Why you should rely on TikTok marketing

Fatih-Kağan Taşkoparan

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No matter what industry, no matter what age group. Most people have probably heard of it at least once - TikTok. It's that app where millennials watch dance videos. Certainly fun - but not really of interest to e-commerce companies, especially in B2B, is it? Not necessarily!

According to a report by influencer marketing platform Aspire, 47% of marketers and 48% of content creators plan to increase their TikTok presence as they see the massive impact on sales.

Interestingly, while numerous large B2C companies are already using the app in an original and successful way, B2B companies are still skeptical. So what do you need to know before trying out TikTok marketing for your e-commerce? First of all, you need to understand:

TikTok conquers all age groups

TikTok is a global phenomenon with over 500 million monthly active users worldwide. The platform has topped the app store charts in over 150 countries, including the USA, China and India.

TikTok began as an app for music-related short videos and offers a space for the younger generation to let off steam creatively, aesthetically and humorously. The platform was founded in 2017 and is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.

TikTok is now becoming an important marketing tool for companies of all shapes and sizes, especially those targeting Generation Z. The rise of TikTok marketing is not just a fad, as the platform is one of the main ways Generation Z communicates with each other and comments on current events. Young people grew up with YouTube, then turned to Instagram Stories before turning their attention to TikTok.

Why you should rely on TikTok Marketing

As an entrepreneur or marketer, you are certainly thinking carefully about where you should invest your limited advertising budget. TikTok as a marketing channel has grown significantly over the past year. Hootsuites' 2022 Social Trends Survey found that 24% of digital marketers see TikTok as effective in achieving their business goals. By comparison, only 3 percent of respondents felt this way in the previous year - an increase of 700 percent.

This means that TikTok is still far behind the advertising giants Facebook and Instagram. However, both platforms suffered a significant decline in perceived effectiveness between 2020 and 2021: Facebook by 25 percent and Instagram by a whopping 40 percent.

TikTok can be a great tool for B2C and B2B companies. There are many ways to use the platform to promote an e-commerce business, build relationships with customers and increase brand awareness.

The unique functions of the platforms make it very easy for you to get in touch with your target group and increase your reach. And how does TikTok marketing actually work? Let's take a look at some of the steps you can take to set up your TikTok strategy.

Six steps to a TikTok marketing strategy

1. identify your target audience

Every strategy must start with the definition of the target audience. Only then can you put together the individual elements of your strategy in a meaningful and promising way. In the B2B community, for example, TikTok is primarily about the exchange of ideas, thoughts and experiences. That's why you want to directly address the people who are responsible for passing on information to their teams. This means that you should identify the most important decision-makers in your industry and focus your content strategy on them.

2. define your topics and the tone in which you address your target audience

The content for a platform like TikTok is different from that of your other social media channels. Each channel has its own rules and preferences, and TikTok, despite its massive popularity, is a place of subcultures, insider gags and pop culture references. But always make sure your content is authentic and in line with your brand strategy.

3. create your TikTok business account

TikTok has now responded to the need for marketing strategy guidelines for its own platform and also offers a TikTok business account. This allows you to set up your brand and manage your account settings. You also have the option to TikTok Business Center to explore. It offers a whole range of tools to help you organize and manage your account.

4. develop a strong hashtag strategy

Next, you should develop a strong hashtag strategy. It will help your brand tag the content you create and, more importantly, enable your audience to find your content. Use hashtags that are relevant to your industry and common among your audience.

5. work together with influencers

To develop a successful TikTok marketing strategy, you can work with influencers from your industry. This allows you to build relationships that would otherwise not be open to you and introduce your brand to a new audience. You can also identify trends and use them to further develop your content strategy.

6. consider investing in paid advertising

TikTok is a platform designed for organic discovery. However, it can still make sense to invest in paid ads. This allows you to reach your audience in a way that you might not be able to organically. It also allows you to experiment with different ad copy and creative to see what works best for your brand.

Important best practices for your videos on TikTok

One of the main advantages of TikTok is the quick and easy way to create content. With just a smartphone and a good idea, you can create a video - from behind-the-scenes footage to tutorials and more. Large budgets, high-quality equipment and lengthy planning are not necessary and are actually counterproductive, as they run counter to the principle of authenticity and approachability.

This is one of the easiest ways to make sure your TikTok marketing campaign doesn't fail: make sure your videos are interesting! Sounds like a no-brainer, but you need to keep reminding yourself that all productions for your TikTok marketing need to be worth sharing with your target audience. Always give your users a good reason to want to show your video to someone else. This is the maxim that you use to create all content for TikTok.

Ideally, of course, you should have so much confidence in and expertise about your own product or service that you can talk about it freely and authentically.

Here are some best practices to help you get started with TikTok and make your videos stand out:

  1. TikTok is all about entertainment, so keep the style casual and relaxed - not sales-oriented.
  2. Keep the posts short - on TikTok it's not about minutes, but seconds.
  3. Use current songs as a background - users often search for videos with a favorite song.
  4. Use a variety of content types.
  5. Add hashtags to your posts that are relevant to your audience.
  6. If necessary, place calls to action or links to your website at the end of videos.

TikTok marketing should be fun - for your audience and yourself

Videos on TikTok must never be clumsy advertising. This is something that the community penalizes. In the worst-case scenario, you will not only be ignored, but also damage your company with advertising messages that are all too easy to see through. TikTok users are all about fun and authenticity. If people notice these two core elements in your videos, you will win over your target group. And in any case, what you have to say or show should be so original that your audience will want to share it with others.

While TikTok marketing can work well for many types of businesses in this way, it is not the right solution for everyone, especially in the B2B sector. That's why target group analysis is so important: if your target group has no connection to TikTok, you don't need TikTok marketing to reach them. But if your target group has a connection to TikTok and is willing to engage with your videos, then go ahead and give it a try.

You can also gain a decisive positioning advantage: Not too many brands are represented on TikTok yet - and perhaps your direct competitors aren't either. The opportunity to stand out here and build an audience that will grow into the desired age structure over the next few years is huge. Instagram was also rather ridiculed by companies at the beginning - today, corporate accounts are not the exception, but the rule.

So if you start now, the chances of media resonance and growth are great - you have the advantage of being an "early adopter", use it!

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