How to use Tiktok to boost your business: A step-by-step guide

TikTok isn’t just a fun place for users to watch and post fun clips — with its mammoth user base, it’s now become a potent marketing tool for businesses in its own right. According to Spendesk, small and medium-sized business (SMB) social spending on TikTok has skyrocketed by almost 5,000% since 2020. Even the likes of Manscaped and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (yes, you read the right) have gone viral on the app. 

But why exactly should brands like yours consider using TikTok for marketing purposes, and how do you go about creating a winning TikTok business strategy? 

The advantages of TikTok for businesses 

Although TikTok users are overwhelmingly young — almost 70% are between the ages of 13 and 24 — all kinds of businesses can benefit from using the app. Some of the main advantages of using TikTok for marketing purposes include:

Increased brand awareness

If you know what you’re doing, then it can be relatively easy to gain traction from TikTok videos and get eyes on your brand. As such, the platform is a great way to raise brand awareness and secure new customers. 

Enhanced brand identity

TikTok is primarily an app for lighthearted and entertaining content. Producing this yourself makes your business easier to connect with, something that can both boost customer engagement and create a positive brand image.

Budget-friendly marketing

Results from Capterra’s TikTok Marketing Survey show that marketing on the app creates a positive return on investment for 78% of SMEs. This is a much higher rate than many other types of marketing, making TikTok an incredibly affordable option for brands. 

How to use TikTok for business

So, now you know why you should use TikTok for marketing, let’s look at how you should utilise it for this purpose. 

Step 1: Set up a TikTok business account

  1. Download the TikTok app and open it.
  2. Create a personal account using your email address or Google, Facebook, or Twitter account.
  3. Go to ‘Manage Account’ by tapping on the upper right corner, and click on ‘Switch to Pro Account#.
  4. Select ‘Business’, before adding a website and email address to your profile. Voilà, you’re now a TikTok Business account owner. 

Step 2: Optimise your TikTok profile

Once you’ve set up your account, it’s now time to optimise it — namely your profile. This essentially acts as a digital storefront, so you want to make sure it’s appealing.

Pick the right profile picture

Firstly, ensure your profile picture looks professional and is representative of your brand. It should use the same logo or colours as your other social media accounts to demonstrate that it’s part of the same family.

Write an informative bio

With just 80 characters to play with, your TikTok bio needs to be snappy. Include information about what your brand is and what it does, add a call to action (CTA) to encourage engagement, and use an emoji or two to appeal to TikTok’s younger audience. 

Choose the most appropriate URL

Each TikTok account has a URL under the bio that businesses can use to link to a particular page. Whether the URL links to your website’s home page, a specific landing page, or another social account depends on your marketing goals.

Step 3: Get used to TikTok

Play around with the app

You may well be a Facebook or Instagram marketing whiz, but TikTok is very much its own beast. From browsing the ‘For You’ page to using the editing features, filters, and effects, spend a few hours playing around TikTok to get to grips with it.

Understand the TikTok algorithm

The TikTok algorithm is what determines which videos appear in users’ ‘For You’ sections. Understanding the algorithm is key to getting your own brand’s content high up on these pages, so be sure to do your research. This guide by Hootsuite is a great place to start.

Study your competitors

Are your competitors already on TikTok? If so, check out their content to see what’s working for them and what isn’t, as this can help inform your strategy going forward. 

Step 4: Create winning content

There’s no magic formula for creating successful TikTok content, but some of our of main tips for doing so include:

Be relevant and authentic

Your TikTok research should have enlightened you on what kinds of content work for your audience. So, create videos that are likely to resonate with them, whether it’s how-to-guides, tutorials, or challenge videos.

TikTok also offers the perfect chance to demonstrate another side of your brand. By creating down-to-earth, authentic content like behind-the-scenes videos, you demonstrate an authenticity that’s hard to convey on other platforms. 

Make it professional

From ensuring your videos are well filmed and have good quality audio, to using TikTok’s array of audio clips and effects, professional-looking content is sure to outperform its poorly-produced counterparts. 

Jump on trends 

Even if you’ve never used TikTok before, you’ve likely heard of or seen some of the app’s trends, from the Renegade dance challenge to the “I swear I was 16 yesterday” trend. By jumping on these crazes yourself, or even starting new ones like Colgate has done, you stand a good chance of gaining traction. 

Use hashtags

TikTok hashtags help your videos get discovered and show the app’s algorithm the type of subjects you’re covering. Read this guide on TikTok hashtags to help you harness their power. 

Team up with others

Working with TikTok influencers can do wonders for your brand. Not only can they showcase your business to so many others, but as their followers trust their opinions, influencers help you build a credible brand image. Check out our guide to influencers to learn more about the different types and benefits of using them. 

Step 5: Engage with your followers

TikTok is a great platform to use to engage with your followers. Some of the best ways you can do so include:

Host interactive live streams 

The caveat here is that you need at least 1,000 followers to activate a live stream, but once you do, it’s an awesome opportunity to run ask-me-anything (AMA) sessions or even play interactive games with followers. Just click on the + button at the bottom of the screen and select the Go Live option, and you’re good to go!

Run polls

A TikTok poll is another fantastic way to interact with followers, allowing you to get their opinions on any subject you like. You can set one up by selecting the ‘Stickers’ option when creating a video, though bear in mind that, unlike normal videos, a poll is only visible for 24 hours. 

Respond to users

It’s also a good idea to interact with followers directly by responding to any comments or questions they leave on your videos. Similarly, you may want to comment and like content on other accounts, as this increases the chances of them reciprocating. 

Promote user-generated content

Encouraging your followers to create content that you then share across your profiles not only helps to build affinity within your existing audience, but it will also make you seem more trustworthy to those that see it. This is because people are more likely to trust content created by users like them. Learn more about user-generated content here

Step 6: Advertise your content 

There are three main ways you can advertise your content on TikTok and get more views:

1. In-feed ads

These are native ads that pop up as full-screen videos for up to 60 seconds. The main benefit of in-feed ads is that they blend in seamlessly with the user’s experience, while also being interactable. However, they can also be quite skippable. 

2. Brand takeovers 

Band takeover ads show up the second a user opens their TikTok app, and run for between 3 to 3.5 seconds. While there is less competition for these ads seeing as they only pop up on a user’s feed once a day, they’re more expensive than in-feed ads. 

3. TopView ads

The final type of advert is essentially an enhanced version of the brand takeover. TopView ads last for between 5-60 seconds, and can also be interacted with. However, they are the most expensive type of TikTok advert. 

Step 7: Analyse the results

Like with any kind of marketing campaign, it’s crucial to measure the effectiveness of your TikTok efforts so you know to approach things going forward. Should you keep doing what you’re doing, or do you need to change tack to improve results? 

Fortunately, it’s easy to analyse your campaigns in the app, with TikTok’s own analytics feature offering numerous insights for you to take on board. Including everything from video and profile views, to total likes and followers, it also shows you how these have increased or decreased over time. You can go incredibly in-depth with your analysis too, as the platform gives you access to data on things like follower demographics and how long people watch your content for on average. 

And that rounds off our guide to using TikTok for marketing. If that all sounds somewhat overwhelming, and we don’t blame you if it does, then Pitch is here to give you a helping hand. We’re experts in all things social media marketing and have run TikTok campaigns for some of the biggest brands around, so you can rely on us to get your TikTok marketing efforts off the ground. Contact us today to find out more or make an enquiry, and be sure to check out some of our work here.

Further Reading