TikTok is more than just a place where Gen Z dances to viral soundbites. TikTok’s high engagement rates appeal to businesses who want to grow audiences with new types of social media content.
Create a website for your business and promote the URL in your TikTok account bio to direct engaged viewers to your portfolio, product pages, affiliate links, and more.
In this post, we’ll look at top tips and ideas for businesses to gain traction on TikTok.
Why you should use TikTok for business
But before we get into some tips, let’s set the stage for how opening a TikTok account can benefit your business. Tip: If you’re unfamiliar with the social media network, learn more about it from the What Is TikTok guide.
TikTok has a high engagement rate
Regular users as well as influencers see significantly higher social media engagement rates on TikTok compared to similar networks like Instagram. For example, Justin Bieber’s dance challenge garnered a 3% engagement rate on Instagram, while the same post on TikTok got him 49%.
There isn’t as much competition yet
While TikTok became wildly popular over the past few years, the platform is still growing as many brands haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet. Businesses who catch onto TikTok marketing early can win big. Low competition means you can connect with a larger segment of your target audience. Not only that, but low competition also leads to lower paid ad spend, making it an even more appealing ad platform for your business.
TikTok increases brand awareness and reach
Authentic content is king on TikTok. While many influencers and brands on Instagram go for highly-polished photos and videos to capture attention, users like TikTok’s spontaneous and genuine content. These posts especially attract Gen Z, who often prefer to consume more relaxed and easy-going media (for more details on the best time to post on TikTok, check out our guide). Brands who deliver this on TikTok can help improve their brand awareness and reach younger audience members.
How to use TikTok for business
We’ve covered the why, now let’s look at the how: You must know how to optimize your TikTok content to meet your business goals. Consider these suggestions and test what works best with your brand’s target audience.
Tip: Take your account to the next level and learn how to make money on TikTok
01. Find your niche
Without a niche, you risk your content getting lost in between the viral dance trends and informational videos. By focusing on one within your industry, you can get creative within certain restraints. Your niche should, of course, be related to your business or products, and the more specific, the better. TikTok user, @iamnicorojas makes videos in the marketing and branding niche that garner thousands and even millions of views.
Just remember to consistently highlight your brand’s main points in every post to keep your brand memorable in users’ minds.
02. Leverage user-generated content
Many businesses don’t know where to get started on TikTok, but you can easily kick off your account by repurposing and sharing user-generated content. User-generated content (UGC) is any post another user creates that mentions or shows your brand or products.
You can ask your audience to share videos of themselves with your products on TikTok and then repost those videos on your own account to engage with your audience right away and generate original content with little to no budget. What’s more, their posted videos will help you reach new users.
Often, bigger brands, such as Adidas, accompany these posts with branded hashtags. If you search for a popular brand on TikTok, you'll see user-generated content that the brand's customers have created with its products. Furthermore, since this organic content doesn’t appear as promotional, it tends to effectively catch eyes and captivate audiences.
03. Create a branded hashtag challenge
Using a unique hashtag, you can dare your audience to create and share original videos either as a viral trend or for a prize. With many people creating videos, you'll expose many new users to your brand in a positive, organic way.
When Pringles joined TikTok, the brand created a branded hashtag challenge # playwithpringles to inspire users to get creative with a Pringles can. The campaign went viral in Europe and led to over one billion views and 343,000 user-generated content entries.
04. Incorporate trending sounds
Song clips have a tendency to go viral in TikTok videos. While individual users and influencers often use them, brands can get in on the fun, too. First, it’ll show your audience that your brand stays on top of trending conversations.
Second, the TikTok algorithm will likely show your video to more users. Even if you don’t base your video around the trending sound clip and it simply plays in the background, it can still show up for other users when they search for that sound on.
05. Be authentic
We already mentioned that TikTok users value authentic content, so they won’t identify with polished videos that seem more like commercials. No one looks for perfection on TikTok, they want entertaining and relatable personalities. Make sure your brand fits that tone, too.
If you run a business selling products, try showing the behind-the-scenes of your business to come across as authentic and relatable. Videos as simple as showing you packing orders, answering audience questions, explaining your products, and introducing yourself or your employees can have a big impact in humanizing your brand and attracting new audiences.
Small business owner @safetyxxfirst makes keychains with items meant to keep women safe. She often appears in her TikTok videos to answer followers’ questions. These videos help put a face to the brand and the personality that shines through helps sell products.
06. Dabble with paid ads
If your social media marketing strategy includes paid ads, extend your budget to TikTok, too. Paid ads can effectively reach even more viewers, promote a certain product or simply create more brand awareness. Choose from these different paid ads on TikTok:
In-feed ads: These minute-or-less ads show up in a user’s feed as they scroll through videos.
TopView ads: Users see an auto-play video with sound and a CTA when they open the TikTok app.
Branded hashtag challenge ads: Brands pay to have users see their hashtag challenge on TikTok’s Discover Page.
Brand takeovers: These full-page ads also appear when users open TikTok and a static image, GIF, or short video up to 5 seconds long pops-up, promoting a brand takeover.
Branded effects: Brands create filters, stickers, or video effects that other TikTok users can apply to their videos.
07. Partner up with influencers
Collaborate with influencers on promotional content to expand your reach. There's a lot of potential if you use influencer marketing correctly, so don't overlook this tactic.
To begin, make a list of influencers who fall into your niche. Don’t deviate too far from your industry or brand personality or you’ll risk alienating your audience or seeming inauthentic. Reach out to let them know you’re interested in hiring them, and let them know your budget.
Once you find a collaborator, base your scope of work on what deliverables you both agree on. It can be anything from the influencer posting about how they use your products, adding links to their page or videos to sending more clicks to your website. You can even request for them to post a review of a highlighted item from your product line.
08. Check out your competitors
Follow hashtags in your niche as well as competitors in your industry to see how other businesses use TikTok. Watch their videos to understand how your audience might interact with specific video edits and effects. For example, you see similar brand videos that often feature text overlays and reactions, your videos should emulate this as well.
While dermatology advice may seem out of place on TikTok, it has become a hugely popular niche on the platform with users like @dermdoctor getting millions of views on their videos.
A popular format is reaction videos where a doctor comments on another TikTok video, and for businesses entering this, it makes sense to replicate this video editing format and tap into this existing audience.
9. Experiment with different video types
TikTok offers users many creative video options, so take the time to learn the platform and get comfortable with using different effects. Don't limit yourself to a single video feature or risk your viewers seeing you as a one-trick pony.
Your business could use these different types of videos:
Team introductions: Show your users a day in the life of your employees.
The grand tour: Give your followers a quick tour of your offices or workspace.
Case studies: Share examples of what you’ve done for clients in the past.
Before and after: Highlight a change before and after using your product or services.
Tell a story: Share your brand’s origins or an inspirational customer journey.
Product demos: Demonstrate how your product works in a short TikTok video.
Tip: You can even use a video maker to get creative TikTok footage. Just change up the videos you post so that it doesn’t get too repetitive.
There’s no limit on what you can post. From cute office pets to time-lapses of your processes, TikTok affords brands the space to get creative while uniquely engaging users.
Tip: At Wix, we use TikTok content to engage with our audience. Here you can find a Wix branding expert sharing tips and insights about logo color psychology. While the video has an educational and playful approach, we also use it to introduce our Wix Logo Maker tool.
By Lena Sernoff
Senior Digital Marketing Expert and Writer