f you’re reading this article, I can almost guarantee that you have at least one account on social media. That’s because, according to Statista, in 2019, there were nearly 3 billion social media users worldwide.
That’s nearly half of the world’s population!
Between platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok, the truth is that most people actually have more than just a single account.
So, as a business owner, it’s important to understand that each one of these social platforms presents its own unique method for communicating and engaging your target audience.
TikTok has recently made its way onto the list of the world’s most popular social media platforms, boasting roughly 800 million active monthly users.
Continue reading our guide to understand everything you need to know about using the platform to effectively market your small or medium-sized business.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a social media network where users can create short clips to share with their friends, family members, and followers.
Although TikTok is often erroneously referred to as a “lip-syncing” app, the fact is that users are able to upload virtually any type of viders that they want. And today, users are able to scroll through millions of different videos on the platform, which can be easily searched and categorized using the app’s user-friendly interface.
Additionally, user videos can be tagged with hashtags, which allows for a quick and easy way to group and search for videos. We’ll be discussing hashtags in greater depth a bit later on in this guide.
Finally, TikTok users also have the ability to interact with other users’ content, which makes TikTok exactly like any other social media platform, with the main exception being that it’s primarily designed for sharing videos, and not images or text content.
Be sure to check out our very own TikTok video maker, the perfect web and mobile app to help you create sleek TikTok videos in under 3 minutes!
Why Your Small Business Should Be on TikTok
Although TikTok is recommended for kids as young as 13 years of age, according to OmniCoreAgency, nearly 50% of TikTok users are under the age of 34, with 41% being between the ages of 16 and 24.
If your brand is selling products or services that are targeted at these younger demographics, being present and active on TikTok is a must!
Additionally, TikTok boasts around 800 million active monthly users, with roughly 26.5 million of those located in the United States. So if your business plans on selling either globally or to the U.S. market, using TikTok is a great way to easily get your brand name in front of millions of potential customers.
7 TikTok Statistics for 2020
To help you give a better understanding of why you should to be using TikTok, check out these rather impressive statistics:
- TikTok boasts roughly 800 million active users from around the world every month.
- TikTok is recognized as the 6th most popular social platform currently available.
- By the end of the first financial quarter of 2020, the TikTok app had managed to accumulate a staggering 315 million downloads. That’s the best quarter recorded by any app, ever.
- This consisted of 500 million downloads in India, 180 million in China, and about 130 in the United States.
- Estimated about roughly $78 billion back in 2018, TikTok was once known as the most valuable startup company in the world.
- On average, most TikTok users open the app about 8 times per day.
- Roughly 60% of TikTok are thought to be part of Generation Z. By 2021, there will be about 74 million Gen Zers in the United States alone, making Gen Z one of the largest generations ever.
How to Get Started on TikTok
Although you’re free to use TikTok however you choose, there are primarily three different ways that brands today are marketing themselves on the platform.
First, most brands work towards creating their own TikTok channels, which allows them to upload relevant videos for their audience to view.
Secondly, brands can choose to work with influencers, who are already popular on the platform. This tactic is often used to help get content in front of an even greater audience, potentially reaching millions, depending on the influencer’s popularity.
And lastly, brands have the option to create paid TikTok ads in order to promote themselves on the platform.
To help you understand what you can actually start doing today, let’s get to some of the most important strategies for marketing your brand on TikTok.
Popular TikTok Marketing Strategies (That Actually Work)
The fact is that all social media platforms are extremely competitive environments for small and medium-sized businesses.
Not only will your brand be competing with other similarly sized businesses, but you’ll all be grouped together with the world’s largest companies that are actively using these platforms to market themselves.
However, although the competition might be fierce, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to make a name for yourself on newer platforms like TikTok.
In fact, with a little bit of hard work, determination, and knowledge about your target audience, you can easily start getting your brand name in front of the right people. This brings us to our first strategy: learning about your audience.
Analyzing Your Target Audience
By now you know that roughly 40% of TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 24.
But knowing this fact alone isn’t enough. If you want to be able to create good quality content that your audience will actually enjoy watching, and will want to share, you need to know as much about them as possible. By analyzing and really learning about your target audience, you’ll be able to get a better idea of the type of content they enjoy.
For instance, let’s pretend that you’re a eco-friendly clothing brand, and that you find out a large percentage of your target audience are concerned about the use of harsh, chemical dyes in modern fashion. In this scenario, one effective way to use this knowledge, would be to create a series of TikTok videos that explain what makes your clothing brand eco-friendly.
In the end, it’s really simple psychology: by knowing about your target audience’s problems and concerns, and then showing them your solution to these issues, they’re more likely to trust you and find value in watching your content.
Once you’ve studied your target audience, it’s time to get in gear and start actively creating your own content. But first, it’s also a good idea to check on your competitors to help you get a better understanding of what actually works and what doesn’t on the platform.
Analyzing Your Competition
As with any type of marketing, it’s important to take a look at the type of content your competitors are publishing.
Of course, it’s vital that you do not copy exactly what they’re doing. By examining what other similar brands are doing on TikTok, you’ll be able to get a better idea of the type of videos you yourself can start creating.
Doing a competitor analysis is the best way to find out how your brand can gain a competitive edge in your industry.
For instance, instead of only looking to see what other brands are doing, you also want to look for gaps in their strategies – the things that they AREN’T doing – which, in turn, you can START doing.
Actively Creating Content For Your Audience
As much as it may seem obvious, you’re going to need to be regularly active on the platform if you’re planning on being successful at TikTok marketing.
In other words, simply having an account and filling out your profile isn’t going to cut it; you’re going to need to actively create and share high-quality content in order to to gain new followers and broaden your audience.
When using TikTok, you’ll only have a short, 15-second time limit on the videos you can record and publish. However, users can chain those 15-second clips together to make a longer story video, which can be as long as a minute. Alternatively, TikTok users can also choose to upload longer videos. They just can’t be recorded using the app itself.
The point is that there are virtually no limits on the type of videos you can create for your brand. The key to creating popular TikTok videos, as with any other type of marketing, is to create content that will hook the interest and engage your viewers.
Therefore, you need to ensure that your videos aren’t boring, and that your content actually speaks to your audience’s problems, concerns, wants, and desires.
In the end, it’s important to get creative, tell your brand’s story and be real with your audience. As you continue to create content and remain active on the platform, you’ll see that your audience on TikTok will continually grow.
Content Creation Tool
If you aren’t a video pro and don’t have one on your staff – have no fear. One of the appeals of TikTok is that users create organic video content that they generally edit themselves. It’s meant for users from all levels of video experience.
Check out our Tik Tok Video Length & Formatting Guide for full insights on how to use TikTok’s native video creator. You can also use an app like Boosted for more options for filters, text, and effects. You can create all different types of video (tips, tutorials etc.) for your small business to share on TikTok. Here are some examples:
One of the best organic strategies any brand can use on TikTok is to get the platform’s users to create and share content for them, which is referred to as user-generated content.
User-generated content is most often used for promoting social causes. However, the same strategy can be used by brands, allowing them to easily leverage TikTok’s native users into creating and sharing content for them.
To help illustrate how user-generated content works, let’s pretend that you’re the owner of a restaurant and that you’ve recently added a do-it-yourself option to your menu, where diners are allowed to customize their meals exactly as per their own dietary preferences.
In this case, a savvy TikTok marketer might create a campaign, encouraging anybody that chooses the do-it-yourself option to post a short video of their very custom meal, tagging your brand in the description, along with using one of your brand-specific hashtags.
According to Vidooly, this is exactly what a Chinese restaurant chain called Haidilao did.
As a result, the chain managed to entice roughly 15,000 visitors to film their experiences, which resulted in more than 50,000 views worth of free advertising for the brand.
To grow like this, you’ll need to make sure that your followers are tagging their videos with your brand-specific hashtags. With that being said, let’s take a deeper look at using hashtags effectively to promote your brand on TikTok.
TikTok Hashtag Strategies
Like most other social platforms, TikTok allows its users to tag their content with hashtags. The practice of hashtagging is most commonly seen on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, however, hashtags can also be used on Facebook, LinkedIn, and, of course, TikTok.
When a user tags one of their posts with a hashtag, it makes it possible for other users to see that post anytime they search for that hashtag.
Therefore, by using popular hashtags, brands are easily able to generate large amounts of organic traffic to their videos, making it significantly easier to reach new potential customers.
But how exactly should you use hashtags as part of your overall TikTok marketing strategy?
Understand that using hashtags is somewhat of a fine art. Just because you add a hashtag to one of your videos, doesn’t mean that it will automatically be seen by hundreds of thousands of other users.
In fact, unless you’re using relevant and popular hashtags, your content isn’t likely to be seen by very many users.
On the other hand, when you tag your video content with hashtags that are not only relevant, but are also popularly used and/or searched for by other users, you’re almost guaranteed to get your videos seen by a larger audience.
In order to cultivate your brand’s hashtag strategy, it’s a good idea to include some brand-specific hashtags along with your videos. For example, if you own a restaurant called Herman’s Eatery, you would start tagging your video with something like #hermanseatery.
That way, as time goes by, and you continue tagging your content with this brand-specific hashtag, any time a TikTok user searches for your restaurant, they’ll be likely to see all of the content that you’ve uploaded and tagged, without actually having to visit your profile page.
In order to get people searching for your brand and its brand-specific hashtags, you’re first going to need to generate some interest in your company. How?
One of the most effective hashtagging strategies on TikTok is to create a hashtag challenge for your followers. Essentially, these challenges are the way that brands are able to get their followers to create and share user-generated content for them.
When executed effectively, hashtag challenges have the potential to generate a significant amount of free content for brands.
The aforementioned example of the Chinese restaurant chain asking their patrons to share videos of their DIY meals is a prime example of a successful hashtag challenge.
In the end, however, it’s important to realize that, while some hashtag challenges go viral, not all of them do. In fact, many brands need to work with influencers and other popular public figures in order to get their hashtag challenges to become popular.
Let’s take a look at one popular hashtag challenge by a famous personality that went viral.
Successful TikTok Hashtag Challenge: Jimmy Fallon’s #tumbleweedchallenge
When Jimmy Fallon, the world-famous comedian, actor, and television show host, first started using TikTok, he wasn’t shy about creating a big splash about it.
In fact, thanks to his branded #tumbleweedchallenge, Fallon managed to rake in roughly 87,000 reactions, and more than 1100 comments within the challenge’s first six days. To date, the #tumbleweedchallenge is said to have generated more than 30 million views worldwide.
And what exactly is the #tumbleweedchallenge?
The #tumbleweedchallenge is a social challenge, where TikTok users were encouraged to record themselves rolling around on the ground like a tumbleweed, while playing country western music in the background.
Users were then asked to upload their videos, and tag them with #tumbleweedchallenge. Here’s the original challenge video:@fallontonight
Jimmy takes the TumbleweedChallenge! Show us your best tumbleweed!♬ #TumbleweedChallenge – The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
Here are some great user examples:@heyjjwolf
JJ & Gigi doing the #tumbleweedchallenge for @fallontonight @tiktok♬ #TumbleweedChallenge – The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon@dominictoliver
Can y’all do this?😂 #tumbleweedchallenge♬ #TumbleweedChallenge – The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
Of course, because Jimmy Fallon is a celebrity, his challenge took off like wildfire, and you shouldn’t expect to see the same type of results so quickly for your small business.
It’s important to take away the fact that Fallon’s challenge engaged his audience in a fun, interactive way, which resulted in millions of views.
Paid Advertisement on TikTok
In today’s extremely competitive digital landscape, most successful companies on social media rely, at least partially, on paid advertisements to expand their reach and continuously grow their brands.
TikTok, like most other social media platforms, also offers this type of paid advertising.
However, because the platform is still relatively new, TikTok advertising hasn’t quite taken off in the same way as Facebook or Instagram advertising has. But that’s not to say that running paid ads on TikTok isn’t a strategy worth looking into.
In fact, the platform has already rolled out a few different forms of advertising, which some brands are already using to achieve massive marketing success
The Best TikTok Marketing Strategy for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
The most successful TikTok marketing strategies are going to involve a healthy balance of everything mentioned in this guide.
If you want to use TikTok to effectively market your brand, you need to make sure that to consider all the different ways the platform can be used for your benefit, which includes creating your own content, encouraging user-generated content, using hashtags, and running paid ads.
TikTok Marketing In 2020
Although TikTok is still a relatively new social media platform, there’s no doubting the fact that it’s already achieved massive success. In fact, with well over 800 millions active users worldwide, TikTok is thought to be the 6th largest social media platform.
So, as a small business owner, especially if you’re selling products or services to younger adults or teenagers, it’s vital to think about signing up and using TikTok as one of your main marketing channels.
And by following the tips and strategies that we’ve outlined in today’s guide, you’ll be well on your way to taking the world of TikTok by storm!