A Beginner’s Guide To TikTok Marketing In 2023
Ever since COVID-19 became a worldwide threat, TikTok has been gaining traction with millions of users. SensorTower Store Intelligence has revealed that the TikTok app had been installed at least 3 billion times on devices globally in 2021. Digital content creation on TikTok is shaping the world of social media.
TikTok is a video-sharing app and social media platform that allows users to create and share short-form videos. TikTok users are provided with tools to edit their videos and add music within the app though the access to music is different based on the type of account the user is using which will be explained more in this article.
TikTok is now one of the most popular social media networking services in the world, right next to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. TikTok is still banned in countries, such as India and Afghanistan, however, the rest of the world is still embracing the leading app with open arms, especially in Southeast Asia.
No doubt TikTok is taking the social media landscape by storm, but what does that mean for brands and small businesses? Not surprisingly, people are using TikTok for marketing purposes and digital content creation. After all, it makes sense to have TikTok as your go-to social media marketing as it continues to grow in popularity.
However, just because TikTok has a growing number of users over time does not mean using the app for your business is a guaranteed way to draw more customers. Here is a guide to marketing your business on TikTok!
Understanding The Value Of TikTok
Before you launch a digital marketing campaign on TikTok, you should understand the app’s unique features and how it attracts consumers. Why is TikTok trendy anyway, and why are many users hooked to the app? Does using TikTok for marketing strategy work?
TikTok is popular because of its quirky appeal to young audiences. After merging with Musical.ly in 2018, a defunct social media service for making and sharing lip-sync videos, TikTok offered more features and opportunities for users to create personalised content. As a result, TikTok became a centralised hub for micro-video content.
From the consumer’s perspective, the best part about using TikTok is that it offers a variety of short video content that lasts in a few seconds. Lip-syncing, singing, and dancing videos are often trending on TikTok. On TikTok, users are free to share their own branded content, from short make-up tutorials to cooking videos and even short videos advertising on TikTok.
Since TikTok is an excellent platform for creating and sharing personalised content, you can use it to promote your brand and appeal to a younger audience. Based on Statista, TikTok users in Singapore are primarily composed of: 62.1% of users are in the ages of 18-24; 35.3% of users are between the ages of 25-34; meanwhile, 1.8% belongs to ages 35-44, and lastly, 0.5% falls in ages 45-54.
According to DataReportal, the global insights for TikTok users are female, dominating the platform with 57%, while the remaining 43% are male worldwide. Additionally, the same report also reveals the potential reach of ads on TikTok (age 18+ only) is around 970.2 million. Thus, most marketers and firms use TikTok as a marketing strategy to reach younger audiences, primarily Gen Z.
TikTok is a social media platform made and designed for the younger consumer. Thanks to its features that offer freedom for creativity through short videos, it is no surprise that TikTok is popular among the younger generation. A brand or social media marketing company must adhere to what is trendy and popular to younger consumers if they want a successful marketing campaign.
For more in-dept information about the relevant numbers on TikTok, you can read up this article: TikTok User Statistics Marketers Need To Know (2023)
Different Types Of TikTok Accounts
The creator of the personal account is TikTok’s default account. It means it is the first account new users create.
This type of account is primarily used by ordinary users, influencers, content creators, and celebrities. A blue check is a verification marker for a creator and business account.
- Privacy setting
A creator account can be a private or public account.
- Access to the audio library
Full access to trending and popular songs and sound bytes.
- Stitch and duet
Creators can stitch or duet videos from other TikTok users.
Creator accounts can be verified on the platform.
- TikTok advertising tools
Creators can use TikTok advertising tools to promote their content to gain more exposure and eventually, followers.
- Analytics Tools
Creators can access simple analytics and data of their content and account engagement for the past 60 days. The data is not downloadable.
Business accounts are for brands and businesses to use. TikTok business accounts have features that are not available on creator accounts. Among these are TikTok Shop and website links on the bio.
Brands use TikTok business accounts for social media marketing in Singapore, audience engagement, and content production.
All business accounts are an upgrade of the creator account. It means you can’t create a business account without creating a personal account first. Similar to creator accounts, business accounts can be verified, too.
- Access to the audio library
Full access to commercial songs and sound bytes.
Business accounts can be verified on the platform.
- Link in bio
Business accounts can add a website link to their account’s bio.
Brands can message anyone and pre-set replies for an automated response.
- TikTok advertising tools
Brands can use more sophisticated TikTok advertising tools to promote their content to gain more exposure and eventually, followers.
- Analytics Tools
Brands can access more advanced content and account engagement analytics and performance. The data is not downloadable.
- Third-party account management platform
Brands can use third-party account management platforms such as Hootsuite to manage the account and automate some tasks.
- TikTok Shop
Brands can live stream, display, and sell their products on TikTok.
TikTok Video Durations
- 15-second videos
TikTok Stories has a maximum length of 15 seconds. This video appears on the main feed and disappears after 24 hours.
Users can also upload 15-second-long regular videos.
- 60-second video
The next limit is the 60-second video. It used to be the longest video length until TikTok introduced the 3-minute video.
- 3-minute video
The current maximum regular video length on TikTok.
- TikTok Live
TikTok Live is a real-time video streaming feature on the platform. Unlike regular video content, TikTok live has no time limit. However, since it is a live feed video, its editing features are quite limited to adding stickers and filters. This feature is only available for creator and business accounts with more than 1,000 followers.
Creators cannot stitch or create duet videos while live streaming or add background music from the audio library. Live videos are accessible and downloadable on LIVE Replays for 90 days. After that, the videos will be deleted.
The TikTok Algorithm – How TikTok Works
If you plan to take your TikTok marketing to another level, it is crucial to learn how the TikTok algorithm works. In fact, every business and even social media marketing agency will need to uncover at least how an algorithm works on a particular platform.
The importance of discovering this lies in ensuring that the content you produce is for targeting your market or audience. It helps utilise effective marketing tools based on customer behaviours and other specific knowledge, such as demographics and customers’ preferences. Thus, it makes it easier to craft quality offers and engaging content that promotes your brand, product or service.
@makeupbybrooktiffany Reply to @greyshelle.anne #fyp #lipcombo #lipstick #makeup #beauty ♬ original sound – Makeupbybrooktiffany
TikTok Video For Promoting Brand/Products
For You Page (FYP) Feed
TikTok does its way of providing you with an endless amount of content consumption via the ‘For You’ page. Unlike Facebook and Instagram, it bases its content on the similar type of videos you have watched and engaged with rather than who you are actually following. Thus, the videos you see are from different users, giving you more options for who you will follow. It is the platform’s main ‘explore’ feed.
Now, the algorithm enters here. Its complex algorithm can track what profiles or content you are most likely to like based on how long you watch each video, liked, commented, shared or saved. Therefore, it recognises what content style should populate the ‘For You’ feed— showing you the trending videos that would appeal to your taste, niche or interest. The TikTokcontent creation focuses on what is popular and whether they fit a user’s preference.
For example, say you are someone who watches calligraphy videos. Hence, the algorithm will fill and recommend other videos with the most likes and views relative to calligraphy. With that, the type of videos that you scrolled away fast are less likely to show you videos with that style or niche again. This metric is likely one of the most crucial aspects of how TikTok works. So if you will utilise TikTok for business marketing, you will need to have a full understanding of the algorithm, which lets you understand how TikTok works as a platform.
Followers & Views
On platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, having more followers equates to more likes and views. However, what makes TikTok unique is that it does provide an opportunity for users with fewer followers to earn more views. It can feed other users (via For You page) from creators with a little following, thus earning more views. It means you can potentially get thousands of views while having little to no followers—making TikTok for marketing an appealing choice for brands.
Also, it is much easier for new content creators to gain traction and followers than on the Instagram platform. Cracking the TikTok ‘For You’ page is often the gateway to creating viral videos without having a high number of followers. Almost every TikTok marketing strategy revolves around the idea of creating viral content for promotion.
TikTok’s algorithm also has its own metric for verifying your location and evaluating your account. It assigns a specific ‘score’ to your videos and account to determine whether you are fit to be displayed on the ‘For You’ page. Hence why users are likely to see more user-generated content that is local. For example, you are more likely to receive videos in Singapore (if you’re watching in Singapore and you are from Singapore) than in countries, such as Sweden, Australia or America.
The sound of the clip allows the algorithm to measure its relevance. The more popular and trendy the music sound bite you use, the more it is perceived as relevant to users. Thus, using trending audio and sound bite is one of the most effective ways to reach a broader audience who are engaging with the trend.
TikTok also utilises hashtags as one of the metrics for its algorithm. When it comes to TikTok marketing or creating potentially viral content, using relevant hashtags is the rate of the relevance of your video. It allows other users to search and discover your content with it. If you are planning to jump on trends, be sure to know the most popular and trending hashtags on the platform.
How To Promote Your Business On TikTok?
1. Share Fun And Creative Content
TikTok is a place for entertainment, and its content is often light-hearted and comedic. You can promote your business on TikTok on your own or you can pay for a social media marketing company in Singapore for professional guidance. By sharing fun, trendy and creative content you can be on the same page with your target audience. When you are on TikTok, do not think of using it as a marketing platform. Instead, try to use TikTok as an ordinary user who wants to have fun and share engaging videos with others.
People are on TikTok to have fun and entertain themselves, not to watch commercials and advertisements that have very strong sales messages! Understand that TikTok users often have short-attention spans. By understanding the user behaviour of your audience, you can promote your business according to your target niche. If you are new to content planning and production, you can also consider outsourcing social media marketing in Singapore for TikTok for professional guidance and to increase your success rate.
For example, you could show product demonstrations in your videos to provide your viewers with a clear explanation of your merchandise. It is straightforward, direct, and most importantly, fun to watch. To further increase the chance of success, you can also use hashtags and incorporate other digital platforms, such as Snapchat, Instagram, etc.
2. Run Ads on TikTok
All social media platforms offer monetised features for advertising, including TikTok. Even though the best way to promote your business on TikTok is through fun and engaging content, you can still post short ads to attract potential customers. Advertising on TikTok allows you to utilise platform-tools, such as TikTok Ads Manager and their Ad Library tool.
If you fear that your ads may annoy your followers, don’t worry. Your ads can be as short as nine seconds, and users are free to skip or scroll past them. Also, TikTok has four ways to pay for your ads: brand takeovers, native ads, sponsored hashtag challenges, and branded lenses.
- Brand takeover – Your ad is the first thing users will see on their feed. However, it can only happen once per day in your ad’s specified category.
- Native ads – You can squeeze your ads in between user-generated content. There is no limit to how many times your ads can show up on a user’s feed.
- Sponsored hashtag challenges – Hashtag challenges are the most popular and engaging type of advertising on TikTok. You can initiate a hashtag challenge to engage with TikTok users while promoting your business.
- Branded lens – TikTok will let you design a filter related to your business. Users can choose your filter for their own videos in any way they want.
@mcdonalds its SZ-EC-HU-AN SAUCE (exclusively in the app starting 3/31 while supplies last) #mcd #mcdonalds #szechuansauce @patulafamilymcdonalds ♬ original sound – McDonald’s
3. Partner With An Influencer
Partnering with an influencer apart from paying a social media marketing agency is a common social media marketing strategy that works well on other platforms, not just TikTok. The trick is to get in touch with a social media influencer who has a reasonable number of followers. You can encourage him or her to promote your business in exchange for money and other rewards.
An influencer can show your product in his or her videos and provide a link to your page., helping you increase your customer base if everything goes well.
Do your research and choose the right influencer to promote your products and services. A successful influencer marketing campaign will do wonders for your TikTok page if you choose the right person to endorse your brand.
Finding well-known and reliable creators or influencers is easy on TikTok. By using the search bar on the Discovery page, you can look for specific categories such as hashtags, videos, sounds or names of creators you would like to follow or watch. While searching, the “top” tab will show the most relevant top results from each category.
Most creators that are often looked upon for tutorials and reviews have a mass number of following and views per content. For example, a British makeup artist named Abby Roberty (@abbyroberts) is known for her makeup videos, with over 17.1 million followers and a total of 1.4 billion likes on her account. It places content creators like Abby Roberts among the leading creators, not just in the makeup community but in the whole TikTok platform. Brands that choose to sponsor or make partnerships with creators like Abby Roberts are guaranteed to receive enormous marketing attention and exposure due to her following.
@abbyroberts cant wait to see yalls looks hehe!!❤️🔥 HBD @ColourPopco! #colourpopicons #cpcontest link in bio for full t&cs + i pick a winner! #ad ♬ LITTLE MO’ BETTA – David Davis
4. Create TikTok Challenge
TikTok is famous for its challenges. TikTok challenges are campaigns that encourage TikTok users to participate by creating content based on the challenge. One of the famous TikTok challenges that boggled our minds was the Two Towel Challenge.
TikTok challenges are not just for fun and entertainment. Brands can use TikTok challenges as a social media marketing tool in Singapore by utilising user-generated content. Take a look at Chipotle’s Lid Flip challenge. Not only did they encourage TikTok users to do the challenge, but they amplified the challenge on the platform by partnering with influencers.
TikTok challenges are an advantage for brands because they earn UGCs, ramp up brand awareness, establish brand personality, and engage with the TikTok community.
5. Post Content And Ride Other Challenges
Unlike social media platforms, where the more frequent you post, the more spam-like you become, TikTok is a platform where consistent posting is encouraged.
In fact, TikTok suggests users post 1-4 times a day to keep their content fresh and captivate new audiences. But the challenge for brands is to produce interesting, entertaining, and high-quality content consistently.
A good content filler is the TikTok challenge. You don’t always have to create your own challenge. If brands run out of ideas, they can participate in existing challenges, too! This is advantageous, especially when then the challenge is the number one trend on the app. Also, the brand can reach TikTok audiences that are not within their target.
6. Understand Your Target Audience
When it comes to TikTok user demographics, the platform caters to the younger audience more, with Gen Zs making up nearly a quarter of all TikTok users. Brands must produce content that resonates not only with the general TikTok community but also with their target audience.
Study and observation are one of the cores of social media marketing and management in Singapore. Brands should identify their target audience, and study their behaviour, interests, and preferences. Brands can strategise compelling content based on these details. A brand or social media marketing agency can use third-party analytics tools for TikTok marketing services.
Working With TikTok’s Algorithm
Taking advantage of the algorithm when marketing for TikTok requires you to consider:
1. Use the trendiest TikTok audio to your video
Using the most popular and trendiest TikTok audio for your video can deliver a massive advantage for creating viral-potential video. According to the TikTok article, 68% of users say they remember the brand better, and 58% expressed that they feel a stronger connection to a brand that uses feature songs in their videos. Thus, you should also consider incorporating popular and trending songs into your video apart from soundbites.
2. Find inspiration from viral marketing videos
One of the easiest ways to come up with a TikTok marketing video is to watch other trending content similar to your niche. You can emulate and copy the style and flow of the content, from hashtags to the sound clips used in the video. Doing that will help you gain an idea and inspiration for the next content you are planning to publish. It also helps you understand the fundamentals of creating potential viral videos.
3. Use the most relevant trending hashtags
We’ve mentioned the importance of using hashtags as a means of being used as a metric for featuring videos on FYP (For You Page). Hashtags help users find your videos easily. By going to the ‘Discover’ page, you can find current trending TikTok hashtags. Thus, if you want to take advantage of TikTok’s algorithm for securing your marketing on the platform, ensure that you use trending hashtags that are relevant to your niche.
4. Post consistently
TikTok posting times are crucial for working with its algorithm and bringing more views and likes to your videos. Being consistent is always a key when it comes to digital content creation for marketing. The more you post regularly (about at least 1 to 4 videos per day), the more likely users will recall your brand and product. Posting consistently makes it also easier for new people to discover your brand.
5. Maximise every second
If you want to maximise your TikTok marketing strategy, ensure that every second of the video counts. Now, what do we mean by that? As you see, quality TikTok content moves fast, even the most viral ones. It is not a platform for making long intros before going into the heart of the content. You must hook and inspire viewers in the shortest time possible (since TikTok videos usually last between 20-45 seconds). Therefore, be direct with the video and make every second count!
6. Engage with your audience
Based on studies from TikTok, users are more connected and likely to follow brands that reply to other users’ comments and other people’s posts. Building engagement is a key to taking advantage of the algorithm for your TikTok marketing campaign.
You can further interact with other users and the community by using Duets and Stitch features on your next video, apart from replying to comments and posts. You can now also reply to the comment with a video. Every engagement counts in the platform since it is highly favoured generally by TikTokers.
@txt.bighitent #duet with @ale.camposss ♬ PS5 OR ME – TOMORROW X TOGETHER
This TikTok clip is an example of a duet.
@kelkeltan #stitch with @pamelapedrozaa extremely WORTH THE HYPE #notsponsored @charlottetilbury #charlottetilbury #beauty #beautytok #beautyhacks #fyp #weartest ♬ original sound – Kelkeltan
This TikTok clip is an example of a stitch video.
@larocheposayus @Rudi Berry 🍓 shares her 3 step routine for summer [ad] #fyp #skintok #larocheposay #suncare ♬ original sound – LaRochePosayUS
This TikTok clip is an example of a well-known brand that generated video content based on a user’s comment.
Consider launching a digital marketing campaign on TikTok while the app is still drawing millions of users worldwide! While you are at it, you can catapult your way to success if you partner and work with a local social media management agency that provides excellent social media marketing strategies in other platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram.
Contact our digital marketing agency in Singapore at 6391-0930 for more tips and tricks!