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Given TikTok’s widespread usage and rapid embrace by the general public, it’s no surprise that TikTok marketing has gained immense popularity among small businesses in recent times.

To incorporate this channel into your marketing strategy, continue reading to understand the functionality of TikTok, its notable benefits and drawbacks for business, and three factors to evaluate in deciding if it aligns with your company

What is the functioning of TikTok?

TikTok, a video platform known for its short-form content, was introduced in 2016. Since its inception, it has garnered a huge fan base, with over a billion users from 150 countries currently.

Developers can utilize a range of in-app features such as effects, filters, music, sound bites, and text overlays to produce concise videos that inform, amuse, and motivate their audience. Additionally, individuals can incorporate subtitles to provide context and hashtags to draw in a specific group of viewers.

For individuals unfamiliar with the platform, the TikTok for Business page offers a plethora of resources and ideas, including manuals tailored for both small and large enterprises to aid in getting started.


You have the potential to efficiently and affordably reach your desired audience.


According to a report on digital marketing trends for small businesses in 2022, TikTok is currently one of the top social media platforms in terms of usage. Small business owners have stated that TikTok’s organic reach ranks second only to Facebook and Instagram.

The main explanation for this phenomenon is that TikTok’s primary feed, known as the “For You” page, is not restricted to posts from the accounts and companies that the user follows. This sets it apart from Instagram, where the platform promotes content from popular users and brands.

The algorithm of TikTok provides a curated selection of content that is tailored to the interests and in-app activities of its users. The platform allows anyone, regardless of when they joined, to become viral as the level of popularity is determined by user engagement and interest, rather than the social status of the creator.

TikTok is known for its high potential for virality, making it a highly cost-efficient social media platform for organic reach. By creating videos that cater to your specific audience, there is a higher chance of your content being shared on their personalized “For You” page, even without any paid promotions.

TikTok is known for performing well with low-budget and short-form video content. Setting up an account and creating content only requires a smartphone and internet access.


The conversion rates from viewers to customers have a high success rate.


The average user of TikTok spends more than 1.5 hours on the app daily, which can ultimately boost revenue for businesses. According to TikTok’s data, 35% of its users have purchased after seeing a product on the platform.


There are limitless possibilities for creativity on TikTok.


Every day, a new trend or sound bite becomes popular on the app, providing a chance for businesses to reach out to a wider audience. By leveraging the most relevant trends, business owners can take advantage of and create fresh content ideas.

The great thing is that you don’t need to constantly come up with completely original content every time you make a post. If you’re struggling with creativity, simply open TikTok, find a popular trend that aligns with your brand, and add your personal touch to it.

Consider Duolingo, for example. The language learning application and its mascot, a green owl named Duo, have brought chaos to a whole new level on TikTok. Every video on the brand’s page emits a wild and frenzied energy that has become a defining characteristic of the platform. From Duo’s obsession with Dua Lipa to its incorporation of current events in its skits, the brand consistently stays up-to-date with the latest trends on TikTok.


One can effortlessly adapt content for various platforms

To keep up with the trend of short-form video content popularized by TikTok, several other apps have also launched their versions. For example, there are now options such as Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Snapchat Spotlight.

Aside from automatically sharing your TikTok content on other social media platforms, you also have the option to download your videos from TikTok and manually upload them to these other apps. This helps save time and maximize the potential of your video content.

Aside from social media, there are also other platforms where you can repurpose your content. You can utilize your TikTok videos, as well as the initial footage you captured, in your marketing emails, longer video content, website, and other mediums.

Possible drawbacks for small businesses utilizing TikTok

Small businesses may find that running advertisements can be costly.

As reported by Business of Apps, the minimum budget required for a TikTok marketing campaign is $500. Therefore, when incorporating paid ads into your TikTok marketing strategy, it is important to strategize on how to optimize your ad expenditure for the most effective outcomes.

Revenue generation is more probable for online businesses.

Although certain traditional businesses have achieved prosperity due to popular TikTok personalities such as Keith Lee, the prevalence of digital companies gives them an edge on the platform, particularly if you aim to minimize your reliance on paid promotions.

Imagine if your physical art supply store becomes a sensation on TikTok. Without an online store, you may not experience an immediate increase in profits. Furthermore, the majority of TikTok’s user-generated content is not tailored to specific geographical locations. Therefore, a video showcasing a popular restaurant or event on your feed may not even be relevant to your local area.

Your intended audience might not be active on TikTok.

The data from a report by Statista revealed that in 2022, only a quarter of TikTok users in the United States were aged between 50-59, while the percentage for those aged between 60-64 was even lower at 16%. If your target audience consists of older individuals or other demographics that have not yet adopted TikTok, it may be more effective to allocate your marketing efforts and resources to other platforms for the time being.

Your business may not be suitable for short-form videos.

The increasing trend of TikTok and other apps featuring short-form videos indicates a higher demand for this type of content from companies. However, not all businesses may find this format suitable, as it may restrict the kind or quantity of information that can be conveyed to viewers.

In certain cases, B2B companies may need to provide content with a high amount of information, such as whitepapers or intricate graphs, to promote their products and attract clients effectively. However, this type of content is not easily adaptable for use in short-form video format.

Your brand’s reputation may not align with TikTok.

To distinguish oneself amidst a multitude of distractions, it is necessary at times to be daring. However, this can also lead to an increase in scrutiny as more people are exposed to one’s content.

At times, the TikTok videos created by businesses can hurt their brand, or inaccurately present the company while trying to conform to the platform’s fun and playful style. By blindly following a trend without comprehending its background, it can be quite effortless to produce content that is insensitive, offensive, cringe-worthy, or simply not aligned with the brand’s image.

TikTok’s relaxed and informal approach to content permits brands to promote themselves genuinely and authentically. However, this style may not be suitable for businesses that have a more serious tone or sell straightforward products.

When deciding to use TikTok, it is important to carefully analyze your content from multiple perspectives to ensure that it aligns with your brand’s image and does not damage your reputation.

3 Inquiries to Consider Before Promoting Your Business on TikTok

Before beginning the process of making videos for your company, take a moment to consider the following inquiries.

1. Is it possible for me to locate my target audience on the platform?

A method to determine if your target audience is active on TikTok is by analyzing your competitors, influential figures in your industry, and relevant hashtags. If there is considerable interaction, then it indicates that TikTok could be a suitable platform for your business.

It is important to keep in mind that even if your target audience is not currently using the platform, this may change in the future. A notable example is Facebook, which was initially created for Harvard students but is now utilized by almost three billion people globally.

2. Is it possible for me to offer valuable content to my audience in this particular format?

TikTok is a suitable platform for creating short instructional videos, fun tutorials, helpful tips and tricks, as well as videos showcasing a day in someone’s life. Businesses that can be effectively showcased through videos, such as art, food, and home decor, also tend to perform well on this app.

Therefore, TikTok has emerged as a valuable resource for individuals seeking to acquire new skills and conduct product investigations before making a purchase. Consider: Is this type of content within your brand’s capability to provide?

To begin, consider the following if you are having trouble coming up with ideas:

  • How does your brand differentiate itself from its competitors?
  • In what ways do your products/services add value to your customers’ lives?
  • Is there any part of your company or its processes that would be engaging for customers to witness firsthand?
  • What kinds of experiences, whether relatable, relevant, or humorous, can your brand showcase in a brief video?

What are the areas or issues that your team is passionate about and well-informed about?

Countless TikTok content creators are competing for virality on the platform. To set yourself apart, it is crucial to identify the distinctive qualities of your brand and produce related videos that showcase these features.

The majority of the application’s material is based on incorporating and interpreting current trends found on the platform. To effectively showcase your brand and products, it is important to add your unique creative touch to these trends.

Begin by researching the type of content that typically does well with your target audience and specific industry. For instance, do influential figures in your industry prefer comical skits or instructional videos? How do your competitors incorporate their products into their natural content and sponsored advertisements?

It is important to remember that successful videos are typically entertaining, genuine, and informative.


3. Can TikTok help me achieve my business objectives?

The TikTok community is known for its high spending habits. According to reports from 2021, users splurged a staggering $2.3 billion on the app, which is a significant increase compared to the $1.3 billion spent in the previous year.

To utilize this purchasing power to benefit your own business, it is essential to establish a connection between your utilization of TikTok and your overall business strategy. Consider how the platform and the most successful content on the app can assist in achieving your business, sales, and marketing objectives.

Suppose your newest hair care product isn’t performing well in sales due to customers’ lack of understanding of how to use it. However, you are aware that your target audience is active on TikTok and responds positively to your content. In this case, you could opt to produce a series of brief instructional videos demonstrating the proper usage of the product. Another option would be to collaborate with influencers who can showcase your product in their everyday routine or share “hair care hacks” that subtly promote your product.

By considering how TikTok can benefit your business outside of just branding and marketing, you can fully capitalize on the potential of this platform


Should your small business consider joining TikTok?

The response to most things in the realm of digital marketing is usually subjective.

When making a decision, it is crucial to consider elements such as your target audience, branding strategy, and the time and resources at your disposal.

If you are uncertain about the suitability of TikTok for your business, you can try making a personal account and observing the content shared by influencers and brands in your field. Additionally, you can explore the various features of the platform to gain firsthand experience before delving into a business account.

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