What to know about using TikTok to build your business 

Behind Clubhouse, TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media apps available, having been downloaded more than 2.5 billion times. 

With over 800 million active users spending an average of 52 minutes per day on the app, it seems a perfect addition to most marketing strategies. But using TikTok for business isn’t always the right fit, especially when discussing organic marketing efforts rather than paid ads. 

Which businesses should add TikTok to their marketing strategy?

There are several types of businesses and individuals that have the best chance of building a following.

Using TikTok for marketing is good for businesses able to offer entertaining behind-the-scenes content, life hacks or tips, personal advice, educational information, or other engaging video content. 

If you’re any of the following, the answer is yes:

  • Teachers or Child Psychologists (anecdotes or advice)
  • Artists or designers (behind-the-scenes, “oddly satisfying” content, tips and tricks, DIY)
  • Veterinarians or animal trainers (everyone loves cute animals trends such as Happy Dog; those who can offer advice or anecdotes have a great chance of building follower bases of 1M+, such as Dr. Hunter Finn)
  • Mechanics or repair services (advice)
  • Restaurants (easy recipes, behind-the-scenes; does not apply to fast food)
  • Personal services
    • Massage therapists (at-home massage tips, between massage advice, pain relief)
    • Therapists (personal advice)
    • Lawyers (personal advice)
  • Travel or tourism (travel hacks, cool finds, location tips)

The trick to successful marketing on TikTok is creating content that doesn’t feel like an ad or like you’re trying to get anything from viewers. Oftentimes, I catch myself watching content on my For You Page from the Washington Post, but don’t realize that it’s made by or promoting a business until it’s over. Instead, it feels as though I’m watching and connected to a content creator.

So, which businesses are finding success by jumping on trends or creating engaging content that increases views, likes, and follows? Accounts like John Sells Cars (9,000+ followers), Grit + Grace Events Co. (799,000+ followers), and Andre the Pizza Guy (49,000+ followers).

Who shouldn’t create a TikTok marketing strategy?

Though it works for some brands, B2B businesses should not add TikTok to their marketing plans. Why? Simply put, organic marketing on TikTok is not for selling a product or service. 

TikTok is about providing some sort of value to viewers (usually in the form of advice or entertainment) in order to make them follow and remember you. It’s a platform you should use to sell a brand rather than sell a product

You may be a local business, but when you reach an international audience, your viewers aren’t likely to be your actual customers. 

But TikTok content is great to share on other social media platforms, which are more focused on your local audience.

Further, on this type of platform, it’s easy to recognize content that’s an ad and not there for entertainment purposes. That makes it all too easy for a user to immediately swipe past. 

When I open TikTok to begin my nightly ritual of mindlessly scrolling, I don’t want to be sold anything – I just want to be entertained.

Should I market my business on TikTok?

Marketing on TikTok

When it comes to deciding if TikTok is good for marketing your company and products, there are a few things you should consider.

When it comes to figuring out how to develop TikTok marketing strategy, the first thing you should do is determine the audience that you’re trying to reach. Are they on TikTok? It’s not just Gen Z using the app – Millennials and Gen X make up more than half of the app’s users.

Make sure that you are able to offer entertaining and engaging content. If you do, then you need to keep in mind that a good TikTok requires time and effort. From setting up what you want to film to editing and captioning the video, it could take hours to create a minute-long video. This doesn’t take into consideration staying up-to-date trends or finding videos to stitch or duet.

Most importantly, it’s crucial to be honest with yourself about the type of content you can offer and if it’s worth the resources needed to market consistently on TikTok.

At The Loop Marketing, our team of experts specializes in developing cross-channel strategies that elevate your social media strategy to help you connect with customers both current and future. This includes evaluating if a TikTok digital marketing plan is right for you. Reach out today to get started.

author avatar
Alaina Halsey
Our Projects and Creative Manager, Alaina Halsey, graduated from Ball State University where she studied journalism and telecommunication focusing heavily on advertising design and social media. After building influencer programs and working with social media and branding in a variety of capacities, she brings with her an extensive knowledge of social media, user experience, and design in addition to her brand design and project management expertise. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending hours on Instagram and TikTok, going to baseball games, exploring Chicago, and learning how to cook.