TikTok started off as a platform where people could spontaneously share creative content captured on their mobile devices.
It was populated by videos of people dancing on the streets, on their beds, and a lot of other hilarious stuff.
However, the popularity of the user-generated content on the platform has opened up a world of opportunities for brands to interact with their target audience.
This article will show you how you can increase engagement with your audience using TikTok for Business.
TikTok for Business: Who, What, and Why for Marketers
TikTok for Business is Open for Business
TikTok has officially opened a platform dedicated to hosting marketing solutions for brands and other businesses.
It has become common for brands to play a bigger role in the TikTok experience on a daily basis, and this has generated a lot of interest among TikTok users.
For example, some brands are starting a hashtag challenge, where users are asked to do something creative and post the videos online.
These challenges connect communities and bring awareness to a brand.
Katie Puris, the Managing Director, Global Business for TikTok, says that brands are starting trends, connecting communities, creating awareness to public services initiatives, and all this is being done by sharing joy on the platform.
By embracing the authentic and creative spirit of TikTok, brands are giving users a unique way to discover and engage with their products and services.
TikTok for business has offered brands a way to become creative storytellers and engage on a deeper level with their existing and prospective customers.
How to use TikTok for Business [ Step by Step TUTORIAL + Marketing Strategy ]
Here are some of the features offered by TikTok for business:
Creativity and Scale – TikTok is an entertainment-based platform, which offers users and brands an innovative way to tell stories to their viewers.
It is a growing platform that allows brands to scale their reach and bring in more viewers using bite-sized videos.
Sight, Sounds, and Motion – TikTok allows you to create content for a mobile, sound-on environment. There are various ways to use sound, music, sound effects, reactions, voice-overs and so much more.
Participatory and Inclusive Community Building – Marketers are allowed to create content that entices users to join in the movement.
The videos created offer a chance for people to become involved and they will start creating their own versions of the videos.
Using TikTok, brands can actually gauge how much their products and services affect the community.
Culture Creation – Anybody and any brand can be discovered on TikTok. This is an open platform and offers a limitless treasure trove to learn about what is going on in the world.
Every day, culture is being created in an inclusive and open way on the platform.
Simplicity is Seamless – Products and services can deliver across various marketing touchpoints, enabling rich and immersive storytelling on the platform.
Each story is a full-screen video, seamless, and appears natively with the user experience. TikTok is working on providing analytics as well for brands to gauge their reach.
Branded Scan is a new technology that TikTok has come up with that allows users to have an augmented reality experience with a brand.
TikTok also offers a great way for brands to work with established content creators in collaborations. TikTok is now testing a creator marketplace, where brands can go look at some of the leading creators on the platform and find ways in which they can work together.
4 Ingenious Ways to Use TikTok for Business
Ok, now you know that TikTok can now be used to reach out to potential customers. How will you use it in your own particular niche?
We are going to go through 4 easy and ingenious ways in which you can interact with your target audience using TikTok of business.
First, here is an eye-opener:
With over 1.5 billion downloads in both App Store and Google Play, TikTok has become one of the leading social media apps in the world today, with over 500 million active users per month.
The platform shares 15 and 60-second videos, recorded by users, which are then edited within the app and integrated across other social media platforms.
The biggest demographic of TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 24. However, this does not mean that the app is only for the Gen Z group.
TikTok has evolved from an app that was originally created for user-generated fun content into a place where advertisers can also market using creative content.
If you are a social media savvy marketer, you know how Instagram uses IGTV, stories, live videos, and posts to facilitate engagement between brands and audiences on their platform.
TikTok also allows you to do this using shorter and bite-sized clips.
Over the past years, brands have created accounts to explore and engage with their target customers on the platform.
TikTok is used by everybody – from politicians talking to people in the streets to the average joe hiding in his bedroom.
Today, the most intriguing feature of TikTok is the amazing number of people on the platform ready to share videos without any incentivization. Nobody knows how the algorithms work, but TikTok videos can easily go viral as opposed to those placed on competing social media video platforms.
Given these few facts, how can you position your business so it can take advantage of the opportunities offered by TikTok?
Let’s dig in and see.
#1: Develop Your Unique Content on TikTok
You can always use TikTok for marketing, even when your business or brand is completely unknown.
All you have to do is plan and create exciting content for your target audience to consume.
Always use the best practices for generating exciting content:
Be Authentic – Most TikTok users do not have the budget for expensive camera equipment and production technology.
They create content using their mobile devices and their time, and that shows how authentic they are.
Take the same approach when creating your own content. You will be able to reveal your true personality, which will allow users to connect with you on a deeper level, and trust your products and services.
Understand the Magic – There are two things that enable videos to go viral on TikTok, and these are children and pets.
The younger demographic has an urge to watch absurdly funny video clips, most of which seem to feature kids and pets.
If you have a business mascot that is a pet, then you can use it in your video content.
You may also have a child of one of your team members creating a video using your products and services and then creating a hashtag challenge around the product or service.
Remember that TikTok is unlike other video marketing platforms.
Here, you don’t need a fake glassy smile and picture-perfect hairstyle. This is a place where authentic humor and fun carry a lot more weight.
Generate your own Spin – TikTok is based around community engagement and hashtags. You don’t really have to create your own new and unique content ideas. You simply have to see what is working and then adding your own spin.
You can start by taking part in a hashtag challenge or rending dances and songs.
If people are trending by showing how they start off their day, then show them how yours is.
If you have a different and exciting way of spending your morning, you have the potential to go viral on TikTok.
The secret is to find what is already trending on the platform and then making your own content that fits the narrative.
Be advised – do not start creating content on TikTok before you understand the unique style of the platform.
This is not a professional platform like YouTube. This is a place where users come to be playful, act silly and experiment with trends. This is a place to show another side of yourself.
You should therefore click on the magnifying glass at the bottom of your screen, which opens the discovery page which shows you what is trending for the day.
Check out what is trending and the hashtags being used and then see how you can match what you are seeing.
Create Your First Video
After you have watched what others are doing on the platform, it’s time for you to create your first video.
Hit the PLUS button at the bottom of your screen and TikTok will ask you for permission to access your Camera, Photos, and Microphone.
Then you will be presented with a recording page, which has a big red button which you should click to start your recording.
You must first choose whether the video will be 15 seconds or 60 seconds in length.
Once you are ready, click on the red button and record your video.
Add Effects and Music
TikTok has a vast library of unique effects and features that you can add to your videos.
Sometimes, users create lip-sync videos to common and popular music found within TikTok’s library. This is common to the lip-sync videos created by users of Musical.ly.
TikTok allows you to create videos using common songs without infringing on copyrights.
Click on the Sounds button at the top of the recording screen to add a song to your video.
This opens the Sound Library when you can look through the new releases, trending playlists, genres, and even themes from video games.
You can save the selections you prefer by adding them to your Favorites – click on the bookmark icon on the right-hand side of the song name.
Tap on the red checkmark after you have selected a song from the sound library to confirm that you want to use it in your video.
After you have chosen your song, you will be taken back to the redosing screen, and when you check where the Sound Icon was, you will see the name of the chosen song.
There are also several effects that you can add by choosing from those listed on the right side of the screen.
Here you will find icons that help you:
- Choose whether to use the front or back camera.
- Change the speed of your video recordings
- Change the way that your skin looks using the beauty mode. This removes any blemishes from your face and makes everything look smooth.
- Get access to a wide variety of contract levels, screen colors, and much more. Some filters make things seem more appealing, such as the food filters which make foods seem tastier.
- Make video cuts in real-time, using the timer feature. You can record video for a few seconds in the song, and then pause it and continue recording after changing your perspective or even clothing. The trim icon below the timer can be used to adjust the length of the video.
- Activate and deactivate the camera flash
- Change the video effects that you can add to your video. The red effects icon allows you to add different video effects to your recording. You can change your face to resemble a deer wearing a crown. You can also add flames that appear behind your face, making you look like some evil entity from a horror movie.
- Add interactive effects to your recordings, such as changing from one filter to another simply by shaking your device.
Share Your Video
Once you have finished recording your video, click on the Red “Upload” button to share your video. You will be able to upload any previously recorded video on your device to TikTok. If the videos are long, then you will have to trim them in order to fit the maximum 60-second timeframe.
Once you upload the video, you can add music, effects, and other features to the video, and then tap on the red circle with the white checkmark at the bottom end of the screen. Finally, click on “Next”.
You will be presented with a Post screen, which also has several options to choose from:
- Add a description to your video
- Add the hashtags that you want to use for your video
- Tag your friends using the @ tag
- Add links to the video
- Declare who can see your video
- Add the video to an album on your account.
- Share the video using WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook.
When you have successfully created your post, hit the red “Post” button on the right-hand side and post the video instantly. You may also click on the white “Drafts” button to save it for posting later.
#2: Use TikTok to Curate and Share User-Generated Content
Despite the fact that TikTok is casual, fun, and playful in nature, it is a place where thought and creativity are required to achieve success.
In order to get the best results as a brand, you must plan your content very carefully.
One way is by leveraging user-generated content (UGC) to generate the required attention.
You can create a private account, where people have to ask for permission to join and create or view content.
You can then offer a challenge using a hashtag that will entice people to join the group.
For example, Nike has done this very same thing and used the hashtag #nike, which has brought more than 920 million uses to Nike.
The users created videos and gifs showing them painting the Nikes, dancing in their Nikes, and doing a lot more, whilst wearing Nike shoes.
The user-generated content from this campaign was free advertising for Nike. The millions of clips were viewed by millions all across the world on TikTok.
#3: Create Adverts on TikTok
As would be expected from a popular social media app, TikTok has started embracing monetized features, allowing brands to create advertisements for users to see.
TikTok has offered four different ways in which you can pay for advertising on the platform.
- Brand Takeovers – These are ads that appear in a user’s feed before they can see any content from the user. These ads can be linked to the advertiser’s landing page and can be added to different categories. You can only have one ad running in a particular slot for a single day.
- Native ads – These are videos ads that will play in between the user content. The ads can be of 9 or 15 seconds in length. They include buttons that someone can click to go to a landing page. Users have the option of skipping or scrolling through the ads
- Sponsored Hashtag Challenges – These are the trending adverts on TikTok. Advertisers place a new challenge on the Discover page, where millions of users can see it and join in.
Advertisers can pay to sponsor a hashtag challenge and then get a custom banner on the Discover Page.
Once users click on the banner, they are taken to videos created by the advertiser, giving instructions on how to participate in the challenge. This serves to promote your brand.
For example, Samsung created the #GalaxyA hashtag challenge when they were launching the Samsung Galaxy A series. Users were told to use the hashtag when creating videos using the Galaxy A phones which have special features for TikTok.
The result was a deluge of video content created for the campaign, which brought about more than 158 million views. The content showcased people creating videos using the features for TikTok on Samsung Galaxy A devices.
- Use Branded Lenses – This is a specialized TikTok filter that is related to a specific brand. This way, users can use the filter when they are creating their own videos.
The lens is only available for 10 days. Branded lenses are automatically included in the top 10 trending lists and can be done in 2D and 3D. They are soon releasing one that works on their AR platform.
#4: Utilize Influencer-Created Content on TikTok
Just like every other popular social media platform, TikTok is also embracing the use of influencers to market brands and businesses.
The influencers on TikTok appeal to a wide range of users and they are a great avenue of expanding your reach.
When using influencers on TikTok, take into account the number of viewers they command and weigh this against the price they ask for their services.
Take time to research these influencers and then reach out to them and suggest ways in which you can work together.
Make sure that you are strategic with the influencer of choice. For instance, if you are selling fashion accessories, then using a video game influencer will have no beneficial effect on your business.
The influencers must fit in with your brand and align with your niche.
Influencers will perform some of the following for a small fee:
- Talk about your product or service.
- Link to your brand in one of their videos
- Write about your brand in the video description.
You must be very careful about how you contract and partner with TikTok influencers.
Perhaps, before you get into what TikTok for Business can offer your brand, you need to understand a little about the predecessors, or precursors of the platform.
Vine – this was a video recording and sharing app, that people used to record videos while on the move and share them with their friends and families.
Musical.ly – This was another video recording app, but one that allowed people to create lip-sync videos from popular songs and sound bites.
In the year 2018, The developers of a Chinese app called Doujin bought Musical.ly and then combined it with Vine in order to come up with TikTok.
TikTok is here and will not go away at any time soon. It offers you a great way of reaching out to your potential audience and customers using an avenue that is inclusive and targeted at creating communities.
You can quickly create a rave following for your products and services using TikTok.
So, what do you think about this new app?
Does it make sense for your business to use TikTok for marketing purposes?
What kind of content would you create to attract as many viewers to your brand using TikTok?
Whatever your thoughts, you can share them with us in the comments section below.
In the meantime, go have fun on TikTok and take your brand to higher levels.