TikTok Marketing: The Easy Guide to Scaling on TikTok in 2023 [Strategy & Examples]

By Leah Clark18 minute read Marketing Guides

Social platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram have become crowded with thousands of businesses marketing themselves. Now is the perfect time to adopt TikTok marketing for your brand, and tap into an unsaturated marketing environment with loads of potential.

Social media users love TikTok! This app has already generated over 3 billion downloads. There are already more Gen Z audiences on TikTok than on Instagram, and it is set to overtake Snapchat too.

Although TikTok has so much marketing potential, many businesses and marketers don’t know how to leverage this platform and reap the huge rewards it can offer!

So, what are the best ways to market on TikTok? How do you set up a TikTok marketing campaign?

And why bother investing in TikTok marketing when you’re active on other platforms?

We’ve created a quick and easy TikTok marketing guide to answer all those questions. This guide outlines super simple steps to develop TikTok marketing campaigns that work, and we have the top TikTok case studies to learn from.

Ready?

Let’s jump into it!

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    4 Important TikTok Marketing Benefits

    Here are the top TikTok marketing benefits for businesses:

    1.TikTok Provides Great Engagement

    TikTok has become the new favorite of social media platforms because TikTok’s short-form video content is highly engaging. Statistics confirm that TikTok’s community is more engaged by its content than on any other social channel!

    But why is TikTok content so engaging?

    There are many reasons for this, but primarily because TikTok content comprises bite-sized video clips covering trendy topics, accompanied by attention grabbing audio. 

    This form of quick, to-the-point content allows users to engage with the platform and watch content they enjoy. TikTok’s algorithm also does a great job of connecting users with content they want to watch, and keeping their attention with a constant stream new bite-sized clips that are perfectly tailored to their preferences. 

    What does this mean for your business?

    TikTok will match your target audience with your content so you can engage and persuade users to check out your business. However, for this to work, you must create high-quality, consistent content that appeals to your target users and reflects your brand identity. 

    2.TikTok is Growing Steadily

    TikTok is growing at an extremely rapid rate. Around 1 billion people use TikTok every day! It took Instagram 7.7 years to achieve 1 billion daily users, and it took Facebook 8 years to achieve the same!

    With so much growth and potential around TikTok marketing, it will soon become the norm for brands to leverage this platform. While platforms like Facebook and Snapchat have become less popular over the years, TikTok is in its prime, and growing every day.

    Many trends pop-up and then die off again but TikTok seems to be here to stay! Investing your resources and efforts into TikTok marketing will also be valuable in the long run. When TikTok expands, you’d have built a thriving account to grow with the platform.

    While there is a possibility this app could slow down or lose popularity, TikTok marketing boasts way too much growth to ignore. 

    Source: Learn with Shopify

    3.TikTok Offers Simple Viral Content Opportunities

    While TikTok users are mainly young millennials and Gen Z audiences, people of all age groups can find something relatable in TikTok video content. This increases the chance of your videos going viral because of how well TikTok engages such a broad segment of internet users.

    When TikTok videos go viral, they garner lots of clout for the brand/creator posting them. Take advantage of this benefit and focus on creating viral content for your TikTok marketing campaigns.

    Here are the top tips for viral content for TikTok:

    • Jump on trending content topics and audio. TikTok is a trendy platform because creators promote content that aligns with their audience’s trends. By the same means, trending TikTok audio plays a huge role in gaining engagement on this platform. 
    • Work with TikTok influencers. Influences will get your TikTok content in front of many more targeted users. If you’re new to TikTok, influencers will help you amplify your reach.
    • Interact with the TikTok community. Engage with influencers and followers to solidify your TikTok presence. 
    • Use TikTok hashtags. Hashtags impact your visibility on TikTok. Using the right hashtags makes it easier for your target audience to find your content. 
    • Use real people. TikTok is centered around its creators. Users follow specific accounts based on creators they like or relate to. While you don’t always have to include your face in TikTok content, use real people to leverage personal interactions TikTok users love. 

    4.TikTok is Still an Unsaturated Market

    While TikTok is booming among users, it’s still relativity new for businesses. It took time for brands and creators to get the hang of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram marketing. And now they have to consider TikTok too!

    Statista confirms that only 18% of marketers use TikTok. When you compare that to the 90% that use Facebook and 79% that use Instagram, TikTok is unsaturated.

    If TikTok marketing is so powerful, why aren’t more marketers and businesses using this platform?

    TikTok has only been around since 2016, and marketers and businesses are still trying to figure this social channel out. But this is quickly changing. In 2022, 24% of marketers found TikTok effective for business goals, while this figure was only 3% in 2021. 

    Hop on the TikTok marketing train while this platform isn’t crowded with businesses. Doing this will give you a head start on your competitors! 

    Summary: 4 TikTok Marketing Benefits

    1. TikTok Engagement
    2. TikTok Growth
    3. Virality Opportunity
    4. Unsaturated Market

    5 TikTok Marketing Channels

    These are the best marketing channels for successful TikTok campaigns:

    1.Influencers

    We briefly explored influencers for viral TikTok content. Influencer marketing on TikTok is a sound marketing channel because TikTok users trust influencers. 

    Micro influencers on TikTok have an average engagement rate of 18%, which is SUPER high. Instagram micro influencers have an average engagement rate of around 4%. On Youtube, this figure drops to just below 2%.

    But the trick with TikTok influencers is to choose the right influencers for your brand. Your TikTok influencers must:

    • Share your target audience or specific audience segments so your content reaches users who would most likely take your CTA.
    • Promote high-quality, organic content without coming off too salesy.
    • Have a reliable reputation, so you earn maximum credibility from your influencer campaign. 
    • Understand and believe in your brand and its values.

    There are many ways to find TikTok influencers. You can do hashtag research, use Google to find lists of influencers in your niche, or work with influencer marketing agencies and platforms.

    tiktok marketing stats
    Source: Sprout Social

    2.TikTok Ads

    TikTok ads are another effective marketing channel for this platform. There are many types of TikTok ads you can use, and these include in-feed ads, brand takeovers, and top-view ads. We’ll discuss these further below!

    In-feed TikTok ads are like sponsored social ads on Facebook and Instagram that pop up in your target user’s For You feeds. Brand takeovers work a little differently. You can secure any of these ad placements through a bidding process.

    It must be said that TikTok ads are more expensive than ads on other social media platforms but they are worthwhile when you look at the reach and engagement they garner.

    TikTok ads have gained a lot of positive traction, and here are a few key statistics to prove this:

    • 36% of consumers want to learn about products through content like TikTok video ads.
    • 67% of users agree that TikTok video ads catch their attention. This is 10% more than other social platforms.
    • 42% of users try something new or go somewhere new after seeing it promoted on TikTok.

    These are only a few statistics, but they accurately highlight the power of paid TikTok ad campaigns. 

    3.In-Feed Ads

    As mentioned above, in-feed TikTok ads appear in the user’s For You feed. These ads are up to 60 seconds long and autoplay as users scroll through their feeds. Many ads are indistinguishable from organic content and users can engage with these ads through liking, commenting, and sharing, as well as following the ad’s CTA.

    TikTok has a bidding system for in-feed ads. You can configure your settings to work for your marketing objectives, budget, and target audience. TikTok Ads Manager offers advanced targeting options, as well as advanced tracking and analytics.

    TikTok allows you to run ads in specific locations and set your daily ad spending budget so you don’t exceed more than you can afford.

    The secret to results-driven TikTok in-feed ads is using the tips outlined above for viral TikTok content. Using organic content, working with influencers, and hopping on trendy topics and audio will boost your in-feed ads’ performance. 

    4.Brand Takeovers

    When users open the TikTok app, they’re welcomed by a full screen ad as the first content they see. Because of how ‘invasive’ these ads are, with no competing content, they work! Brand takeover ads are either a 3-second image or a 3- to 5-second GIF.

    Brand takeovers on TikTok are exclusive to each category once a day. This means you only have one daily opportunity to secure a brand takeover for your specific category, and your ad is the only ad in that category that will be displayed for that day.

    You can link your brand takeover ads and landing pages. Some brands also link their brand takeover ads to their TikTok hashtag challenges.

    tiktok ads marketing
    Source: Embed Social

    5.Organic TikTok Marketing

    Organic marketing on TikTok requires a channel and posting high-quality, engaging and creative content. You’re engaging your audience organically, without paid ads, so quality content is key. This translates to interacting with your user and TikTok influencers and expanding your TikTok presence through content alone.

    Organic marketing on TikTok takes a lot of hard work because you have to be consistent but also fresh and creative. You must also ensure your content is relevant to your audience and reflects your brand. 

    The best way to go about executing an organic marketing strategy on TikTok is through a social scheduling tool. You can opt for standard software with automated features to schedule your content. There are also high-level platforms providing AI content ideas and suggestions to optimize your TikTok account.

    TikTok marketing__stats
    Source: Sprout Social

    Investing in a tool will help stay consistent with posting, and help you engage your audience to grow your TikTok account, and organically drive users to your website.  

    Summary: 5 TikTok Marketing Channels

    1. Influencers
    2. TikTok Ads
    3. In-Feed Ads
    4. Brand Takeovers
    5. Organic Marketing

    A TikTok Marketing Strategy in 10 Easy Steps

    Let’s get your TikTok marketing strategy started through these 10 simple steps:

    1.Define Your Target Audience

    The first step for TikTok marketing campaigns is to narrow down who you’re marketing to. Defining your target audience helps you tailor your content to engage these users. 

    However, your target audience on TikTok is skewed toward 10 to 19-year-olds as they make up 25% of TikTok’s user base, and 20 to 29 year old’s as they form around 23%.

    But it’s not just age you have to consider for detailing your TikTok target audience. Consider these factors about your target TikTok audience:

    • Geographic location
    • TikTok usage
    • Buying behavior
    • Best trending topics
    • Most followed creators
    • Most relevant hashtags

    All these details ensure your TikTok marketing campaign gets in front of the right crowd.

    2.Define Your Purpose

    Like defining your audience, it’s vital to define your purpose for TikTok marketing. Consider why you want to use this social platform and what you hope to gain. Detailing this information will help you develop SMART goals (we’ll talk about this soon).

    Users love TikTok because of the short, relatable, trendy video clips, so your brand must determine how to leverage this content to your benefit. Do you want to share inspirational tips? Or a humorous short of your team doing outlandish activities? Perhaps you prefer to share your voice on sensitive social topics.

    Take time to nail down your values and the purpose of your TikTok marketing, which will inform the direction of what content to promote and how to reflect your brand identity.

    3.Research Your Competitors

    Competitor research is vital to identify what competing brands are doing on TikTok and how you can do better. Your competitors will also give you insight into what your audience responds to.

    If you notice competitors have thriving TikTok accounts with loads of engagement, gauge their content to identify what they’re doing right. 

    On the other hand, if most of your competitors lack TikTok marketing or have no presence at all, leverage these weaknesses to your benefit.

    Competitor research plays a vital role in successful TikTok marketing, especially for businesses that have never used this platform. Knowing where and how to start is tricky, but by checking what your competitors are doing, you’ll have a more complete idea of how to run your campaign. 

    Later TikTok stats
    Source: Later

    4.Set Your TikTok Marketing Goals and Measure Your Progress

    Your marketing goals form the foundation of your TikTok marketing campaign and give you a clear picture of what to achieve and how you will measure your progress. Your goals should align with and support your overall business objectives, and brand values. 

    You can use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timebound) goals framework if you want to. For example, one of your SMART goals may be to increase your TikTok followers by 300 or achieve x number of video views, over the next month, through an influencer marketing campaign or paid ad campaign. 

    After defining your TikTok marketing goals, measure them consistently to stay ahead of your performance and tweak your campaign accordingly. TikTok offers great built-in analytics and there are many other TikTok marketing tools you can use to track and measure your progress.

    Using TikTok analytics, you can find vital metrics for everything from the overall channel to individual video’s views, likes, comments and shares. These metrics are useful to track as they allow you to see which content gets the most views, and which content gets the highest engagement, in proportion to the number of views.

    Keeping track of which content works best for your different objectives allows you to optimize your strategy in terms of the type of content to use, as well as the methods that support that content best.

    For example, an in-feed ads using a video that is almost indistinguishable from organic content may work better than a video that is clearly promotional.

    The goals you set at the beginning will guide the adjustments you make to your strategy, informed by what your analytics show you.

    5.Find and Use TikTok Trends

    Trends are the key to TikTok marketing. And you need to stay ahead of what’s trending on this platform. Are people talking about some celebrity outburst? Or are they making jokes about the whole Elon Musk and Twitter fiasco?

    The more you understand the content that engages your audience, the easier it is to create content that engages them! 

    When you explore trending topics on TikTok, you’re gathering content ideas. And all that’s left is to create and promote your content. See how easy TikTok trends make marketing on this platform!

    Here’s how to stay ahead of TikTok trends:

    • Follow popular TikTok influencers to check what they’re posting.
    • Use tools like SocialSprout to find trending topics.
    • Conduct hashtag research.
    • Spend a lot of time on the app, exploring your Discover Page and finding what audio and topics are trending.

    6.Develop a TikTok Posting Schedule

    Now that you know your audience, performed competitor analysis, set your goals, and pinned down topics for your TikTok content, it’s time to create a content calendar.

    A content calendar will help you maintain consistency. This is ideal for TikTok marketing. If you post five times in one week and once over the next week, your followers won’t remain engaged. 

    Also, you must know what content to post when depending on trends. For example, if you knew the FIFA World Cup was coming around, you could have geared your content topics to cover this global event.

    With that said, your content schedule must be agile. If trends quickly change or a new trend arises out of the blue, your calendar must allow you to respond to this. 

    Many content calendars have automated features to help you save time. Some include functions like hashtag and competitor research too. 

    Here are the best content calendars to schedule your TikTok posts:

    7.Perfect Your TikTok Content

    If you thought the hard part was over, think again! Your content is the driving force behind successful TikTok marketing. And the previous steps build up to creating brand-centric, highly engaging content. 

    While these steps make it easier to promote results-driven TikTok content, you could go wrong if your content is poor quality. Ensure your TikTok videos boast high-quality content and audio. 

    Think about the kind of content super popular TikTok influencers promote. When comparing this to videos posted by the average user, the latter content seems low-budget and far from professional. Aim to post content that satisfies the same standards as content popular influencers post.

    TikTok stats
    Source: Embed Social

    8.Understand the Basics of Short-Form Video Content

    Short-form video content can easily be duplicated if you’re not too careful. Think about it. You use these kinds of videos for Instagram marketing, and perhaps other channels too. Because of this, you may notice some cross-over between the videos you post on TikTok vs. Instagram.

    You want to minimize this cross-over as much as possible. While you might want to share videos on the same topics, use different approaches and angles based on what works best for each platform. For instance, you may want to focus on highlighting the physical attraction of your products on Instagram reels while providing a short educational video on using your products for TikTok.

    An organized content schedule will help you identify overlaps in your short-form video content and find ways to promote original content.

    9.Interact with The Community

    Community marketing is another essential component of TikTok marketing. The more active you are in TikTok’s community of users, the more you secure credibility and understand what it takes to excel in this marketing space.

    Interacting with TikTok’s community means engaging with your followers through commenting and responding to their comments. You can also like, share and comment on your followers and influencer posts.

    When users notice your brand is interacting with them and others, they’re more likely to be interested in who you are. Not to mention, they’ll also appreciate your hands-on approach. Keep your interactions organic, so users feel they’re engaging with a person, not a faceless brand. 

    10.Run Paid Advertising Campaigns

    Organic content provides traction for your TikTok marketing efforts, but paid ad campaigns can accelerate these results. Run paid ad campaigns on TikTok through formats like in-feed ads, brand takeovers, branded hashtag challenges, and top-view ads. Like other social platforms, TikTok has an ad-bidding system.

    This means you can set your ad spend budget, but securing an ad placement means targeting competitive keywords at a competitive price. Ensure the content your use for paid ads is top-quality, and you’re targeting the right demographic of TikTok users. TikTok has built-in analytics so you can measure the performance of your paid ad campaign.

    Summary: TikTok Marketing Strategy in 10 Easy Steps

    1. Define Your Target Audience
    2. Define Your Purpose
    3. Research Your Competitors
    4. Set SMART Goals
    5. Find and Use TikTok Trends
    6. Develop a TikTok Posting Schedule
    7. Perfect Your Content
    8. Understand the Basics of Short-form Video
    9. Interact with Your Community
    10. Run Paid Ad Campaigns

    2 Successful TikTok Marketing Examples

    1.Walmart’s Deal Drop Dance TikTok Campaign

    Walmart may be one of the US’s biggest brick-to-mortar chains, but they’re in on TikTok marketing too! To multiply their Black Friday sales, Walmart created an influencer marketing campaign – #DealDropDance.

    The Campaign

    To make this TikTok marketing campaign successful, Walmart worked with six TikTok influencers. These influencers encouraged their followers to post fun videos of how Black Friday savings at Walmart makes them feel. This was a fun campaign as Walmart earned loads of user-generated videos of their buyers doing funny dances in the shopping aisles. 

    Here’s an example of what we mean:

    Source: Jacalyn Boggs

    The Outcome 

    This TikTok marketing campaign was a complete success! The influencer’s posts reached over 17 million TikTok users, and within the first week, the hashtag #DealDropDance generated over 2 billion hits. Not to mention, the campaign garnered over 700 million impressions from Gen Z and Millennial audiences. 

    The Key Takeaways 

    • Connect your TikTok marketing campaign with a holiday, event, or festivity that typically gets people excited.
    • Ensure you gain organic user-generated content from your campaign.
    • Don’t ignore the power of influencer marketing for TikTok!

    2.EA Sports’ Influencer Campaigns for Apex Legends and Plants vs Zombies

    EA is one of the world’s top gaming organizations. While brands like these often flock toward Instagram and YouTube marketing, EA decided to try its hand at TikTok marketing. EA set out to work with TikTok influencers to promote a few of their games, and the campaign was one to learn from! 

    EA
    Source: EA Sports

    The Campaign

    EA partnered with three influencers to promote three different games. The premise was to share how enjoyable and high-quality these games are, and drive sales to game audiences. Remember, being as big as EA they don’t necessarily need awareness. But working with influencers helped EA accelerate the interest in their games. 

    The Outcome 

    EA’s game, Apex Legends garnered over 540 million views, while Plants vs. Zombies gained over 900 000 likes! Unfortunately, EA doesn’t disclose what traction they achieved for FIFA 20. 

    The Key Takeaways 

    • Work with influencers that can match your audience’s culture and voice.
    • You can use different influencers to promote different aspects of your brand and offerings.

    Summary: 2 TikTok Marketing Examples

    1. Walmart’s Deal Drop Dance
    2. EA Sports’ TikTok Influencer Campaigns

    Conclusion

    TikTok marketing is a powerful tool if used correctly. This marketing strategy is unsaturated and TikTok boats a lot of potential for high growth and engagement. To launch a successful TikTok marketing campaign, start by defining your audience, researching your competitors, and developing a posting schedule. Then, perfect your content and interact with your TikTok community! See?! TikTok marketing is simple with these steps. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the advantages of TikTok marketing?

    The top benefits of TikTok marketing include the growth potential this platform has, and how unsaturated it is. TikTok also has fantastic engagement rates and it offers opportunity to go viral. Read this article for the top benefits of TikTok marketing and how to develop a TikTok marketing campaign in 10 easy steps.

    What marketing channels do you use for TikTok?

    The best TikTok marketing channels include influencers, TikTok ads, in-feed ads, brand takeovers and organic marketing. These channels will help you get your content in front of targeted buyers, and boost brand awareness and engagement. This guide explores the top steps of TikTok campaigns and why brands should invest in TikTok marketing.

    How do I develop a TikTok marketing campaign?

    To develop a TikTok marketing campaign define your audience, research your competitors, set marketing goals, find and use TikTok trends, develop a posting schedule, perfect your content and interact with your community. Read this guide for more of the best tips and practices for results-driven TikTok campaigns.

    References

    BusinessofApps: TikTok Revenue and Usage Statistics (2022)

    Insider Intelligence: More Gen Zers Now Use TikTok than Instagram in the US

    Statista: The Road to One Billion Users

    Statista: Leading Social Media Platforms Used by Marketers Worldwide

    Hootsuite: Social Media Trends 2023

    LaterBlog: Everything You Need to Know About TikTok Ads

    TikTok for Business: Kantar TikTok Ad Insights