How Brands Can Use TikTok for Marketing

April 24, 2023
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With 1 billion active users every month, and 1 in 4 of these not found on any other platform, TikTok has huge potential for marketers to promote their brand to users. Indeed, TikTok has become one of the most successful marketing avenues for B2C brands over the last year, with small and large businesses alike seeing huge increases in their growth, engagement and brand awareness.

So, how can marketers leverage the platform to promote their brand and achieve similar results?

The top five ways that brands and marketers can use TikTok are:

  1. Start a free branded account.
  2. Start a hashtag challenge.
  3. Collaborate with influencers.
  4. Run paid-for TikTok ads. 
  5. Go live. 

1. Start a Branded Account

Starting a branded account is free, and content can be created with little or no budget. 

Our top tips? Create original and authentic content that corresponds with trending hashtags, sounds and the latest memes. Think like your audience, and go from there. You can utilise the built-in filters and editing tools to create content fast — some of the best organic content is shot on a phone, with little or no production budget. 

TikTok's algorithm allows users to discover new content based on their viewing habits, helping brands to achieve maximum visibility to the people that matter. As a result, any account (including brands) can “blow up” and get huge engagement and followers from one video.

2. Start a Hashtag Challenge 

User-generated content is content that has been created by users of a brand rather than the brand itself. User-generated content provides credible word-of-mouth recommendations that consumers respond to. In fact, 90% of shoppers report that UGC influences their decisions to make purchases. (Learn more about UGC in our article on the subject here).

Hashtag Challenges are a form of UGC that has been (particularly) effective on TikTok. The purpose? To encourage people to create content showcasing your products. But it doesn’t end there. TikTok has created a niche in which users are encouraged to create videos showing themselves performing a specific action — perhaps to reinvent an influencer’s video, show off an athletic feat, or dance to a funny song — and tagging it with a branded hashtag. Sometimes prizes are awarded, but usually it’s just for fun.

"When brands sponsor a hashtag challenge, it’s called a Branded Hashtag Challenge—and it’s an incredibly effective way to boost awareness, drive engagement, and build a bigger fanbase.” (TikTok for Business, 2022).

And the results speak for themselves. The median engagement rate for TikTok Branded HTC is 17.5%, compared to <1.0% on other platforms. Ad recall and brand awareness are much higher too, with Branded HTC 4 and 4.5x higher than standard mobile ads. 

As with most successful TikTok’s, the key is to be authentic (and have a good campaign plan to aid your reach).

3. Collaborate with Influencers

The global influencer marketing space has more than doubled since 2019 to $13.8 billion in 2021, according to Statista. 

Brand collaborations with TikTok content creators drive big results - and it’s easy to do. You can find a huge selection of diverse and talented creators on the TikTok Creator Marketplace, and then the right fit for your brand. 

 According to TikTok for Business, brand recall, video view rates (being watched for longer) and engagement are all positively impacted by TikTok-specific branded content in partnership with creators.

4. Run TikTok Ads 

With TikTok Ads, you can choose your goals, set your budget and bidding options, target your specific audience (down to their gender, age location, behaviours and interests), and track and evaluate your campaigns. Once you have signed up for the TikTok Ad platform, you’re ready to get started. 

Outsource Your Creative

For Top View and In-Feed Ads, you should consider outsourcing your content to a specialised Ecommerce Ad Service. At Aura Ads, through fresh direct response creative, available on a range of plans, we have helped to drive growth for some of the world’s leading eCommerce brands.

5. Go Live

Another way to build an authentic, human connection with your audience is by taking advantage of TikTok’s LIVE feature, which lets creators connect with followers through a livestream. The app will push a notification to your followers when you begin, just make sure you time your livestream well — try and aim for a time when your audience is likely to be online. 

According to Shopify, Q&A sessions, behind-the-scenes videos, informal hangout streams, “work with me” sessions, tutorials, and interviews with special guests work particularly well for brands. 

We are Aura Ads, a unique performance creative agency designed for D2C eCommerce brands. We help clients sell more online and grow at scale with our bespoke video and static creative, delivered on a monthly basis.


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