Practically every business owner understands that no matter how great their products and/or services are, networks and connections are crucial to staying in the game. And one efficient way to establish such social networks and connections is through advertising – from word of mouth to staged mainstream ads to influencer marketing utilization. After all, expanding your reach is a key step to introducing and establishing your brand.
With how rapidly the technology advances in the past few years, even businesses have one way or another, gone digital. Most industries are constantly making efforts to streamline and automate business processes, making transactions easier for consumers and entrepreneurs alike. Even the way how businesses market their products and/or services has significantly changed. Social media platforms, for instance, are now being utilized for advertisements as well. And if you’re seeking some ways to promote your brand without initially spending money, here’s how to use TikTok for business.
Is TikTok Good For Your Business?
TikTok, the international version of a China-based mobile app, Douyin, is a video-focused social networking platform. It enables users to create, share, or watch 15 to 60-second videos which could be in the form of dancing, lip-syncing, comedy, education, or any preferred content or genre.
Like most social networking apps, TikTok has also faced a fair share of concerns, threats, and accusations. For example, in 2020 former president Donald Trump signed executive orders banning TikTok transactions in the United States. The ban didn’t push through, however, as it was blocked by a federal judge and was eventually revoked by the succeeding president, Joe Biden. Unfortunately in other countries like India and Pakistan, the app remains banned as of this writing.
Regardless, TikTok has retained its fame and continues to expand. In fact, in 2020, this social media app was ranked by Morning Consult as the third fastest-growing brand. Since its launch in 2018, TikTok has evolved from a video-sharing app meant solely for fun to a marketing haven for entrepreneurs to an ideal platform for raising awareness of various important stuff.
So, before we dwell on the effective ways To promote your business on TikTok, let’s understand why using TikTok for business is worth your time and effort.
- Free Services
Yes, there are paid TikTok ads that business owners can take advantage of, but creating and using a TikTok account is free. You can penetrate your niche’s online market and introduce your brands to billions of users without spending a buck.
- Great Features
From built-in filters and effects to local music and sounds – TikTok is surely loaded with great features available at your disposal; your imagination’s the limit. TikTok is continuously exploring and innovating to ensure they catch up with the unending trends and demands. In fact, they’re partnering up with other huge businesses, including Musical.ly, Oracle, Sony Music, and Warner Music Group.
- Ease of Access
TikTok’s general user interface (GUI) is designed in a way that even less tech-savvy users can easily access and navigate through it. Unlike other business-related processes, using TikTok won’t require any special equipment or software. All you need is a stable internet connection and any internet-enabled device.
- Number of Users
Most TikTok users belong to the 16-24 age group; if it’s your target/custom audience, then the app is, indeed, perfect for your business. Nevertheless, the app’s definitely not just for Gen Z. With its over 2 billion users worldwide, you surely can think of a way to utilize TikTok’s popularity to your business’s advantage.
5 Steps To Using TikTok For Business
Creating ads typically comes with a price like the rent for billboard space, the printing costs for a newspaper section, or the reservation fees for a slot in the national TV. For years, entrepreneurs had to accommodate such setups until social media marketing was discovered.
Online social apps like Facebook, LinkedIn, and TikTok, when utilized properly, can be great platforms to expand businesses and establish brands. For minimal to no costs, you can create video ads, content write-ups, or photo sales pitches to reach out to your target audience.
For TikTok specifically, you can utilize its creative and fun video-based features for your business. The best part is, you can advertise on TikTok without paying a cent.
- Keep Your Profile Professional
Before you penetrate the platform and create a TikTok ad, be sure to study the app first. Learn how it actually works, how to efficiently interact with other users, which content is trendy, and which attack fits your business culture.
While TikTok is fun, creative, casual, and playful by nature, be sure to keep your profile and posts professional. Note that you’re interacting as a business entity so be sure to represent your brand the way you want it to be seen, upholding and sticking with your ideals and principles.
- Customize and Grow Your Network
For your TikTok ad campaign to reach many users, or at least your target audience, you need to first build a reputation and create a network. Like in most marketing strategies, you need to have targeted and customized leads lists.
Social media marketing is one of the cheapest ways to advertise but for your campaigns to yield desirable results, consistency is a must. Plus, in the world of social media, it’s more of a game of reciprocation; what you give is what you get. So, you need to actively follow TikTok influencers, react to shared videos, and interact with other users.
- Create Original and Trending Content
In TikTok, there are various creative ways of advertising your brand without solely focusing on your brand. In fact, being a playful and casual platform, hard sells won’t work on TikTok. Your content must be authentic but versatile; original but trendy.
You can create fun and exciting videos by using built-in effects and filters wisely. Yes, you must remain professional at all times but it won’t hurt your business to spice things up and add some humor to your posts. Also, it helps to join hashtag challenges and song/dance crazes.
- Utilize User-Generated Content (UGC)
Joining hashtag challenges can go a long way but launching or initiating one could be a greater way to promote your business. This could be a bit more challenging though as you must think of an effective way to convince other users to join the challenge.
By encouraging TikTok users to incorporate your branded hashtag, you get to reap the benefits while they do the efforts to recreate and produce relevant content.
- Initiate Collaborations With TikTok Influencers
Video collaborations are also widespread in TikTok. You reach out to influencers or famous page owners to boost your campaigns. Their established networks can be of great use in expanding your reach.
TikTok collabs aren’t free for sure, but in most cases, you could come up with win-win terms like a commission-based deal or a no-ROI-no-TF deal. Hence, you can start advertising without spending money.
Should you want to level up your strategy or boost your marketing campaigns, then you might want to consider availing of TikTok’s paid ad services.
- Brand Takeovers – These category-exclusive ads are linkable to your landing page. This strategy allows brands to take over TikTok for a day, hence the name.
- Native Content – These are 9 to 15-second video ads that include clickable buttons. They are played in between user content.
- Sponsored Hashtag Challenges – When you sponsor a hashtag challenge, it will be displayed on the Discover page where millions of users can see it. You also get to obtain a customized banner of your business.
The truth is, there are no standard rules pertaining to ad placements and marketing campaigns. One method might work on a specific niche but not applicable in all related businesses. The same works with TikTok ads; not because it’s trending, it’s suitable for your business. Like in most social media platforms, creating video content that could go viral takes much time, effort, and consistency.
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