How to Use TikTok for Marketing | Business Guide

According to Business of Apps, TikTok has +800 worldwide users and had gotten 315 million downloads during the 1st quarter of 2020 alone. Let alone 2 billion downloads since its launch in 2016, that’s half as Facebook got in 10 years.  

Learning from other people’s mistakes is the most legit advice anyone should give you concerning anything in the world, let alone learning how to use TikTok for marketing. If you’re anything like this statement, then this article is your salvation from any other repetitive info out there.

Today we’re going to dive deep into TikTok. The most popular accounts, what to avoid when you’re marketing on TikTok, how to market your business, how to get access to TikTok analytics, and how to advertise on TikTok, and more.


  • Why Is TikTok Great for your Brand – Statistics
  • TikTok Samples for Inspiration
  • Most Popular TikTokers to Follow
  • How to Use TikTok for Marketing
  • How to Record Your First TikTok
  • TikTok Marketing Strategy Mistakes 
  • How to Access TikTok Analytics Data
  • How to Create an Ad on TikTok 

Why Is TikTok Great for Your Brand? ?

TikTok is an engagement goldmine that’s inviting everyone to take a bite.

As we said, TikTok has +800 worldwide users and had gotten 315 million downloads during the 1st quarter of 2020 alone, with a total of 2 billion downloads since its launch in 2016. Isn’t 

The first few questions that pop into my head considering TikTok for marketing, is it worth the fuss? How many users are on it? Is it really that successful and would impact my sales?

Considering the above statistics, I can now check those boxes as a YES. Now moving forward to how to utilize a successful TikTok marketing strategy.

60% of TikTok users are Gen Z, 17-24 years old. It’s a huge number, meaning the other 40% are older. Forbes states that millennials are mostly only spectators for the stunning content that Gen Z is rocking the platform with.

So if you’re targeting the minorities, you need to learn more than just how to advertise on TikTok.

A well-thought TikTok strategy combines studying the demographics and user behavior of that targeted audience. Understand what they do on the platform, how they use it, what are their different opinions of relevant matters to your business.

Consider business standards and values that would be of interest to your target audience to grab attention to your brand.

Note: TikTok was not originally made for businesses, it was made for fun. 

Sharing funny, creative, and entertaining short videos that don’t exceed 60 seconds is the essence young people keep scrolling on this platform. So if you want to make profits from marketing on TikTok, you need to embrace your brand’s fun side.

Leave the monotone, formal tone of voice for the plenty of other social media platforms out there. TikTok is for grabbing your slightly younger audience to the fan crowd.

You might also want to check these 10 practical e-commerce growth strategies for a high growth business.

TikTok for Business Samples ?‍?

TikTok is undoubtedly the most prominent social media platform out in 2020.

Being a relatively new platform, it may trigger hesitation or fear of failure for online business beginners, especially that the content form is different than what you mainly use to market your business on Instagram or Facebook – you know, the usual picture and caption.

But the point you’re probably missing is how ordinary the content in its essence. It’s just a video, unlike other platforms, we have a fixed content form. Just determine the context. This should be so easy given that TikTok trends are easy to find.

Use the discover tap, explore all the trending videos, pick up your favorite, and use it as your next TikTok template! 

Something worthwhile I learned through my research journey on this topic: every social media platform tends to affect younger people first, then the whole world follows. Even if TikTok isn’t the app for your business right now (if you target older audiences), it’s still a terrific strategy to get familiar and start now to get ahead of the curve when older audiences make their way on it.

Let’s see a list of popular mainstreams you can follow in your TikTok marketing strategy.

1# Meet the Team (3.8 Million Views)

A great TikTok for business awareness, it’s how you let people get to know more about your team in a fun and casual way. A stunning TikTok video for a nail business.

@youngnailsincSquads all here ? ##youngnails ##teamYN ##squad ##YNsquad ##ganggang ##meettheteam ##youngnailsinc @gregorysalo @raybracamontes4 @traceyreierson @hsalo27♬ My Friends (We Get Turnt Up) – Mr. Hotspot

2# Get to know me (844.7 Million Views)

A fun and direct way of inviting people to know you, what you do, and some personal things about you. You don’t have to copy the whole video, just follow the trend and optimize in your own favor. You can change the type of information you’re answering.

For instance, some essentials like your name, age, some business tips like the year you started it, what is it about, what does it provide – information that would be helpful to your audience’s understanding of your business and how to benefit from it.

P.S. Use CTAs telling people to toggle the notification for your new posts.

@sonnyloops##gettoknowmechallenge♬ some things abt me – CHIS

3# Business check (1 Billion Views)

One of the most popular TikTok hashtags, it’s helped entrepreneurs gain great recognition in their beginning. Sharing your work nature, where you work, how you produce your products for distribution with your audience gives them a very personal experience with your brand.

Are you working from home? What is your daily work routine? Do you work from a home office? Let your customers and fans relate to you more!

@snoopslimesofficialAnd that’s on starting a slime business in 2017 ? ##hustlecheck ##entrepreneur ##businesscheck ##businessowner ##slime ##fyp♬ Moon (And It Went Like) – Kid Francescoli

4# Yup, nope (83 Million Views)

The yup, nope video type can answer a multiple of questions you have presumably been asked by fans or other people. You may use it for correcting misconceptions about your business brand, getting people to know more about you as a character, therefore establishing mutual trust between you and your fanbase.

@livingfit_louiseYou. can. too! #nopeyup #fitness #keepingitsimple #beyou #foryourpage #weightlosstips♬ original sound – Ms. Dufour

Hint: You can use this form for educational (Do/Don’t) purposes.

Book your spot on our free webinar and learn everything about how to market for your online business!

5# Before & after (3.8 Billion Views)

This trend is basically made for bragging about your success story! Use this TikTok content idea to share your success story with your fans in a way that resonates and makes them appreciate your journey and how far you’ve come.

@nataliadifolco wait for it ##beforeandafter ##smallbusiness♬ Vibin – Kesh Kesh

Get inspired by TikTok’s MOST POPULAR accounts:

OR. Follow these most popular Middle Eastern TikTokers

How to Use TikTok for Marketing  ? 

Influencer Marketing Hub stated in its 2020 TikTok report that the engagement figures are rising and it’s beating the engagement rates on all other platforms. Not just that, but the lowest a user stays on the platform has exceeded 45 minutes a day. It’s an addicting app, and the engagement is super intriguing. A double click to love, a click to share, another to follow. A swipe up for more.

how to use tiktok for marketing - discovering tiktok
These are your main TikTok navigation buttons. Accompanied by a side column on the right containing the profile, love, share, and music buttons.

The trick here is to master creating TikTok videos that resonate and build you a fanbase. That’s your start. My advice here is to observe A LOT for two weeks until you develop a sense of how things go and what are your competitors’ publishing strategies. Get a well understanding of how millennials and Gen Z figured how to make money on TikTok until you understand their practices and start applying them on your own.

How to start recording your first TikTok video?

  1. Open the app. Click on the plus icon in the middle below 
  2. You can now either record a video or combine videos or photos from your library. The point is, it can’t exceed 60 seconds.
  3. Now try to experiment with the buttons/features you see on the right corner. Maybe tweak the speed a little, add effects, filters, cut, montage, and change your appearance.
  4. You can even choose a template that’s already made, and montage your own video on that.
  5. After the video is done. You move to the post-production area, where you see your recording and get to adjust and add more filters, voice effects, music, text, or stickers.
  6. Now click “Next” to add the caption and hashtags, tag friends, and decide who can see the video.

Is it over? No. This is just the beginning.

Before clicking publish, you should notice your video cover. It’s what’s been previously called “the video thumbnail” on Facebook and YouTube. It gives your audience a preview of what they’re going to watch. So pick the most vital moment in your video and make it the cover.

Not just yet.

Now you get to cross-post your video elsewhere. Invade your other social media accounts with every update, let your fans know you’re now on TikTok. Give them a CTA to go follow you there and watch the newly uploaded video.

TikTok Marketing Strategy Mistakes ?

There’s a very thin line between a good TikTok marketing strategy and a negative one. If you crossed the line, the whole marketing strategy could blow out in your face. We don’t want that happening to you in your first practicing days.

We brought the major 6 TikTok marketing strategy mistakes that big brands fell into, make sure to study them well and avoid them.

1# Not targeting the right audience ?

Don’t think just because TikTok has 800 billion users that you can post whatever comes to your mind and the right audience will just pop onto it. Pause for a minute there. Study your niche audience on that new platform first.

Make a thorough research on competitors and their audience, their TikTok marketing strategy, and the type of content and engagement they get on it. Doing this will help you benchmark where you stand and give you a head start on the competition. Ask yourself 5 questions and dedicate yourself to answering them with a pen and paper and all the tiny details that come with it…

  • Who are my TikTok competitors?
  • Who are they targeting? Why?
  • How do they use TikTok for marketing?
  • What is their TikTok marketing strategy?
  • Do they use TikTok influencer marketing?

Download this free competitive analysis template, analyze your business’s position,
and stay ahead of competition

And those are just basic questions.

Don’t forget: TikTok wasn’t originally a place for advertising.

Gen Z people are the main occupants of this platform, so you need to pay attention to what kind of content they’d like to see. EVEN IF it’s for marketing your business, tweak it in a fun, entertaining way.

2# Being overly professional than fun ?

Being a prospecting TikTok marketing savvy means learning how to advertise on TikTok. You should know the various personality schemes for each platform. So however you decide to invade TikTok with your unique content, it should fall within the edges of the platform’s overall vibe. Entertaining!

Most business owners in their beginning on any social media platform tend to overuse it for advertising or publishing monotone educational content. Don’t forget to study what the audience on this specific platform is expecting, we don’t want you failing to fulfill these expectations.

Being overly professional on an entertaining platform like TikTok is the most obvious mistake you could do. Try not to be so serious on TikTok, that’s something you can only freely do on LinkedIn. But here? With a 3-second-attention span? Even educational content should be curated in a fun and appealing way.

3# Not encouraging UGC ?

User-generated content (UGC) is the content published by the ordinary people rather than you, about you/your brand, or somehow relating to it without you paying for it (like influencer marketing). It’s social proof that your audience notices you, cares about you, and is willing to publish content that benefits your brand in a way.

Your initiative here is to encourage people to share that content and embrace it when they do.

For instance, you can participate in one of TikTok’s trending challenges, use the hashtags, and a powerful CTA (call to action) encouraging people to take part in the challenge and tag you. 

You can then take advantage and re-share this content on your account and thank them for sharing their moments with you.

4# Not focusing on TikTok influencer marketing ?‍? 

People don’t believe brands at first sight. They believe other people like themselves.
Influencers are the other people, and even better. They can reach more people, own more credibility, know how to make money on TikTok, and how to advertise on TikTok. But we’re not going to ask them to teach us how, we’ll just pay them to give us a thumbs up on their accounts. View this guide from the influencer marketing hub for further reads.
Influencers can influence their per se 100K fans to go check on your profile and actually expecting to like it blindly before seeing it. Influencer marketing = word of mouth. It’s magic. ✨
Depending on TikTok influencer marketing shouldn’t be your ultimate TikTok marketing strategy, but it has to be a major one for increasing your visibility, which means more chance to make money on TikTok.
Using TikTok influencer marketing serves a great deal for TikTok beginners to expand your brand awareness especially during your first steps on the platform. You can also consult a TikTok influencer marketing agency and look at their packages, it won’t hurt. Or contact a few influencers directly and craft a little research of your own on the matter. See how it goes.

5# Being too promotional ?

Do not. Again, do not use TikTok for advertising only.

I know your first objective here is to learn how to advertise on TikTok and how to make money on TikTok. I understand, but if you get too deep in advertising you will lose focus on the audience, and the first part of succeeding in TikTok marketing is to be customer-focused.

Your audience isn’t stupid, they can sense you’re being self-focused, you’ll lose credibility right this second.

Solution: Produce content that is focusing on the benefits, not the features, the joy it brings to your customers’ lives, and make it related to their needs, issues, and lives. Let them know you can relate, and you have a solution.

Perhaps if you’re too stuck in the beginning you may think of relying on a TikTok marketing agency. However, I wouldn’t rely on a TikTok marketing agency for that aspect when I can manage my online business marketing from a unified dashboard like ExpandCart and get all the tutorials and guides I need to learn along the way.

6# Neglecting hashtag challenges! #️⃣

That is actually the meanest of them all. You cannot be using the funniest and most entertaining app and neglecting its very essence of getting viral, the hashtag challenges!

If you’ve read this far, I can proudly call you a TikTok marketing savvy. And a savvy like you should know by now how much hashtags mean to any marketing strategy. Conduct thorough research to find the best TikTok hashtags for your niche and include them in your TikTok content strategy. View this article for more hashtag inspiration for Instagram.

How to use TikTok analytics data

You can easily collect analytics data from your TikTok videos free of charge.

  • Click on the three dots on the top right
  • Click manage my account
  • In the red font “switch to Pro account” Click on it.
  • Give some details like gender, type of business “creator/business”
  • Choose your profession.
  • You’ll see a pop up saying you’ve now opened analytics for your account

If you have no followers yet or in my case, just one. Then your TikTok analytics dashboard will be empty. However, when you get things rolling, it’ll start showing detailed insights, based on which you can make informed decisions in the future.


how to use tiktok for marketing analytics data
A view from the TikTok analytics dashboard – 3 taps

At the moment, you can get familiar with how it looks like. You can see there are three main taps: overview, content, and followers. The first one gives an overview of total views you got, new followers, and profile views.

The content tap should allow you to track your content performance in depth. Allowing you to see if any of your videos are trending the last 7 days and how many videos you’ve posted in total and how they performed.

The followers tap gives you insights on your followers, who are they, what relevant content they browse, and what they post on their profiles. This data allows you to benchmark your performance against other content creators, optimize and tweak your TikTok advertising strategy based on how well you did in the past. You see, it’s all about practice and optimization.

How to Advertise on TikTok

So your business is up and running on TikTok and you want to move to the next step. Making your first ad campaign. Well, first of all, you need to know about my discovery of the free TikTok learning center! Here’s a video explaining the different Ad formats from the learning center. Check it out later.

But for now, let’s see how to get those ads running! 

how to advertise on TikTok - creating an ad manager account

1# Create an ads manager account

First of all, you’ll need a TikTok ad account (don’t expect to log in with your TikTok username and password as I did, this requires a separate account).

2# Create your first ad campaign

How to use tiktok for marketing - creating a campaign
Creating your first TikTok ad campaign

From the ads dashboard, click campaign, and then click the create button on the left below.

how to use tiktok for marketing - choosing the objective
TikTok for Advertising — choose your campaign objective

Now you need to determine your advertising objective. What do you want to get out of this campaign? Conversions, more reach, or traffic?

Considering that this is your first campaign on TikTok, your audience should still be in the awareness stage.

You need more people to like you before being able to drive them to take action, like viewing your site or downloading your app (in the consideration stage).

Pick your objective, and if you want to learn more about each one, you can click “Learn More” right under each objective.

how to advertise on TikTok - choosing the budget
Pick your budget preference

Set your budget, and pick your budget limit preference: Daily or Lifetime budget. Note that the lowest amount you can spend is 500.

3# Set your targeting details

Your following step is to select your targeting and ad placement and create an ad group for this campaign.

how to advertise on TikTok - selecting the target audience

You should spend some time to fill in your targeting details.

Don’t neglect the important option in the target audience. If you have the exact group of people you want to target (like if you have their IDs) you can upload them as CSV, TXT, or even ZIP file. Insert who you’d like to show your ads to by including and excluding audiences this way.

Now move to the demographics. Consider setting limits (parameters) for gender or age, or select specific languages or locations to narrow the scope to a more fitting audience for your ads.

Then determine your target’s interests and behaviors. What else are your personas interested in? Determine interests and categories. Note that the behavior categories only target people who viewed videos in English & Japanese.

Hint: For better product-audience matching, select up to 20 keywords to describe your business.

Make sure to include URLs, display names, and images that might aid your target.

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Decide whether you’ll turn creative optimization on or off! 

how to advertise on TikTok - creative optimization

TikTok offers a great feature that helps you upload all your assets, videos, images, text, and CTA and rest at peace not having to worry about a/b testing. The system will combine your campaign elements into multiple ads and run continuous evaluations until they find and combine the ideal ads to display.

5# Use TikTok’s video creation kit

Ok. Adapting the laziest creator behavior ever (would be me), let’s consider we neither have a video nor text to upload. What do we do?

Click on create a video, choose whether you’ll use a template, smart video soundtrack, or smart video. I’m curious about the smart video. Let’s try that!

how to advertise on TikTok - smart text

Types of Video Creations Explained:

  • Video Template

Video template is one of the three surprisingly simple options to create a video from scratch. TikTok offers you A FULL list of gorgeous video templates to choose from.

how to advertise on TikTok - choosing a template

It’ll tell you how many elements [pictures – text – videos] were used in the templates below each one AND how long each one is. Once you pick the template, click on [use]. It’ll then take you to upload your specific ad details based on the exact elements used in the template: logo, brand name, text, CTA, caption, product name, stickers, music, etc.

Make sure you’ve done everything, because once you hit confirm your campaign will be generated.

  • Smart Video Soundtrack

The smart video soundtrack is used when you have a video without sound. Upload it, and let the smart technology system pick the best background music for it.

  • Smart Video

The smart video option lets you upload multiple pictures or videos and the system shall combine them accordingly to form multiple ads. That’s why they’re called smart. However, it uses the material in order of arrangement. So you might need to drag & arrange your pictures in the order of appearance you have in mind.

how to advertise on TikTok - smart video generator

Select the style [Dynamic/Peaceful] or upload a special soundtrack you have prepared. Add up to 3 stickers (optional).

Now moving to your final frame, which is very important, upload your brand logo, write your brand name and headline, and choose from a set of catchy call-to-actions the system got prepared for you.

After checking the video creator user agreement, it will allow you to view the generated ads from the assets you uploaded. You now get to optimize them how you want, change effects, add filters, select the ads you like best, and then render for execution.

Don’t forget to choose the text that’ll run your ad. If you don’t have a text either. Here’s your solution:

how to advertise on TikTok - smart text

Choosing the smart text generator, TikTok will only ask you to insert your language, industry (optional), and keywords. Check the image above.


Now your TikTok Ad campaign should be up and running with just simple yet highly effective steps! The best of it is TikTok simplifying the whole process for us. We hope you had fun reading this informative article.

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