How to Make TikTok Videos that Drive Sales

 TikTok is a newer social video platform.

Millions of users on the TikTok platform offer a unique opportunity for your business to connect with new potential customers. — Getty Images/SeventyFour

Since its release in 2016, TikTok has become an invaluable tool for small businesses. A recent study found that, of small businesses currently using TikTok, 78% say they plan on increasing their investment in the platform.

It’s easy to see why: TikTok has a higher per-post engagement rate than Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. With so many people hooked on TikTok’s short and creative videos, the platform provides businesses with an opportunity to connect with a young, engaged audience.

Here are seven tips to help companies get started with TikTok and learn how to drive sales in a new way.

Understand the platform first

TikTok, like most other social media platforms, takes a little bit of time to get acclimated. First, create a business account on the service. It’s highly recommended to use the same user name and logo that you use on other social media platforms to have brand consistency. You also should fill in a bio with information and related keywords about your business.

Once your account is set up, spend time with the app to see how people create videos, what is trending, and the tone of the content. An estimated 62% of U.S.-based users on the platform are age 29 and under, so know that your content should often target a younger audience.

Explore TikTok’s Small Business Resource Center

The platform offers dozens of resources and guides to help small business owners succeed. Explore TikTok’s Small Business Resource Center to learn how to create a business account, learn about your audience, and grow your business. The Resource Center also includes guides for using royalty-free music, creating compelling videos, and building a community of engaged followers.

Start with organic content

TikTok’s expanded its advertising options over the past few years. However, when you first start out, focus on experimenting with organic content that you don’t pay to boost.

Creativity and fun should be the focus. Famous TikTok stars frequently participate in dance challenges, pair unique footage to hit songs, perform stunts, and tell witty jokes. While businesses will not necessarily want to copy these tactics exactly, they will want to tap into their creative side when making TikTok videos.

For example, if you’re a restaurant, you could use your TikTok presence to teach how to make particular recipes to tease your skills, pair footage of you making food with songs, or share content produced by your customers that feature your dishes. One example of a food brand that may provide inspiration is Chipotle, which has amassed more than a million followers for its irreverent videos.

When you’re just starting out, the simplest option is to try an in-feed ad.

Encourage your customers to submit their own videos, too. These user-generated videos, especially from younger users, can feature short testimonials or show them cleverly using your product.

“Generation Z loves the full immersive experience,” wrote Influencer Marketing Hub. “If you can find a way to encourage your customers to share videos of themselves using or interacting with your products in some way, you’re likely to get a high buy-in.”

Provide useful information and ideas

One type of video that is especially popular on TikTok is when a person quickly teaches viewers how to make something or succinctly explains a topic. Businesses can create videos like this as well, especially ones that show off their expertise. A large car dealership, for example, could dedicate its channel to creating content that showcases easy-to-understand explainers about auto loans, vehicle maintenance, and essential car features.

Take advantage of popular hashtags

Using the Discover feature inside the TikTok app, you can see what hashtags and song samples are trending worldwide. Businesses can craft relevant videos related to those trending topics or sounds so more people will find them. Don’t feel the need to chase every prominent hashtag, but if something trends that ties to your business, work quickly to take advantage.

Explore different advertising solutions

TikTok offers four ad products:

  1. In-feed ads: Ads that appear in TikTok users’ “For You” pages.
  2. Brand takeover: Ads that appear immediately when
    someone opens their TikTok app, taking over the screen for a few seconds
    before changing into an in-feed ad.
  3. Branded hashtags: These ads act as regular hashtags, except the hashtags are paid for by brands and therefore given priority by TikTok.
  4. Branded AR/effects content:
    “These ads appear in some of TikTok’s more creative places, such as
    branded lenses, stickers, and other items, such as 3D/AR content
    provided by brands for TikTok filmmakers to use in their videos,”
    explained Influencer Marketing Hub.

When you’re just starting out, the simplest option is to try an in-feed ad. These ads can be managed independently via the TikTok Ads Manager. The TikTok Ads Manager lets you choose your goal, create a targeted audience, assign a specific daily or lifetime budget, and helps you design the ad.

Brand takeovers, branded hashtags, and branded effects may require you to work with an ad account manager.

Work with a TikTok influencer to showcase your product

Finally, one trick that may help drive sales on TikTok is working directly with an influencer who already has a large following. The influencer can then incorporate the product into one of their videos.

“Generation Z is typically opposed to anything that looks like a traditional ad,” wrote Syed Balkhi in Entrepreneur. “So, working with TikTok influencers can really help you make a connection with that generation of users. To find the right influencer for your business, you can look for online tools that let you search bios on TikTok, look for mentions of other brands, the most popular languages used in an influencer audience and more.”

This story was originally written by Sean Ludwig.

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