TikTok Marketing Techniques: A Roadmap to Fuel Your Business Growth

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TikTok Marketing Techniques: A Roadmap to Fuel Your Business Growth

Thu, 03/31/2022 - 09:12
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TikTok is only growing in popularity, and you don’t want to fall behind the curve.

TikTok is the newest wave of social media, but it’s quickly gaining attention with younger audiences. Gen Z and millennials are loving the short-form video content on the social media app, giving businesses a potentially huge market to tap into.

If your audience is active on TikTok, you can’t afford to miss the opportunity. Brands that leverage the platform’s marketing are seeing incredible growth from its video-first content. Whether you go viral or not, you can gain a powerful presence on the app.

Learn more about this social media revolution with the roadmap to fuel business growth with TikTok marketing techniques.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is the hottest new social media platform among younger audiences. It prioritizes short-form video content, typically from 15 to 60 seconds, and appeals to people looking for bite-sized content.

There’s a lot more than just video on TikTok. Users can record, edit, and share videos with enhancements like music, effects, and filters to personalize them.

TikTok Terms to Know

If you’re just getting started with TikTok, it’s important to understand the “lingo.”

  • Creators: TikTok users are dubbed “creators” because they enhance the experience by producing content for other users.
  • Fans: Fans are TikTok’s followers and interact with creators or brands they like.
  • Comments: Like other social media platforms, users can leave comments to share appreciation or leave feedback. Creators have the option to filter or disable comments on their own videos.
  • Hearts: TikTok users can express their “love” of content by clicking on the heart icon, which saves favorite videos for later viewing.
  • Reactions: Reactions are used to show an emotional response to videos, such as happiness, joy, anger, sadness, and frustration.
  • Private Messaging: Similar to Facebook Messenger, TikTok offers a private chat option to interact with users privately.
  • Duets: Creators can collaborate with other creators by engaging in a duet, which requires permission from both parties.
  • Original Sounds: TikTok users can add music or sound effects to their videos from the TikTok library, or by creating their own Original Sounds.
  • Challenges: These are popular trends on TikTok that creators begin and fans recreate with their own content.

Understanding TikTok Marketing

Like other social media, TikTok can be used by brands for marketing efforts. The platform offers a variety of tools for success, including influencer marketing and paid advertising, but it can be used for organic growth as well.

The benefits of TikTok marketing include:

  • Improved sales
  • Better targeting
  • More feedback from customers
  • Improved brand awareness
  • Engaged brand communities
  • User-generated content

TikTok marketing falls in these categories:

  • Influencer marketing: This is a big part of TikTok marketing and helps with a brand’s recognition and growth. Many influencers found success on the platform, especially with younger audiences.
  • Short-form video: TikTok features short-form video content and can be used to boost organic growth. TikTok Business accounts can create content, such as product demos and brand challenges, to drive growth. For example, if you had a driver’s ed app like the Zutobi app, you could share a video of the app in use or encourage challenges to have fans share their progress.
  • TikTok advertising: TikTok has a paid advertising feature that’s similar to Facebook and Instagram. TikTok Ads Manager is run from a business account and features campaign goals, audience, placement, and budget to target your ads.

Getting Your TikTok Business Account Up and Running

TikTok business accounts offer a range of capabilities and functionalities that aren’t available for standard user accounts. If you want to market on TikTok, it’s important to have a business account. Here’s how:

  • Navigate to the profile page and open the Settings and Privacy tab.
  • Click Manage Account, then click Account Control. From there, you can Switch to a Business Account.
  • Then, choose the category for your business, which is usually the industry or niche that you fall into.
  • Add your email and website URL and you’re done!

Best TikTok Marketing Strategies

Trends are important on TikTok, so you need to put in time to learn what’s trending and what types of content users like. You need to stay agile and switch it up as trends change (which can happen quickly), but a solid marketing strategy can get you started.

Learn Your Way Around

TikTok isn’t like other social media platforms, so you have to approach it in a unique way. Take some time to learn your way around and get a feel for what users like to see. Pay attention to trends, music, and filters that you can use for your own content.

Branded hashtag challenges are popular and great for brands to generate awareness and interest. Check out the hashtag challenges and learn how they work, so you can come up with a challenge of your own.

Determine Your Target Audience

All marketing starts with an understanding of the audience. Make sure you define your audience and learn what they like, so you can create content that resonates with them. Pay attention to your audience on other platforms – it’s likely that they’ll also be on TikTok.

TikTok is popular among younger audiences, but it’s likely to grow to include older audiences in the future. If you already have a presence on the platform, you’ll be ahead of the curve.

Follow the Competition

If your competitors are on TikTok, you could be missing out on an entire audience that’s now focused on the competition. If they aren’t on TikTok yet, you could have the advantage of being the first. Either way, you belong on TikTok.

Once you get a feel for the platform, start researching the competition and noting the type of content they’re sharing. This will give you insights into what’s working and what isn’t, so you can use it to tweak your own campaigns.

Leverage Hashtags

TikTok users find content they want to see using hashtags. Videos are sorted and searchable with hashtags, so it’s important that you use the right ones to make your content discoverable.

Hashtags shouldn’t be an afterthought – used correctly, they can attract more followers, increase your reach, and help you determine your competitors. Choose short, specific hashtags that are relevant to your brand.

Define Goals

While you can have fun on TikTok, remember that you’re using it to further your business goals. Marketing on TikTok should serve business goals, such as promoting your product and increasing sales, boosting brand awareness, or creating a loyal brand community.

Your goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound). Set goals that you can track and refine as you go for more success. TikTok has analytics tools in your Creator Tools, ensuring you have the metrics you need to determine the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Keep It Consistent

Like any marketing effort, you need to be consistent on TikTok to see results. The content may be impromptu and raw, but you can plan it out with a content calendar and scheduling. It’s important to post valuable content, even if it isn’t highly produced, and stay consistent. If you’re just posting to get something up, you’re not doing yourself any favors.

Ask for Feedback

Users on TikTok like the opportunity to interact with brands directly. Don’t hesitate to prompt feedback and engagement by asking them survey questions or to share their own content. Remember to always respond to comments and keep the conversation going.

For example, you could ask users what the hardest part of their driver’s permit test was. You’ll not only create a community that can help each other succeed, but you’ll get ideas for how to improve your driver’s ed app.

Keep Content Native

TikTok isn’t the place for traditional promotional techniques. This audience wants value and authenticity, so you need to keep it real. Make sure your content entertains and informs first. Then, as you build an audience, you can include some promotional posts.

The best way to do this is with real-life people discussing your product and its benefits. This is authentic and helps users understand how the product fits into their lives, but it’s not a traditional sales ad.

Use Clear Descriptions

Users like TikTok videos because they’re short, but that can make it challenging for brands to get the message across. Make sure your videos are aesthetically pleasing and raw to get the views.

Your description can go a long way in getting users interested in what you have to offer. Avoid being so vague that they don’t know what they’ll be watching, but don’t give it all away, either. Summarize the content as best as possible.

For SEO purposes, be sure to include keywords and phrases that are relevant to your video. This can help the platform index your video and show it to the right users. Avoid stuffing a bunch of keywords into your description, however. Keep it focused on a few relevant and high-value keywords.

Partner With Influencers

Influencer marketing is a tried-and-true technique for boosting brand awareness and credibility. TikTok influencers know how to capture the audience’s attention and create content that works well on the platform, and they can do the same for your brand.

You can find influencers for just about every niche imaginable. Be sure to partner with influencers that have a substantial audience that intersects with yours – millions of followers is irrelevant if the influencer is in a different industry. Work with the influencer to determine the best content for your brand and set clear expectations.

Use Email to Promote Your TikTok Account

TikTok videos can be downloaded and shared onto other platforms, including email. Once you create content, download it and embed it in your emails to share with your subscriber list and generate more interest for your TikTok account.

If you have subscribers who aren’t on TikTok yet, it’s a good way to get them interested in joining. You’ll also be sharing your content with a wider audience than the platform alone.

For example, if you have a driver’s ed app with an audience of student drivers on TikTok, you can promote your driver’s ed content to parents through email.

Tweak Your Marketing

No marketing technique is going to be perfect from the start. Leverage TikTok’s impressive analytics to learn what you’re doing that’s working and what isn’t, so you can improve your future campaigns. Checking in once a month or once every few months can help you gauge your effectiveness.

Remember, you may not always know exactly what your audience wants. Pay attention to how the users react to your content and the feedback they give, then use it to create better content in the future.

Supercharge Your Efforts With TikTok Advertising

TikTok offers paid advertising methods to grow your audience faster than organic efforts alone. Here are some options for paid advertising:

  • In-feed ads: Video ads, image ads, and spark ads are available for TikTok and help you boost your current content. Pangle ads and carousel ads are also available, but you must use separate apps for them and then post them to TikTok.
  • Topview ads: These ads start as soon as the app is opened and can’t be skipped like a YouTube ad, so they’re more likely to get views. Be sure to keep the content native, however.
  • Ads for Managed Brands: These ads have additional formatting options to tailor them, but otherwise, they’re similar to in-feed ads. You can get Ads for Managed Brands through a TikTok sales representative.

Set Up a TikTok Ad Account

Running ads on TikTok requires a TikTok Ads Manager for your business account. All you have to do is fill in the pertinent information, such as your contact information, business name, industry, and country.

Have Fun With It

TikTok is all about fun, lighthearted content. It’s also new, so no brand really knows exactly what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what you come up with! Your audience will let you know what works, and you never know what you may come up with.

Harness TikTok Marketing for Success

TikTok is only growing in popularity, and you don’t want to fall behind the curve! Check out TikTok marketing opportunities and get yourself familiar with the app before it becomes as ubiquitous as Facebook and Instagram!

About the Author: Leo Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online drivers education to help teens get their license. Leo founded Zutobi to make world-class driver's education fun, affordable, and easily accessible for all.