– Welcome to The Journey. Today we got a quick guide to TikTok marketing for small businesses. So the one constant you can count on with social media is that it's always changing. Just when you think one platform has managed to monopolize this space, then others come along and the landscape shifts. Right now TikTok is one of the most popular and powerful social media platforms on the planet. And while young gen Z-ers were once the main TikTok demographic, as the popularity of the short-form video sharing platform grows, droves of millennials are also flocking to this platform. – Speaking of TikTok, Nealey, I know you were pretty obsessed with it when it first came out, right? Didn't you have some huge success? (laughs) – What do you mean, when it first came out? I'm still obsessed with it? You don't see me doing my dances? – I have not, personally. – How cringey is that? (laugh in unison) But yeah, all cringe aside, like, TikTok is probably my favorite. Whether it's to consume and just spend hours a day watching other people do random stuff, or if it's creating content for my niche, TikTok has been a fantastic outlet during this pandemic.

– Yeah, and whatever your niche, if you're a small business owner looking to expand your audience and drive traffic to your website, investing in TikTok marketing is essential. To help guide you to social media success, we'll look at a mix of practical TikTok for small business marketing tips. But before we do, let's consider why TikTok is so important right now. – Well, as a video-based social media platform, TikTok encourages a huge amount of engagement. And if you produce the right content you'll connect with even more potential customers. You'll also encourage more people to invest in your products or services in the process while doing so. And since COVID-19, TikTok app downloads have increased, and more Instagram influencers have migrated to the platform, but more on that later.

But as a small business owner the time to strike is right now. – That's right. Now let's cover essential TikTok small business marketing tips, starting off with paid ad placements. Now, although you will need a modest advertising budget to begin with, when executed successfully, paid advertising offers an excellent return on investment, ROI, across many social media platforms, and TikTok is no exception. – And while TikTok's paid advertising is still in its early days compared to the likes of Instagram or Facebook, it can still be a viable way to boost your brand awareness and attract shoppers or visitors to your website.

– Yeah, so hop on trends. I say this every day. (laughs) One of the keys to successful TikTok marketing for small business is keeping your eyes peeled and your ears to the ground. We know that you're busy and don't have time to scroll through TikTok all day. We're not suggesting that, but when you are on the platform, searching for relevant trends will prove an effective use of your time – To discover trending videos or content in your niche, you'll need to search for the right hashtags. Like Instagram, hashtags are the lifeblood of TikTok in terms of visibility.

But going a little bit deeper, you can actually create your own original content. By creating your own funny, inspirational, or compelling TikTok videos, it's the best way to stand out on this platform. – Nealey, do you remember the first TikTok video you did? Was it original? – Gosh, it's been so long. I couldn't tell you, but you can follow me and find out. – He's just really asking for that follow. Well, when it comes to creating original TikTok content, you can be as creative as you wish, as long as your video's 60 seconds or less, so don't go over a minute, and you can imitate famous sound clips, add music or audio sound effects and apply images or filters. But really, to strike a chord with your audience, you must get your fundamentals right.

– Yeah, those fundamentals are key. You really want to decide on that key message that you want to convey. Remember, you only have 60 seconds, so work with one strong message or concept, really just to avoid confusion and maximize your impact. But also don't, self-promote. That's not what TikTok is about, or use salesy language. If you do, TikTok users will just breeze right past you and never look back. Yes, you are a small business marketing what you have to offer, but the best way to make a mark with your content is to inspire, entertain, or offer genuine value. – Humans connect with and digest narratives and stories better than anything else. And while you only have 60 seconds, it's gonna breeze on by, there's no reason why you can't tell an interesting tale with your video in that time.

So carve out a clear cut beginning, middle, and end, and you'll have the framework for a TikTok video that has serious small business marketing potential. – And let's talk about I think Emma's favorite subject in the history– – UGC! – Of all content. It's UGC, user-generated content. I'm just gonna let you take this part away. – That's right, Nealey, and I have a fun stat to kick things off with. It might surprise some of you out there, but more than 86 percent of companies currently use user-generated content as part of their regular marketing strategy. I'm curious, are you? If not, you should. Social media fans love interacting with content of other users. And when it comes to TikTok marketing, one of the best ways you can leverage UGC to your advantage is to share and curate the content of your users, posting videos based on your niche. – Yeah, and by shining a light on the content of others, you're gonna connect with more people, improve your engagement levels, and build trust with your audience.

Using this simple yet effective TikTok marketing tactic, you'll be able to showcase your services and products in a way that is fun and authentic and increase your revenue in the process. – So I encourage you all, get influential. Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful social media marketing methods out there, and if you team up with TikTok influencers in your niche, you'll be able to promote your brand to the people who are most likely to find it valuable.

So big brands such as Calvin Klein, Sony, FIFA, have dipped their toes into influencer marketing campaigns through TikTok, reaching plenty engaged users of all different demographics, and as the platform continues to grow in popularity, more businesses will follow in their footsteps. – But hey, do your research, find smaller influencers making waves your industry niche and reach out to them. All it takes is a simple DM. But build it and they will come only works in the movies. Social media is build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay. That's a quote by Seth Godin. – Yeah, and by taking action and striking while the iron is hot, you can reach a whole new audience and grow your small business in ways you never thought possible. And when properly executed, TikTok marketing can be cost-effective, powerful, and if you have time, fun to do.

– All right, that's a wrap. Follower our TikTok for small business marketing tips, and you'll be on your way to social media domination in your space. Hey, drop your handle in the comments below and don't forget to subscribe to our channel. – And ring that bell to be the first to know when we upload new videos. This is The Journey. See you next time..

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