Are you a small business looking to grow in 2022?
Do you know which is the most popular platform globally to promote your small business?
You might think of Google or Facebook. It was true till 2021.
Google had been the most popular online platform for more than 11 years. However, in July 2010, Google Pulled ahead of Yahoo. Till then it reigned in the top spot for more than 11 years. Moreover, even Facebook couldn’t get ahead of Google. Microsoft came up with its default search engine, Bing, but still couldn’t get ahead of Google.
But things have started to shuffle. And COVID played a huge role in digital disruption.
TikTok is the new reigning champion of the internet.
Yes, you read it right.
Till 2020 TikTok was the 7th most popular internet platform. Google was on the top, followed by Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix & Amazon.
Source: Cloud Flare
But, in 2021, TikTok jumped to the top.
Now TikTok is available in more than 150 markets in more than 75 languages. The platform has surpassed 1 billion monthly active users. In addition to that, according to a report, 1 in 4 TikTok users can’t be found on any other platform.
This highlights the radical shift for your digital consumer to ‘watching’ instead of ‘reading’.
TikTok is continuously getting more popular with its trends, memes, music, and endless cultural fascination. Cloudflare’s data suggest that TikTok has become a ubiquitous part of digital consumer’s daily life.
Source: Cloud Flare
Why does your business need to be on TikTok for 2022?
TikTok is the most visited online platform with more than 1 billion monthly active users. Therefore, the platform is worth considering to include in your strategy for 2022 for growing your small business.
Its popularity is not going away anytime soon. Due to TikTok’s rising popularity among its users and small businesses, other social media platforms are upgrading their strategies to compete for consumers’ preferences. That is to say, Instagram has officially announced that it will focus more on the video content approach.
TikTok’s competitor Instagram announced the reels featured in 2020. Subsequently, Instagram’s head Mosseri admitted that their biggest competition is TikTok. He said in his video, “There’s some serious competition now – TikTok is huge”. The fact that the world’s popular social media platforms are admitting the popularity of TikTok certainly tells you the worth of the platform.
Therefore, many business owners have now started to realize the major TikTok marketing opportunities they had been missing.
Understanding TikTok Platform for Small Businesses
TikTok focuses on the user experiences through a personalised feed. Therefore, the unique user experience of the platform makes it to outstand from its competitors.
Further, the features to shoot, create, edit, customise videos with effects, sounds, and filters within the app; give users a complete experience from creating videos to publishing those. The whole journey takes place within the same app.
Moreover, the app listens closely to the feedback they get from its users. For example, if certain trends and features are popular among its users, TikTok creates the editing features accordingly to create more content. Thus, users spend more time on the platform.
Similarly, if there is negative feedback on the content or any feature, the platform quickly adjusts it to users’ likings and preferences.
In a press release by TikTok, they explained how their algorithm works. They also explained what increases the performance of your content for better organic reach. According to them, different factors contribute to the video’s performance, which includes the interests the users have selected.
The factors which contribute to the performance of your content are as follows:
- User Interactions: How many people have viewed, liked, commented, shared, and followed your content? If a viewer has watched the complete video, the algorithm will consider it good content and push it for greater reach. On the contrary, if viewers are skipping your video, it will limit its reach.
Pro Tip: Make valuable, trending, and entertaining content for your viewers
- Video Information: The captions, hashtags, and sounds play a significant role in reaching the relevant audience.
Pro Tip: Include relevant hashtags, engaging captions, and popular sounds from the TikTok library.
- Device & Account Settings: This includes your language preference, location, and device settings according to your audience.
Pro Tip: Add overlay text on videos, set language preferences, use integrations to drive sales.
- Location of Video Viewer & Video Creator: Where is your viewer located? What are the location settings of your business account?
TikTok for marketing your small business will accelerate your digital marketing efforts for your business.
Understanding TikTok Audience for Small Businesses
“Does TikTok has my target audience? Isn’t TikTok just for Gen-Z?”
These were convenient thoughts to skip TikTok from your marketing strategy. However, when Facebook and Instagram started, those were also considered platforms for ‘young’ people. Businesses didn’t see any value in promoting their businesses on these platforms. Fast forward to 2022, now these platforms serve as marketing tools for millions of businesses.
Certainly, TikTok is moving in the same direction. The platform started with Gen-Z but is now growing with every second. It is more popular than Google. Therefore, it is safe to assume, everyone is on the platform, including your target audience and potential customers for your small business.
With Facebook, Instagram and YouTube’s examples, we have seen that small businesses and personal profiles that get in early are rewarded from brand awareness to brand recognition. This also helps to establish brand credibility in the short-term and long term.
Demographics: TikTok Users By Age
Is TikTok Marketing Right for Your Small Business?
TikTok offers you to play around with creativity and authenticity. TikTok’s algorithm offers exposure for your small business to a huge audience. This audience determines the success of small businesses it can attract.
Many small businesses gained success and grew into popular brands through TikTok. Creativity and authenticity helped them win the algorithm. TikTok has a huge audience, and the exposure it can give to your small business is not possible on any other platform.
If you want to engage the TikTok community, invest time to create valuable and entertaining content. Finding the best time to post on TikTok for your business will help you get the most engagement to the content you produce. This will help you build brand awareness and help you get new customers while retaining the older ones.
Source: Marketing Science
TikTok’s video-focused approach will help you tell your brand story in a creative, authentic and budget-friendly manner. The content produced and published on TikTok can be shared on different social media platforms while driving traffic for the sales at the same time.
How Did TikTok help Businesses Grow?
TikTok is changing the marketing landscape for small businesses to grow and drive sales. Even its tagline “Don’t make Ads, Make TikToks” offers a unique strategy for small businesses to grow. Small businesses have always been looking for ways to grow. The fact is consumers are smart in detecting ads, and that’s where TikTok comes in. Every business needs a customised TikTok marketing strategy according to the goals they want to achieve and their target audience.
TikTok is always working on initiatives for small businesses to grow. Their ongoing efforts small businesses convert their traffic into sales. They even released a series titled “Small Wins” to help small businesses use TikTok strategies for their digital marketing. The series featured various small businesses from across the globe. These success stories and strategies used by small businesses are great examples for all the other business owners who want to grow their small business using TikTok.
We are sharing 4 case studies of small businesses from the tech, beauty, interior design and training industries who promoted their small business through TikTok
Acome is an Indonesian tech retailer. They provide high-tech products for electric, smart, autonomous and hybrid vehicles. For their TikTok strategy, they created content to showcase their products in a fun but relatable way. The marketing team of Acome, tapped into a wide range of formats for their video content, such as unboxing, hacks, announcements and hilarious skits. However, creativity, authenticity, and recognizable brand identity stayed consistent.
They also collaborated with TikTok creators for promoting their business while also giving creators creative liberty with the few guidelines. Their collaboration with creators, from telling a story to doing a prank just to promote their products in a subtle manner.
Source: TikTok (@Acome)
Digital marketing supervisor of Acome, Anas Prambudi, stated that they combined their brand’s selling points with user’s daily life. They used the content to add value to their customer’s life while pitching their product.
Acome has now more than 290K followers and has seen a boost in their business since they included TikTok in their digital marketing strategy to grow their business.
Josh & Matt Designs is a home décor small business run by Melbourne-based duo Josh & Matt. This hobby-turned-venture started during pandemic lockdown when they were living inside a simple home with no décor. They started creating videos about the fun projects they were designing and creating for their home. What started as a simple project was discovered by the TikTok community and gained them more than 260,000 followers. Josh & Designs is now a small business that converts its traffic into buyers on its online store. It all started with TikTok.
In an interview with TikTok, they said that they started the account only to share the décor they were creating their small home during the lockdown. “During lockdown in Sydney, our home was nothing but a tiny white box. We were like; we need some art that could match our style. So, we started experimenting and creating DIYs with different types of material and showed it to TikTok, and people loved it”.
Source: TikTok (@joshandmattdesigns)
Josh & Matt were a bit apprehensive and unsure at first, but then, after a few weeks, they started seeing traction from people who were interested in their content that it turned into a small business eventually. You can apply their strategy for your small business as well to build brand recognition and sales.
Yakitori Don is a Tokyo-based chicken joint that gained its popularity through TikTok. The restaurant’s owner Hiroaki Higaki used to make videos with funny skits about the restaurant industry and life at a restaurant.
A lot of people appreciated his videos because of his relatability with people who have worked at a restaurant. Relatability and humor were the secret success formula for Yakitori restaurant. He was discovered by the TikTok community, and people started visiting his restaurant more because of his popularity.
Source: TikTok (@Higakiyakitori)
His strategy worked for him in driving more customers to their restaurant and thus increasing sales. They now have more than 184,000 followers and are now accelerating their organic success through paid media ads.
Girls That Invest is a community for women who want to learn about investing. Their TikTok strategy comprises of sharing tips, aspirational and informational content related to investments. This content helps them drive traffic to their Masterclass, online courses and podcast about investments.
Source: TikTok (@GirlsthatInvest)
Girls That Invests used BioLinks to redirect their TikTok traffic for digital products and podcasts which helped them to get to the #1 Podcast in the world in the business category.
Source: BioLink Landing Page of GirlsThatInvest
They started their TikTok journey in September 2021, and within four months, they gained 25,000 followers. Thus, driving more traffic to their website through adding relevant services in their bio link.
How to Promote Your Business on TikTok?
Develop a Brand Story
Sales and creativity are co-related.
Seth Godin once said, “People don’t buy products. They buy stories”. Your audience connects well with your brand through a story.
Have you crafted your brand story?
Your brand story can be derived from your mission and vision statements. You can strategize the content formats in which you can tell that story, such as hacks, tips, humorous content or engaging TikTok creators and community through a challenge.
TikTok community thrives on authenticity, creativity and joy. The lesser flashy ads, the more authentic and relatable feel it will give out to its users. Your brand story will be the best way to connect with your audience and can share your mission with them.
Connect with TikTok Community at all Stages of Your Sales Funnel
According to a report, 75% of US consumers want to support small businesses by promoting and buying from them. This is the best time for small businesses and brands with consumers on a human level, outside the advertising models. TikTok is the perfect place to connect with your consumers through relatable and non-flashy, budget-friendly content.
The community on TikTok is always looking for inspiration and discovering new things such as your brand, small business product and services. According to the data from TikTok, some statistics show why it is important to connect with the community.
- 67% of TikTok users agree that TikTok content inspired them to shop from a small business even they weren’t looking to shop
- 74% of TikTok users say that TikTok has helped them with brand awareness
- 66% of TikTok users agreed that TikTok helped them to make a decision to buy something
Source: TikTok Marketing Science
Optimize Your TikTok Profile
Your target audience will discover your account based on their interest preferences. Therefore, it is important to optimize the profile with a location setting, using keywords in the info section and using the relevant link in the bio.
TikTok only allows you to add one link in the bio, but you can use Replug’s bio-link feature to link to multiple platforms and websites using a single link.
There are a lot of small business conversations already happening on TikTok. From social media tips and strategies to branding small businesses, hashtags cover an ocean of conversations. Do hashtag research for your niche and your small business. These hashtags will help you from reaching new customers to driving sales on the platform.
Source: TikTok (_tattilashes)
The view counts of each hashtag show how small business conversations are popular on the platform.
For example, #smallbusiness has 33.8 billion views on TikTok, #Entreprenuer has 12.8 billion views, #smallbusinesscheck has 10.2 billion views, #supportsmallbusiness has 3.1 billion views. The popularity of these hashtags shows that small businesses are growing on TikTok as they are already getting a lot of attention from the TikTok community.
Use TikTok Business Account
TikTok Business account is designed for commercial purposes. It is a great tool for small businesses to see how their content is performing, the demographics of their audience and analytics. The business account also offers a variety of features and tools such in-built content management platform and music library. The data and analytics feature will help you see how your audience is interacting with your content and how you can optimize for the best results.
Source: Medium (The Startup)
Increase Your Sales Through TikTok with Shopify Integration
If you are a business owner, we know your primary goal is to increase sales of small businesses. The primary goal of any small business is to increase sales. TikTok’s partnership with Spotify enables small businesses to create shoppable ads. Shopify’s integration will allow the worldwide community to buy products from small businesses.
More than 1 million users of Shopify can now promote their small business and e-commerce stores on TikTok and sell their products.
Shopify integration with TikTok will allow small businesses to set up the TikTok Ads Manager, identify their customers from the TikTok audience and drive more sales.
The process to synchronize merchandise inventories and payments for your small business with TikTok is very user-friendly. You’ll be able to create videos, ads and optimize your content for the marketing campaigns through TikTok and won’t need to be overwhelmed by video editing tools.
In addition to all these benefits, you can track the performance of your campaign through pixel setup — this will help you allocate marketing budgets accordingly while increasing your returns on investment.
Use Bio links to Drive Traffic to Other Platforms
TikTok is a great tool to drive your traffic to your website, YouTube channel, or other channels. One of the most effective ways to do this is to use bio-link to your advantage. Although TikTok only allows you to add one link in the bio, you can use Replug bio link feature to your benefit
With this feature, you can house all the important links within one link. The bio-link will divert your TikTok traffic to other platforms. This is one of the best hacks for small businesses to grow on TikTok.
For example, Dwayne Johnson has a bio-link on his TikTok profile which directs his audience to a home page where they can find links to all his social profiles, online shop, affiliate links to his products, and recent news and interviews.
Source: TikTok (@TheRock)
Similarly, Ed Sheeran uses bio-links in his profile to promote his recent song releases across different platforms and his concerts. The separate page for all his links helps his audience to listen to his latest hits on different music platforms like SoundCloud, Apple Music, Youtube etc.
Source: TikTok (@EdSheeran)
If Ed-Sheeran and Dwayen Johnson are using the power of bio-links, what’s stopping you from promoting your small business and brand with bio-links?
Bio-links is one of the most effective and essential tools to use for your sales funnel. According to a study by Parse.ly
Strategic bio-linking can increase traffic by 10%-15%
This can increase many folds if you are using the TikTok marketing strategy and re-direct the traffic to other platforms as well.
Use TikTok Ads Manager
What is the quickest way to market on TikTok? – TikTok Ads!
TikTok’s advertising platforms offer you the complete journey of creating an effective marketing campaign – from creating video ads in seconds to launching them. In addition to that, small businesses are always looking for affordable marketing tools and strategies. Irrespective of the size of your business, TikTok ads manager is simple to use and do all the heavy lifting for you, from creating video ads to adding soundtracks in TikTok Ad studio.
Source: TikTok (@Mercedesbenz)
Mercedes Benz is a luxury brand but it has been using TikTok advertising to target the viewers through challenges and TikTok Ads.
TikTok ads appear on the “For You” page. It is curated according to the interests of each user. The ads appear for almost 9 seconds. After 9 seconds the video freezes to the last frame with a clickable Call to Action.
If you include paid advertising in your digital marketing plan for 2022, then TikTok ads are one of the best platforms to invest in. You can also try Facebook ads and Quora ads as your paid marketing strategy.
Collaborate with TikTok Creators to Communicate Your Small Business
You can rev up the results of your marketing campaigns by collaborating with TikTok creators. Therefore, TikTok has a creator marketplace that gives you access and information about a diverse pool of influencers, content creators and storytellers. The marketplace will help you understand the right fit for your products and niche.
The huge following of these content creators and influencers will help you accelerate the growth of your small business. Thus, bringing you buyers for your small business. With TikTok marketplace, you can choose which content creators would go best with your brand’s voice.
TikTok Opportunities in 2022
TikTok is partnering with Virtual dining and GrubHub to turn viral videos into meals. Thus, the platform’s community will be able to order through the platform. This is a great opportunity for small businesses in the food and beverages industry.
Longer Videos on TikTok
TikTok videos get viral because they are quick and snappy. Last year TikTok introduced the feature of longer videos for the creators. The longer videos received over 5 billion views globally. Hence, the creators and small businesses used the feature to share long-form content such as podcasts, vlogs, and tutorials. Small businesses can leverage this feature to their benefit to increase brand awareness and customer retention.
I hope this helps you create a great Tiktok marketing strategy for your business.
Follow for more strategies and updates on Tiktok Business.
Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.