TikTok for Business – Essential Guide From TikTok ads to swathes of influencer videos, the platform has become an opportunity-filled playground for marketing teams. Here’s how to master TikTok for business. Written by Fernanda Alvarez Pineiro Updated on 21 September 2023 Our experts We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality. Written and reviewed by: Fernanda Alvarez Pineiro Between viral dancing videos and User Generated Content (UGC) that nurtures authentic marketing tactics, TikTok has changed the social media marketing landscape. TikTok has proven that younger audiences are tired of invasive advertising and that they’re keen on engaging in meaningful ways with brands. That’s why making a mark on TikTok is important for businesses who want to connect with millennial and Gen Z audiences and diversify their marketing methodology.However, being in the good graces of TikTok junkies requires a detailed understanding of what will land well with your target audience and the mechanisms of TikTok marketing. To help you navigate the land of short form video marketing, we’ll dive into how to promote your brand, how to sell, how to use lead generation, and the trends to monitor on TikTok.It’s not a question of whether your business should be on TikTok. It’s more a question of how you should build your identity there. By the end of this guide, you should have some inspiration on how to make your presence on the social media platform profitable. In this page Why use TikTok for business? Who uses TikTok? How to use TikTok to promote your brand How to sell on TikTok How to use TikTok for lead generation TikTok trends small businesses should understand Conclusion FAQs Why use TikTok for business?Although TikTok is known as the natural habitat of influencers and as a meme-filled, dance-friendly environment, it’s also a marketing goldmine. TikTok has seen a significant increase in the number of users every year since its launch.It is estimated that TikTok will cater to a total of 1.5 billion users by 2023. That’s a massive growing market filled with potential customers. As a business, you don't want to be left out. Besides the obvious, here are a couple more benefits to keep in mind:✔️ Puts you in the frontline of Gen Z advertising: the majority of TikTok users are Gen Zers. More importantly, they’re a group that’s keen on buying products they find on TikTok, as 37% of them instantly seek to buy a product upon discovering it. There’s no better internet environment where it’s this easy to reach younger audiences.✔️ High conversion rates → the platform’s relatable and lightweight content creates higher engagement among audiences. This can also mean higher conversion rates. TikTok actively shares advice on how the right type of Calls to Action (CTAs) to TikTok videos can enhance conversions by 152%.✔️ Organic marketing → 51% of Gen Z uses ad-blockers. Why? Mostly, because they’re tired of being aggressively advertised to and having impersonal relationships with brands. TikTok understands this reticence towards traditional advertising, which is why through its fun, quirky and creative content it promotes organic UGC that can help brands sell their products in a more authentic way. This leads to better engagement, as influencers on TikTok have an average engagement rate of 17.96%, way above Instagram’s 3.86%. This leads to better engagement, as influencers on TikTok have an average engagement rate of 17.96%, way above Instagram’s 3.86%. ✔️ Accessible advertising → TikTok thrives on authentic and unpolished videos, which don’t require expensive camera equipment or hours of strategising. TikTok’s emphasis on authenticity means you can foster the creation of UGC, which is virtually free if you do it right. Besides this, TikTok has a flexible ads menu that allows you to choose how much money you want to spend and adjust adverts accordingly.✔️ Going viral is a real possibility → You don’t need thousands of followers or an extensive history on TikTok to go viral. With the right format, music, and TikTok trend, you can get thousands of views on your videos for relatively low effort. Who uses TikTok?There’s a staggering number of TikTok users in the UK, amounting 23.38 million users per month. This puts the UK in the 12th position with the most TikTok users. Of those users, 40% are aged between 18 to 24. This younger demographic reinforces the importance of having marketing strategies on the platform that are Gen Z and millennial friendly to land well. Just 2% of adults over 45 in the UK use it.Importantly, TikTok users are on the platform daily. Statistics show that UK users spend 27.3 hours monthly on the platform. Globally, users average 95 minutes daily. Having this recurrent audience can translate into lots of conversion opportunities for your brand, as long as you understand what type of content your target audience seeks. How to use TikTok to promote your brandTapping into the power of TikTok requires a couple of steps. Here are the ones you want to follow to effectively promote your brand on TikTok.📱 Create your TikTok Business Account → from the “Me” page click on the three dots button and select ‘Manage Account’. Choose the option to ‘Switch to Business Account’. Select the category that best matches your industry and that’s it!📱 Optimise your profile → you can now add your profile picture, a bio, and a URL. Make sure these all reflect your brand and that you’re phrasing your bio in a way that appeals to your target audience.📱 Understand who your target audience is → using TikTok analytics and your own market research, start outlining who your target audience is to inform your content strategy.📱 Get familiar with how TikTok’s algorithm works → make sure that any content you post has a relevant caption with popular hashtags to help drive up your visibility. Think about what type of content people would want to engage with, because the more shares, saves, and likes your videos get, the more you will show up in people’s feeds.📱 Analyse the competition → take a look at what other similar brands in your industry are doing on TikTok but, most importantly, what they’re not doing. Once you identify these gaps and understand how you stand up against the competition, you can amend your content strategy to guarantee you’ll stand out.📱 Publish your content (regularly) → based on the insights you’ve drawn from looking at your competition and your analytics, you can now start publishing content that reflects the ethos of your brands and the needs and wants of your target audience. Keep in mind the algorithm likes accounts that publish often, so you definitely want to have fresh content about three times a week.📱 Partner with influential users → these can be micro or macro-influencers – as long as they align with your brand and have a user base that will engage with the content, you should be on your way to expand your reach on TikTok.📱 Use TikTok ads → consider using TikTok ads like TikTok Promote to help boost your content on the platform. It is preferable to conduct your advertising as organically as possible through the likes of UGC and influencer partnerships, but more traditional ads can also help promote your brand on TikTok.Understanding your likely TikTok audienceAs you design your marketing strategy on TikTok, it’s likely you want deeper insight on who your audience is beyond just ‘Gen Z’ or ‘millennials’. Here’s how to use TikTok analytics to have that added layer of insight.Head to your profile under Me, tap the three dot icon, and choose Creator tools. Now select Analytics.You’ll notice that Analytics are organised into Overview, Content, and Followers. Here’s what each offers:Overview → this gives you follower growth, video views, profile views, likes, comments and shares over the last 7, 28 or 60 days or a custom range. It also allows you to explore the Engagement section which lets you better understand video performance.Content → this covers extended data and analytics for each video you post. You can see likes, comments, shares and average watch time, watched full video, traffic source type, and audience territories.Followers → this tab highlights insights about the community you’ve built on TikTok. It includes information like where your audiences are from, times of the day or week when followers are most active on TikTok, and changes in follower growth compared to previous periods.As you analyse the numbers, keep in mind they should inform rather than dictate your TikTok strategy.For instance, you might see some videos performed slightly above or below the average but fluctuations are normal. Instead, you want to focus on what sort of larger picture the numbers paint, and integrate that insight into your content gameplan. How to sell on TikTokTikTok is a great option for ecommerce brands. That’s because it has a number of different advertising channels you can pursue, giving you an added layer of flexibility in your marketing and selling strategy. Here are a couple to consider:Tag your videos with products → the TikTok Shopping feature lets you easily do social commerce with one tap. This way, users can easily access your products and have a smoother transition to checking out items from their shopping cart. In some ways, this is ‘advertising without advertising’. That’s because your products are already part of your content. Encourage UGC → through the use of original hashtags, you can encourage users to make UGC to organically engage with your brand and drive traffic. An example of this was Nathan Apodaca’s highly viral TikTok in which he was skateboarding while sipping Ocean Spray cranberry juice. The juice company integrated it into their own marketing strategy through the #DreamsChallenge. The hashtag encouraged multiple celebrities to recreate the video, including members of Fleetwood Mac. Examples like these show how simple UGC can be a profitable replacement of hyper-produced marketing campaigns that aggressively try to sell to customers.TikTok Promote → this is an advertising tool that you can use to boost your content so more people can discover your videos and find your website. As a result, you should be getting more engagement and followers. To set this up, you click on the 3 dot icon in the Me section of the app, tap Creator tools and then go on Promote. From the Promotions page, you then tap on the video you’d like to promote and select the goals that TikTok offers. These can be getting more video views, more website views, or more followers. You then select your budget, duration of the promotion, and finally, pay for the advertising plan.Run live streams → TikTok Lives are a great way to directly interact with your users and show them first hand a product or service that you sell. The great part is that just like you do with videos, you can also link products to Live streams, making it easy for customers to quickly add items to their basket. How to use TikTok for lead generationIf you want to lean more on lead generation, luckily, TikTok also offers that channel. Here’s how you can use it to find high quality leads:TikTok’s Lead FormsYou can use the In-App form (Native Lead Gen) to make use of TikTok’s Lead Generation for Ads. According to TikTok, 24% of those who use this method see a lower cost per lead than on other platforms, which means you can get more conversions and a higher Return On Investment (ROI).Your own website Lead Gen FormsAlternatively, you can also use the Website Form option if you already have a lead form on your website with qualifying logic built in. This is great for driving traffic and action on your website and using your existing software capabilities. To set this up, these are the steps to follow:Choose the ‘lead generation’ objective on TikTok Ads ManagerSelect your target audience, bid strategy, and upload new creatives for your ad.Create your form so prospects can give you their information.Manage your leads by integrating your CRM directly into TikTok or manage it through the TikTok Leads Center.Regardless of whether you choose the Native Lead Gen option or your own website’s form, it’ll be key to keep track of your analytics. This will give you a sense of your target audience, what they’re looking for, and how you should be updating your content strategy. TikTok trends small businesses should understandTikTok makes it easy for you to understand what’s trending right now through its TikTok Creative Center. You can easily find trending hashtags, creators, and content which can inform your own content production.Keeping an eye on trends will help you update your content plan accordingly. However, you can integrate trending hashtags into different types of content and strategies. Here are a couple you can use:🎲 Challenges → just like the #DreamChallenge, you can use challenges to encourage users to engage with your brand and create UGC. This is a soft form of advertising because as users have fun recreating videos, they are also promoting your brand to other users.🎲 Product reviews → you can partner with macro or micro-influencers and send them your product so they can review it. This will give potential customers an authentic review of your product, foster engagement, and increase your reach with TikTok audiences.🎲 DIY tutorials → instead of aggressively promoting their kitchenware, Le Creuset has taken a fun approach to TikTok marketing by posting cooking videos on the platform. This way, users learn how to cook a new recipe whilst watching Le Creuset items in action. Through this disguise, you can still promote your products and post useful content.🎲 Humorous content → memes and quirky jokes are the way to the hearts of millennials and Gen Z’ers, so definitely integrate this into your content strategy. They don’t need to be complicated – it can be as simple as short videos that use trendy CapCuts or a marketing campaign that is outside the box like the one that Wild deodorant did on their TikTok.🎲 Educational content → although TikTok is infamous for its humorous material, it also is the home to lots of educational content. You can teach users how to do something with your products or comment on a viral issue to establish your knowledge and authority in your industry.🎲 Behind the scenes content → stripping away the filters and the halo lights helps give your brand an aura of authenticity that lots of TikTok users crave. Going behind the scenes of what you do, how your products are made, or how your team works on a day to day basis can show that you’re more than just a business that is trying to sell its products. ConclusionTikTok offers the chance to show your business as authentically as possible, which is a great hit with audiences who are tired of being aggressively marketed to. Whether that is through humorous content or challenges that encourage UGC, you have plenty of marketing options on TikTok that can help you promote your brand and increase conversions.Remember – TikTok is different from other platforms. That’s because it functions off the back of simple, organic content that allows users to engage meaningfully with your brand. As long as this core principle informs your TikTok content strategy, you should be well on your way to triumphing on the platform. Frequently Asked Questions What are some of the most popular TikTok hashtags for businesses? Some of the hashtags that are great at giving you visibility on TikTok are #smallbusinesscheck, #digitalmarketing, and #foryou. However, as you add hashtags to your video descriptions, you’ll also be able to type in any hashtag and check its current popularity. This will help you capitalise on the hashtags that are trending within your industry. How often should I post on TikTok? You should aim to post 3-5 times per week so that you’re consistently offering your followers something on the platform. However, the more, the better, as the TikTok algorithm rewards active users. What kind of content should I post on TikTok? Anything that will align with your target audience and what they’re looking for. Most importantly, you should post content that is authentic and not hyper-produced as the TikTok crowd doesn’t like being aggressively sold to. Try to keep your content range diverse – tutorials, humorous content, challenges, etc. Share this post facebook twitter linkedin Tags News and Features Written by: Fernanda Alvarez Pineiro Fernanda is a Mexican-born Startups Writer. Specialising in the Marketing & Finding Customers pillar, she’s always on the lookout for how startups can leverage tools, software, and insights to help solidify their brand, retain clients, and find new areas for growth. Having grown up in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi, Fernanda is passionate about how businesses can adapt to new challenges in different economic environments to grow and find creative ways to engage with new and existing customers. With a background in journalism, politics, and international relations, Fernanda has written for a multitude of online magazines about topics ranging from Latin American politics to how businesses can retain staff during a recession. She is currently strengthening her journalistic muscle by studying for a part-time multimedia journalism degree from the National Council of Training for Journalists (NCTJ).