How To Use TikTok For Business: Kickstart Growth in 2021

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Over the past couple of years, TikTok has become one of the world’s favorite social media platforms. With over 800 million active monthly users on TikTok worldwide,  2 billion downloads so far, and becoming one of the most downloaded non-gaming apps we definitely do NOT recommend passing on this, now, mainstream social media platform. The quick, easily-digestible format primarily appeals to Gen Z while also making waves with aging Millennials. For businesses, this means that TikTok can be an effective digital marketing strategy to connect with two of the largest consumer groups now and in the future. We recommend creating authority in this space now before it becomes saturated. We would hate to have said, “We told ya so!” 

As with any marketing efforts, having a solid strategy in place is integral. Here is a quick guide to using TikTok for business in 2021.

Clarify Marketing Goals

The first step in planning a TikTok for business marketing strategy is to clarify your goals with this platform. Everything you post should have a purpose. Additionally, your content here should fit the overarching voice and tone of your brand. 

First, revisit your band elements to provide a framework for the style of content you will release. Then, set clear goals and performance metrics to measure your campaign success. Many businesses choose to use TikTok to build brand awareness and trust. However, there are also ways to measure conversions based on the success of your campaigns.

Like Instagram, TikTok isn’t optimized for sharing direct links in posts, though this will likely change over time. Brands can add a shopping link to their bio to push conversions.

Chipotle has had tremendous success in boosting sales through TikTok campaign efforts. Most notably, the #GuacDance campaign boosted the company’s avocado upsells by 68%. By creating a bold campaign combined with a strong CTA and specific goals, Chipoltle was able to execute and measure their ROI. Consider how your business can follow suit. woman writing at desk

Creating a TikTok for Business Profile

Creating a business profile for TikTok is relatively straightforward. The key consideration when putting this profile together is brand consistency. Your profile photo should be consistent with other social media platforms, and the bio should match your brand standards.

Here are the simple steps for creating a TikTok profile for your business:

  1. Download the app to a mobile device.
  2. Log in with an email and password that’s meant to be shared with your team (not a personal account).
  3. You’ll be redirected to the feed. Tap the person icon labeled “me” on the lower right corner of the screen to go to your profile.
  4. Click “edit profile” to update your profile picture and bio to match your brand. You can also link your business Instagram and YouTube accounts.
  5. Save and finish.

Once you’ve set up a profile, take some time to go through the feed and interact with brands or individuals within your niche and network. This process will help develop the algorithm for your needs and build awareness. Follow other prominent brands on TikTok, suggested social media influencers the algorithm will suggest, and develop a realistic content strategy with your social media manager. 

female friends watching a tiktok video

Choosing Content Categories

There are endless options for the type of videos you create to market your business. Here are some of the most effective content categories to keep in mind when developing a strategy.

Hashtag Challenges

Hashtag challenges have become ingrained in modern culture. In 2021, these will continue to grow and flourish, creating wonderful opportunities for brands to connect with customers.

There are two primary types of hashtag challenges: sponsored and organic. A sponsored challenge is a branded hashtag developed by a business to get people to interact with their brand somehow. E.L.F. Cosmetics was successful with its 2019 #EyesLipsFace challenge, which encouraged TikTok users to show off their look. The #FlipTheSwitch challenge, which attracted celebrities like A-Rod and J-Lo, was an organic challenge that went viral.

Businesses should consider both approaches to grow their audience on TikTok. Put a plan in place to develop branded challenge campaigns, and be ready to partake in organic challenges as they go viral. Using challenges is also an effective way to get verified, which is covered in this article.

Tutorial Videos and Hacks

Another effective strategy for TikTok marketing is to publish tutorial videos and hacks that relate to your product or service. For example, a cosmetics company can showcase tutorial videos on how to apply concealer effectively or how to get a celebrity-inspired look. 

Digital marketing agencies can become an authority in their space using TikTok for business with marketing hacks and social media tips. 

Service-based businesses can also take advantage of this category by offering tips and tricks relevant to their industry. For example, a business coaching service can highlight quick productivity strategies or resources for entrepreneurs. Recruiting companies can use the Tiktok business model to showcase what not to do for younger job seekers. 

Tutorials are a great way to showcase value to your customers and build a rapport. Just keep it light and don’t be afraid to be funny. Humor wins on TikTok!

Testimonials and Case Studies

Testimonials and case studies on TikTok are a fantastic form of social proof. These could include video testimonials from satisfied customers or before and after photos of your work. For example, a car detailer could showcase how messy a vehicle is before they work on it compared to after.

Brands, big and small, can find amazing ways to stay relevant, showcase user generated content, and grow loyal brand ambassadors. Show rather than tell. Just remember you either have 15 to 60 seconds to accomplish this. 

Behind-the-Scenes Looks

Finally, you can use TikTok to give your audience a sneak peek behind the curtain where all the magic happens. This strategy is an effective way to create an emotional connection with your customers. Authenticity and transparency are expected to be paramount in 2021— invite your customers to see what happens to make your business run.

Have a product launch coming up? Showcase the TikTok business strategy to build up to the release of a new product or service, build momentum, and get people sharing your funny videos with friends and family on other social platforms through stories and even text message. 

TikTok Influencer Marketing

Many businesses are exploring ways to work with influencers on TikTok. This strategy is another effective way to boost your business without expending additional resources for in-house content creation. When working with a TikTok influencer, set clear goals and brand guidelines. Look for someone with an engaged audience that has values aligned with your brand.

Keep in mind that influencers perform best when they have creative freedom. While it’s smart to put a contract in place outlining your terms and conditions— including words or phrases to use or avoid— you should consider letting them take the reins. Giving them room to add their personal shine will make your partnership more genuine and authentic. 

Cross-Posting and Repurposing

When creating videos, consider the potential for cross-posting and repurposing. You can share TikTok videos on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat. This is one of many reasons why businesses are capitalizing on video marketing.

The more cross-posting potential your content has, the higher your ROI will be. TikTok is also a fantastic way to create teaser content leading to longer sessions on YouTube. For example, a cosmetic company might showcase a before-and-after or timelapse of the aforementioned celebrity-inspired look. At the end of the video, this could include a tag that invites people to view the step-by-step tutorial on YouTube using the link in their profile.

African American social media influencer

TikTok Best Practices

There are a few key considerations to keep in mind as you start creating content for TikTok. First, try to keep it short and sweet. TikTok videos can be 15-seconds or one minute long. If you can keep it to 15 seconds, you’ll have higher completion rates and engagement.

As TikTok is a mobile app that’s meant to have a casual feel, it’s best to use vertical videos. This format feels more authentic and is more eye-catching on the feed.

Unlike Instagram, TikTok doesn’t have the option to post without audio. If you don’t want your viewers to hear ambient background noise, add music. This element also enhances the viewer experience and can be used to set the tone for the content. 

As TikTok videos can’t be posted without audio, many viewers will be watching without sound. If the narrative is an important part of the video (i.e., in a tutorial video), add captions to improve your content’s accessibility. 

Finally, add a strong CTA that tells your viewers what to do next, whether it’s checking out the link in your bio or subscribing to your content.

logging into tiktok

Use A Third-Party Tool

Businesses are constantly seeking ways to save time and increase productivity. If you’re like most businesses who already feel overwhelmed by the growing popularity of new platforms like TikTok, agencies, marketers and social media managers are looking for social media management tools that will help them not just post on different platforms from one source, but also need help curating and pre-scheduling content, automating tedious tasks, designing graphics, creating media content, and analyzing the KPIs or social media ROI. 

If you are considering your new TikTok business strategy, some companies like eclincher, are finding ways to solve challenges online marketers have to ultimately increase their digital footprint, build relationships online with their clients, and even improve their brand reputation. 

A company or marketing agency will be able to login to eclincher, create a TikTok video or ad with the Canva integration and schedule in advance or post now with a push notification. Offering a FREE 14-day trial the team at ec invites anyone who is interested to grab a LIVE private demo or group demo

Final Thoughts

Businesses would be remiss to forgo using TikTok as a marketing platform in 2021. This social media platform continues to grow every day, with no end in sight. Start planning now to make 2021 your most successful year yet.

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