It is no secret that TikTok is reshaping the marketing landscape. Although relatively new, the social media platform has already captured the attention of over a billion users worldwide. TikTok’s unique blend of short-form creative content has not only provided a unique form of entertainment but also opened up a new frontier for marketers.
All in all, your business can’t afford to overlook TikTok’s potential and this is where our definitive 10-step TikTok marketing guide comes into play!
We have put together a comprehensive guide for you to follow that will help guide your TikTok marketing strategy from start to finish. From setting up your TikTok business account to decoding user behaviour and developing compelling content we’ve got you covered.
What is TikTok Marketing? Understanding The Basics.
Before we go further into the strategies, it’s crucial to grasp what TikTok is and why it’s reshaping the social media universe.
At its basic, TikTok is a platform where users can share 15 to 60-second video clips set to music, often featuring dancing, lip-syncing, humour, and a whirlwind of other genres. The app is characterized by its highly personalized ‘For You’ feed and strong community-focused aspects, which fuel user engagement and platform loyalty.
How to Create a TikTok Business Account
Now that you’ve understood TikTok’s potential, let’s explore how to set up a TikTok business account —a crucial first step towards harnessing the platform’s marketing potential.
- Start by downloading the TikTok app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and sign up using your email, phone number, or social media account.
- Once you’ve created a basic account, navigate to your profile, tap on the three-dot icon in the top right corner, select “Manage account,” and then select “Switch to Business” account.
- You’ll be prompted to select your business industry. Select the category that fits your business. This helps TikTok customize your experience and deliver relevant insights.
- Fill in your profile details, including your business name, bio, and website. Your bio is your chance to make a first impression, so make sure it clearly communicates what your business is about and what type of content viewers can expect.
- Use your logo or another picture relevant to your business as your profile picture to ensure brand consistency.
10 Steps for Building Your TikTok Marketing Strategy
Like any marketing channel, TikTok rewards a well-planned content strategy tailored to your target audience. We have divided the strategy into 10 steps. We’ll delve into each step one by one, starting with how to understand your audience.
#1 Research Your Audience
Every marketer knows that a successful campaign must be tailored to its audience. Without understanding your target demographic, you’re essentially throwing darts in the dark. But how do you know who your audience is?
You might know who your customer is, but do you really understand what motivates them? What makes them tick? What kind of content is your audience most likely to engage with?
The best way to understand your audience is through research. Recognizing who your viewers are, their interests, and how they interact with the platform can inform your content strategy and help you create videos that resonate.
There are many ways you can go about researching your target demographic, but the most important thing is to be as thorough as possible. The more you know about your audience, the better you’ll be at creating content that appeals to them.
Some methods of research you may consider include:
- Explore Demographics: Start by identifying the age, location, and gender of your target audience. While TikTok has a largely youthful demographic, remember that it’s rapidly gaining popularity among older users too.
- Surveys and polls: You can use tools like SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics to create surveys and polls that help you understand your audience.
- Identify Interests: What are your audience’s hobbies, passions, and preferences? TikTok’s algorithm tailors content to users based on their likes, shares, and engagement. Therefore, creating content that aligns with your target audience’s interests can increase your chances of appearing on their ‘For You’ feed.
- Social listening: According to a survey by HubSpot, marketers consider social listening to be their number one most powerful tool. Use social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to track mentions of your brand, as well as the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to it. This will give you valuable insights into how people are talking about your brand and what topics are most important to them.
- Leverage TikTok Analytics: Use TikTok Analytics to gain valuable insights into follower demographics, content performance, and engagement trends. Use these insights to refine your content strategy over time.
- Competitor research: Take a look at what your competitors are doing on TikTok. This will give you an idea of what’s working well for them and what you can do differently to stand out.
Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can start creating relevant content.
Up next, we’ll delve into how to develop a compelling TikTok content strategy that speaks to your audience and stands out in the crowd.
#2 Develop a TikTok Content Strategy
Knowing what kind of content is rewarded on any platform is the key to figuring out a winning content strategy. TikTok is a platform for creating fun, engaging content. It differs from other platforms which are more suited for serious or professional content. Even serious topics on TikTok are often presented in a light-hearted and humorous way.
“Content consistency can have a huge impact on your sales figures. One study points to a 33% increase in revenue for brands that can maintain brand consistency throughout their marketing.”
Developing a consistent content strategy begins with defining your tone and voice. You want to create content that is true to your brand, while also fitting in with the tone of TikTok.
Content consistency can have a huge impact on your sales figures. One study points to a 33% increase in revenue for brands that can maintain brand consistency throughout their marketing. This begins with you deciding how you want your potential customers to perceive your brand.
- Define Your Brand Voice: TikTok thrives on authenticity. Establish a brand voice that aligns with your company values but also resonates with the TikTok audience.
- Decide on Content Types: There are a variety of content types you can explore on TikTok – from dance and lip-sync challenges to educational content and behind-the-scenes looks at your business. Experiment to find out what works best for your brand and audience.
- Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC): TikTok is a community-driven platform where UGC can thrive. Encourage your audience to create content related to your brand, perhaps through challenges or contests.
- Create a Content Calendar: Consistency is key on TikTok. Design a content calendar to ensure you’re regularly posting engaging content. However, also remain flexible to capitalize on trends and viral moments.
#3 Balance Promotional and Organic Content
While paid media plays a significant role in TikTok marketing, the power of organic content should not be understated. Strive for a mix of content that both entertains and informs your audience about your brand.
“A survey by Forbes showed that 81% of respondents admitted that social media posts and recommendations from their family and friends highly impacted their buying decisions. By combining this free marketing tool with a paid media campaign, you can amplify your reach and create a powerful marketing strategy that can sustain growth.”
Remember, the goal of your content strategy should be to create authentic, engaging content that not only aligns with your brand voice but also resonates with your target audience.
Here’s why it’s a key aspect of a balanced and effective strategy:
- Balance Between Paid and Organic: Paid campaigns might reach faster and wider, but organic content builds a long-term, sustainable following that converts efficiently. Balancing these strategies can amplify your reach and foster sustainable growth.
- Influence Buying Decisions: A Forbes survey revealed that 81% of respondents are heavily influenced by social media posts and recommendations from family and friends when making purchasing decisions. Combining organic content with paid media can significantly impact these decisions.
- Direct Engagement with Customers: Organic content allows you to directly engage with your audience. They can comment, like, and share your content, and you can respond personally. This two-way engagement provides valuable feedback and boosts your social proof.
- Leverage Social Media Influence: An average user is heavily influenced by the opinions of their favourite influencer. By incorporating influencer marketing into your organic marketing strategy, you can leverage their influence to significantly enhance your reach.
Remember, organic content is about creating genuine connections with your audience and offering value.
By using a mix of paid and organic content, you can create a dynamic and influential marketing strategy that fosters sustained growth.
#4 Leverage TikTok Trends
TikTok thrives on trends. Viral dances, catchy songs, funny memes, and creative challenges often start here and then explode across other social platforms. Harness these trends in your content to get noticed and engage your audience more effectively.
Make it a habit to scroll through your ‘For You’ page regularly and watch trending videos to stay on top of what’s hot on the platform. Additionally, keep an eye on the ‘Discover’ page to see which hashtags and sounds are trending.
Participate in challenges that align with your brand and marketing strategies. Use trending songs in your TikToks and most importantly, allow yourself the freedom to experiment. Try starting your own trend or challenge and if it catches on, it can provide a significant boost to your brand’s visibility.
#5 Incorporate Hashtags
Hashtags serve as navigational tools on TikTok. Group together videos of similar themes and make it easier for users to discover content. Here’s how you can use them effectively:
- Use Relevant Hashtags: While it may be tempting to use popular hashtags in every post, it’s crucial to use ones that are relevant to your content. This not only helps increase visibility among users genuinely interested in your niche but also improves your chances of appearing in ‘For You’ feeds.
- Participate in Hashtag Challenges: TikTok often hosts sponsored hashtag challenges, where users are encouraged to create content using a specific hashtag. Participating in these can help broaden your content’s reach and engage with a larger community.
- Create Branded Hashtags: Consider creating a unique hashtag for your brand or a specific campaign. It not only encourages user-generated content when users use your hashtag but also makes it easier to track the engagement and success of your campaign.
- Keep an Eye on Trending Hashtags: Similar to trends, keep an eye on which hashtags are currently popular. If relevant, incorporating these into your content can help increase its visibility.
Remember, while hashtags are powerful tools for discoverability, using too many can appear like spam and may not yield the desired results. Aim for a balanced and strategic use of hashtags in your content.
#6 Collaborate with TikTok Influencers
Influencer partnerships can play a vital role in enhancing your brand’s reach and reputation on TikTok. Collaborating with the right influencers can provide authentic and creative content that resonates with your target audience.
TikTok influencer industry continues to grow each year and in 2021, it was valued at a record $13.8 billion globally. In a survey by Forbes, 84% of marketers responded that they consider influencer marketing to be an effective way to promote a brand.
The best way to find relevant creators is to use an TikTok influencer marketing agency that has compiled a catalogue of creators. When working with creators, make sure you provide them with clear guidelines and expectations. This will ensure they produce content that is on-brand and in line with your marketing goals.
Influencers come in many different forms and are usually divided into nano, micro, macro, and mega according to follower numbers. If you don’t have the budget for a huge influencer, we recommend partnering with micro-influencers. Airalo, an eSim company that ran a micro-influencer campaign on TikTok last year, managed to gain 2.1 million video views using just 10 micro-influencers. Their highly successful campaign boasted a low cost of $0.23 per app install.
- Identify the Right Influencers: Look for influencers whose audience aligns with your target demographic and who share values similar to your brand. They should be known for quality content that resonates with their followers.
- Create Authentic Collaborations: Rather than traditional sales-y tactics, focus on collaborations that feel authentic and fit naturally into the influencer’s feed. This could include product reviews, tutorials, or participation in a branded challenge.
- Track and Analyze Results: Measure the performance of your influencer collaborations to understand what works and what doesn’t. Look at metrics such as views, likes, comments, shares, and any increase in followers or website traffic.
Remember, the goal of influencer marketing isn’t just to increase visibility but to build trust and credibility with your audience. Choose your partners carefully and aim for collaborations that provide value to both the influencer’s audience and your own.
#7 Utilize TikTok Advertising
No TikTok marketing strategy is complete without some paid advertising. In 2020, due to increased demand for TikTok advertising, the platform introduced TikTok for Business which allows users to design and run ads using a suite of creative tools.
- Understand the Types of TikTok Ads: TikTok offers a range of ad formats, including In-Feed ads, Brand Takeover ads, TopView ads, and Branded Hashtag Challenges. Each type serves a unique purpose, and you can select the type of ads based on your goals.
- Set Clear Objectives: Before launching a campaign, have a clear goal in mind. Are you aiming for brand awareness, website traffic, or conversions? Your objective will guide your choice of ad format and campaign strategy.
- Target Your Ads: TikTok offers advanced targeting features, allowing you to reach your ads to specific demographics, user interests, or behaviours. Well-targeted ads are likely to yield higher engagement and better ROI.
- Create Engaging Ad Content: Ensure your ads align with TikTok’s unique, creative, and fun vibe. Keep your content light-hearted, genuine, and engaging to grab user attention and drive action.
- Monitor and Optimize Your Ads: Make use of TikTok’s ad analytics to monitor your ad performance and tweak your strategy if necessary. Continuous optimization based on data can enhance your ad effectiveness and ROI.
Now, we are getting to the fun part where you get to see how your efforts are performing.
#8 Gather Reporting Data
After you have developed your TikTok marketing strategy and created your campaign, the next big step is reporting. You need to know if what you’re doing is working. The only way to know this is by looking at the data available to you in TikTok Ad Manager.
Here are some important metrics to consider when determining whether your campaign has successfully achieved its intended goals.
- Leverage TikTok Analytics: Here, you can monitor your profile performance, content performance, and follower insights. Regularly reviewing these metrics can help you understand what’s working and what needs tweaking in your strategy.
- Track Key Metrics: Focus on key metrics that align with your goals. If you’re aiming for brand awareness, monitor reach, views, and follower growth. If engagement is your goal, keep an eye on likes, shares, comments, and average watch time.
- Monitor Campaign Performance: If you’re running ad campaigns or influencer collaborations, keep track of their performance. Monitor not only the direct engagement metrics but also the impact they have on your overall TikTok performance and business metrics like website traffic or sales.
- Use External Tracking Tools: Depending on your needs, you might want to consider using external analytics tools for more detailed tracking and reporting. These tools can help you track everything from hashtag performance to competitor analysis.
“Agencies bring years of experience in creating successful content and ad campaigns. They can optimize your strategies, making them more effective and efficient.”
#9 Partner with a TikTok Marketing Agency
If navigating TikTok’s dynamic landscape feels daunting, or you’re seeking expert guidance, consider partnering with a TikTok marketing agency like the House of Marketers. We specialize in TikTok marketing and offer a deep understanding and innovative strategies for marketing success on TikTok.
A TikTok Marketing agency gives you access to experienced professionals adept at navigating the complex world of social media marketing. They offer the expertise and knowledge to help you succeed.
Agencies stay updated with the latest trends, algorithm changes, and best practices. They can ensure that your campaigns align with these changes and consistently perform at their best. Agencies bring years of experience in creating successful content and ad campaigns. They can optimize your strategies, making them more effective and efficient. While hiring an agency might seem like a significant initial investment, it can pay off in the long term by elevating your marketing strategy and ensuring the growth of your business on TikTok.
Remember, professional help is only a step away. If you’re serious about leveraging TikTok to grow your business, partnering with a marketing agency could be the key to ensuring success. Don’t hesitate to reach out and explore how they can bolster your TikTok marketing journey.
#10 TikTok Marketing Best Practices and Tips
As we round off this comprehensive guide, let’s go through some additional best practices and tips that can amplify your TikTok marketing strategy.
TikTok’s algorithm favours regular posting. Try to maintain a consistent posting schedule to increase your chances of reaching more viewers. Authentic brands have a much higher chance of gaining visibility than those that appear too traditional or advertisement driven. Don’t shy away from showing the human side of your brand and focus on building a connection with your audience via responding to comments, participating in trends, and creating interactive content like polls or Q&As.
TikTok is constantly evolving, and so should your strategy. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different content types, trends, and strategies. Use data to guide your experiments and adapt based on the results.
Remember, TikTok marketing is not just about the number of views or followers you have. It’s about creating a community, connecting with your audience, and driving meaningful engagement.
At House of Marketers, we specialise in TikTok marketing strategy, so we know what kind of content works best on this ground-breaking platform. Our founder, Inigo, worked as an early employee of TikTok and used his expertise to build one of the most successful TikTok marketing agencies in London.
If you’re interested in working with us, or if you have any questions about your TikTok marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re always here to help!
House of Marketers (HOM) is a leading TikTok Marketing Agency. Our global agency was built by early TikTok Employees & TikTok Partners, which gives us the insider knowledge to help leading brands, like Redbull, Playtika, Badoo, and HelloFresh win on TikTok. Want us to convert more of Gen Z and Millennials with TikTok? Get in touch with our friendly team, here.