TikTok has taken the social media world by storm, and in 2023, it continues to be a hotbed of creativity and opportunity for businesses. With over 2 billion downloads and 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok is a platform you can’t afford to ignore. In this article, we’ll guide digital marketers on how to harness TikTok’s power for their business and share valuable tips and best practices.
What is TikTok and How Does It Work?
TikTok is a short-form video app that allows users to create and share videos up to 60 seconds long. It boasts a wide range of features, including filters, stickers, music, sound effects, and text. Users can explore and watch content from other creators, follow their favorite accounts, leave comments, like videos, and share them.
Behind the scenes, TikTok employs a powerful algorithm that curates personalized content based on user preferences, behaviors, and location. This algorithm takes into account various factors, such as the type of content, hashtags, captions, engagement levels, and device settings. Furthermore, TikTok’s algorithm learns from users’ actions, including the time spent watching, skipping, scrolling, liking, commenting, and sharing.
TikTok offers two primary feeds for users: the For You page and the Following page. The For You page is where users discover new content from a wide variety of sources, while the Following page showcases content exclusively from accounts users follow.
Why Should You Use TikTok for Business?
TikTok presents a multitude of advantages for businesses looking to enhance brand awareness, reach new customers, and increase sales. Here are compelling reasons why digital marketers should include TikTok in their marketing strategy in 2023:
Huge and Engaged Audience:
According to Statista, TikTok had 689 million monthly active users worldwide as of January 2021, ranking it as the seventh most popular social media platform. What’s more, TikTok users dedicate an average of 52 minutes per day to the app, reflecting high engagement levels and attentiveness to the content they consume.
Diverse and Global Audience:
TikTok is available in over 150 countries and regions, supporting more than 75 languages. The user base is diverse in terms of age, gender, income, education, and interests. For instance, Business of Apps reports that 41% of TikTok users fall in the 16-24 age bracket, with a nearly equal split between males and females. Additionally, 37% hold a college degree or higher.
Creative and Authentic Culture:
TikTok is a platform that encourages users to express themselves freely and creatively. Users can be themselves, have fun, and showcase their personalities without the pressure of perfection or professionalism. This authentic approach fosters a positive atmosphere that appeals to and retains users.
TikTok is renowned for content going viral quickly and easily due to its algorithm, features, and enthusiastic community. Users love participating in challenges, trends, memes, duets, stitches, and other forms of user-generated content that can spread like wildfire. This means that your content can reach millions of users in a short amount of time if you can capture their attention and interest.
Low Barrier to Entry:
Unlike other platforms that demand high-quality production or professional equipment, TikTok enables anyone to create content with just a smartphone and some creativity. You don’t need a substantial budget or a large team to start using TikTok for business. What you do need is an understanding of your audience, goals, and brand voice.
How to Use TikTok for Business: Tips and Best Practices
Now that you’re aware of the compelling reasons to use TikTok for business, let’s delve into how you can effectively leverage this platform.
Here are some essential tips and best practices to guide your TikTok marketing strategy:
Set Up a Business Account:
Start by creating a business account on TikTok. This account type unlocks various features, including analytics, ads manager, creator marketplace, pro tools, and the coveted verified badge. To create a business account, download the app (if you haven’t already), sign up or log in with your email or phone number (or use another social media account), go to settings > manage account > switch to a pro account > select business.
Optimize Your Profile:
Ensure your profile reflects your brand identity and attracts your target audience. Your profile consists of four elements: your username (or handle), your profile picture (or logo), your bio, and your website link (or other call to action). Your username should be catchy, memorable, and consistent with your other social media accounts. Your profile picture should be clear, recognizable, and relevant to your brand. Your bio should be concise, informative, and engaging, including keywords, hashtags, and emojis that describe your business. Your website link should lead to a landing page that offers value to your audience, such as a product page, a lead magnet, a coupon code, and more.
Define Your Goals and Metrics:
Before diving into content creation, define your goals and metrics for your TikTok marketing campaign. Your goals should follow the SMART criteria—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Examples include increasing brand awareness, generating leads, driving traffic, and boosting sales. Your chosen metrics should align with your goals and enable you to track your performance and progress, including views, likes, comments, shares, followers, click-through rate (CTR), and conversion rate (CR).
Know Your Audience and Competitors:
To create content that resonates with your audience and stands out from your competitors, research and analysis are crucial. You need to understand your target audience’s wants, needs, likes, dislikes, and what they care about. Utilize tools such as TikTok analytics, Google analytics, social media listening, and surveys to gather data and insights about your audience. Equally important, get to know your competitors—what they are doing, offering, and their strengths and weaknesses. Employ tools like TikTok search, social media monitoring, and competitor analysis to gather data and insights about your competitors.
Create Engaging and Relevant Content:
The core of using TikTok for business lies in creating engaging and relevant content that captivates and retains your audience. Your content should align with your goals, brand voice, and your audience’s preferences.
Follow these TikTok best practices:
Use Vertical Videos: TikTok is a mobile-first platform that uses vertical videos, which fill the entire screen. Vertical videos are more immersive and eye-catching than horizontal or square videos. Use vertical videos with a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels and an aspect ratio of 9:16.
Use High-Quality Audio: Audio plays a crucial role in the TikTok user experience. It enhances the mood, message, and engagement of your videos. Employ high-quality audio that is clear, loud, and relevant to your content. You can use music or sound effects from TikTok’s library or create your own original sound.
Use Captions and Hashtags: Captions and hashtags are essential elements of TikTok that help convey your message, optimize visibility, and participate in trending conversations. Captions should be short (up to 150 characters), catchy (utilize emojis or ask questions), informative (include keywords or calls to action. Hashtags should be relevant (use popular or niche hashtags), specific (use branded or campaign hashtags), and creative (join challenges or trends hashtags).
Use Filters and Effects: Filters and effects are features that allow you to enhance the appearance and functionality of your videos. Filters are presets that change the color or tone of your videos, while effects are animations or stickers that add fun or interactive elements to your videos. You can utilize filters and effects from TikTok’s library or create your own custom filters and effects.
Use Duets and Stitches: Duets and stitches are features that allow you to collaborate with other users or remix their content. Duets enable you to record yourself alongside another user’s video, while stitches let you clip another user’s video and add it to yours. These features are great for showing appreciation, giving feedback, sharing opinions, or creating parodies.
Post Consistently and Strategically: To grow your presence and influence on TikTok, consistency and strategic posting are key. Consistency involves posting regularly at a frequency that aligns with your goals and resources. Strategic posting means identifying optimal times when your audience is most active and responsive. Tools such as TikTok analytics and social media scheduling can help you plan and schedule your posts.
Engage with Your Community: Building trust and loyalty with your TikTok audience requires active and authentic engagement. Respond to comments, like videos, and follow users who engage with your content. Engaging with your community fosters a sense of connection and encourages users to return for more.
In 2023, TikTok presents a golden opportunity for digital marketers to connect with a vast and highly engaged audience. With over 2 billion downloads and 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok is a force to be reckoned with in the world of social media marketing.
The reasons to leverage TikTok for business are compelling, from its diverse and global audience to its authentic and creative culture. TikTok’s viral potential and low barrier to entry make it an attractive platform for businesses of all sizes. However, success on TikTok doesn’t happen by chance. To make the most of this platform, digital marketers must follow a set of key tips and best practices.
Setting up a business account, optimizing your profile, defining clear goals and metrics, and understanding your audience and competitors are fundamental steps in your TikTok journey. Creating engaging and relevant content while following TikTok’s best practices, such as using vertical videos, high-quality audio, captions, hashtags, filters, effects, duets, and stitches, is crucial for capturing the attention of your target audience.
Consistent and strategic posting ensures that your content reaches the right people at the right times, while engaging with your community builds trust and loyalty, fostering a strong and lasting connection.
As you step into the exciting world of TikTok marketing, remember that it’s a dynamic and evolving landscape. Staying up-to-date with the latest trends and keeping an open mind to creativity will help you make the most of this remarkable platform. TikTok isn’t just a source of entertainment; it’s a powerful tool to boost your brand and connect with your audience like never before. So, seize the opportunity and start your TikTok marketing journey today. Your audience is waiting to be entertained, informed, and engaged.