TikTok is the biggest and best new social media trend. With more than 2.6 billion downloads and 1 billion active monthly users, TikTok is now more popular than Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other prominent social networking platforms on app stores.

The platform comprises 15 and 60-second videos that allow for in-app editing and integrates with other major social media networks. The largest demographic of its users are between the ages of 16 and 24, but if you think the app is just a fad for Gen Zers, think again. Since it was launched, TikTok has evolved from a video creation platform meant for users to express their creativity to an advertising and marketing haven.

This post will guide you on using TikTok to promote your brand and grow an audience on the social media marketing platform that has taken the world by storm.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a social networking site where people can share and edit videos. It was launched in 2018, and since then, it has gained a massive following and is currently used in over 150 countries. The app allows users to create short videos that play on a repetitive loop. Users can add filters, fun effects, music overlays, and text to spice things up. Some popular video content formats on the platform include lip-synching videos, short comedy clips, and trending skits. Like most video platforms, TikTok is dominated by users below the age of 30.

Once you film a video, you can optimize it by adding hashtags that make it discoverable via search. TikTok has embraced hashtags through its "Challenges" feature that allow users to participate in trending themes and contests. When you post a video responding to a certain challenge, it gets displayed to those following the challenge, increasing the chances of your video going viral.

With the popularity of TikTok rising by the day, most brands are considering the way the platform is shaping events, culture, and relevant conversations. Brands that aren’t on TikTok are missing out on a lot, and this post will guide you on creating an effective presence on the platform to connect with the younger audience.

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What is TikTok for Business, and why will it help your brand?

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Figure 1: TikTok for Business

TikTok for Business is a centralized platform for advertisers on TikTok. Instead of devising their own TikTok marketing strategy, the platform guides marketers through the whole process of creating ads, setting budgets, reaching the right audience, and analyzing campaign data.

The platform's goal is to help online brands unleash their creative side by guiding them on how to create authentic ads that will earn them views, engagement and increase brand awareness. There's an e-learning center that teaches advertisers how to make ads on the Ads Manager platform.

Advertisement is the sole marketing format for businesses to grow their brands on TikTok. The Ads Manager platform guides marketers on how to create these ads, and they can choose from 5 different formats.

Top View Ads

Top View Ads are the marquee product for TikTok for Business. These are video ads that appear once per day when a user launches the app. The ads can last up to 60 seconds with the sound on. This duration is longer than the average run time of normal videos, making Top View Ads ideal for advertising products that need longer periods of attention, such as movie trailers.

In-Feed Ads

In-Feed ads appear on a user’s For You page. This is the page where users land when they first open the app. The For You page features content that TikTok's algorithm believes will interest users based on their browsing activity.

In-Feed ads can be between 5 – 15 seconds and are shown in user feeds for only one day. Advertisers can use in-feed ads to drive conversions by adding CTAs to the videos. Acorns, a finance company, used an in-feed ad with a CTA to prompt users to download their app.

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Figure 2: Acorns’ in-feed ad. Source - TikTok

Hashtag challenges

Hashtag challenges let brands create bespoke challenges and invite the user community to create content around the TikTok challenge. Brands that use this ad format have exclusive access to the hashtag, which isn't the case on other social media platforms. Hashtag challenges run for six days.

Brand takeover

TikTok brand takeovers capture the user's attention with a full-screen dynamic display, delivering a powerful visual impact for your brand. Advertisers can use a static image, GIF, or a 3 – 5 second video for the ad. You can add a link to the ad to take viewers to your website.

Branded effects

Branded effects allow advertisers to use 2D, 3D or AR effects to add images of their products to their TikTok videos. Brands can create stickers of their products or design bespoke filters that TikTokers can use when making videos. These branded effects increase engagement and boost brand awareness.

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The benefits of TikTok for Business

There are many benefits to using TikTok to promote your business. With its predominantly youthful demographic, TikTok for Business will help you connect and interact with the younger members of your audience.

The most important aspect of TikTok marketing is the user interaction and participation with your content. TikTok challenges act as an invitation for users to create their own videos that relate to your brand. This form of user-generated content increases your brand's credibility, and helps you attract customers to your brand.

Our blog, The Complete Guide to User-Generated Content, explains how to create a UGC strategy for your brand.

Another benefit of TikTok advertising is the ability to create trending content that will make your brand popular with the masses. With a TikTok business account, you can design a branded challenge and invite TikTokers to participate. If the challenge is original, fun, and engaging, it will go viral on the platform, generating much-needed publicity for your brand.

You can also use TikTok to increase traffic to your website, app store, or e-commerce site. In-feed ads allow you to add links to your videos and drive interested users to your website.

TikTok also helps with brand recall and recognition. Top view ads place your brand before the people who matter, and when the time to make a purchase comes, they will remember your brand and consider your offers. The visual impact of branded takeovers delivers immense value beyond the guaranteed impressions by helping you create an emotional connection with the viewers that makes them biased towards your products.

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Let’s look at an example

Guess, known for its innovative clothes and iconic logo, wanted to promote their Denim Fit Collection. It wanted to present a sexy, confident, and courageous brand image and build awareness during the back to school season for Gen Z and millennial consumers.

The brand launched the #InMyDenim Challenge on TikTok and invited consumers to showcase their fashion style in denim. To make the challenge fun and memorable, the company leverages the concept of “transforming your looks” with the slogan “Transform your outfit from a mess to best-dressed. All you need is denim!”

Guess published several brand videos with Bebe Rexha's song " I'm a Mess." The song was not only appropriate for the challenge, but it also catered to TikTok's style of using music to make challenges fun and engaging.

On the first day of the campaign, Guess partnered with a social media marketing agency to launch a Brand Takeover to increase the awareness of the challenge. Concurrently, it also released four influencer-performed clips to demonstrate the idea. By working with content creators, the challenge gained massive attention and earned about 1,600 user-generated videos.

The challenge went viral, earning millions of views, comments, shares, and user videos showing their best denim look.

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Figure 3: #InMyDenim Challenge. Source - TikTok

The results

During the six days, the campaign earned over 5,550 user-generated videos, 10.5 million views, a 14.3 percent engagement rate, and more than 12,000 followers. The challenge resonated with the young audience and boosted brand affinity.

Your top social media marketing tips

Social media is essential for growth marketing success, but it needs to be done right. If you want the leading insider tips to help you succeed, check out our tips here: Social Media Marketing: Your Ultimate Guide to Growth.


As one of the newest social platforms, TikTok is growing in popularity and is quickly becoming a great avenue for brands to reach new audiences, boost engagement and connect with millions of fans. It’s a creative platform where you can experiment with video, have fun with TikTokers, and drive traffic to your company page.

TikTok is a relatively new platform for marketing, so it's likely that you'll come across some bumps on the road. The team at Growth Marketing Genie can help. We're a social media marketing company that can hook you up with a TikTok marketing strategy that will help showcase your fun side, build a niche following and connect with a younger audience.

Ready to use TikTok to promote your business? Learn how to create perfectly optimized social media content and viral videos.

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