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TikTok Marketing For Your Ecommerce Brand

Love it or hate it, TikTok has taken the world by storm. The app is usually filled with short videos of teens dancing to the same music, but brands are starting to take advantage of its popularity.

TikTok is a great way to reach out to more customers and increase sales. However, it may not be for every brand. Let’s take a look at the ways you can market through the app so you can decide if it’s a good fit for your business.

 

The Rise of TikTok

TikTok is a social media app that focuses on short videos. Users can create short clips using music from the app’s library or sounds from other uploads. The most common types of content include challenges, reactions, and tutorials.

ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, launched the app in 2016. A year after, it acquired rival company Musical.ly and released the merged version in 2018. The number of users continues to double after the merger.

TikTok’s users have been doubling every year, reaching 1 billion users in 2021. || Source: TikTok Report

 

The COVID lockdowns helped catapult the app into fame when people needed an outlet to express themselves while having more time to create content. In the United Kingdom, TikTok installations went up by 34% after lockdown enforcement.

Another reason for its popularity is TikTok’s perceived authenticity. According to a TikTok-commissioned Nielsen study, 64% of users say they can be their true selves on the app. The same study found that 68% of users find TikTok ads to be unique or different from other platforms. This kind of user mindset may help brands connect better with customers.

Is TikTok Right for My Ecommerce Brand?

To answer this, you have to know who’s using the app. As expected, there are more younger users, but according to Statista, there’s still a decent amount of older users.

Statistic: Distribution of TikTok users in the United States as of September 2021, by age group | Statista

For those of you who are thinking about spending a significant amount of money on TikTok ads, note that the app is more effective for brands that market more to women and are targeting a younger audience.

But even if your target audience isn’t on the platform as much, this doesn’t mean promoting on TikTok will be in vain. Facebook’s 55 and older users more than doubled since 2012, and according to the Pew Research Center, 65% of adults used social media in 2015 compared to just 7% in 2005. So it may just be a matter of time before adult audiences will be more active on the app.

TikTok vs. Other Social Media Platforms

TikTok is fairly new compared to other platforms like Youtube and Facebook. But how do they compare with the fastest-growing social media app?

Year Launched Number of Users Main Type of Content
TikTok 2016 1 billion Short clips
Facebook 2004 2.91 billion Posts that may include photos or videos, but the platform is text-heavy
Instagram 2010 1.074 billion Photos
Youtube 2005 1.86 billion Longer videos

These platforms differ in terms of their main type of content, but we cannot ignore the influence of TikTok on all of them. For example, Instagram now has Remix, which is similar to TikTok’s Duets, a feature that allows users to record videos along with existing content by other users. On the other hand, Youtube also has Shorts, which features short clips just like TikTok.

screenshot of youtube shorts

TikTok content is also widely shared on other social media platforms. There are compilations of TikTok challenges on Youtube, and they’re also widely shared on Facebook.

When it comes to advertising costs and engagement, JungleTopp analyzed a $50,000 campaign, comparing TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. They found that Facebook and Instagram have more ad options, but that TikTok has generated more clicks for less than half the price.

Why TikTok Is a Good Platform to Advertise On

Bigger brands are using TikTok to reach more customers and further increase their brand awareness. Here are some reasons why this is a good social media platform for marketing.

There are a billion users all over the world. TikTok is growing, and it’s growing fast. And although this is a Chinese app that has seen some resistance from the US government before, most of its users are from the United States, with 65.9 million active users in 2020.

TikTok ads are more authentic. As mentioned earlier, users find TikTok content more authentic and unique compared to other platforms. While there are still traditional, more formal ads on the platform, brands can be more creative and casual. For example, this Walmart video shows a guy dancing to sounds he hears while shopping.

@walmart When the beat hits you in the middle of the aisle. #Walmart #Shopping #Music ♬ original sound – Walmart

#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt

Perhaps the biggest success you can achieve when marketing on TikTok is when your products become viral. Not only are you creating more brand awareness, you’re also increasing sales because more people go out and buy your products so they can post their own content with it.

Remember the butt-lifting leggings that went viral because users were recording their significant others’ reactions as they were wearing them? It went to sell from an average of 35 units to 442 units on Amazon.

The top Amazon keywords list of December 13 to 26, 2021 shows the viral leggings at the no. 1 spot.

screenshot of top keywords

TikTok has a high engagement rate. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, TikTok users spent an average of more than 850 minutes per month on the app in 2020.

Tiktok helps you reach customers from all over the world. The app is available in more than 150 countries and 75 languages. The United States has the most number of TikTok users followed by Indonesia, Brazil, and Russia.

Advertising on TikTok is fairly new. Unlike Amazon that’s already filled with ads, TikTok isn’t as saturated with advertisements.

How to Get Started with Advertising on TikTok

The first step is to create a Business Account. If you already have an existing account, you can convert it through the Manage Account page.

switch to business account from personal account

Next, choose the category that best describes your business.

Just follow the next steps by filling in your business details. Once you’re done, you’re going to have to create a TikTok Ads account.

There are different types of campaigns you can run, but there are two main ad formats on TikTok: biddable (which you can set up on your own) and those that require a TikTok account manager.

There are three types of biddable TikTok ads:

  • Cost per click (CPC)
  • Cost per view (CPV)
  • Cost per mille (CPM)

Biddable ads are like Amazon’s PPC, where advertisers bid on ad spots instead of paying a flat fee. There’s also a minimum ad spend of $500 for these types of campaigns.

On the other hand, ad formats that require a TikTok account manager are more expensive and go beyond the normal video ads:

  • Branded TikTok Filter
    • This allows brands to create their own filters, with their logos showing to create more brand awareness.
example of brand filter
This filter shows the brand and the tagline of the campaign.

 

  • Sponsored Hashtag Challenges
    • This ad format encourages more user-generated content and can run for a couple of days. Here, followers can make their own videos using your product.
  • In-Feed Ads
    • These ads pop up while users are scrolling. There’s a Sponsored tag at the bottom, but aside from that, it looks just like any other content.
  • Brand Takeovers
    • These ads show up as soon as a user opens the app and can also show up in the For You page.

Ads that require a TikTok account manager can be as expensive as $50,000 to $100,000, while Hashtag Challenges have a flat fee of $150,000 for six days—and this still doesn’t include promotional boosts.

Best Practices for Creating Brand-Related Content on TikTok

Post regularly. On average, the best-performing brands on TikTok post 3.52 times per week on average. So get your content calendars ready.

Use catchy music. You can create your own or choose from TikTok’s library. However, business accounts can no longer commercially use some music that other users can.

Speak your customers’ language. This is basic for all marketing campaigns, but when marketing on TikTok, make sure you consider that there’s a greater number of younger people in there.

When it makes financial sense, partner with influencers. TikTok has given rise to influencers, and it’s one of the fastest ways to get your products noticed. It can get very expensive though if you work with influencers who already have a huge following (just like what Hollister did with the D’Amelio sisters).

However, you can still work with micro-influencers just like you can on Instagram. The good news is TikTok has a feature that lets you find and partner with creators that produce content within your niche.

Use hashtags and challenges. Try to find a catchy hashtag and engaging challenge that people would want to get in on. Take a look at Colgate’s #MakeMomSmile and Guess’ #InMyDenim.

@operamericano Guess who’s feeling confident 😘 @guess #inmydenim #sponsored #makeeverysecondcount #fashion #model ♬ #inmydenim I’m a Mess – Bebe Rexha

Mind your video length. TikTok has increased its allowable video length to 3 minutes. However, unless your content is really that good to keep a user’s attention for that long, stick to shorter clips.

How Much Do TikTok Influencers Get Paid?

Depending on their number of followers, TikTok influencers get paid between $20 and $20,000 per post. Those with over a million followers can earn at least $2,000 per post while those with 50,000 or less followers can earn between $20 and $200.

Here are the top-earning TikTok influencers in 2022.

highest paid tiktokers
Source: Forbes

 

E-Commerce on TikTok

Aside from offering brands a platform to advertise in, TikTok is also working on features that allow buyers to purchase products in-app. In 2021, it rolled out TikTok Shop, which allows users with Business accounts to add products to their pages. There’s a 2% charge on every order.

Sellers with Shopify stores can also integrate them with TikTok.

In the future, we can expect to see more ecommerce features in the app. Chinese sellers are already advertising their products on Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese version.

Final Thoughts

Advertising on TikTok isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re a small business owner. However, setting up a dedicated TikTok account may still be beneficial despite the advertising being on the pricier side because you can still create original content that you can share with your followers, minus the promotions

Do you advertise on TikTok? How much do you spend on ads per month? Tell us in the comments section.

Christine Gerzon

As EcomCrew's content writer, Christine has developed a love for all things e-commerce and a constant need to imagine Jeff Bezos with hair.

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