What started as a Gen Z-dominated lip-syncing app has quickly become a global hub for businesses to connect with their customers. With 689 million monthly active users, it’s impossible to ignore the power of TikTok.
In today’s post, Ignite Visibility Social Media Specialist, Sarah Ali, explores the seven ways brands can leverage TikTok for business and extend their reach to an even larger audience.
Ready to find out how to use TikTok for business? Let’s get started!
What We’ll Cover:
1. You Can Take Some Creative Liberties
The majority of TikTok’s content is light, whimsical, and entertaining.
It’s real people expressing themselves in creative – and often silly – ways. Even if you’re a serious B2B or SaaS company selling serious products or services, using TikTok for business to showcase your brand has some serious benefits.
Social media users are hungry for human connection and authenticity. While there’s surely a place for educational value on TikTok, positioning your company as one that’s conversational and easy to connect with will make customers feel more comfortable entering into a long-term partnership with you.
Of course, there is a time and place for certain things, but I can guarantee your business does have a threshold for leisure and humor it hasn’t reached yet.
2. Reach More People, Faster
Despite the app being launched in 2016, TikTok has been downloaded over 2 billion times on the App Store and Google Play.
Currently, TikTok is the most downloaded app in Apple’s iOS App Store, with more than 33 million downloads. This puts the platform ahead of others that have been around a lot longer like Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter. That’s no surprise as video content is king in 2021 and if there’s anything that TikTok excels at, it’s video.
It also means that TikTok is an ideal place to reach an international audience.
And contrary to popular belief, teenagers aren’t the only ones spending hours scrolling through the app.
What does all of this mean? Well, for one, TikTok is a well-populated platform. Chances are you know a teacher, a dentist, or an entrepreneur who’s an active user. And tapping into a tiny sliver of that audience is an opportunity for using TikTok for business that you could potentially be missing.
3. TikTok for Business: Endless Influencers
One of the most appealing aspects of TikTok is that anyone can go viral. It’s not entirely far-fetched that a person with 0 followers and 0 views can post a TikTok video one night that has a million views the next morning.
This ability to provide anyone with a massive following means TikTok has a limitless pool of influencers to choose from. If your brand is looking to target a particular group of people in a specific location, there is likely a perfectly suited individual who fits the criteria and already has a big following.
According to recent data, nearly 86% of marketers have used influencer marketing to generate sales or increase brand awareness.
However, sifting through influencers on TikTok can be an arduous process, and it’s unclear to determine whether a certain influencer is right for your product or service.
To address these concerns, TikTok created the TikTok Creator Marketplace, an analytics tool that helps brands find TikTok users to partner with. It lets you access the influencers’ engagement, reach, demographics, views, and much more.
4. Opportunity for Repurposing Content
TikTok videos are capped at 60 seconds. They’re generally short, customizable, and can be repurposed across all of your social media channels.
Think about how much adding one of your TikTok videos to an email would spruce things up for your customers and amplify their curiosity about your future emails?
Or, if you’re still trying to build your community across multiple platforms, you have the option of sending that TikTok video directly to your Instagram Stories. You could also publish it on your website or use it in presentations or onboarding videos. The more creative you get, the more brownie points you’ll earn with users.
However, you want to make sure you’re conveying the same message on each channel. While TikTok may be ideal for lighthearted content, having images and messaging that differ completely may be confusing when someone encounters you on another platform or visits your company website.
5. Great User Engagement
When it comes to using TikTok for business, you simply cannot overlook the engagement rate. The average TikTok user spends 52 minutes per day on the app, and this increased screen time means that there’s ample opportunity for advertisers to reach their consumers.
With the sheer variety of content on TikTok, this isn’t unexpected. Whether you’re a clothing brand, restaurant, or transportation company, there’s space for anyone to increase visibility for their products or services.
And due to TikTok’s unique delivery algorithms, you’re able to get higher engagement on your videos with much less effort.
6. TikTok for Business: Budget-Friendly
Many brands are still apprehensive about investing time and money advertising on TikTok, thinking it will be too difficult to set up campaigns and keep track of yet another app’s data. But perhaps the most attractive part of TikTok for business is that it can garner success within any sized budget.
Plus, compared to more established platforms, it’s still relatively easy for lesser-known brands to achieve organic reach without breaking the bank.
According to Katy Lucey, Director of Paid Social at Tinuiti, “With engagement becoming more costly on Facebook, brands should look to emerging social channels for more affordable growth opportunities. This is why it’s necessary to diversify your media mix and pivot to inventory where there is faster growth potential, such as TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest and others.”
7. Versatile Ad Formats
If you want to learn how to use TikTok for business, the good news is that there are a variety of ad formats to choose from, including:
This TikTok ad placement is arguably the best, unmissable spot and pops up 5 seconds after the user opens the app.
As the longest video ad format, TopView videos can be up to 60 seconds long and are full-screen with both sound and autoplay. You can also add links to internal or external pages to drive traffic to your website.
Similar to the ads you see on Instagram, In-Feed Ads are 9-15 seconds long and appear in between user videos as you scroll through the “For You” page.
The best part is that you can include multiple call-to-actions to increase conversions. Brands can encourage users to shop, download their app, or visit their website straight from TikTok.
Another feature of In-Feed Ads is that users can like, comment, share, follow, and shoot videos within the same TikTok video.
Brand Takeover Ads
These are the TikTok ads that appear immediately when someone opens the app.
Similar to TopView, this is a full-screen static or dynamic display that delivers a stronger visual impact. These ads are comparable to unskippable YouTube ads or bumper ads.
However, users don’t have the ability to like or comment like they do with In-Feed Ads. We recommend using this format in tandem with other formats available to give your ads the widest reach.
Branded Hashtag Challenge
This engagement format taps into user passion for creative expression.
Featured in TikTok’s Discover Page, Branded Hashtag Challenges give users the ability to participate and build content around a specific campaign theme.
When a user clicks on the sponsored hashtag, they’re immediately redirected to a landing page that features the sponsor’s logo, website link, challenge description, and the most popular videos that are currently using the hashtag.
Branded Lenses is a format on TikTok that utilizes augmented reality to bring 3D objects, face filters, and similar effects to users.
These are similar to Snapchat lenses for faces and photos and help make your business more recognizable to the masses.
Image of time spent
Image of different ad types
What does the future of TikTok and business hold?
In 2020, the app officially launched TikTok for Business, which provides digital marketers with an array of resources to help maximize the reach of their ad campaigns.
The company even released a statement saying, “With the launch of TikTok For Business, we set out to embrace the creative, positive, and real moments that make our community so special with solutions for businesses to connect and grow with our wonderfully expressive community.”
With the platform continuing to gain more traction, businesses big and small should be experimenting, optimizing, and showcasing their content in hopes of converting avid TikTokers into loyal customers.