TikTok Marketing: A Guide for Ecommerce Brands

TikTok has developed from a platform recognized for viral dance strikes to a spot of fast product discovery.

Manufacturers massive (like Ray-Ban) and small (like Scrub Daddy) have grown to hundreds of thousands of followers and seen exponential ROI

For ecommerce enterprise homeowners and entrepreneurs, leaping on this bandwagon is completely different to leaping on Fb and Instagram.

On this article, you’ll discover ways to achieve traction on TikTok to develop consciousness, site visitors, and acquisition.

Why ought to your model be on TikTok?

TikTok customers spent $2.5 billion on the platform in 2021, in accordance with SensorTower—greater than on some other app. App Annie predicts spending will quickly surpass $3 billion

These figures spotlight the truth that TikTok customers are naturally engaged with social purchasing, though it’s not an e-commerce platform. Some 67% of users say they’re impressed to buy on TikTok even after they weren’t planning to take action. 

TikTok research into consumer conduct reveals that 37% of customers uncover a product and instantly wish to purchase it. Practically a 3rd have tried to purchase one thing solely to seek out it was bought out. 

The New York Times named this urge to purchase one thing the “TikTok Feta Impact,” after a viral recipe for baked feta pasta resulted within the cheese promoting out nationwide within the U.S.

Screenshot of TikTok Feta Effect

The TikTok shopping for craze even has its personal viral hashtag: #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. This hashtag has turn into a one-stop TikTok store for the extraordinary merchandise ecommerce companies promote on the platform, with over 20 billion views and counting.

The advantages of TikTok for ecommerce manufacturers don’t begin and finish with a sale. Mother or father firm ByteDance sees the trail to buy as an infinite loop: 

Screenshot of Purchase Infinite Loop

Folks uncover, take into account, and purchase merchandise, then put up about their purchases and unfold consciousness. 

As an alternative of attempting to pressure customers onto the linear buy path of the previous, TikTok’s path to success has relied on placing the facility into our customers’ arms, constructing round their behaviors, and following their lead.

By listening to the TikTok neighborhood, we meet customers the place they wish to be met, and it’s not within the funnel. Somewhat, it’s an infinite loop with no begin or finish level, and it empowers manufacturers to determine extra significant relationships with customers that end in communities of brand name loyalists, repeat purchases, and larger spending. [via TikTok]

TikTok’s engagement powers are second to none. Customers spend on common 10.85 minutes per session on the app—greater than double Pinterest and triple the time spent on Instagram. 

Screenshot of mobile social networking apps average session duration

The prolonged time spent makes TikTok fertile floor for establishing significant relationships with customers. 

However is it simply youngsters and Gen Z scrolling and shopping for on the app? 

TikTok’s user demographic is broader than generally thought. 1 / 4 of its customers fall within the 10–19 class, however over 60% is pretty evenly cut up between customers of their 20s, 30s, and 40s. The remaining 11% of the consumer base is over 50. 

Screenshot of TikTok’s User Demographic

With over 1.5 billion month-to-month energetic customers, there’s a large viewers to develop your corporation, no matter your goal demographic. 

The right way to use TikTok to develop your model 

TikTok is constructed on discovering recent content material. Its For You Web page (“FYP”), TikTok’s model of the house feed on Twitter or Fb, is an infinite video stream. These movies are personalised primarily based on previous interactions and predictions about what customers have interaction with most. 

On this manner, TikTok’s feed is just like the recommended content material that different social media platforms serve up. It stands out on its potential for getting content material seen; your variety of followers doesn’t restrict your visibility. 

In different phrases, in case your content material is partaking, you stand as a lot probability of going viral as any main model with hundreds of thousands of followers. 

For instance, after initially selling her vary of scrunchies on Instagram, Enchanted Scrunch founder Dasha Derkach began posting on TikTok

Her first video about beginning a enterprise acquired 15K views, which resulted in 10 orders. From there, views elevated for every video powering the channel to recover from three million likes.

Screenshot of Enchanted Scrunch Tiktok Account

TikTok now accounts for 90% of the model’s gross sales, serving to it develop from small enterprise to six-figure firm with over 182k followers. 

It has considerably boosted our gross sales. Earlier than TikTok, we acquired round two orders every week, then as soon as we began round 100 every week, now we additionally do TikTok Lives practically day-after-day and get virtually 500 orders every week! [via Shopify]

To faucet into this viral potential and purchase prospects, your movies have to land in your viewers’s FYP. Listed here are some ways that will help you achieve traction.

Above all else, make entertaining movies

GWI research into how individuals use social media revealed that almost all of individuals primarily use TikTok to seek out entertaining content material (i.e. content material receivers). This units the app other than Instagram and Snapchat, which individuals primarily use to put up their very own content material. 

The query to ask your self is: What does my viewers discover entertaining?

Take a look at your buyer information. Which sort of content material will get essentially the most engagement on different social networks? What issues does your viewers look to you to resolve?

Subsequent, have a look at how your competitors engages their audiences on TikTok. 

For instance, how lengthy are their movies? Analysis from Invideo reveals that quick movies of 15 seconds or much less have a mean watch time of over 90%. This decreases because the video will get longer, with 30 seconds clips receiving a 50–60% common watch time. 

This isn’t to say longer movies are nugatory. TikTok experiences that movies over one minute obtain over five billion views. Study what’s working in your business and cut up take a look at various kinds of content material and video lengths to see what resonates.

Analysis will provide help to set up a distinct segment and elegance that you should utilize to create familiarity. It’ll additionally provide help to hone in on a particular viewers. Noble Leather-based Co. has turn into recognized for its entertaining ASMR content material by creating content material across the #OddlySatisfying pattern. 

Screenshot of Noble Leather Tiktok Account

Milk Bar focuses totally on dessert recipes. Lots of which characteristic its merchandise. 

Screenshot of Milk Bar Store TikTok Account

In each examples, video size varies. Customers are drawn in by the story of what’s being made and the entertaining manner it’s being informed.

Maximizing the attain of your content material is pushed by two issues: hashtags and sounds.

When customers have interaction with movies which have sure hashtags, TikTok populates their FYP with comparable content material. 

TikTok’s Discover page offers an summary of what’s trending on the platform. Cross-reference trending hashtags with matters that curiosity your viewers. 

Word: In a characteristic take a look at for some customers, TikTok has changed the Uncover tab with a Pals tab (encouraging customers to work together with contacts). The Uncover tab continues to be obtainable on desktop. You too can study what’s trending on information websites similar to Mashable and Fanbytes’ weekly TikTok trends newsletter

To succeed in as a lot of your viewers as doable, experiment with a mixture of seasonal and evergreen traits. 

Seasonal traits enchantment to what’s scorching on the time (e.g., #Thanksgiving, #Christmas, and #SuperBowl). 

Evergreen traits aren’t time-sensitive, that means older movies keep related for longer (e.g., #magnificence, #trend, and #baking).

For instance, Heinz ran a faux advert to unfold the enjoyment of Christmas and capitalize on the momentary #ChristmasAd hashtag. 

Screenshot of Heinz Tiktok Ad to spread the joy of Christmas

Its account principally focuses on enduring hashtags similar to #easyrecipe, which has over 22 billion views. 

By mixing up evergreen and trending content material, you possibly can guarantee your channel by no means turns into stale. It additionally permits you to constantly enchantment to new customers who come to TikTok seeking leisure.  

Rising your viewers with sounds

TikTok movies play with audio on by default, making the soundtrack as necessary because the visuals for grabbing consideration. 

“Sounds” are audio clips from songs, films, or different TikTok movies which you can add to your content material. 

TikTok treats audio the identical as hashtags. If a consumer engages with a video that has a sure kind of sound, TikTok will present them movies with comparable sounds. 

For instance, for those who watch a video that’s dubbed over a clip from an episode of “Pals,” TikTok will populate your FYP with extra sound clips from Pals. 

You could find which sounds are trending by tapping the + icon within the TikTok app, heading to Sounds, then TikTok Viral.

Screenshot of TikTok Sounds

TikTok’s Creative Center additionally publishes a rundown of the highest trending sounds which you can obtain and place in your movies.

TikTok, greater than some other social platform, is pushed by spontaneity. There’s no telling what’s going to go viral. The place else would one thing like eating frozen honey entice 1.7 billion views?

Embrace experimentation in your content material. Use sounds which might be as offbeat as your model voice will permit. However don’t pressure it. 

The great thing about TikTok is that it’s enjoyable and real with out pushing gross sales.      

Make your self memorable with a branded theme

The struggle to get on the FYP of your viewers places you in competitors with an countless variety of different movies TikTok deems related for his or her matter or sound. 

To face out, create a theme to make your content material distinctive and constant.

Mattress firm Purple, for instance, options the colour purple in every of its movies to create a memorable aesthetic. 

Screenshot of Purple TikTok Account

Even movies that aren’t product-related characteristic intelligent use of purple in clothes, equipment, or captions. 

The marketing “Rule of Seven” states that an individual must see a message no less than seven occasions earlier than it sinks in. This helps the notion that folks study and bear in mind by means of repetition. 

Purple’s constant use of colour implies that individuals seeing its movies (or different movies with a sure shade of purple) affiliate the colour with the model. This creates top-of-mind consciousness, permitting them to face out from rivals that blend up their advertising messaging. 

Scrub Daddy makes use of themes in another way, with a video collection that follows a yellow scrubber on adventures. 

Screenshot of Scrub Daddy TikTok Account

It’s bizarre and chaotic, but it surely works. The yellow scrubber being a fixture creates consistency, whereas Scrub Daddy’s use of trending audio clips lets them benefit from TikTok’s algorithm. 

This technique helped the corporate develop to over 2 million followers with a TikTok ROI that entrepreneur and CEO Aaron Krause says is “thousands of percent.”

Use your model or product as a central theme in your TikTok content material. Repetition and consistency create familiarity, which builds belief, making individuals extra probably to purchase. 

Set your viewers a problem to create user-generated content material

To grasp perceptions of the platform, TikTok commissioned a Neilsen study. It revealed that customers discover TikTok content material to be genuine and real. 

This examine’s findings mirror what customers wish to see from manufacturers. In accordance with a report from Stackla, now Nosto, there’s a disparity between what entrepreneurs assume they’re doing (creating genuine content material) and what customers really see:

Screenshot of disparity percentage of what marketers think they’re doing and what consumers actually see

The report additionally discovered that 83% of individuals imagine retailers ought to present extra genuine on-line purchasing experiences pushed by consumer-created content material. 

That resonates with TikTok’s base. Person-generated content material (UGC) movies are 22% more effective on TikTok than branded movies. 

Folks are inclined to trust it more as a result of it presents the content material individuals search.

Screenshot of Report showing what type of content is most authentic

Stackla analysis demonstrates that 79% of customers are influenced to buy by UGC, in comparison with simply 12% who’re influenced by brand-created content material. 

UCG additionally acts as a type of social proof, making it an economical advertising tactic.

If you happen to’re delivering nice buyer experiences, UGC can occur organically. #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt is full of individuals sharing their ideas on merchandise they’ve bought within the app. 

Nonetheless, these opinions are out of your management. To amass UGC strategically, give your viewers a cause to create.

Provide you with a hashtag problem that prompts customers to finish a job and add it to their account.

For instance, to unfold consciousness for its free supply on digital orders, Chipotle created the #ChipotleLidFlip challenge that inspired customers to duplicate an worker’s spectacular manner of assembling burrito bowls. This resulted in 111,000 submissions and record-breaking gross sales. 

Screenshot of a fan doing chipotle lid flip challenge on TikTok

By partnering with YouTube influencer and Chipotle fan David Dobrik, Chipotle tapped into a big viewers and constructed preliminary momentum. 

Its wider success could be attributed to its simplicity: the lid flip problem was enjoyable and straightforward to attempt. All members wanted was a telephone and a burrito bowl. 

Create a low barrier to entry. Hold hashtags easy in order that they’re memorable and straightforward to spell. Let individuals be a part of within the enjoyable with none specialist gear. 

To realize extra traction, take into account partnering with influencers in your area of interest (extra on this quickly) or providing a tangible incentive. 

GymShark, for instance, acquired individuals to participate in its 66 Days: Change your Life fitness challenge (#gymshark66) by giving them the prospect to win a GymShark membership.

Screenshot of TikTok influencers like the Wilking Sisters, Antonie Lokhorst and Rybka Twins collaborating with Gymshark

This incentive is effective to the model’s viewers of health lovers and relatable to the problem. 

It helped drive the marketing campaign to 193 million views, rising the corporate’s model consciousness and serving to GymShark construct a neighborhood on the platform within the course of.

Associate with creators to seize extra consideration

To generate curiosity in your product, companion with TikTok influencers who share your values. Creator collaborations end in higher view rates and greater engagement

In addition they positively impression model consciousness and gross sales:  

  • 35% of TikTok customers say they uncover merchandise and types by means of creators;
  • 65% of customers get pleasure from it when creators put up about merchandise;
  • 71% of customers say creator authenticity has motivated them to purchase a product or model. 

Take skincare model Bulldog. To spice up model consciousness and promote its product to a brand new viewers, the corporate labored with creators to make movies across the hashtag #IchRasiereDich (I shave you). 

The movies featured shaving makeovers, mishaps, and errors delivered by creators in their very own model: 

Screenshot of Bulldog's TikTok campaign

This helped Bulldog attain new audiences with out content material coming throughout as compelled. Over three weeks, the marketing campaign generated over 29 million impressions and a 5–10% increase in gross sales.

Use the TikTok Creator Marketplace (TTCM) and the superior search operate to find creators to collaborate with. To slender your search, TikTok enables you to search by efficiency metrics, area of interest, and demographics.

Screenshot of TikTok Creator Marketplace Advanced Search Function

Create a shortlist of potential collaborators and analyze their Creator Profiles. Right here you possibly can entry common video views, engagement fee, follower numbers, common likes and shares, and viewers demographics. 

Screenshot of TikTok Creator Profile

Use this analytics software to make data-driven choices and join with creators who resonate together with your viewers. 

As soon as a creator accepts your invitation, you possibly can oversee the inventive course of earlier than posting and handle campaigns throughout the TTCM. 

Creators know easy methods to create content material that works, however the platform’s chaotic nature means campaigns are at all times trial and error. 

Use TikTok’s reporting instruments to investigate what’s working and what might be improved to fine-tune your content material.

To run profitable creator campaigns, try TikTok’s free marketer’s collaboration playbook.  

Go LIVE to interact your viewers in actual time

Get nearer to your viewers by spending time with them within the second. An Ipsos study discovered that TikTok customers are 50% extra curious about branded stay content material than non-TikTok customers. 

They’re additionally extra more likely to watch stay content material to find manufacturers and purchase merchandise.

NBC has referred to as TikTok Dwell Gen Z’s house purchasing community.

“Dozens of accounts on TikTok go stay practically day-after-day to hawk stuffed animals, coloured contact lenses, keychains, sneakers, telephone circumstances, fake leather-based purses, make-up instruments, in addition to a plethora of different items. 

Some influencers have amassed greater than 100,000 followers and usually have a whole lot or 1000’s of individuals watching their stay streams concurrently.” [via NBC]

In contrast to customary movies, TikTok LIVE has no time restrict, permitting you to spend high quality time together with your followers. 

It additionally seems on the FYP, providing you with the prospect to seize the eye of scrolling customers. Nonetheless, there are two limitations to going LIVE: you have to be no less than 16 years previous and have no less than 1,000 followers.

Align stay stream content material with your corporation targets. For instance, if you wish to construct model consciousness, deal with instructional content material. In case your objective is to drive gross sales, run a stay stream purchasing occasion the place followers should buy the merchandise you’re showcasing in actual time. 

Ipsos’s examine revealed the kind of content material customers are most curious about: 

  • How-to/tutorials (80%);
  • Product releases (78%);
  • In-depth product opinions (77%);
  • Q&As (74%);
  • Product gross sales (72%);
  • Dwell occasions (72%).

Use this perception to tell your technique.

When you can get pleasure from success internet hosting your personal occasions, in order for you extra eyeballs, attempt experimenting with influencers as co-hosts and particular visitor hosts in your account. 

Establishing a TikTok LIVE

You can begin a LIVE at any time by hitting the “+” icon within the TikTok app and choosing “Go Dwell.” 

Construct anticipation and schedule your occasion forward of time. Put it on the market, emphasizing the advantages for LIVE watchers, and enhance your potential viewers. 

Schedule the stream when your viewers is most energetic on the platform by your TikTok analytics.

Screenshot of TikTok Analytics

Add a associated video to your scheduled occasion with a hyperlink that customers can click on to enroll and share occasion hyperlinks through direct message and different advertising channels to unfold the phrase. These function each a reminder and a handy strategy to be a part of. 

Lastly, don’t wing it. Plan your occasions to maintain individuals engaged all through. You don’t need it to return throughout as scripted, however it’s best to have a central theme and a schedule to stay to. To maintain viewers invested, comply with TikTok’s greatest practices. 

Be constant: Go LIVE usually to determine a behavior together with your followers.
Location, location, location: Carry your viewers into an uncommon place (like a office, newsroom, manufacturing unit, showroom).
Have interaction immediately: Use Q&A to work together with commenters, reply, and adapt to what the viewers is curious about.
Momentum: Construct a pure sense of anticipation – construct, draw, cook dinner, or do a countdown to make it partaking. Drive the story ahead.
Be energetic: All the time have one thing visually fascinating happening, ideally an exercise. Speaking head-style content material doesn’t drive as a lot engagement. [via TikTok]

Experiment with TikTok Adverts to drive extra gross sales

TikTok has larger potential to go viral organically than maybe some other social media platform. However like different platforms, if you wish to seize a big viewers quick, it pays to pay. 

TikTok presents a number of completely different ad options to experiment with:

  • In-Feed Adverts. Nonetheless photographs or video content material that seems on a consumer’s FYP. Like native content material, customers can like, remark, share, comply with and re-use sounds on In-Feed Adverts.
  • Spark Adverts. Boosted natural posts out of your account or creator accounts (with permission).
  • TopView. Locations In-Feed Adverts on the high of a consumer’s FYP, making it the primary content material they see after they open the app.
  • Branded Hashtag Problem. A sponsored hashtag that reveals up on the FYP and Uncover web page.
  • Model Takeover. A dynamic video that takes up all the display screen and makes it clickable. These adverts present up as quickly as a consumer opens TikTok, putting your message entrance and heart for mass consciousness. 
  • Branded Results. Custom-made stickers, video games, filters, and particular results that customers can add to their very own movies, encouraging them to work together together with your model.
  • Video Buying Adverts. Promoted social commerce adverts that use TikTok’s purchasing options to allow you to tag merchandise with descriptions that hyperlink to merchandise in your on-line retailer. 
  • Dynamic Showcase Adverts (DSA). Adverts served to customers primarily based on exercise and pursuits. If a consumer has interacted together with your content material, a DSA will present up of their FYP.  

TikTok adverts work as a result of they’re indistinguishable from native content material. They don’t interrupt the expertise, making customers extra receptive to them. 

In accordance with TikTok, 61% of customers really feel that adverts on the platform are distinctive in comparison with different social platforms, and 45% see them as inventive vs. 29% on different platforms. That is mirrored in a cost-per-impression (CPM) fee round five times lower than Meta’s Fb and Instagram. 

The Essence Vault’s advert marketing campaign is a superb instance of TikTok customers’ openness to adverts. To shortly increase consciousness and develop gross sales on the platform, the corporate used Spark Adverts to spice up natural content material created within the model of Creator content material. 

Screenshot of The Essence Vault’s TikTok Ad Campaign

As individuals started to work together with the adverts, The Essence Vault launched inventive workshops and boosted these to extend visibility additional. 

The general marketing campaign resulted in over one million views, 8,000 new followers, and a 23% enhance in advert gross sales. The model additionally elevated TikTok gross sales by 10% and improved its conversion fee from 4.47% to five.35%. 

You don’t need to differ out of your natural technique to win at TikTok adverts. Take the content material your viewers is most engaged with, produce extra, and put cash behind it to achieve customers that match your buyer personas by means of advert focusing on or customized audiences. 

Study extra about driving model consciousness and gross sales in our information to TikTok Adverts.  

The right way to measure success on TikTok

Not every part you create on TikTok will hit the mark, however by frequently experimenting and analyzing outcomes, you’ll start to see which kind of content material to construct a technique round. 

To measure success, it helps to consider what TikTok needs viral movies to do: carry extra each day customers to the platform and enhance the time they spend on the app. 

To realize this, TikTok wants creators to provide content material that folks watch and share. The key metrics you have to have a look at to gauge success are:

  • Common watch time;
  • Watched full video;
  • Reached viewers.

The extra folks that watch your video, the extra probably TikTok is to prioritize it, that means the video reveals up in additional FYPs and reaches a bigger viewers, getting nearer to viral standing. 

One other clear indication that your movies are hitting the mark is engagement: likes, feedback, and shares. 

Calculate engagement on TikTok by dividing complete engagement by the variety of video views you’ve got.

Engagement Charge = [(total number of likes + comments + shares) / total number of views)] x 100

So in case your video has 5,000 likes, 30 feedback, 300 shares, and 250,000 views, your engagement fee would appear to be this:

[(5000 + 30 + 300) / 250,000] x 100 = 2.13%

In accordance with Socialinsider analysis, TikTok is essentially the most engaged platform with a mean engagement fee of 5.96%. FMCG Meals has the best common engagement fee at 15.82%, whereas media-house has the bottom at 3.43%. 

Screenshot of engagement rate on TikTok in 2022

Use these benchmarks to information efficiency, however remember the fact that charges are greater for manufacturers and creators with massive followings. Justin Bieber has an engagement rate of 49%, for instance. 

Don’t examine creator partnership engagement with natural content material. As an alternative, have a look at how your movies are contributing to your total TikTok advertising technique.


TikTok’s energetic viewers and their willingness to embrace manufacturers makes this platform enticing for ecommerce advertising. 

Success on TikTok is pushed by two major elements: authenticity and creativity. Keep true to your model and what your prospects need, however don’t be afraid to experiment together with your content material and creator collaborations. 

There are few norms about what works and what doesn’t on TikTok. If you happen to assume one thing is likely to be humorous or entertaining to your viewers, attempt it. Engagement metrics will provide help to set up which content material strikes a chord.

Study extra about easy methods to get adverts off to a flying begin in our TikTok Adverts course.

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