A Small Business Guide to TikTok (infographic)

TikTok is officially the fastest growing social media platform of all time. And that's not it's only claim to fame. TikTok is also one of the most downloaded apps for the past two year. More than 315million people downloaded the app during the first quarter of 2020.

Despite its (somewhat unfair) reputation as a platform packed with nothing but lip-syncing videos and cute cat clips, the savviest social media marketers understand that TikTok offers serious growth potential for new businesses. That's why over a third of US marketing executives are planning to establish a TikTok presence by the end of 2021.

And to make sure you don't get left behind in this new digital gold rush, ZenBusiness researchers created a complete guide for small businesses looking to advertise on TikTok.

Here's a look at what they found out.

Getting started on TikTok

Once you’ve registered a TikTok account, it's time to create your ad campaign. You'll have three options to choose from, awareness, consideration, and conversion. It's essential to understand what these terms mean and how they match your marketing objectives.

Awareness is about getting messages to as many people as possible. It's great for budding companies looking to make a big first impression. App and website builders should opt for the consideration campaign; it's specially designed to encourage people to click a link to your site or app. Conversion campaigns are all about increasing sales.

The next step is ad placement. The select placement option lets you decide where your ads appear. However, unless you're brainy enough to outsmart an algorithm, choose the automatic placement option. TikTok's automated placement system optimizes ad delivery on TikTok and its partner apps, meaning you'll reach more people.

TikTok's paid ad service also lets you decide who sees your ads, allowing you to target products or services at the appropriate demographic. Select your potential customers based on age, gender, interests, or what kind of mobile devices they use.

TikTok content that sells

When it comes to any type of marketing, the medium is the message. In other words, how you present your content is more important than what that content actually says. Influencer marketing is the best example. After all, hearing a professional athlete talk about the benefits of a new vegan-based protein powder gives the product credibility. The same message from a stranger who isn't in the best physical shape will never sound quite as convincing.

Influencer marketing is a powerful tool for TikTok marketers. But it doesn't convince everyone. Generally speaking, TikTokers are young, tech-savvy digital natives who want to be part of a community based on equality and inclusion.

They don't want to be 'sold' something, and they're way too smart to fall for analogue marketing techniques. Instead, these idealistic consumers want to make personal choices that reflect their values and beliefs.

As such, many TikTok users find influencer marketing patronizing. Some would go even further and call it 'cringe!' So if these TikTokers don't care about what celebrities think, whose opinions do they value? Well, the answer is each other’s. And small businesses can make the most of this paradigm shift by embracing the art of user-generated content.

User-generated content encourages users to share images, posts, or hashtags that reflect a business and its customer's values. In 2020 Calvin Klein generated over a 100million views with its #PROUDINMYCALVINS campaign. It asked LGBTQ customers to post the hashtag along with a short video offering advice to their younger selves.

At its core, the campaign was about selling Calvin Klein products. But it was also a celebration of all varieties of sexuality and gender identity. Moreover, it was a commitment to creating a fairer, inclusive world. And this commitment was reinforced every time another member of the TikTok community made or shared these previously untold stories.

TikTokers still consider the ‘value’ of their purchases. But, as you can see, their concept of value goes much deeper than price.

How to make great TikTok videos

TikTok is the cheeky upstart disrupting the social media space. It's bold, fun, and confident. And it's always on-trend. TikTok users want to know what's going on right now, and they want to be a part of it.

So when it comes to crafting perfect TikTok content, ditch the stuffy, serious, long-form content. Instead, create tasty morsels users can watch from anywhere. Be vibrant and authentic. Use trending songs in your videos, react to the latest news stories as they're happening, and make the most of TikTok's special effects filters. And remember, have lots of fun!

TikTok is here to stay. In fact, it could soon dominate the social media space, with almost 40% of Americans expected to have an account by 2024. So join the party today and use the power of TikTok to send your small business to the moon.
The Complete Guide for Small Businesses Looking to Advertise on TikTok

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