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TikTok for Business: How to Market to Millions

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TikTok. Despite the fact that it’s now almost six years old, TikTok is still considered to be something of a new kid on the social media block. With advertising only allowed on the platform since 2019, many businesses have been slow to embrace the potential of what is fast becoming one of the world’s most successful social sites. And this is partly because TikTok is different.

With video being at the heart of the platform, there is little room for the recycling of posts from other social media channels. TikTok demands fresh content, optimised for user engagement. But it’s because of this that it holds such very great potential for small businesses looking to enhance their profile, increase brand awareness, and reach a larger customer base.

What do you need to know about TikTok?

As of January 2022, TikTok had over 8.9 million active users in the UK alone. With a global audience exceeding 1 billion. Its core demographic was originally Gen Z – those aged between about 16 and 24. But the platform’s remit is slowly broadening, with Millennials and Gen Xers both being drawn into the fray. With platform content consisting of 15- and 60-second user-recorded videos, with the ability for in-app editing and collaboration, it’s a hive of creativity. Making it the ultimate tool for customer engagement.

What can TikTok do for small businesses?

The main benefit of TikTok for businesses is brand awareness. The platform is there for one reason and one reason only: entertainment. If you want people to know your brand name and build positive brand associations, TikTok provides the perfect showcasing platform. All you have to do is stay on top of the trends, unleash your creativity, and think fun. And you can do this in a number of ways.

How can small businesses use TikTok?

Unique content creation

Probably because of the younger demographic, the most popular TikTok posts feature pets and babies. But they’re also funny. And on TikTok, humour sells. And so does authenticity. TikTok’s users aren’t looking for highly polished, edited posts. They’re happy with videos taken on your phone. What matters is that you begin to reveal the heart of your brand. And create a persona that your chosen demographic can relate to.

And you can do this in any way that takes your fancy: Advice clips, how-to’s, current affairs commentary, responses to other people’s posts, day-in-the-life, and behind-the-scenes posts. If it can work for other brands, it can work for your business.

User-generated content

Whether it’s a #hashtag challenge, or curating your favourite posts created by other people, user-generated content provides an endless gold mine of creativity. And it doesn’t cost you a penny.

Creator collaboration

While influencers in other fields have come under scrutiny in recent years, TikTok creators are gaining massive success and kudos. Largely because of their creativity. Whether they work with you on a brand takeover, provide guest posts, or feature your brand in their clips, they are the masters of the platform, and are almost guaranteed to get your businesses seen by all the right people. Just take care to work with the right one.

Paid ads

After initially eschewing advertisements, TikTok began to realise the potential of monetising the platform in 2019. And although there is plenty of scope for getting your posts in front of your audience for free, sometimes paid ads are also worth considering. You can do this through sponsored #hashtag challenges, native ads, branded lenses, and platform brand takeovers. Choose whichever works best for you.

While paid business services will always have their place, indirect marketing is currently the most successful avenue for brands working on TikTok – and other forms of social media. With a bit of creativity and a lot of engaging content, you can put your small business in front of an audience of millions. What you do with that audience, is down to you.

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