Thinking about using TikTok to promote your business or organization? You’re not the only one. Learn how to get the most out of this new social network.

TikTok is a powerful tool that shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s not just a favorite time-waster for teens – it has a big impact on music and culture. Many smart businesses want to use TikTok to join in and make some money through marketing.

Some of the coolest moments for big brands on TikTok happen by accident. For example, in Fall 2020, Ocean Spray and Fleetwood Mac got a huge boost in sales and streams after a guy named Nathan Apodaca started the #DreamsChallenge while riding his longboard to work.

But don’t worry if your brand isn’t accidentally famous on TikTok. You can still do well on the platform. Keep reading to find out how to set up TikTok for your business, how to use TikTok influencers, and more.

What is TikTok marketing?

TikTok marketing means using TikTok to tell people about a brand, product, or service. There are different ways to do it, such as working with influencers, putting up TikTok ads, and making content that spreads naturally.

Using TikTok to tell people about a brand, product, or service is called TikTok marketing. It involves different strategies, such as influencer marketing, putting up TikTok ads, and creating content that spreads naturally.

TikTok marketing can be really helpful for businesses to:

  1. Make more people know about the brand
  2. Build communities where people are interested and involved
  3. Sell things, like products and services
  4. Hear opinions and feedback from customers and audiences
  5. Provide help and support to customers
  6. Advertise products and services to specific groups of people

Now, let’s look at the three main types of marketing that brands use on TikTok.

TikTok influencer marketing

TikTok influencer marketing is a significant aspect of the app. Big names like Charli D’Amelio, Addison Rae, and Zach King can greatly boost a business’s success since tens of millions of users watch their content daily.

You don’t necessarily need a famous influencer for effective marketing. Look for up-and-coming stars or influencers in your specific area of interest. For instance, a small cosmetics brand in Vancouver could search for the hashtag #vancouvermakeup to find influencers like Sarah McNabb.

Making Your Own TikToks

For the most freedom, set up a Business TikTok account for your brand (find detailed step-by-step instructions below) and begin crafting your original content.

The possibilities are vast—you can share anything, from showcasing your products to day-in-the-life videos to taking on dance challenges. Take some time to explore your For You page for ideas and inspiration.

TikTok advertising

Starting with some money to invest? This is the place—TikTok’s website is packed with stories of brands, like Aerie, Little Caesars, and Maybelline, finding success through TikTok ads. Like Facebook and Instagram, the price of TikTok ads works on a bidding model.

Setting Up TikTok account for Business

In the summer of 2020, TikTok introduced a TikTok for Business hub, followed by the launch of TikTok Pro a few months later.

Initially, there was a difference between the two—one aimed at businesses and the other at creators looking to grow. However, because both hubs offered nearly identical insights, TikTok eventually merged them.

Now, TikTok for Business is the go-to option. By having a business account, you can include more details in your profile and gain access to real-time metrics and audience insights.

How to create a TikTok business account:

  1. Visit your profile page.
  2. Open the Settings and Privacy tab located in the top right corner.
  3. Tap Manage account.
  4. Under Account control, select Switch to Business Account.
  5. Choose the category that best fits your account—TikTok provides categories from Art & Crafts to Personal Blog to Fitness to Machinery & Equipment.
  6. Once done, you can add a business website and email to your profile, and you’re all set to go.

How to create ad on TikTok

Creating an official ad on TikTok, which means paying TikTok directly for marketing, is a reliable way to make more people see your content. This way, you don’t risk the possibility of a partnership with an influencer not working out.

Types of Ads available on TikTok

We’ve talked about different kinds of TikTok ads before, but let’s break it down simply.

First off, there are in-feed ads. These are ads you create yourself, like image ads (think of them as online billboards), video ads (similar to TV commercials), and spark ads (which boost your existing content to reach more people).

Then, there are pangle ads and carousel ads, but these are only available on TikTok’s Audience Network and News Feed apps.

For managed brands, their ads might resemble in-feed ads, but there are extra options if you’re working with a TikTok sales representative. This includes Topview ads (they play when you open the app and can’t be skipped, like a Youtube ad), branded hashtag challenges (a hashtag linked to your brand), and branded effects (like stickers and filters).

How to set up a TikTok Ad Account

If you want to show ads on TikTok, you have to make an ad account using TikTok Ads Manager.

Just go to, click on Create Now, and fill in some basic details like your country, type of business, business name, and contact information.

How to create a TikTok marketing strategy

TikTok trends might seem unpredictable, like the Adult Swim trend that became popular on TikTok in the summer of 2021. There’s no guaranteed marketing strategy, but there are practical steps you can follow to boost your business on the app.

Familiarize Yourself with TikTok

Using TikTok for marketing is not like using Instagram or Facebook. TikTok is its own social network with different trends, features, and how people use it.

Take some time to watch TikTok videos and explore the app’s features. Check out popular filters, effects, and trending songs. Look for Branded Hashtag Challenges, which are like tasks or dances that users recreate. Don’t forget about TikTok’s Duets feature.

Also, read about the TikTok algorithm. Knowing how TikTok decides which videos to show in the For You tab can help you plan your content, hashtags, and engagement strategy.

Define your target audience

Before you make TikTok content, think about who you want to reach. Find out about the people using TikTok and figure out who might like your brand.

While many teens use TikTok, it’s not just for them. In the U.S., people aged 20-29 also use it a lot. In China, even older folks, called “glam-mas,” show that fashion keeps getting better with age. If you’re thinking about reaching people in India, be aware that TikTok has been banned there since June 2020.


Explore additional statistics on Statista for more insights.

Take some time to study your audience on other social media platforms and see if there’s an overlap on TikTok. However, be open to discovering new or unexpected audiences. Even if your current audience isn’t on TikTok, there might be subgroups with related interests on the platform. For instance, if you’re a children’s book publisher, your audience might include authors on LinkedIn, readers on Instagram, and illustrators on TikTok.

Once you identify a potential audience, find out what kind of content they enjoy and interact with. Then, brainstorm ideas for content that suits your brand.

Check Out the Competition

Check if your competitors are using TikTok. If they are, you might be missing out. If they aren’t, TikTok could be a way to get ahead.

Whether or not your competitors are on TikTok, pick three to five similar brands or organizations and see what they’re doing on the app. Learn from what worked and what didn’t. You can use the S.W.O.T. framework to identify each competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats if it helps.

Since TikTok is driven by creators, consider looking at TikTok stars and influencers too. Find personalities who focus on your area, whether it’s cosmetics, medicine, education, or literature.

Establish Objectives Aligned with Your Business Goals

While creating TikToks for fun is okay, it’s better to have goals that connect to your overall business objectives. Whether you aim to reach a new audience, enhance brand image, raise awareness for a product, or build stronger customer relationships through engagement, it’s crucial to have a reason behind your efforts. Utilize frameworks like S.M.A.R.T. goals or others to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

Similar to most social platforms, TikTok offers analytics for Business accounts. To access your TikTok analytics:

  1. Go to your profile page and tap the three horizontal lines in the upper right.
  2. Tap Creator Tools, then Analytics.
  3. Explore the dashboard and find the metrics you can use to measure your goals.

Post regularly

Creating and sticking to a content calendar is crucial for an effective social media strategy. Your TikTok content calendar resembles a traditional calendar, but instead of events like “Dinner with Dad” or “Dog’s Half-Birthday,” you’ll schedule things like “Go Live” or “New Video.” Numerous tools are available to help you kickstart your planning process.

Track your progress

Analytics serve as an ideal launchpad for TikTok marketing and provide a straightforward method to assess the effectiveness of your strategies. Regularly check in, ideally at least once a month, to determine if you’re meeting your goals.

If you find that your current approach isn’t delivering the desired results, consider experimenting with various types of posts. For instance, an overt ad for the Arkells might not be as captivating as a video featuring a musician playfully tapping a fellow orchestra member with a drumstick—remarkably, the latter TikTok gained over 1.4 million views compared to the former’s fewer than 600 views.

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