Unlocking TikTok Marketing for Your Small Business

June 11, 2024

By: Emily Harper

Unlocking TikTok Marketing for Your Small Business

TikTok, with its over 1 billion active users globally, has revolutionized how brands connect with potential customers, especially among the younger generations.

Since its U.S. launch in 2018, TikTok has transitioned from a mere entertainment platform to a vital marketing tool for businesses big and small. Its unique algorithm and creative format offer a fresh avenue for dynamic interaction with customers through video content that can go viral overnight.

Here’s how small businesses can use TikTok to enhance their digital marketing efforts and reach a youthful, engaged audience.

Benefits of TikTok Marketing

Reach a Young and Active Audience

TikTok has quickly become a key platform for reaching Gen Z—a group that represents the new wave of consumers. With more than 60% of TikTok users belonging to Gen Z, the platform is an invaluable tool for brands targeting this demographic. By making your presence known on TikTok, your business has the chance to connect with this audience early, potentially securing their loyalty as they grow older.

Unlike older demographics, Gen Z is highly active on social media. They don’t just watch content — they interact with it and often create their own. Engaging this group on TikTok can lead to greater visibility and reach for your business through shares, likes, and comments.

The Newest Search Engine on the Block

Surprisingly, TikTok has become a popular alternative to traditional search engines, such as Google, especially among younger users who enjoy its lively content for discovering everything from new recipes to the latest fashion trends.

In a 2024 study, Adobe took a deep dive into researching why TikTok has grown to become the next to-go search engine, they found:

  • About 40% of people have used TikTok to look up things like new recipes, music, DIY projects, and fashion tips.

  • Two-thirds of Gen Z and half of millennials have used TikTok to find information.

  • 10% of Gen Zers prefer using TikTok over traditional search engines like Google.

Small businesses can effectively reach Gen Z on TikTok by leveraging its role as a search engine by:

1. Producing videos that address Gen Z's interests, such as tutorials or product reviews, to draw attention to your products.

2. Participating in popular TikTok trends to boost your visibility. This makes it easier for Gen Z to find you when they're exploring trending topics.

3. Including relevant hashtags and keywords that Gen Z might use in their searches. This helps your content appear in search results on TikTok.

4. Creating interactive content that invites comments and participation. This builds a community around your business and makes your content more likely to be seen.

5. Using TikTok to show your products in action. This authenticity appeals to Gen Z, who prefer practical and genuine content.

What if my dream customer isn’t Gen Z?

While we often think Gen Z dominates TikTok’s users, the app's audience is much broader. 32% of Global TikTok users are aged 25-34, and 35% of users are 35 and older. This variety in age groups offers a great opportunity for small businesses to connect with a broader audience, not just Gen Z.

Low Barrier to Entry

You don’t have to be tech-savvy to start posting content on TikTok. In fact, most TikTok users prefer authentic content that feels natural over more traditional advertising. This means you can start marketing your business as soon as you download the app — no fancy equipment required.

Here’s how TikTok levels the playing field for small business owners :

User-Friendly Interface

TikTok's intuitive design makes it easy for anyone to start creating content. With built-in features like filters, music, and effects, small businesses can produce engaging and professional-looking videos without needing advanced editing skills or software.

Minimal Start-up Requirements

You don't need expensive equipment to make a splash on TikTok. A smartphone and your creative ideas are enough to get started. This accessibility allows small businesses to compete with larger brands, even on a limited budget.

For Izaiah Ellis, TikTok created an opportunity to take his small business to the next level. He started his business, Cyro Rolls, with just an ice cream machine and a cart, but quickly gained traction after posting consistently on TikTok. After a video went viral, he gained a huge following and was able to grow his single-cart operation into a brick-and-mortar business.

TikTok marketing

Engagement Over Production Value

On TikTok, content that resonates emotionally or offers value through humor or insights tends to perform well, regardless of production quality. This focus on the engaging or interesting content in the video over production quality means that small businesses can capture attention through creativity and authenticity rather than high-budget productions.

Natural Content Integration

TikTok’s format encourages content that blends naturally with user-generated videos. For small businesses, this means the opportunity to advertise in a way that doesn’t feel forced or intrusive. By creating fun and engaging content, you can promote your products or services as part of the entertainment, making your marketing efforts feel more like a part of the community than a commercial.

High Viral Potential

Have you been dreaming of your business going #viral?

It’s completely possible on TikTok.

TikTok is known for its ability to quickly make videos popular, which is a big plus for content creators, including small businesses. The platform's special algorithm promotes new content to users, even those who don’t follow the creator. This means that even new users can get a lot of attention fast if their videos engage the audience well.

The reason TikTok can help content spread so quickly is that it focuses on showing users videos that are interesting and engaging, regardless of whether they follow the creator. If a small business posts a video that’s creative and strikes a chord with viewers, it can rapidly reach a large audience. This exposure happens organically, often overnight, without needing a big advertising budget.

For small businesses, this offers an incredible chance to get their products or services in front of thousands of potential customers quickly and without high costs.

Capture Attention With a Strong Hook

To grab attention on TikTok, it's crucial to start your videos with something really catchy, known as a "hook." This could be an exciting video clip, a surprising image, or an intriguing sound that makes someone want to stop and watch instead of scrolling past. The whole idea is to quickly capture interest so people watch your entire video.

Example of a Successful TikTok Hook

For example, a small clothing store could share a video of a quick outfit change challenge, starting with a surprising transformation from everyday clothes to a glamorous evening look in just seconds. This immediate, eye-catching change could get a lot of people interested, leading to lots of shares and new customers.

3 TikTok Hook Ideas You Can Try

TikTok marketing

1. Before and After Transformation

Idea: Showcase a quick before-and-after transformation of your product or service. For instance, a home organizer might show a cluttered room turning into a neatly organized space within seconds.

Why It Works: Visual transformations are highly engaging and can quickly demonstrate the value of your offering.

2. Tips and Tricks

Idea: Share a quick, useful tip related to your industry. For example, a baker could share a quick hack for frosting a cupcake.

Why It Works: Providing value keeps users interested and increases the likelihood they’ll follow for more useful content.

3. “Did You Know?” Facts

Idea: Start with a surprising fact or statistic that relates to your product or service. “Did you know that using X can increase your Y by 70%?”

Why It Works: Curiosity piques interest and can lead viewers to explore your content more deeply.

Stay Relevant with Trends

Engaging with popular trends on TikTok can really help boost your business’s visibility. When you participate in these trends, your business becomes part of the current buzz, making your content more relatable and shareable among users. This is especially appealing to younger audiences who look for authenticity and fun in the content they consume.

Why TikTok Works for Businesses

TikTok's algorithm promotes a wide array of content, introducing businesses to potential customers who might not have discovered them otherwise. It has become a key player in product discovery and purchasing decisions, particularly among younger consumers.

Types of Businesses That Can Benefit

1. Gen Z Oriented Products

Businesses selling items like trendy clothing, beauty products, or the latest tech gadgets can thrive on TikTok. This platform allows these businesses to connect with Gen Z by creating content that resonates with their interests and lifestyle preferences.

TikTok marketing

See how Alyssa incorporates behind-the-scenes footage of her small business and masters the laid-back beach vibe on her TikTok profile.

2. Personal Services

Local businesses such as hair salons, fitness studios, and culinary schools can greatly benefit from TikTok’s visual format. By posting videos that showcase their services, customer interactions, or unique experiences, they can attract local clientele looking for these personal touches.

TikTok marketing

Take a look at how Jessica answers her TikTok follower’s questions and shares fun tips and tricks. With this approach, 60% of her customers chose her car detailing shop because they saw her on TikTok.

3. Health and Fitness

Businesses in the health and fitness sector can engage users by sharing workout routines, wellness tips, and healthy eating advice. This type of content is highly sought after on TikTok, where users are always looking for ways to improve their lifestyles.

TikTok marketing

Michelle uses her platform to help others with their health goals. Her TikTok videos include content about education on the human body, nutrition and all thing wellness.

4. Restaurants and Food Services

For restaurants and food services, TikTok offers the chance to showcase their culinary skills and menu items visually. Creating mouth-watering videos of food preparation or highlighting unique dishes can attract food lovers in the local area who are looking for new dining experiences.

TikTok marketing

Take a look at Reco’s TikTok account and get inspired to create your own content for your food service business!

5. Education and Training

Educational content that offers academic tips, skills training, or professional courses can reach a broad audience on TikTok. By providing valuable, easy-to-understand content, educators can attract students and professionals eager to learn and develop new skills.

TikTok marketing

See how Felicia turn her personal experience into a life-saving small business. She uses TikTok to educate and help others keep their loved ones safe.

6. Entertainment and Media

TikTok is a great platform for artists, musicians, and content creators to interact with their audience. By using TikTok, they can promote new releases, behind-the-scenes content, and engage with fans in a dynamic way that enhances visibility and fan engagement.

TikTok marketing

Courtney takes her TikTok followers on an artistic journey and shows the process of her creations.

Turning TikTok Views into Sales

Here’s how you can start making sales on TikTok:

Optimize Your Profile

A great profile sets the stage for all your activities on the platform. Make sure your TikTok profile is set up for business success from the start by including a catchy bio, linking your shop or website, and providing easy ways to contact you. TikTok allows you to add one link to your bio, but LOGO.com has a great option for making the most of this feature.

Our One-Page Site is quick to create, easy to maintain, and a convenient way to give your TikTok followers important details about your business. Any LOGO.com user can edit and publish a free One-Page Site using a free hi.link domain name (business name.hi.link).

Create Engaging Content

On TikTok, creativity wins. Make videos that are entertaining or useful and fit your business or brand's style. Use popular sounds, engage in trending challenges, and employ relevant hashtags to increase your visibility.

TikTok Content Ideas to Try for Your Business

Challenges and Trends

Joining in on popular challenges or creating your own can significantly boost your visibility on TikTok. For example, if you run a fitness apparel store, you might start a challenge where users post videos of themselves working out in your clothing.


  • Boosts engagement as users enjoy both participating and watching others.
  • Potential to go viral, providing massive exposure.
TikTok marketing

Educational Content

TikTok is perfect for sharing short, informative clips that educate your audience in an engaging way. Whether you're offering quick tips, DIY projects, or how-to guides, make your content creative and fun. A local bakery, for example, could share quick tutorials on cupcake decoration or making the perfect dough.


  • Positions your brand as an expert in your field.
  • Adds value for your audience by educating them, not just selling to them.

Behind-the-Scenes (BTS)

Showing what happens behind the scenes in your business helps build transparency and trust. You could share anything from daily operations to the making of a product or previews of upcoming offerings. For example, a jewelry maker might showcase the detailed process of crafting a new piece from start to finish.


  • Creates a personal connection by showing the human side of your business.
  • Makes your business relatable and approachable, strengthening customer loyalty.

Influencer Collaborations

Working with TikTok influencers can dramatically increase your reach. Choose influencers who share your brand values and have an audience that would appreciate your products. Brand values are the core principles that guide your business’s actions, decisions, and behaviors. They reflect what you stand for and believe in, shaping your business's identity and how it interacts with customers.

For example, a skincare brand might value authenticity and wellness. They could demonstrate these values by partnering with beauty influencers who are known for their genuine approach and commitment to health-conscious lifestyles. Influencers can demonstrate the skincare business’s products in action and reach a wider audience of consumers who appreciate honesty and health in beauty products.


  • Widens your audience reach through the influencer’s follower base.
  • Enhances credibility and trust through association with well-known personalities.

Keys to TikTok Marketing Success

Consistency is Crucial

Regular posting keeps your brand top of mind for your followers. Remember, on TikTok, posting frequently can be more impactful than perfecting every single video. The platform's algorithm increases the visibility of your content, allowing even those who don't follow you to discover your videos, enhancing your chances of going viral.

3 Tips to Stay Consistent

1. Develop a content calendar to help you plan and schedule your posts. This will help you stay consistent in posting without the stress of last-minute content creation.

2. Set aside time to batch-create content. Batch creating is when you shoot multiple videos to use throughout the week (or month), saving you time and reducing the pressure of daily content creation.

3. Set realistic goals for posting frequency. While daily posts might work for larger teams, smaller businesses might find that posting several times a week is more manageable. The key is consistency, so choose a schedule you can commit to over the long term.

Engage Actively

Actively engaging with your followers by responding to comments, participating in challenges, and reacting to trends fosters a sense of community. This engagement enhances your relationship with existing followers and helps attract new ones as people see a business that cares about its audience.

Embrace Authenticity

On TikTok, authenticity wins over sleek, commercial-quality videos. Users gravitate towards content that feels genuine and sincere. Share real stories about your business, your challenges, and your successes.

Leverage Analytics

Utilizing TikTok's built-in analytics tools provides insights into what types of content perform best with your audience. Analyze metrics such as watch times, engagement rates, and follower growth to understand what resonates and adjust what doesn’t.

TikTok marketing

Grow Your Business with TikTok Business Features

It’s completely possible to grow your business on TikTok organically (without using paid ads). Still, many business owners find that using TikTok’s business features helps them promote their products and services to a specific audience who are likely to purchase what they have to offer. The difference between organic reach and paid ads on TikTok is that organic focuses more on building a community, whereas paid TikTok’s main goal is to sell.

Deciding which route to take depends entirely on you and your goals. There are plenty of small business owners on TikTok that only create organic content and are very successful. You can even use a combination of organic videos and paid ads to market your business. Many business owners like how easy it is to use the business features TikTok has available. Plus, they’re able to review analytics to help them make decisions on how to best promote their products and services.

Let’s take a look at TikTok’s business features so you can decide if it's the right path for you.

Use TikTok’s Business Features

TikTok Shop

Open a shop right on TikTok so users can browse and buy your products without leaving the app. To start, you'll need to set up a TikTok store to display and sell your products. There are two ways you can do this.

The first is from the TikTok Seller Center, which allows you to connect one or more Shopping Ads accounts by following these steps:

  1. Connect your Business Center
  2. Connect to your Ads Manager account
  3. Connect to your TikTok Shop and TikTok account
  4. Create and publish your ads

The second is from the Business Center. It requests access to one or more TikTok Shops by following these steps:

  1. Request access to the TikTok Shop from the Business Center.
  2. Resend the request from the Business Center if necessary.
  3. Seller approves the request in the Seller Center
  4. Manage TikTok Shop permissions in the Business Center

LIVE Shopping

TikTok's LIVE Shopping feature lets businesses sell products directly to their audience during a live video. This real-time interaction allows brands to demonstrate products, answer viewer questions, and make sales, creating a dynamic shopping experience that can lead to spontaneous purchases and build a dedicated customer base.

Shoppable Videos

On TikTok, businesses can create videos that directly link to their products. Viewers can simply tap on a product featured in a video to learn more and buy it right then and there, making the shopping experience smooth and immediate.

Run TikTok Ads

Consider using TikTok’s varied advertising options to reach a wider audience. These ads can significantly increase your exposure and direct more users to your shop.

TikTok Shop transforms the shopping experience by allowing businesses to sell directly on the platform through features like LIVE Shopping and Shoppable videos. This makes it easier for users to purchase while engaging with content.

TikTok Shop Statistics

TikTok isn't just a platform for entertainment; it's also a thriving marketplace. Check out the most recent statistics released by TikTok and what it means about its potential for small businesses:

  • An impressive 75% of TikTok users are likely to purchase products while browsing the app.

  • 56% of TikTok users have discovered new products or brands through the platform’s ads.

  • Users on TikTok are 1.5 times more likely to discover new brands and products compared to users on other social media platforms.

  • 70% of TikTok users say it seems easy to purchase through the TikTok shopping-related ad they saw.

  • Nearly three-fourths of consumers say that the app had introduced them to products that they never would have discovered without the platform

TikTok Marketing Checklist

TikTok marketing

Getting started on TikTok is easy!

  • Sign up for a TikTok account for free
  • Come up with content ideas for your business
  • Find trending videos and sounds
  • Grab your smartphone and hit record
  • Upload and edit your video directly in the TikTok app

TikTok offers a unique and powerful marketing channel that allows businesses to engage creatively with a vast audience. By adapting to TikTok's fast-paced style and aligning content with what users enjoy, businesses of all sizes can see substantial growth and build meaningful connections with their audience.

The greatest part about marketing on TikTok is that you don’t need to invest a lot in order to succeed. You only need to sign up for a TikTok account, come up with creative ideas, be willing to be consistent in your posting schedule, and have a smartphone.

So, dive in, start experimenting, and watch your business grow using TikTok!

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