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Tiktok Marketing: Is It Right For Your Small Business?

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TikTok has gained so much traction from the online world that it recently outstripped Google in the run for “Most Visited Website of 2021.” ByteDance, a China-based software company, had created the platform primarily to join the short-video sharing trend. But it has since ballooned to become one of the biggest social platforms in the world. It’s also full of marketing opportunities, particularly for small businesses seeking new, interested audiences.

We are well aware of the power of TikTok marketing. The platform hosts celebrities, politicians, musicians, and most of all, small businesses. TikTok is beneficial when the idea is to make a product “go viral,” and business owners can do it in just a 30-second-long video. 

However, some small business owners may hesitate out of uncertainty. TikTok is still a relatively new platform compared to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, but TikTok presents a host of advantages and disadvantages worth thinking about.

Benefits of Using TikTok for a Small Business

User-Friendly Tools

TikTok is app-based, which means all you really need to run it is a smartphone. Built within the app itself are several video editing tools, text tools, fun filters, and more. You can explore a lot of creativity without going to other apps to do the work. 

Getting started on the platform is simple. All a business owner has to do is sign up. There is no steep learning curve involved—if you can film a video on a smartphone, you have already done most of the work learning TikTok.

Makes Your Brand Relatable

TikTok gives brands a platform to become relatable to their target audiences. On this platform, brands can easily pick up internet trends and memes or pay attention to what works with TikTok’s audiences. Conversely, it shows the audience that this is a company they can relate to, because it speaks their language.

Brands can enhance their relatability with creative videos that use TikTok’s current trends. A brand could use a popular sound on the platform, or a video technique like a sudden makeover change. You can even use the platform’s trending memes to appeal to the audience’s humor.

When the audience can connect with a company, it humanizes the brand. The audience becomes more interested in what you have to say.

Easy to Find Target Audiences

TikTok’s algorithm automatically delivers relevant videos to target audiences. As users spend time on the app, the algorithm detects how much time they spent on a video, the topics they interacted with the most, and recommends similar videos accordingly on the For You page.

While TikTok does have ads and sponsored video tools for businesses, small businesses don’t have to do too much ad spend on TikTok to be found by interested audiences. The For You page algorithm will do that for them. Suppose a video has a lot of engagement or views. TikTok may automatically bump it up to the For You page for others to see regardless of their interests, building up an even bigger audience.

Shows Authenticity

Videos are often an excellent way to showcase a brand’s authenticity. Small businesses need to appear friendly and relatable. They need the image that they’re being run by someone or a group of people genuinely passionate about what they are doing because it builds customer trust and loyalty. TikTok is excellent for this, as companies can very easily use it to show the people and the passion behind a brand.

Challenges

Needing the Right Equipment and Knowledge

With so many other TikToks trying to get into the spotlight, a way to gain an edge is to produce clearer, more high-quality videos. High-quality TikToks—excellent video quality, lighting, and editing—often require more specialized knowledge and equipment. Small businesses that operate using only a smartphone need to catch up or develop more creative methods.

Not Budget-Friendly

Because of the previous point, marketing a business in TikTok may not be budget-friendly for a small business. They’ll need to buy upgraded equipment such as ring lights, video cameras, and editing software, which they might not be able to afford immediately.

Need to Create Original Content Constantly

Because videos are so short, the audience’s attention span is limited. Your business has 30 seconds to show the audience why they have to care, and you have to keep doing that repeatedly. 

Some content creators post multiple TikToks daily. Small businesses don’t have time to make numerous TikToks a week, from filming to editing, if they’re busy handling the company.

Brand Reputation Risks

TikTok is an excellent place for creative content, but it can end up being a liability to brand reputation. TikTok can easily foster a widespread mob mentality “cancel” on a brand if they detect something amiss. 

For example, when one TikToker posted a video criticizing the poor offerings of the $800 Chanel advent calendar, it instantly went viral, with millions of views. The backlash against Chanel charging such a high price tag for what was essentially a handful of stickers and tiny trinkets was so severe that Chanel ended up taking down their entire TikTok account. 

When Done Properly, TikTok Works 

But even taking risks and challenges into account, TikTok marketing can be a godsend to small businesses. What it takes is a marketing campaign done correctly. It should have a solid content style and strategy, with careful attention to current trends and constant vigilance over the audience’s temperament.

The process is made effortless if you approach professional social media managers who have the experience to handle brand accounts. At RSM Marketing, our social media managers handle the account for you, making compelling posts and interacting with your audience. This lets you do the work of a small business owner while getting the TikTok marketing promotion you need to make your brand more visible.

Get your brand to the top of the For You Page by contacting us today

Taylor Bargfrede is a Social Media Specialist at RSM Marketing, specializing in short-form and long-form content writing. She has been with RSM Marketing since 2021 and enjoys providing clients with witty copy and social strategies that drive results. Taylor graduated from Texas Christian University with a B.S. in Strategic Communication - Public Relations. Outside of work, Taylor enjoys dancing as a Kansas City Comets Girl, running, lifting weights, and reading.

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