Social Media

12 TikTok Marketing Tips and Best Practices

From striking a balance of entertaining and promotional content to figuring out the right metrics, here is how your business can stand out on TikTok.

Jessica Malnik Jessica Malnik on July 20, 2022 (last modified on July 2, 2022) • 17 minute read

What do Crumbl Cookies, Ocean Spray, and Duolingo all have in common? 

They’ve all had viral moments on TikTok. 

However, you don’t need to go viral to see big results on Tiktok. After all, where attention goes, money flows. As of September 2021, there are over 1 billion monthly active users on TikTok.

Wondering how you can grab more attention for your B2B brand as well?

In this post, we’re sharing 12 tips to help you market your brand on TikTok better. 

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Top Reasons Businesses Should Use TikTok for Marketing

TikTok is no longer just a dancing app for teens. It can be one of the best marketing channels for your brand. 

Here are some of the top reasons brands should use TikTok. 

  • Increase brand awareness. TikTok is arguably the best marketing channel for organic reach. If you know your audience and post consistently, you can get major traction without spending a dime on ads.
  • Gain visibility for “just in time searches.” People are now using TikTok as a search engine. In some cases, like for travel, food, and hobbies, it can produce better results than Google.
  • Sell more products. While many brands think of TikTok as a top-of-funnel marketing channel, retail and ecommerce brands can use it to sell products.
  • Build relationships with customers. Increasing engagement by posting videos that appeal to your customers, replying to them, and engaging with their videos is smart marketing. It can lead to more customer engagement, lower churn, and higher customer lifetime value. 

12 TikTok Marketing Tips to Boost Your Social Media Strategy 

We reached out to 56 respondents across agencies, B2C, and B2B businesses to see how they were using TikTok.

58.93% of our respondents have been using TikTok for some time and 30.36% have just started using it.

what's your experience with using tiktok for marketing purposes?

Here are the top TikTok marketing tips we discovered. 

  1. Find a Balance Between Entertainment and Promotion
  2. Follow The Latest Trends to Create Viral Content
  3. Become a Trendsetter Yourself
  4. Experiment with Content
  5. Make Sure It’s Always Attention-Grabbing
  6. Track The Right Metrics
  7. Partner with Influencers
  8. Ensure Visual Variety
  9. Include a Strong Call to Action (CTA)
  10. Use TikTok In-Feed Ads
  11. Post Frequently
  12. Be Authentic

1. Find a Balance Between Entertainment and Promotion 

Going viral isn’t a marketing strategy. Instead of trying to go viral, it is a much better strategy to strike a balance between entertaining and promotional content. 

The top two ways many brands are doing this is utilizing TikTok trending hashtags as well as memes.  

what's the most important for becoming successful on Tiktok

For example, Jason Panzer of Hexclad shares, “We use our TikTok account to share recipes, tips, and cooking advice from professional chefs to consumers at home. What’s key to succeeding in TikTok marketing is identifying your niche and creating valuable web content users want to watch. 

Part of our strategy is avoiding language or branding that oversells our product. We use Hexclad products exclusively in our video content but focus on “showing” users their value rather than “telling” them. 

We also partner with multiple TikTok creators to organically integrate our products into their videos and extend our reach to their audiences. Our patented hexagonal design helps us stand out from other cookware companies on the platform by making our brand unique and easily recognized.”

Sammy Shayne of Couch Fame adds, “We have had a lot of success recruiting streamer talent through TikTok. Anyone who can build a following there can take that following to streaming, and get paid to be an online personality. Connecting with all of these personalities through the agency boosts our TikTok profile. Our streamers partner with us in content, and we create entertaining content of our own. Every company should make entertainment the priority with any video content. Anything overtly promotional does not get views.

A proven strategy has been to keep up with what is trending on TikTok. It is a great way to gain followers, but an even more effective strategy is finding new audio to go viral. We are always experimenting with this. Any company that can find a unique song and pair it with a compelling video may have the audio snowball, and get a massive amount of exposure.”

2. Follow The Latest Trends to Create Viral Content

If you want to increase brand awareness and show up on the fyp for more people in your audience, then you need to study top trends and create content that ties back to them to stay relevant. 

“My number one tip to become a successful marketer on TikTok is to follow the latest trends to create viral content,” says John Hubbard of Urban Dare. “You must use trending hashtags to make your videos stand out more. Millions of people view popular TikTok trends. So, it automatically increases your chances of boosting your customer base. This is something I’ve experienced myself. 

Jumping on the viral video bandwagon and creating content accordingly has been something that allowed me to market my products successfully. These trends are so fast-paced, so I had to stay up to date with them. But, it allowed me to expand my customer count, improve engagement, and rack up overall sales.”

Related: 30 Content Marketing Statistics to Power Up Your Strategy in 2022

3. Or… Become a Trendsetter Yourself

Or if you already have a fan base and are particularly creative, start your own trends on the platform. 

“A successful marketer would always look to establish their own style,” says Dan Shepherd of VEI Communications. “Becoming a trendsetter is key to achieving success galore, even on a platform like TikTok. Everyone wants to be ahead of the game and the short video-based application provides ample opportunities to be different from the rest. Cleverly executed TikTok videos can get viral quickly.

You can use this to your advantage and create campaigns with interactive elements that encourage users to join in on a challenge. This worked really well for me. The game is unique on TikTok. You might be a few views away from becoming the next big thing on the platform.”

If you are looking for inspiration to start your own TikTok trends, study musicians, like Lil Nas X, Walker Hayes, and even Shania Twain, on the platform. 

4. Experiment with Content

If you want to see success on TikTok, especially if you are starting your own trends, then you need to be willing to experiment and comfortable with a lot of stuff you are trying not working out. In fact, most of the content you try will flop. 

For instance, Laura Trif of Creatopy says, “We’ve created a TikTok account for our company – Creatopy, and it’s farfetched to claim we know how to be successful on the platform, but we can say that it’s the place for experimenting with content. We juggled with organic and paid, with funny- wannabe sketched vs. short videos on trending user-generated sounds.

We are planning to give more attention to this account that has started as a base for an in-house case study TikTok Ads vs. Instagram Reels Ads: Which Performs Better?” but we see a lot of potential on the platform, and we will create more.

From our experience so far:

  • Ideally, create loads of content
  • Don’t pay too much attention to “video creation”
  • Using funny & relatable copy is essential
  • A hook is a must in the first 3 sec
  • Make use of hashtags related to your content, don’t overuse the #fyp
  • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there [and]
  • Remember that there is a fine line between cringe and funny”

5. Make Sure It’s Always Attention-Grabbing

The best content on TikTok catches your attention within the first few seconds. 

“Lead with something compelling so users don’t keep scrolling along,” says Oliver Zak of Mad Rabbit.“You can have incredible content, but people won’t see it without being engaged to continue watching till the end. The blessing and curse of TikTok is the feeling of unlimited content, so users have almost no patience for a video that doesn’t immediately capture their attention.

Using text to tease a surprise happening in the video, like revealing a new tattoo or new tattoo ideas scores us far higher views and engagement. Consistently sharing this attention-grabbing content results in more followers so that when we do highlight our products from time to time, we have a built-in audience to see it.”

6. Track The Right Metrics

You can’t improve what you don’t track. 

“Pay close attention to the metrics that you track,” says Alex Smith of Lucky Bobbleheads. “According to my experiences, if you have a pro account with TikTok, you will have the ability to view important metrics such as comments, likes, shares, view time, and total views. You are also able to see the demographics of your followers, as well as the other videos they watch. If you take a look at these metrics, you will be able to determine which of your videos do the best on TikTok and what your audience might be interested in seeing from your brand on the platform. 

In my opinion, the primary reason why you are using TikTok is to increase the level of engagement you have with your audience and to encourage your followers to visit the website of your brand. Find out what roadblocks are preventing you from achieving these objectives so that you can remove them and concentrate on producing videos that will be beneficial to your brand.”

You also need to make sure you are tracking the right metrics for your marketing goals and not just what’s easy to track via the default TikTok metrics in your account.

For instance, the metrics you look at for a brand awareness campaign are different than a conversion campaign.

If you are running TikTok ads, Databox’s TikTok ads integration can be particularly beneficial to monitor what ads are performing best so you can adjust accordingly.   

7. Partner with Influencers

From fashionistas and travel influencers to lawyers and Excel pros, there is a good chance there are already hundreds—if not thousands—of influencers in your niche already on TikTok.  

“Partnering with other creators allowed us to rapidly expand our reach within the target niche,” says Tom Greenspan of Vs Mattress. “The smaller accounts can commission larger influencers to team up for the initial boost. As soon as your account is comparatively big, the majority of creators with a similar-size audience in your niche will be happy to do cross-marketing with you. Even a similar size of accounts guarantees rapid targeted growth.”

Alice Li of First Day says, “My best tip to utilize TikTok fully to successfully market your brand is that you should rely on the natives of TikTok i.e. TikTok influencers to get a lay of the land and help you establish your roots on the platform. Influencers have a steady following already on TikTok so they can help you figure out how the platform works and the best way to catch the attention of potential customers and retain it. 

By collaborating with influencers, we were able to form deep-rooted connections with our audience and inspire trust in our product, empowering them with knowledge about our products delivered through the influencers they trusted. Needless to say, it worked wonders for us and helped us grow our revenue while also helping us gain a loyal following.”

Robert Zeglinski of BreakingMuscle adds, “The Creator Marketplace on TikTok can assist businesses in locating individuals who are skilled at producing high-quality online content. There are experts from all walks of life who have the expertise to help a brand create relevant videos that entertain and educate its customers. With the help of influencers, your items may stand out from the crowd by getting actual people with a following to promote them.”

Related: The 10 Most Important Influencer Marketing KPIs Every Campaign Should Track

8. Ensure Visual Variety

Another key element of being willing to experiment on TikTok is to create different types of videos. Play around with different camera angles and video formats. 

“I think the first thing is to make sure that you have a good variety of TikTok videos,” says Maria McDowell of EasySearchPeople. “You should create a good mix of content including comedy, beauty, and vlogs. It’s also very important to pay attention to your engagement rate. Growing your base slowly and making sure that your TikTok account is one that people enjoy watching will guarantee that it will be a success and the only way to grow a successful TikTok account is to make sure that you are posting quality and engaging content. You should also make sure that you are using hashtags and commenting on other people’s posts to grow your following. It will take a while, but if you give it 100% effort.”

9. Include a Strong Call to Action (CTA)

Just like with any videos you record on Instagram or Youtube, you also need to have a compelling CTA for all of your TikToks. 

“When it comes to TikTok, some companies seem to become too caught up in the actual “presentation,” rather than the message,” says Ryan Rottman of OSDB Sports. ”However, if you don’t have a strong CTA, then an effective marketing piece can quickly turn into something based more squarely in the realm of entertainment. If you expect the results you’re hoping for, you’ll need to clearly define what the next step is, and how your potential customers can learn more.”

10. Use TikTok In-Feed Ads

If you are looking to expand your reach, many brands have seen great results with TikTok’s in-feed ads. 

For instance, Dan Gray of Kotn Supply says, “I’ve found TikTok in-feed ads to be very helpful in terms of engagement with my audience. These are the traditional ads a user will see throughout the app. In-feed ads are quick and to the point, as I typically keep them between 10 and 30 seconds long. Users can interact with these ads by sharing or liking them, just like any other video you see on TikTok. I love the quick and easy aspect of these ads, as it allows me to convey my message in an easy to digest manner. For extra inspiration, I also frequently add a call to action, and a link to my businesses’ landing page to these ads. TikTok in-feed ads are invaluable assets to my marketing success on the platform, as they are flexible and easy to integrate.”

11. Post Frequently

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make on any social media platform, not just TikTok, is being inconsistent. On TikTok, frequent posting is rewarded. 

“I think the biggest thing is just being active,” says John Frigo of Best Price Nutrition, “I think a lot of people new to TikTok are super concerned with having a really polished or funny video and the best thing you can do is just be active and start making content, actually doing it and spending time on the platform you’ll see what works and what doesn’t and learn more about how the app works. Surprisingly some of our best performing videos are not the funnier or more fun ones but just simple videos that give some information with text overlay of a product.”

Darren Gallagher of QN Designs says, “We have recently started gaining some traction on TikTok and the biggest piece of advice I could offer is to post frequently. Posting once a week or so just doesn’t seem to allow for any kind of traction. Because these videos are short and consumed frequently, to get into the game you need to be uploading several times a day.”

Cornelius Fichtner of OSP International adds, “Here’s what I can tell you based on my experience and research. Aim for consistency, not virality TikTok is best known for content that goes viral on the platform. But meanwhile, many creators make good money marketing through TikTok without ever going viral. 

They just use basic tactics like: Publishing content regularly. Using hashtags to help people find their content. Maintaining good relations with their follower base. Being consistent with content, search optimization, and “customer” relationship management is key to being successful for most people, including my fellow B2B marketers.” 

12. Be Authentic

While authenticity is a buzzword, showing up and putting yourself out there is rewarded on TikTok. 

“TikTok audiences want you to come as you are,” explains Crissy Conner of THE VISIBILITY QUEEN.   “So many people are afraid of haters and mean comments, but in my experience most audiences just accept you for who you are. I love creating original TikTok content, trends are fun, but original content pulls in the people you want to attract.”

Andi Graham of Big Sea adds, “TikTik content is meant to be consumed quickly, so don’t over-polish your productions. We have also found a lot of success in ignored TikTok’s own recommended advertising approaches. Authenticity has never been more important than it is on this platform so as always, be real. Be human. Flaws and all.”

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Improve the Performance of Your TikTok Marketing Campaigns with Databox 

As we alluded to throughout this post, the only way to improve your TikTok marketing efforts is to track, monitor, and analyze them. This is particularly important if you are spending money on TikTok Ads.  

There’s where our new TikTok ads integration (currently in beta) can come in handy. Create a a dashboard that connects your TikTok ads account alongside 300+ other sources. Take it for a test drive by requesting a trial of Query Builder.

New to Databox? Create a free account here.

About the author
Jessica Malnik
Jessica Malnik Jessica Malnik is a content strategist and copywriter for SaaS and productized service businesses. Her writing has appeared on The Next Web, Social Media Examiner, SEMRush, CMX, Help Scout, Convince & Convert, and many other sites.
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