TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform we’ve seen thus far, reaching 1 billion users in September 2021, a record five years since its worldwide launch in 2016. For comparison, it took eight years for both Facebook and Instagram to hit that milestone.
With a platform as wildly popular as TikTok, you want to make sure you’re creating a presence for your brand so you can reach and engage some of those billion users.
Throughout this article, we’re going to dig into what TikTok marketing is, how to create your own TikTok business account and provide six tips for ramping up your brand’s TikTok marketing strategy.
What is TikTok marketing?
TikTok marketing is the process of using TikTok and TikTok content to promote your brand and its products or services. Easily build up your own online presence through the use of short-form video content that engages your audience and helps show off your business offerings.
While social media marketing creates a cohesive strategy for all social media platforms—TikTok marketing focuses just on TikTok.
You’ll want to ensure your overall messaging on TikTok is similar to all other platforms your brand has a presence on, but as a rule, TikTok content tends to be much different than the content you’ll publish on other channels. (Though you may end up repurposing your TikTok videos for Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts to reach even more viewers.)
How to create a TikTok business account
Before you create a TikTok business account you first need to know the difference between a TikTok business vs. creator account.
Here are a few of the main differences:
- Business accounts get access to business tools like ads and analytics
- Business accounts get limited access to sound clips
- Business accounts get the ability to create an ecommerce storefront
- Business accounts can use third-party tools to schedule and manage TikTok content
- Business accounts can add a website link to their profile
TikTok business accounts don’t have access to the full sound library, but the additional tools far outweigh that. To create your TikTok business account follow along with these quick steps:
Step 1. Download the TikTok app and create a new account
Step 2. Go to your TikTok profile and tap the hamburger menu in the top right corner
Step 3. Tap Settings and privacy
Step 4. Tap Manage account.
Step 5. Tap Switch to Business Account
Step 6. Choose the category that best corresponds with your business type
And voila! You now have a business profile and can get started optimizing your account to appeal to your target audience.
6 tips for building your TikTok marketing strategy
Ready to dive in and learn more about how to create a TikTok marketing strategy and build a large following on the platform? While you likely won’t be “TikTok famous” overnight, these six tips will help you get on the best path to success.
1. Create and brand your TikTok account
We’ve walked through how to create your TikTok business account. The next step is to fully optimize and brand it so that it’s recognizable alongside the rest of your social media profiles.
To brand your TikTok account, tap Edit Profile, then fill out the following:
- Profile photo or video: TikTok lets you add a video for your profile avatar. Make sure this is a high-res version of your logo if you choose to add profile photo. If you want to do video, consider creating an animated version of your logo.
- Name: Your business name.
- Username: This should also be your business name (if possible) with no spaces.
- Pronouns: If you’re a sole proprietor you might want to input your pronouns.
- Bio: You have 80 characters to give a quick synopsis of what your business does.
- Email: Input your company’s contact email.
- Nonprofit: If your business works with or supports a nonprofit, you can tag them right in your profile.
- Category: You may have already done this when creating your business account, but if not, select the category that best represents your industry.
- Social: Connect your Instagram and/or YouTube accounts.
Other options are setting up an auto-message when users DM you. You can do this by tapping the hamburger menu, then Business suite, then Auto message. You’ll also be able to add your website URL to your profile once you hit your first 1,000 followers.
Here’s an example of a fully fleshed-out business profile from Starbucks. They even have three videos pinned to the top of their profile to showcase new products or popular videos.
2. Define your TikTok audience
To be successful on TikTok, you have to know who you want to target with your content. Otherwise, you might get great reach and engagement, but it won’t translate into sales or subscriptions—which is fun but means nothing for your business’s bottom line.
TikTok skews towards a much younger audience, with a quarter of all of their userbase between the ages of 10-19. However, we can see that there’s still a large number of 20-49 year olds on the platform, with usage dropping off at age 50.
So while TikTok is definitely for younger audiences, you still need to dig a bit deeper than that. Think about the demographics you want to target. Conduct some of your own social media market research, then consider putting together a customer persona that showcases exactly who your business’s target audience is.
3. Create quality TikTok videos
Your next step is to learn how to make a good TikTok video. First, start by doing a big of hands-on research. Unless you’re already an avid TikTok watcher, spend some time getting to know the platform and looking at the types of videos that pop up on your “For You” page.
You might also want to look at the TikTok Discover page to see what’s trending and discover some of the more popular TikTokers.
Here, you’ll be able to see trending hashtags, sound bytes, accounts and more. It’s a great way to get a bird’s-eye-view of what’s popular at the moment, helping you discover inspiration for your own TikTok content. Then, take a look at other brands that are killing it on TikTok to see what they’re doing well and how you can emulate some of those tactics for your videos.
When it comes to TikTok, you need to test a variety of different video types to discover what’s going to resonate with your audience. Diversity across your profile is key. Try filming your team creating the product. Showcase your product in action. Create funny videos using popular sound bytes. Here are some additional video ideas to help get you started.
And make sure you post consistently. If you want to make a splash, you need to pump out new content regularly. Start by publishing at least twice a week, more often if you can. (In fact, TikTok themselves recommend posting 1-4 times per day.)
4. Use ads in your TikTok marketing strategy
If you want to reach an even wider audience, allocate some of your social media advertising budget towards TikTok ads. The cost for these is based on bids, just like how you pay for Facebook and Instagram ads. You’ll choose your target audience, create a fun video ad then promote it based on your specified daily or lifetime budget.
5. Tap into TikTok influencer marketing
Another popular TikTok marketing tactic is to work with influencers. There are thousands of influencers and content creators that partner with brands on TikTok to create fun, engaging video content that both spreads the word about new brands and also provides said brand with user-generated content to share on their own social media channels.
A few TikTok influencer marketing tactics include:
- Sending your product to influencers. Brands with low budgets but tons of product can reach out to influencers and ask if they can send them free product. While this doesn’t guarantee a feature on their channel, if you reach out to enough influencers consistently, you might get a spotlight in an unboxing or merch video.
- Collaborate on a video. Collaboration on a video or series of videos that spotlight your brand exclusively. These are more expensive, but you can always partner with micro-influencers with a lower reach until you have more of an influencer marketing budget.
- Partner on a new product line. Partner with a mega influencer or celebrity and create a product line together that they’ll get a cut of and promote to their audience. This is a great win-win, but you’ll want to make sure you’re only working with influencers that are hyper-relevant to your niche. For example, beauty brands would only want to partner on a project like this with a highly well-known makeup artist.
6. Monitor TikTok analytics to track performance
The last tip is to pay attention to your TikTok analytics. You only get access to this if you switch to a business account, and it can be a huge help in pinpointing your most popular videos and when the best time to post each day is.
Some of the best metrics to track include:
- Video views
- Growth rate
- Trending videos
- Average watch time
You can also connect your TikTok business account to your Sprout Social dashboard to access analytics right inside Sprout as you measure your other social media platforms.
Get started with TikTok marketing today
Build up your TikTok presence using these six tactics. Start by creating your own TikTok business account, then create your own fun, engaging short-form video content. Learn even more about creating your own successful TikTok marketing campaigns so you can grow your audience and build your business.
TikTok Marketing FAQ
How does TikTok work?
TikTok is an app to create, share and watch short-form videos. Users have their home “For You” feed where they can swipe up to watch video after video. The app comes with its own editing features, filters and sound clips to utilize when creating your own video content. Overall, TikTok is a great one-stop shop for creating and consuming quick 10 to 60-second videos.
How to use TikTok for marketing?
TikTok is a unique marketing channel, creating viral potential that has never been there before. Use TikTok to show off product tutorials and use cases, join challenges, jump on trends, make your audience laugh and more. You can sell products through TikTok, generate leads and increase brand awareness.
What are tools on TikTok?
TikTok offers a number of business tools—video editing, analytics, ads and more. You can also connect your TikTok business account to your Sprout Social dashboard to access even more tools, like scheduling and engagement.