How Do You Use TikTok To Market Your E-Commerce Business?


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TikTok led in-app purchases in the U.S., with about $780 million in app-store revenue in 2022. There is significant revenue potential in marketing an e-commerce business on TikTok. While its core audience is under 39 years old, the demographic of older adult TikTok users has also increased.

Most app users are in China, with 600 million daily active users. This iteration of the app serves primarily a U.S. audience, it is also available to over 155 markets and in 75 languages.

People spend an average of 95 minutes daily on TikTok, and 90% of its fans visit the app daily. These excellent stats indicate opportunities to find your niche on TikTok and begin marketing your e-commerce business to a previously untapped audience.

This guide will give you an idea of what goes into successfully marketing your e-commerce business on TikTok.

Key takeaways:

  • TikTok is a popular social media platform mostly based on entertainment. Many people use it for marketing businesses and products.
  • There are several things to know about marketing your business with TikTok, from identifying your audience to using comedy and following trends.
  • Using ads for marketing on TikTok is unnecessary, but you can utilize them as part of your marketing strategy.

What Is TikTok?

TikTok is a largely entertainment-based social media platform. It is owned by the Beijing-based company ByteDance Ltd. and was marketed in 2017 as the Western spin-off of the Chinese app Douyin. The app gained popularity in 2018 when TikTok merged with, another Chinese app that allows you to create and share music clips in a lip-synch fashion.

Many people use TikTok to create and participate in music and dance trends featuring newly released music, old hits, or even special remixes or “music mashups” that may have become popular because of their use on the platform.

However, the app has grown far beyond this purpose, with many marketing businesses and products using TikTok for in-app selling opportunities.

Is TikTok Free for Business Owners?

TikTok has no cost for business owners. The app has a pro mode to get statistics and analytics about your followers, engagement, and content performance. Using your TikTok pro mode, you can also track details about ads performance and in-app e-commerce metrics, such as Shopify. If you want to change your account back to private mode, you can.

How to activate TikTok pro mode

  • Go to your profile page
  • Select the Privacy and Settings Tab
  • Select ‘Join TikTok Testers’
  • Enter your mobile phone number to confirm the application
  • Follow the final prompts to complete the process

Analytics in TikTok pro mode

  • Profile views and traffic sources
  • Your trending videos, video views and playtime, likes, comments, and shares
  • 7- and 28-day follower history
  • Audience demographics according to age, gender, location, and such
  • Details on other content your audience likes (videos and sounds)

Develop Your TikTok Marketing Strategy

First, identify your audience. Consider whether you will have a general or niche audience.

Several metrics about your audience are pivotal to define, including their:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests or career/work industry
  • Relationship status
  • Favorite websites and apps

Include other details addressing your audience’s motivation to buy your product or service and any buying concerns they might have. Some miscellaneous information might include your audience’s education and life stage, among others.

Tools, including TikTok’s pro mode and the For You page, will help you find these demographics and ensure you continue reaching your best market. No matter your business, your demographic will most likely skew young on TikTok, so you will be catering your marketing strategy to people largely in their teens and 20s.

You will be tailoring your marketing to their sensibilities, so you’ll excel at marketing on TikTok by using the following tips:

Keep it short

Hook your audience within the first three seconds of your video, letting them know the clip’s theme and why they should keep watching. Shorter clips between 15 and 20 seconds are more likely to be rewatched and shared than longer clips of 50 or more seconds, for example.

You can occasionally add longer clips as you become more established, but shorter is a general rule.

Make your content funny

Entertaining content is a great way to grab viewers’ attention, and TikTok is primarily known for its funniness. Once you’ve made someone laugh, they might want to learn more about you, your page, and your e-commerce business.

One comedic method you can use is ‘breaking the fourth wall’ by looking at the camera and speaking directly to your audience. It’s a way to connect with your audience as if there’s a joke only you two know.

Appeal to emotion

If you’re not making your TikTok content funny or entertaining, you can appeal to people’s emotions by making it relatable. Perhaps show how the product or service you sell on your e-commerce business solves a problem. Or display content showcasing your product or service in a heartwarming or nostalgic light.

You can try a storytelling technique with this type of video creation. The most important thing with this method is to be authentic.

Follow trends

TikTok is all about the latest trends in music, dance, fashion, diet, or life hacks. You can incorporate any of these popular topics into your TikTok content.

The most common type of content on TikTok is music trends. It is easy to research the latest TikTok music from the For You Page or the Discover Section, which will curate videos from accounts you’re not following, and second, from your analytics in your pro mode.

You can find what music and noises are “trending sounds” to incorporate into videos.

Also, you can research other trend types on TikTok and follow trending hashtags, which can be the inspiration for content. Hashtags can similarly trend due to the time of year, events occurring, or what’s popular on the platform.

While trending content is well-loved within the app, viral content has become notable outside TikTok. It may become popular on other social media channels, which could make it to the news and daytime and late-night talk shows.

Staying on top of viral TikTok content early in its popularity cycle can be beneficial. If you create content based on the original viral video, you and your business can get some residual attention from being involved in the craze.

Other helpful tips

  • Shoot your videos in vertical mode. This may seem obvious, but studies show that TikTok videos shot this way have a 25% higher watch-through rate than those captured in horizontal mode.
  • Invest in the proper filming and editing equipment, including lighting, a microphone you can attach to your phone, and Adobe Premiere editing software.
  • Go live to connect with your audience and engage with them in the comments
  • Use the features included in the TikTok interface, including titles, animated GIF stickers, and the latest filters
  • Partner with popular creators on videos
  • Post consistently and have a schedule
  • Join online communities, including TikTok Creators and TikTok Creators Support for assistance

Get Viewers to Your E-Commerce Platform

If your TikTok page is dedicated to your e-commerce business, your business page should be linked to your TikTok home page. It will be the first link viewers see when they access your page.

Your content should always include a call to action, such as “Head to the link in bio.” This lets viewers know you have a dedicated place to learn more about you and your business. If they decide to patronize your business, all you have to do after is wait for sales.

Creating ads

You don’t need to create ads to market your e-commerce business on TikTok, but you can utilize them as part of your marketing strategy.

If you’re just starting or your e-commerce business is still relatively small, ads might not be necessary. If your business is midsize or growing, ads might be worth considering, depending on how much time and money you’re willing to invest.

You may already have your e-commerce business established; however, TikTok has a partnership with Shopify, which allows those wanting to create an in-app marketplace to do so.

With this option, TikTok makes it easy to experiment with using ads within your content, and you can link directly to your e-commerce shop within the ad.

TikTok is a great platform to keep up with what’s new and popular, including the latest from your e-commerce business. Once you get started, get creative and bring in lots of sales from your new Gen Z audience.

Frequently Asked Questions About E-Commerce Marketing With TikTok

What are the cons of using TikTok for marketing?

It is typically expensive, and if your audience isn’t on TikTok, you might not have great results. Also, you can lose control of your brand messaging, and there are safety concerns for child-focused brands and content creators.

What should I know about TikTok marketing?

Well-liked TikTok marketing strategies include creating trend-driven organic content, using popular hashtags, and incorporating the platform’s influencers into promotional campaigns.

How effective is TikTok advertising?

According to the platform, over 80% of users are entertained by its ads, and one in four people worldwide have bought or researched a product after seeing it on the app.

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