Want to know how to promote your business on TikTok? Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to develop a winning TikTok marketing strategy for your brand.
It took less than four years for TikTok to become one of the most popular social media apps on the internet. The platform was introduced to the western world in 2017, and by 2020, it had more than 300 million active users.
TikTok has gone on to influence modern culture to an unprecedented level. From entertainment and fashion to beauty and even education, it’s hard to find an industry that has not been impacted by TikTok. Even tech giants like Google and Meta have had to rethink their social platforms, introducing new features such as YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels to rival the new kid on the block.
Despite attempts by more established brands to mimic TikTok’s video features, none of them have managed to put a brake on TikTok’s rapid growth in popularity. According to a report by Business of Apps, TikTok hit 1.2 billion active users in Q4 of 2021 – a figure is projected to hit 1.5 billion by December 2022.
Those numbers will naturally draw the eyes of social media marketers, but you can’t launch a successful marketing campaign without a solid strategy in place – which is why we’re here to help you put together a TikTok marketing plan.
With the platform’s popularity continually skyrocketing, TikTok should now be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy along with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, email marketing, and SEO marketing. By establishing and maintaining a social media presence on TikTok, your brand will reach new audiences and increase its exposure and revenue.
Without further ado, here’s our step-by-step guide on how to develop a winning TikTok marketing strategy for your brand.
Like other social media platforms, TikTok provides separate accounts for brands. TikTok’s Business Account comes with features that make it easier for businesses to create and track their campaigns – such as metrics like impressions, engagements, and follower distribution. TikTok business accounts also make it easier for brands to find influencers.
To set up a TikTok business account, download the TikTok app, log in, or sign up for a new account.
After signing up, click on the profile icon at the bottom right of the home screen. Next, click the menu icon at the top right, then “settings and privacy” in the pop-up menu at the bottom. You’ll see “manage account” in the next menu, then “Switch to Business Account” in the next window under Account Control.
Fill out your information and choose the appropriate category for your business. After completing this process, you’ll notice new creator and menu options when clicking the menu.
Remember to go back to your profile and add business email, business logo, links to your other social media channels, and a bio.
Don’t worry too much about SEO best practices like optimal keyword density when writing a TikTok bio. Instead, use frequency-inverse document frequency (TF-IDF) optimization, which considers keywords related to the root keyword that you’re targeting. TF-IDF opens up your TikTok account to new audiences who might not yet be aware of your brand.
Before starting your campaign, do some research and identify your target audience. You can use customer personas to analyze your target audience and see whether they’re active on TikTok.
A buyer persona shows key traits about your ideal customers. It can include their age, location and social media channels among other details.
You can use the data from your existing customer base to create your personas, or conduct surveys via email and social media to gather more data.
You can then cross-check the persona with TikTok analytics to look for audience overlaps. For example, you can use the age or location of your ideal customers to check how many TikTok users are in that region.
One of the easiest ways to get fast results on TikTok is to collaborate with influencers. Influencers already have an established fanbase of followers who consume their content religiously. They also know their way around the TikTok algorithm, so partnering with strategic influencers can help you achieve your goals faster.
Don’t just consider follower count – look for influencers whose audience overlaps with your own. After all, the goal of an influencer collaboration is to get your content or brand exposed to your target audience. The influencers you pick should also align with your brand values. If you’re doing a long-term collaboration, people may start relating your brand to specific personalities, and you don’t want your brand associated with the wrong people.
You can find potential influencers for your brand working with a TikTok influencer agency or using TikTok’s Creator Marketplace, with an influencer marketing platform like Collabstr, Hypeauditor, Grin, CreatorIQ, or with similar alternative tools. Or, simply use Google to search for influencers in your niche – “top beauty influencers on TikTok”, for example.
When searching for influencers, engagement rate is paramount. In fact, a 2021 report by the Influencer Marketing Hub shows micro-influencers (influencers with less than 15k followers) have higher engagement rates (17.96%) on TikTok than macro-influencers – which is also the case for other social networks, including Instagram and YouTube.
Competitor analysis helps identify what strategies are working for your competitors. You can then take those strategies, refine them, and blow the competition out of the water.
But how do you conduct competitor analysis? Start by analyzing the type of content your competitors create, and the results they see. Look at their TikToks with the most impressions and engagements, and identify what elements may have contributed to their success. Here are some questions to ask when conducting competitor analysis:
Don’t ignore the TikTok videos that failed, either – it can be just as valuable to learn from the mistakes of your competitors.
You can also analyze the collaborations your competitors are making. For example, which TikTok personalities are they using? And how do they create the sponsored content?
Finally, you need to track your performance and adjust your TikTok strategy accordingly. The TikTok analytics tool makes it easy to track the performance of your posts and account. The tool shows various metrics, like the number of shares, likes, and comments. You will also see total views, total playtime, average watch time, profile views, and so on.
You can also track your followers’ activities from the Followers tab. This tab shows the following information about your followers:
You can use these metrics to adjust your content strategy. For instance, if you see most followers are listening to a specific sound, you can create a TikTok video incorporating that sound.
In addition to the free TikTok analytics tool, you can also use third-party platforms like Social Insider and SocialPilot. The platforms generate insightful social media reports, but they can be pretty expensive for starting small businesses.
Given that TikTok is also a video-sharing platform, creating engaging video content is another super important element in your TikTok marketing strategy. The above guide won’t work unless your TikTok videos are spot on. So, here are some top tips for how to create a successful TikTok marketing video.
Until recently, TikTok users could only post videos that were 60 seconds long or less, branding TikTok as a short-form video platform. While developers are working on introducing longer videos, users still seem to prefer short, snappy video content.
Focus on creating shorter, highly engaging videos. You should pay particular attention to the first 3 to 5 seconds of your videos – where you’re most likely to grasp the viewers’ attention and stop them from scrolling to the next video.
Take this TikTok video by Levi’s, for example. Just 5 seconds in, the viewer’s curiosity is immediately peaked. While you can experiment with longer videos as you become more familiar with the platform, short-form video will always be the hero of TikTok.
TikTok provides tons of features to help you make entertaining videos for your followers. First, they offer a pretty decent in-app camera. Creating TikToks using this camera can give your videos a bit more personality.
You can also create videos using professional gear and even edit them with a premium video editing software solution to make your content stand out.
The other exciting feature you shouldn’t overlook is Duets. Duets help users produce split-screen videos, featuring the original video on one side and the user’s video on the other. This is the feature you want to go for when creating collaboration videos.
For example, Nandos UK partnered with Jamie Raine for this duet – generating over 2 million views and over 400k likes.
TikTok effects are another handy tool. These effects will help make your videos more fun, and go a long way to humanize your brand.
Levi’s is one of the few brands that understand this all too well. The account uses simple effects in short snappy clips to get their point across. These videos are eye-catching, hook in viewers, and stop them from scrolling to the next video.
Hashtags are a great way to increase the reach of your TikTok videos. Look at the trending topics or hashtags, create content around them, and remember to include the hashtag in your captions to ensure the clip is shown to the people following that hashtag.
With that said, don’t fall into the trap of jumping on every hashtag trend you come across. While it may help you increase impressions, it can actually do more harm than good to your brand.
Choose your hashtags wisely, make sure the trending topic you choose aligns with your marketing goals and overall brand values, and consider developing a unique hashtag for your brand.
Finally, it’s a great move to team up with strategic partners to create multiple TikTok videos. You can start by approaching influencers. For example, GymShark partnered with Vikkstar, a YouTuber and one member of the Sidemen, for this home gym tour TikTok.
You can also partner with other brands to create a TikTok campaign. This could work just like any other social media brand partnership. You just need to approach the right brand, agree on a campaign then start creating the content.
With more than 2.6 billion downloads and 1.2 billion active users, TikTok is a social media platform you cannot afford to sleep on. Stats also show that this is no longer the “Teens app” it used to be. Sure, Gen Z are still the biggest users globally, but other age groups are also catching on.
Unless you want your competitors to push you out of the market, a TikTok marketing strategy is crucial for your brand. Follow this guide and don’t be afraid to experiment with new video ideas. Most TikTok trends go viral by accident, after all. So, who knows? You might come up with the next viral trend!
Luca Tagliaferro is a highly experienced Digital Marketing Consultant with a background in SEO and strong experience in CRO for fast-growing SaaS and B2C companies in the UK. He helps companies research, attract, understand and convert their audience better from organic traffic. His advice is regularly featured on SEMRush, SearchEngineLand, CrazyEgg, and more.