Ready to tap into the world of TikTok for your business?
The platform has rapidly become a powerhouse of engagement and creativity… and a ton of potential for businesses just like yours, that most businesses leave untapped.
Unlike many other social platforms, where decent organic reach is becoming a distant memory and largely replaced by paid advertising, organic reach on TikTok is still achievable and continues to benefit small businesses the world over.
In this guide, you’ll discover exactly how to master TikTok organic marketing, from setting up and optimizing your profile in the right way, to creating content that resonates with your target audience, to analyzing your data and optimizing your strategy… and a lot more besides.
Let’s start by…
Understanding TikTok’s Unique Platform
What Is TikTok?
TikTok in essence is a short-form video-sharing app that offers a unique blend of entertainment, spontaneity, and community engagement.
It’s a whole different world to other platforms, and is all about snappy videos and cool music, alongside a regular flow of new trends that catch on fast.
But it’s not just about youngsters demonstrating tricks with their pets, claiming to be fairies, or capturing (and often crafting) hilarious moments.
The topics covered on the platform are diverse, with content ranging from dance and comedy, to education, DIY, business and financial success, and a whole host of other subjects.
In other words, whatever interests your ideal customer might have, you’ll likely find content (and a ready audience) to match on TikTok.
But what really makes TikTok tick is its algorithm, which crafts a highly personalized experience for each user based on their behaviors and indicated interest areas.
That keeps it a highly engaging (and fair to say, addictive) experience for users that keeps them glued, and means even new users can achieve significant visibility with the right approach.
Who Uses TikTok?
TikTok’s user base does tend to skew young, primarily featuring Gen Z and younger millennials, who are often characterized by:
- Quickly adopting and spreading new trends…
- Their love of real, unfiltered content…
- Responding well to innovative and visually engaging content.
In terms of some actual stats:
- The majority of creators are aged 18 to 24…
- 1 in 4 TikTok users are under 20 (for the US specifically, 47.4% of users are under 30)...
But that also means three quarters of users are over 20… and in fact, TikTok’s demographics are rapidly changing with a surge in users across all age groups.
And don’t forget its huge user base, rapidly growing and approaching a billion users within the next few years if the trend continues.
It all means, regardless of who your business serves… your audience is likely to be there too!
How Does TikTok Stand Out?
To sum up the advantages of organic marketing on TikTok:
- Higher organic visibility—TikTok’s algorithm introduces users to new content they might be interested in, regardless of a particular creator’s follower count, giving you a level playing field…
- Highly engaged community—if you’re looking for engagement, TikTok delivers. Through challenges, trends and duets, the platform has habitualized users into freely engaging with content…
- Viral potential—videos can go viral overnight, even for brand new users, giving you unprecedented reach you can no longer achieve elsewhere…
8 Steps to Master TikTok Organic Marketing
1. Create Content That Resonates With TikTok's Audience
Leverage TikTok Trends
Music source copyright: Yugure Music on TikTok
TikTok thrives on trends. Whether dance challenges or particular meme formats, riding on the back of such trends can be your ticket to increased visibility and engagement.
So how can you take advantage?
- Stay alert—get used to spotting emerging trends by regularly browsing the ‘For You Page’ (FYP)...
- Jump on it quickly—TikTok rewards creators who produce timely, relevant content that engages users…
- Be unique—jumping on a trend doesn’t mean you have to copy someone else. Use other creators for inspiration while coming up with your own take that makes your content stand out.
Do the following to maximize engagement and grow your reach:
- Use humor to help it go viral
- Add hot songs to your videos
- Make short, trendy skits
- Partner with TikTok stars
- Encourage user interactions
Create Engaging, Authentic Content
Users on TikTok gravitate towards content that feels genuine and relatable, rather than anything too slickly polished. So be real.
For example, Alex Hormozi talks about entrepreneurship and business growth topics while wearing what he feels most comfortable in, making him instantly relatable to millions.
- Be yourself—avoid being what you think you should be, just be you.
- Tell stories—stories are a powerful way to engage your audience. For example, think about stories that go behind-the-scenes, or relay the experiences of other customers with your business
- Quality counts—while less-polished content is fine, it still needs to be easy for users to engage with. That means good lighting, clear audio and thoughtful composition of the content.
In terms of attracting your audience, you should know what their main interests are so that you can create content that shows up in front of them, while at the same time ensuring it bears some relation to your business.
The content categories that grab the most attention on TikTok include:
- Informative content
- Current trends
- Local or specialized topics
- Fashion and beauty
- DIY and painting
But remember, your aim is to use TikTok to help spread your message. Regardless of the type of content you create, ensure it effectively communicates what your business stands for and the value you provide.
How Long Should Your Videos Be?
While videos on TikTok can now be up to 10 minutes long, experts often suggest that the ideal video length for TikTok to maximize engagement is around 21-34 seconds for best engagement.
The key though is to capture attention quickly, ideally within the first 6-10 seconds.
However, there’s no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all approach.
It’s about testing out different video lengths for your own audience and analyzing your results over time to learn what resonates best.
Test and adapt accordingly.
How Often Should You Post on TikTok?
How often should you post to maximize engagement?
Watch the following video for a quick overview on the ideal posting frequency for your business (or see the full guide):
2. Set Up Your TikTok Business Account
Image Source: TikTok Business Account Page
It’s best getting started on TikTok by setting up a business account, which is easy to do and gives you access to lots of handy tools.
Some unique features include:
- Sound library—access to a variety of commercial sounds, alongside a limited ability to use non-cleared, trending sounds.
- Creative support—a dedicated space for brands to get help with video ideas using TikTok’s creative business hub.
- Advertising capabilities—we’re talking about organic marketing here, but that needn’t preclude advertising at some point in future
3. Optimize Your TikTok Profile for Maximum Engagement
Your profile is in effect your digital storefront and often the first thing potential followers see.
So give them the right first impression to encourage them to follow and continue to engage with your content.
Here are 5 steps to creating a stellar profile that maximizes your presence on TikTok:
Use a captivating profile picture—your pic should reflect your brand in a positive way, perhaps your logo, a product, or a professional headshot (high resolution and visually appealing) if you’re the face of the business
Add an engaging and informative bio—convey who you are and what your business does in a short and succinct manner (up to 150 characters). Add a CTA to encourage visitors to take action, such as visiting your website.
Link to your website or store—remember, you don’t own your audience on TikTok, so get them to your website where you can capture their details when they e.g. buy a product or sign up to your email list.
Use a consistent look and feel—followers should recognize your content when they see it because it all has a certain consistency, like a theme, aesthetic, particular filter etc. Your profile should fit with this too.
Keep your profile updated—stay current by regularly updating your profile to reflect any changes in your business. Consider seasonal, event-based or promotional updates to keep your profile engaging.
But don’t worry about getting it perfect straight off the bat.
Start with something, and then keep improving it as you go along.
4. Master Hashtags On TikTok
Hashtags are pivotal for helping to:
- Inform TikTok and its users about what your content’s all about…
- Amplify your content’s reach and often significantly increasing the visibility of your posts
Try the following strategies:
- Blend trending and niche hashtags—tap into current conversations by using applicable trending hashtags, while also using hashtags specific to your industry or content in order to attract your target audience…
- Research and refresh—you don’t have to keep using the same hashtags all the time, keep researching to uncover new, relevant hashtags you can put into action (try TikTok’s _Discover _page). Mix up different hashtags for your different videos.
- Don’t overdo it—while hashtags are valuable, they need to fit within the 100 character caption, so leave room for other text too to help draw attention. Focus on those with most relevance and effectiveness.
- Create your own hashtags—think about creating a unique hashtag for your brand, or for a particular campaign. This can help attract engagement and encourage user-generated content, further boosting your visibility.
- Monitor hashtag performance—keep an eye on which hashtags are performing best, and adapt your content strategy accordingly.
- Avoid overly generic hashtags—for example, the #ForYouPage or #FYP hashtags are everywhere, having been used over 1.5 billion and 1.1 billion views, respectively. They’re unlikely to do much for you.
5. Leverage TikTok Challenges
Challenges on TikTok can create waves of engagement and community participation.
You can participate in the challenges of others, while also potentially creating your own.
Participate in Popular Challenges
Look out for challenges that align with your brand and join in.
But do so in a way that reflects your business’s identity and message.
Create Your Own Challenge
Once you’re used to participating in other challenges, you may start thinking about creating your own.
For example, you might create one that reflects using your product in a creative way.
Keep it simple to understand and easy to participate in.
Encourage User Participation
Participation is of course key to a successful challenge, so incentivize it by using:
- Featuring user-generated content on your profile
Also consider building relationships with TikTok influencers who can give your challenge an initial push and help it reach a wider audience.
We’ve just talked about hashtags, and yes, you can use them for your challenges too.
Think about associating your challenge with a specific hashtag so that you can track the challenge’s reach while creating a community around it.
In addition, use your audiences on other social media and content platforms to help promote the challenge and drive up participation.
Analyze and Adapt
Measure how your challenge is performing by tracking participation rates, views and the overall buzz your challenge creates.
Use the data to improve your future challenges.
Even if your first challenge doesn’t go so well, remember it’s just the beginning. Take on board what you’ve learned, and keep improving.
6. Engage With Followers
As with any social media platform, effectiveness is not just about the number of followers you have.
Thousands of followers have no value if they never engage.
Instead, it’s about building a community of followers who you connect with in a meaningful way in order to:
- Foster loyalty
- Boost your business’s visibility
- Grow your reputation
Use the following strategies:
- Actively engage with followers by responding to their comments on your videos and proactively engaging with other users’ content, particularly within your niche..
- Encourage user-generated content that’s related to your business, such as someone using your product or participating in your challenges. Feature their content on your profile to make them feel valued and to help encourage further engagement…
- Post regularly and consistently to keep your audience engaged and looking forward to your content. Study your analytics so you can post when your audience is most active…
- Go live on TikTok to interact in real time, such as for Q&As, product conversations, or how-to chats that share your expertise…
- Collaborate with others—more on this below…
- Cross-promote your content across other platforms.
7. Collaborate with TikTok Influencers
Collaborating with those who have larger audiences than you but serve a similar demographic can be a game changer for organic marketing on TikTok.
Remember, the platform is full of influencers who've already got the ears and eyes of your audience—teaming up with them can mean you get put straight in front of them.
Here are a few tips to consider
- Ensure the influencer's followers align with your audience
- Choose influencers who resonate with your brand's values
- Look for originality and engagement in their content
- Consider their follower count and interaction levels
Look to collaborate in a way that creates an easy win for both parties. For example, you might consider:
- Co-creating content that blends your message with the influencer’s unique style…
- Joint challenges…
- Shared storytelling…
- Co-hosted live sessions.
Use TikTok’s analytics (see below) to measure your results and to help guide future collaborations on the platform.
8. Analyze TikTok Analytics to Optimize Your Strategy
Of course, just posting on TikTok isn't enough.
You need to understand how you’re performing so that you can adapt, improve and maximize the ROI from the time spent on the platform and creating content for it.
TikTok’s analytics give you a wealth of information you can use to help understand who your audience is and what resonates best with your followers.
Start by analyzing which videos are attracting the most engagement, using metrics such as likes, shares, comments and watch time.
Once you know what your audience likes best, you can create more of it.
As well as TikTok’s own analytics, there are also third-party tools you may like to use as well—here are couple of them:
- Uses public TikTok data for performance evaluation.
- Helps stay ahead by analyzing both your and competitors' profiles.
- Helps in keeping up with and leveraging current trends.
- Analyze TikTok engagement rates.
- Analyze profiles, videos, songs, and hashtags.
- Measure real-time data tracking and export capabilities.
So now you have your very own playbook for conquering TikTok organic marketing.
Remember, TikTok’s one of the only remaining social media platforms where you can still get meaningful organic reach—and you can become visible on the platform right from the start.
Put this guide into action, start creating content on a regular basis, and use analytics to keep improving your results and grow your presence on the platform.