A TikTok Advertising Guide for Small Business: The How’s and Why’s of TikTok Marketing

As you decide if TikTok advertising is the right fit for your small business, consider that it is currently the fastest growing social media platform with more than 100 million active users in the United States alone. TikTok allows users to publish easy-to-produce videos of up to 60 seconds in length. The platform values relatable, relevant, and diverse information, where content-over-followers pushes more views. It also attracts a younger audience and is most widely used by people between the ages of 18-34, although 25% of TikTok users are between  45-64. 

In June of 2020, the company introduced a self-service advertising platform similar to Facebook and Google. This transition has allowed small businesses to apply TikTok marketing strategies to their social media campaigns. By bridging creativity and storytelling, learning how to advertise on TikTok can lead to new avenues of business success. The trick with TikTok advertising is to create captivating, high-quality content. 

At BizHack, we want to teach you about the latest technologies that can help strengthen your business. Read on to learn about this new and hugely growing platform that can help you successfully build on your overall marketing strategy.

TL;DR: How To Advertise On Tiktok

  • Creative content is key!
  • TikTok’s algorithms prioritize the quality of content rather than a user’s following.
  • Content on TikTok will succeed or fail based on quality rather than brand popularity, celebrity status, or high-end production.
  • Imperfection and authenticity seem to be favored on this platform.

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TikTok for Business: Combine Creativity, Community, and Content Marketing

When it comes to a successful TikTok marketing campaign, creative content is key. Our #BizHackLive webinar Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks: A Small Business Guide to Marketing on TikTok with Becca Sawyer looks at why the platform provides an excellent vehicle for small business marketing. 

Sawyer, Head of Small Businesses and Operations for TikTok, laid out tangible steps and tips small businesses can use to create TikTok marketing ads that integrate seamlessly with other TikTok content. 

“You have an opportunity to reach new audiences that may not be active on other platforms,” Sawyer said.

TikTok’s algorithms are built on a content graph, which differs from the social graph used by other companies like Facebook and Instagram. This means that your content distributes based on the quality of the content itself instead of your following.

Sawyer shared the story of the jewelry company that quickly mobilized a largely successful TikTok advertising campaign. They used one of TikTok’s creative tools, Smart Video, to promote their spring line. Their campaign reached 40 million TikTok users, the company received more than 1,000 single sessions on their “Add to Cart” app function, and more than doubled their return on ad sales, all within a few days of the video launch.

How to Use TikTok for Business by Making Fun, Quirky Videos

TikTok has made it incredibly easy for businesses to turn their assets into engaging video ads while requiring little editing skills. This immensely helps small companies that don’t have large budgets. Ads are inserted into members’ personalized feeds. Choose your ads’ objective, depending on your goals, and then create videos that focus on entertainment and information. 

Content on TikTok will succeed or fail based on quality rather than brand popularity, celebrity status, or high-end production. Imperfection and authenticity seem to be favored on this platform. Sawyer lists out the three most essential components for success on TikTok:

  • Video: Keep them short, focused, and compelling.
  • Sound: Design your videos for sound-on.
  • Sync: Make them all with a similar look and feel that shows a DIY style of production.

“The most successful ads on TikTok don’t look like ads. They look and sound like TikToks,” Sawyer said.

Pro Tips and Creative Tools for Successful TikTok Advertising Videos

Sawyer also gave us some of her favorite hacks when starting on TikTok:

  1. Define your pixel rules.
  2. For conversion campaigns, optimize based on higher funnel events like “Add to Cart” or “Page Views.”
  3. Set your bid as your target cost per action, and set your daily budget at least 20x your conversion bid. For example, if your target cost per conversion (the amount you’re willing to pay for key conversion activity) is $1, set your daily budget to $20.
  4. Use broad targeting to start.
  5. Leverage TikTok creative tools to easily create and test new ads.

Just as with any other platform, the more you use it, the more comfortable you’ll be. But TikTok has created a variety of tools to make creating videos even easier. Here are a few of Sawyer’s favorite tools:

  • Video Templates: More than 60 video templates are available. Choose a template and then upload your creative assets, text, and logo. This tool turns your assets into a video with music, effects, and transitions with no editing skills required.
  • Smart Video: Powered by TikTok’s AI technology, this tool allows you to change your video into multiple versions using different music, effects, and filters.
  • Automated Creative Optimization (ACO): Arguably TikTok’s most powerful tool, it takes existing content uploaded to the platform, allows you to select your call to action, and then multiplies your creative assets to create a variety of ads.

TikTok is also committed to helping small businesses worldwide that have been heavily impacted during the pandemic. The company has provided $100 million in ad credit as part of their Back to Business Program to support and help companies get back on their feet and start rebuilding. This program is available globally, and any small business can apply for the credit. 

We hope this has inspired you to check out this platform and see how you can use it to your small business advantage. Also, have fun. That’s part of why we love this platform so much. At BizHack, we want to let you in on all the resources we can. To learn more about other forms of accessible marketing, as well as other small business tips and tricks, check us out here.Want to learn more about our next digital marketing certification cohort? On Wednesdays, join BizHack Academy for our FREE #BizhackLive Webinars and hear experts discuss the latest and best small business marketing strategies. For a list of upcoming events, click here.