Looking for a new marketing strategy for your small business for 2023? It’s time to talk about TikTok. If you’ve never used TikTok before, chances are that you probably associate it with videos of Gen Z influencers dancing to top trending songs.
We’re not going to beat around the bush - this content is out there, and it’s incredibly popular amongst many of the apps’ users. However, aside from being a place for creators to show off their moves, try their hand at lip-syncing or see if they have a talent for comedy skits, it’s also a fantastic way to promote your small business.
Through creating fun, engaging and informative content relevant to your business, TikTok can be a great addition to your social media marketing strategy that can help attract a loyal following and spread brand awareness, resulting in more sales traffic in the long run.
There’s also no cost for creating your account and getting your content out there, making it a great free way to advertise your business. Be that as it may, we understand that if you’ve never used the app before, you’re likely feeling a bit unsure about how to use TikTok for your small business and what sort of content you should be putting out there.
First things first, see for yourself what all of the fuss is about. The best way to understand what sort of content users want to see is through a good scroll down the app’s “For You Page” - though if you’re a first-time user you might find that the offering seems a bit, well, random.
This is completely normal - spend some time flicking through the videos on this page and if you watch a video you enjoy, simply give it a double tap to like it. Then, after a while, you’ll find that the videos on this page are becoming more and more customised to your preferences as the algorithm works its magic.
Our Top Tips:
Use the green screen effect
Always opt for trending audio
Try vlog-style videos
Incorporate both niche and trending hashtags - but don’t use too many as this will confuse the algorithm
Reply to comments with video rather than text
Got the gist of how the app works? It’s time to try it for yourself…
When talking about TikTok, you’ll find that the word “viral” is thrown around a lot - songs, hashtags, audios, challenges - you name it and it can probably go viral. Whilst most TikTok users want to go viral, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to go viral to be successful on the app or use it as part of your marketing strategy.
It’s also not uncommon to see users with previously viral videos getting an average or below-average amount of engagement on the rest of their videos. Try to prioritise sharing good quality, engaging content over simply hoping to go viral.
The key to a good TikTok video is sharing something interesting that’s also relevant to current trends.
Think about what your business has to offer - are you a hairdresser who could show transformations? What about a baker who could share recipes and tutorials? Perhaps you’re a local pub landlord who could get your staff on board to take part in funny challenges?
Regardless of what your business has to offer, you should make the most of your niche and make it relevant to trending content. Think visual content relevant to your business, combined with trending audios, stickers or challenges.
Between stunning house tours, travel bloggers on seemingly endless vacations and influencers sharing their latest shopping hauls, it can feel quite overwhelming trying to plan TikTok content. Don’t be discouraged - you don’t have to dance or get nifty with the graphics to be sharing something valuable.
One of the greatest benefits of TikTok for smaller businesses is that you can have some fun (and get wild!) with your marketing campaigns.
Creating and sending out entertaining videos is a great way to ensure that your brand sticks in people's minds and will help you to build lasting relationships with your customers.
Any content that is engaging, entertaining or informative can take off. Your business's unique offering is something that you should be proud of - so lean into it, and make the trends your own!
You’ve scrolled the app, and you’ve got some ideas. But how do you go about making a TikTok video? It’s actually much easier than you’d expect. First, you’ll want to click the “+” button at the bottom of your screen and select the duration of your video (fifteen seconds, one minute or three minutes).
You’ll also be able to try out different video effects by selecting the button in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Once you’ve selected the time frame in which you’d like to record, you’re good to go! Click the red circle to start recording, and pause and resume recording by pressing accordingly - there’s no need to hold the red circle down as you record.
After recording your video content, you’ll then move into the editor - here you’re able to adjust your clips, record voiceovers and add text, captions, sounds and filters. If you’re speaking or using a voiceover in your video, we’d also strongly recommend adding captions to your video.
These can be turned on or off for viewers’ preferences, and they make your video more accessible for users with hearing impairments. Tweak your video until you’re happy with it, then hit “next” in the bottom right-hand corner to write your caption and share your post.
As a small business owner, it’s likely that you’ve already spent plenty of time filming and photographing your work for your other marketing platforms. Fortunately, you can upload your existing content really easily through the “upload” button in the bottom right corner of the filming page!
However, something that’s important to note is that you should always be uploading vertical imagery - uploading landscape photos will lead to large black borders being added to your video which can impact the quality.
Despite gaining fame for its easy-to-consume, snappy content, TikTok’s video lengths are getting longer and longer. Whilst the standard video lengths are 15 seconds, 60 seconds and 3 minutes, TikTok is looking to introduce longer videos of 10 minutes.
Whilst this is an interesting addition, we’d recommend keeping it short and snappy - preferably under a minute unless you’re doing a more detailed video such as a helpful tutorial or a recipe.
Once you’ve decided on your niche and had a play around with the tech, it’s time to have a go at creating some content to post - but where to start? TikTok users love to watch real people living their lives, including all of the ups and downs. A particularly popular trend is “day in the life” videos, where users share shots of their day and overlay a voiceover explaining what they’re getting up to. A “day in the life of a small business owner” video is a great way to introduce yourself, and your small business and also share a bit more about what you do as a business owner - whether you’re making jewellery or steaming milk for coffee, don’t forget to share some clips of you showing off your skillset!
Something else that’s key to remember whilst using TikTok is not to take it too seriously. Don’t be afraid to have a laugh, use viral audio and try some challenges if they suit your business - after all, having a scroll through the app is a fun pastime for most users.
Ready to post your video? As with many other social media platforms, hashtags are a must! We’d recommend using a few, relevant hashtags that suit your business to help your video land on relevant viewers’ pages - try to avoid going overboard and using irrelevant tags as this can end up confusing TikTok’s algorithm, meaning that your video won’t be seen.
One hashtag that you’ll see on all sorts of different videos is “#FYP” - this stands for “for you page” and is used with the goal of ending up on more users’ feeds, thus hopefully going viral. However, the real question is, does it work? As most users tend to tag their posts with this, chances are that this is a rumour. Try prioritising relevant hashtags over ones that seem “viral”.
Looking to boost your TikTok following? If you’ve got plenty of followers on Instagram and Facebook, share your latest videos with your followers on your stories, that way they’ll know you’re over on TikTok too.
Something that most regular social media users will have come to notice over the past few months is the rise in short video content across all platforms, with one particularly prevalent example being Instagram and their “Reels”. Reels are very similar to TikToks and are popular due to their fun and engaging nature which can give your reach a good boost.
Whilst it might be tempting to upload your existing TikToks to your Instagram feed we’d strongly recommend avoiding this due to the reduction in quality and TikTok watermark that can impact your Instagram reach. Instagram will prioritise unique, good quality content, so stick to promoting your TikTok on your stories rather than as page posts. If you’re keen to get your video content out there, we’d suggest recreating it in the Instagram app as a Reel to maintain the quality.
Once you’re confident with the TikTok app, it’s time to keep your content fresh and upload ideally once a day (or if you’re short on time, try for at least a couple of posts a week). Take the time each week to have a good scroll through the latest trends and have a think about what might work for your business’ page. Or, if you’ve found your niche, carry on with it - you never know who might enjoy watching your content!
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