Learn About the Latest Social Media Sensation and Get $300 USD in Free Ads

The popularity of TikTok continues to increase, and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. This year the mobile video app even surpassed Facebook and Whatsapp to become the most downloaded non-gaming up. 

As part of a new campaign, the social media giant has recently launched a Back-to-Business Program – an initiative aimed at helping companies impacted by the current economic crisis. 

With $100 million USD in dedicated ad credit for small companies, yours may be able to claim a share, with $300 up for grabs, valid until December 31, 2020. TikTok will also match additional ad spending 1-to-1 (up to $2,000 USD) per business.

If you’re not yet familiar with TikTok, you might get a shock when you first download and open the app. You’ll find yourself scrolling through an endless stream of entertaining – and sometimes ridiculous – videos. At this point, it would only be natural to question the relevance of your business amongst all of the lip-syncing and dancing videos.

Still, don’t be too quick to rule out this new social media platform. At the time of writing, TikTok had 800 million active users worldwide and this is only predicted to keep growing.

From all of us at Invoice2go, we hope you and your business are staying strong during this time of uncertainty. As local economies ground to a halt to comply with public health regulations, we know that many are facing unprecedented struggles. We want you to know there are tips and relief options available.

We also want to make sure you know now is the time to ramp up your marketing efforts. During an economic downturn, your efforts should be on continuing to stand out from the crowd and letting potential clients know about your services.

That’s where TikTok comes in. While it may not be right for every small business, it’s worth considering because of the low cost to get started and the growing popularity of the platform. And, believe it or not, it’s not just for Gen Z or creatives. Plenty of freelancers, small business owners, and construction professionals all use the platform.

Even if you feel overwhelmed by social media marketing, this guide will help you get started quickly and easily. We’ll begin by sharing some general background information about TikTok and simple tips for social media marketing for small businesses. Then we’ll show you how to set up a business TikTok account and get your $300 USD in ad credit. And, finally, we’ll share with you how to start making great content for your audience. Let’s dive in:

What is social media marketing, and how can it benefit my small business?

There’s no doubt that social media has been a game-changer for many business owners. It’s a fantastic way to create a community, build customer relationships, and ultimately drive sales. 

It often surpasses the reach of traditional ads due to its ability to target specific demographics that will likely be interested in your services. You can also easily monitor the effectiveness of your campaigns and while also measuring your return on investment.

No matter which platform you choose to use, social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach new customers. We strongly recommend that you give it a shot. In general, it’s recommended that small businesses spend 7-12% of revenue on advertising and marketing, and up to 50% of that on digital marketing. When done right, you will likely see results from that investment, even when the economy is in flux.

Let’s zoom in on TikTok and how it stands out from other platforms.

What small businesses need to know about TikTok

TikTok is used all over the world, with the highest number of users in India, USA, Turkey and Russia. It can be addictive: the average user in the UK spends 41 minutes on the app each day.

TikTok’s massive growth is supposedly due to its focus on entertainment rather than lifestyle. Additionally, it’s so easy to use that practically anyone can quickly create great content and potentially go viral. 

While people of all ages use TikTok, the platform leans towards a younger audience. The largest share of the users in the UK are aged between 18-24, a notoriously difficult age group for marketers to crack. 

However, TikTok is not just for kids or people in their 20s and early 30s. About 20% of users are 40-50+, and more people are signing up each day. No matter what service you provide, there are customers on the platform who will love – and be willing to pay – for your work.

When it comes to paid ads, one of the main benefits of TikTok is that it is considerably cheaper than both Facebook and Instagram. Not only is advertising more affordable on the platform, it’s easier to make ads look native in the app, which leads to better engagement since ads can seem less corporate.

With TikTok, you can target ads by age, location, and interest. You can also do split tests to better gauge which kinds of ads type works most effectively.

How to set up a TikTok account for your business

If you’re ready to get started, the first step is to create your account. Since it’s free to begin and there is ad credit available, there’s nothing to lose but plenty to gain. We’re going to walk you through the process of setting up an account step-by-step:

Creating your account

First, it’s essential to know that at this time, it’s only possible to create an account from the app. Start by downloading TikTok from the Apple Store or Google Play Store

Then, open it up and select Sign Up with Phone or Email. It’s also possible to set up an account through other social media channels if you already have them.

On the next screen, you’ll be asked to enter your birthday. Be sure to input a real birthday. If you enter an age under 18, your account may have some restrictions. Once you’ve entered these details correctly, tap Next.

Now it’s time to enter your email address and set up a username and password. It’s best to use your business email address if possible. However, if you don’t have one yet, you can always get started with a personal email address and come back later.

Your username is important. Make sure it clearly states your business name and, if possible, use the same handles you have on other social media platforms. 

Finally, once you’ve entered all that information, complete the captcha to prove you’re not a robot, tap Next, and – just like that – your account is live.

Setting up your profile

Now that your account is set up, you’ll be taken to the main feed and shown your first video. Feel free to take some time to check out the content if you’re not familiar with it yet. The style may be a little different to what you are used to on other platforms.

Browse videos using hashtags or go to the Discovery page to find new content. Once you finish watching a video, another will immediately begin. Like Facebook and Instagram, TikTok uses an algorithm to show you the videos that you will most likely be most interested in.

Once you’ve had a look around and you’re ready to set up your business profile, tap the Profile icon. Customise your profile picture and display name by tapping Edit Profile. If you have a company logo, we strongly recommend using that here. You can also use a clear, professional photo of yourself. You just want to make sure it’s easy for customers to recognise your business.

Next, add a short business bio of up to 80 characters. Be sure to incorporate keywords that relate to your business, as well as a link to your website.

The last step is to switch your account to Pro to gain access to analytics and other business features. Tap the three dots on the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Then, tap Manage my account.

On the next screen, scroll down until you see red text that says Switch to Pro Account. Tap that link and verify your email address to confirm the change. You’ll now get additional information that will be useful to your business down the road.

Connect your other social media accounts

If you use YouTube or Instagram, you can link them to your TikTok account. To do so, tap Edit Profile. At the bottom of the next page, you’ll see a space to enter links to those accounts. People will now be able to see your other social accounts when they visit your profile.

How to create great free and paid TikTok content

Now that your profile looks great, you’re ready to create your own content. Keep in mind: just like on other social media platforms, TikTok allows you to create free organic posts.

Making a TikTok is as simple as recording a video, editing it, and adding music, filters, and other effects. The platform makes it extremely easy for anyone to produce quality content. When you’re happy with your creation, upload your video to share it with the world.

While it can be a good idea to post content consistently, your organic posts won’t specifically target an audience. If your intention is to raise brand awareness, you’ll want to focus on paid ads.

To use TikTok ads, you need an advertising account. Once you set this up, you can learn how to create an ad through TikTok’s Business Learning Center. Don’t forget to apply for your one-time ad credit worth $300 USD by December 31, 2020. Keep in mind that additional spending over that amount will be equally matched up to $2,000 USD.

The different types of paid TikTok ads

TikTok gives small businesses a variety of ways to promote their businesses. Each ad will appear as a TikTok style video that will seamlessly enter the streams of the users you’re targeting. The main options are:

  • Native In-Feed Ads: These videos play between user content with a pop-up call to action button, and can run up to 60 seconds long.
  • Brand takeovers: These 3-5 second ads appear in the user’s feed before seeing any other user content. You can link these to your landing page and they are exclusive to different categories.
  • Sponsored hashtag challenges: Your business can pay to sponsor a hashtag challenge and obtain a custom banner across the Discover page. When users tap it, they’re taken to videos that your team creates explaining and demonstrating the challenge while promoting your brand.
  • TopView Ads: These are 60-second videos that run immediately after opening up the TikTok app. The strategic placement guarantees users will see your ad in this space.

These are the basics, however, experience will be an excellent teacher. The best way to become adept at running TikTok ads is by jumping in and trying the platform for yourself. Here are just a few essential things to keep in mind:

Tips and best practices for TikTok ads

TikTok has an enormous trend culture, so the best performing content is often a spin-off of an existing trend. Ads should feel native to the platform, so the most engaging ones are funny, relevant, and eye-catching.

Get your creative juices flowing with these ideas:

  • Show yourself in action and demonstrate what you do best. Consider talking to the camera and engaging viewers with exciting and entertaining dialogue.
  • Participate in a viral challenge and integrate your service into the video.
  • Show a behind the scenes of your business so viewers can have a sticky beak and take a glimpse of your skills and expertise.
  • Share a funny or useful life hack or how-to guide that is related to your service.

We hope this guide helped you wrap your head around the world of TikTok. It’s our mission to empower your small business with an incredible app and inspiring content that helps facilitate your success. While TikTok may not be for everyone, we think it can be helpful for many companies, especially due to its low cost and free ad credit. 

2020 is passing quickly, so don’t wait to claim your credit and get started. Also, if you’re interested in learning more useful tips for your small business, join our Facebook community for high-quality content each week.