can feel pretty overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to walk you through everything you need to know about using TikTok for business — from setting up a brand new TikTok Business Account to creating effective content to measuring your success.

Using TikTok for Business: 6 Easy Steps

  1. Set Up a TikTok Business Account
  2. Develop a successful TikTok strategy
  3. Optimize your TikTok Business profile
  4. Produce content that people will actually want to watch
  5. Engage your audience and expand your reach
  6. Encourage and share user-generated content

Using TikTok for Business

Step 1: Set Up a TikTok Business Account

Setting up your Business Account is super easy. And if you already have a personal account that you want to convert to a business profile, it’s even easier (skip to step 4)!

  1. The easiest way to get started is to download and open the TikTok app on your mobile device.
  2. Sign up for a new personal account. You can use your phone or email, or log in with your Facebook, Google or Twitter account. If you choose Facebook, Twitter, or Google, TikTok will automatically pull in the profile photo associated with that account.
  3. After creating a new personal account, you’ll tap Profile in the lower right corner, then Edit Profile. This is where you will add or change your profile picture. Add a short bio and links to other social accounts now (you can change all this later). 
  4. Once you have a personal TikTok account, you’ll need to switch to a TikTok Business Account. To do this, tap the three lines in the upper right corner, then tap Manage Account.
  5. From there, tap Switch To Pro Account and choose Business or Creator.
  6. Choose the category that best describes your brand.
  7. Add your website and email address.

That’s it! You now have a TikTok Business Account that you can start using to market your business!

Step 2: Develop a Successful TikTok Strategy to Market Your Business

Even if you’re a seasoned Instagram or Facebook marketing pro, keep in mind that TikTok is a whole world unto itself and requires a different strategy to be successful. The first step in developing a successful TikTok strategy for business is to gather information.

Get familiar with TikTok 

Before you start thinking about your TikTok strategy, you need to know the app inside and out. Unlike Facebook and Instagram, the TikTok community is very self-referential. Remember that your goal in using TikTok as a business is to connect with your audience in the way they want to be connected with. That means you need to understand the basic format, style, types of content people are engaging with, tropes, and inside jokes.

The easiest way to get started is to:

  • Spend time browsing the videos on your For You page.
  • Search for other brands in your category and explore their content.
  • Dive into the comments to see what kind of questions and feedback their audience is sharing.
  • Tap Discover and browse trending hashtags and challenges.
  • Start a new video and try out the editing features, filters, and effects.
  • Tap the Sound (circle in the bottom right corner, above your Profile) on any video that catches your eye and explore the infinite variations.

Learn How TikTok’s Algorithm Works

The first thing you need to know is that TikTok’s algorithm is always changing (just like Google’s algorithm, Facebook’s algorithm, and any other platform). But you have to start somewhere! Learn about how TikTok generally ranks and distributes videos, and what trending TikToks tend to have in common.

Understand Where Your Target Market Overlaps with TikTok Users

Before you start filming your first real TikTok, think about your target audience. While the app is notoriously popular among teenagers and Gen Z, covid-19 lockdowns have inspired a diverse demographic to fully embrace this community.

Where does your target audience overlap with TikTok users? Is there a new or unexpected demographic that you can reach here? Once you know exactly who you’re talking to, you can jump into content planning.

How to Start Planning Content to Promote Your Business on TikTok

The first steps in content marketing on TikTok are similar to any other social media platform:

  1. Check out competitors and influencers in your niche
  2. Set clear goals, objectives, and KPI’s
  3. Plan a content calendar

At Coyote Creative, we always recommend scoping out the competition as a starting point to any new marketing effort. Competitive analysis offers valuable insights about what works, what doesn’t, and what gaps there are in your niche. This will help you understand where you can add value to your audience and how they want you to engage with them.

Likewise, goal-setting is an important first step. While there are many different frameworks to setting goals, objectives, and KPI’s, the important thing is to be clear and consistent. That way, you can accurately measure your success against your intentions.

Finally, planning the content calendar for your business frees you up to stop thinking about what to post on TikTok for business and allows you to get back to doing what you’re best at — running your business! Of course, TikTok trends will pop up that you couldn’t account for in your content calendar. That’s the nature of the beast, and you should take advantage of those opportunities whenever possible. But planning a calendar ensures you can set aside enough time to develop quality campaigns and content that will connect with your audience. 

Step 3: Optimize your TikTok Business profile

Remember: You only get one chance to make a first impression. You have very limited opportunities on your profile to make an impact on any TikTok users that check you out. Here’s how you can make the most of every opportunity:

  1. Choose a clear, impactful profile photo that represents your brand. Ideally, your profile photo should connect your TikTok account visually to your other digital platforms, using the same logo or colors to convey this is part of the same family as your website, Instagram, and Facebook.
  2. Include a strong call-to-action in your bio. You only have 80 characters to work with, and you want to make them count. Think about the one thing you want a potential customer to do or know about you and cut to the chase!
  3. Be strategic about your URL. Where is the most valuable place you can direct TikTok users? Is it your homepage? A specific landing page? A recent blog post? A “new arrivals” page? Your sales page? Remember that you can change this as you have new campaigns. Just be sure that you’re sending potential customers somewhere that will solve a problem, answer a question, or add value in some way.

Step 4: Produce content that people will actually want to watch

Most small to medium-sized businesses don’t have a big budget for social media. And that’s okay! You can produce high-quality, engaging content on any budget. While there’s no secret, one-size-fits-all approach to creating the perfect TikTok video, there are some best practices to follow:

  1. Prioritize quality audio and video. The better your audio and video quality, the more enjoyable your content will be to watch. That doesn’t mean you need to invest in high-tech equipment. Just keep in mind that good lighting is key for great video, and clear audio is essential. (You can also replace the original sound with a trending song if you’re not able to get quality audio.)
  2. Always use hashtags. Not only do TikTok hashtags help your content get discovered, but it also helps the algorithm pinpoint what kind of topics you’re addressing. Hashtags are the key to extending your reach beyond your existing followers. Remember that while trending TikTok hashtags will be getting a ton of attention, you’ll also be competing with a lot of other brands, creators, and users for that attention. So incorporate trending hashtags when possible, and balance those out with more targeted hashtags, as well. This will help you reach both more broad and more specific audiences.
  3. Share advice, how-to’s, and tutorials. Identify questions and problems that your customers are facing and share your insider’s knowledge to guide them toward solutions.
  4. Put your own spin on a viral trend. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel on TikTok! All you need to do is find existing content and make it your own through your own voice and creativity.
  5. Above all, be authentic: Remember that TikTok isn’t necessarily the platform for making a polished, professional first impression. It’s a community that celebrates authenticity, entertainment, humor, and fun. 

Step 5: Engage your audience and expand your reach 

While it can be tempting to buy followers to kickstart your new business account on any social platform — never, ever do it. It’s easy, cheap, and accessible, but all you get when you do this is a higher follower count. None of these accounts will engage with your content (obviously, these are not real people). And like you’ll find on any other platform, low engagement leads to low visibility. You might end up with a lot of followers, but you’ll have worse views and have to fight even harder to build a meaningful audience. Don’t do it.

Creating awesome content (see above!) is the #1 best way to get views and build an audience. You’ll also want to keep your followers interested and engaged once they’re following your TikTok Business Account! Fortunately, the same best practices apply to TikTok as to any other social media platform:

  • Share meaningful, on-brand content on a consistent schedule
  • Respond to all possible comments
  • Answer all questions on your videos
  • Follow, like, and comment on other TikTok accounts
  • Try out features like live streaming, polls, questions, etc.

Step 6: Encourage and share user-generated content

What is user-generated content, and how does it work on TikTok? User-generated content definition: This is any material (video, blog, social post) developed by users on a social media platform such as TikTok. It’s similar to word-of-mouth marketing in digital marketing, where consumers are urged to share their brand experiences with others.

70% of North American consumers trust customer opinions that have been posted online

Why is user-generated content so effective on TikTok?

User-generated content (UGC) offers “social proof” that a brand delivers on its promise. Because people are more likely to believe real individuals, user-generated content is an incredibly valuable marketing tool across all social media platforms. People are less likely to trust celebrity endorsements or branded content, but they’ll gladly accept the advice of other people just like them.

When developing a user-generated content campaign, the key is to elevate authentic voices and experiences of real people who have used and benefited from your product or service. User-generated content marketing also has a high return on investment, since it focuses on encouraging your brand ambassadors to share their experiences online. You will pay less for a TikTok influencer than a celebrity — and you’ll get a higher CTR with user-generated advertising, which is why it’s so effective.

5 Ways to Implement User Generated Content on TikTok

  • Branded Hashtags: Hashtags are ideal for increasing product awareness. Using a branded hashtag to build interest in the release of a new product will encourage consumers to interact with your business to make sure they don’t miss out on the official debut.
  • Duets: Duet trending videos in your niche and encourage others to duet your videos.
  • Challenges: The best-performing challenges are relatable, timely, and something that can be done at home. This is a great way to see how people use your products while also generating a supply of user-generated content for your business. TikTok challenges bring together various user experiences, allowing your brand ambassadors to interact with others who share their interests.
  • Giveaways: With any giveaway, set clear goals and choose a prize that will excite your audience. If the prize isn’t appealing, no one will sign up for your TikTok campaign, so make sure it’s something people would want to compete for.
  • Influencers: If you’re looking to promote your brand on TikTok, influencers are one possible route — but not one that we recommend when you’re first starting to use TikTok for business. For best results, we recommend approaching “influencer marketing” as intentionally building relationships with people who genuinely love your product, are active in your niche, and happen to have a strong following on TikTok. Their followers can tell when they’re genuinely excited about a product or service — so be intentional about who you partner with.

Get Help Using TikTok for Business

Are you ready to wade into TikTok for business, but need help setting up an account and developing content that works? Contact Coyote Creative for a free consultation to find out how we can help you grow your business! We offer personalized marketing support to small and medium-sized business in Bentonville, AR and around the world.