Saturday, May 18, 2024

How to Start Marketing on TikTok

TikTok is the place to be for social media marketing opportunities. That much is proven by its success rate since 2020. But how do you get started? What do you need to do to get your items in front of fans, or even start your own TikTok-focussed one-man marketing agency? Take a look at our guide to find out.


Remember, authenticity is key

TikTok emerged as a sort of antithesis to Instagram. Not long after TikTok really took popularity across demographics in lockdown, there were protests against Instagram that said that the platform was more about marketing and polish than friends posting their favourite photos.

When TikTok launched, and since, a majority of its users were simply in bed, with their hair up, no make-up, probably just woke up. They are done with the polish, and they want you to be too.

And entertainment comes first

Don’t panic when reading that. No one is asking you to be a world-class stand-up comedian right away. Entertainment, especially in short-form video content, is very broad and easier to attempt than traditional media can. Take beekeeping. It’s a concept that might be narrated by David Attenborough on the TV and cause anyone under the age of, say, 30, to turn over. But on TikTok, Attenborough or no, 30 seconds of beekeeping is fascinating. TikTok is a place where cleaning videos go viral, and stories are accompanied by footage of someone playing Subway Surfer.

Being entertaining means giving the eye something, giving the mind satisfaction, telling a fun anecdote, using free sound effects to make a joke, and everything in between.

But the point that TikTok users prove with what they’re watching isn’t that they don’t want to be marketed to, but that they want to be entertained with it. No one is going to listen to how this cleaning product gets rid of 99.9% of germs, but they will watch someone prove it in a cleaning video.

Set up your TikTok shop

TikTok is unique in a lot of ways, but the important option for a marketer is that you can easily and seamlessly be an affiliate marketer and nothing else. Affiliate bloggers, for example, used to be the dark horse in that their blogs would contain items for people to buy that they are promoting. Nothing else. Like the Kardashians of the online marketing world, it wasn’t a shoutout or product placement during another “talent-filled” piece of content. It was purely, “I like this, I think you’d like it too.”

That attitude didn’t really make its mark on YouTube or Twitch, where brand deals had to be subtly mentioned in a beauty video or shoehorned into a conversation on Twitch, but TikTok allows you to set up your shop and get selling, no questions asked. A dress is in your shop and your content is just pointing out that you like the dress and that you can tell others where to get it by clicking your shop, and that’s it. It’s enough to fill a piece of content that typically gets swiped past after 15 seconds.

Start streaming your stock

There is a creeping trend from the East called Live Shopping, and although it’s slow going, it’s making moves. More and more users are not only broadcasting their live shopping events but more are also watching.

It’s exactly what you thought it would be too. Like a low-budget shopping channel, influencers present their items for people to buy. There isn’t so much an auction or a need to buy it in the next hour (yet!) but people showcase the items they are looking to move and describe its benefits. It’s a simple way to get a lot of eyes on a lot of items in one go.

Additionally, you can add links to the items in your TikTok shop so that you get the commission for marketing the items.

Infiltrate the communities

Of course, the old-fashioned way of simply making a video about the items you like is still valid and effective. A good way to make sure your item ends up in front of the eyes of your demographic is with communities. This can be even more targeted than even algorithmic targeted ads can get. They might focus on age, gender, location, etc. but you would be focusing on hobbies, passions, and lifestyles in order to choose your communities.

Take BookTok for example, which is a community that has expanded so big it’s got its own pocket communities. If you can become, or partner with, an influencer that is a loud voice in that community, you’ll have a far more loyal set of fans looking to buy your item. A simple video showcasing an item will have a whole community saying, “That looks like it’s for me, because the influencer is like me and they’re using it.”

Sure, it might be a smaller demographic, but it’s a much more dedicated demographic with a higher chance of actually buying something.

Lindsey Ertz
Lindsey Ertz
Lindsey, a curious soul from NY, is a technical, business writer, and journalist. Her passion lies in crafting well-researched, data-driven content that delivers authentic information to global audiences, fostering curiosity and inspiration.

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