What Is TikTok For Business And Should You Use It In Your Marketing?

Musical.ly was created in 2014 and was a music sharing app whose users share short videos of themselves that synchronize with different music snippets. The platform was in the top 100 downloaded apps for two years, and users published around 13 million videos every day.

In 2018, Musical.ly was bought by the Chinese technology company Bytedance and merged with the company’s new app, TikTok. Like Musical.ly, TikTok is a video sharing social network where users share short clips of themselves, their lips syncing and dancing to trending music. It has since expanded to include more diverse videos such as short comedy skits and home improvement videos.

After the merger, TikTok’s active user base grew by almost 800%. With such considerable user activity, marketers have realized that the advertising potential in the app is high. The developers at TikTok recognized this too and recently launched a new platform called TikTok For Business.

What is TikTok for companies?

TikTok For Business is an all-in-one tool that marketers can use to advertise on TikTok. Instead of developing their own strategy, the platform supports marketers in creating ads, setting budgets, reaching target groups and analyzing campaign data.

The platform’s stated goal is to help businesses develop their creative side by learning how to use the app through their e-learning service and by guiding them through the display of ads on the Ads Manager platform .

Marketing options on TikTok For Business

The only marketing format businesses can use on TikTok is video advertising. The TikTok For Business Ads Manager platform allows marketers to create these ads and choose from five different formats.

TopView ads

TopView ads on TikTok are videos that appear once a day immediately after a user opens their app for the first time. Here is an example of a TopView ad from the candy company M&M made for a virtual Halloween experience.

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TopView ads can be up to 60 seconds long, which is longer than the typical run time for TikTok videos. Because of this, it is perfect for companies that want to promote products or services that require extended exposure, such as: B. TV trailer.

In-feed ads

In-feed ads are videos that appear on a user’s discovery page, also known as the “For You” page. This is where users land when they open the app. On the “For You” page, you will find videos that the TikTok algorithm considers to be of interest to the user based on their app activity.

These ads are the fourth video that users see when they scroll through their feed. For reference, this type of advertising is similar to what appears on a user’s Instagram feed. Here is an example of an in-feed ad created by the GrubHub grocery delivery service.

grubhub in the feed tiktok adImage source

In-feed ads are especially valuable for marketers looking to use TikTok to drive revenue conversions because the videos can contain a call-to-action (CTA). Acorns, a finance company, used the in-feed CTA feature to encourage viewers to download their app.

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Some brands have created their own version of in-feed ads by working directly with influencers. For example, Raising Cane’s Restaurant has teamed up with famous TikTok influencer Chase Hudson to promote their business (see video below).

Users who follow Hudson will see this video on their For You feed.

Brand hashtag

Branded hashtags are ads that companies use to inspire TikToker to create content around a branded hashtag of their choice. Companies using this ad format have exclusive access to the hashtag, which other social media sites don’t. The exclusivity comes with a high price. The reported average cost is around $ 150,000 for six days.

For example, let’s say you’re a sportswear company that just launched a new sport shirt called the Blue Shirt. You can create a branded hashtag called #InMyBlueShirt that will encourage TikTok users who have your product to post videos of them doing physical activities in the shirt.

Jennifer Lopez, a music artist, used the branded hashtag feature to promote her song Pa Ti. The hashtag is #PaTiChallenge and Lopez posted a video of herself encouraging other TikTok users to take part in the challenge by replicating their dance.

The hashtag #PaTiChallenge received 2.4 billion views.

Hashtag challenges can be featured on TikTok’s Discover page, where users can find new developers and browse trending hashtags. The Discover page is similar to Instagram’s Explore page.

Major League Baseball sponsored hashtag challenge #WorldSeries is featured on TikToks Discover Feed and the hashtag encourage users to post videos showing how they celebrated baseball games. Clicking the hashtag takes users to an internal landing page that displays the sponsor’s logo, challenge description, and other videos with the hashtag.

tiktok Discover Page Branded Hashtag Landing Page Demo

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Brand takeovers

Branded acquisitions are an ad format that can contain TopView, In-Feed, and branded hashtags at the same time. These can also be videos, gifs or still images. The takeover aspect of these ads is that TikTok only offers one company per day and the startup cost is around $ 50,000 per day.

Guess, a fashion company, branded TikTok to promote their jeans. Within six days, her TikTok account gained over 12,000 new followers and achieved an overall retention rate of 14.3%. The brand takeover included top view, branded hashtag and in-feed ads.

Guess jeans brand takeover ad formats

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Brand effects

Branded Effects ads use 2D, 3D, or AR to add images of your products to TikTok videos. Brands usually create stickers of their products or filters that TikToker can use when creating their videos. These filters and stickers increase engagement and brand awareness because branded games are usually played when they are used.

Puma, a clothing company, used the Branded Effects feature to promote its new football boots. Their 3D sticker caused users to play a virtual reality game with a soccer ball. They paired their Branded Effects sticker with a hashtag that generated over 100,000 videos of user generated content.

Puma shoes brand effects Tiktok example

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Should You Use TikTok For Business in Your Marketing Strategy?

TikTok For Business comes at a time when it is evident that businesses have been successful with advertising on TikTok.

Take Dunkin for example. Dunkin, also known as Dunkin Donuts, is an American coffee company. They took advantage of TikTok’s advertising skills and teamed up with a popular influencer, Charli D’amelio, who often drinks her coffee in her videos.

At only 16 years old, D’amelio has over 7 million followers on TikTok. While their platform is primarily focused on dance videos, it announced its partnership with Dunkin in a TikTok video that has been viewed over 59 million times in less than two months. Dunkin reported that they saw a 45% increase in sales the day after the announcement.

Ultimately, the decision to use TikTok For Business in your marketing strategy will depend on your overall business goals and desired campaign results. To help make the decision easier, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons for marketers to use when making this decision.

TikTok for business pros and cons



With TikTok Ads Manager you can make your content accessible to new target groups.

With the “Similar Audiences” feature, you can select similar audiences that are similar to your audiences.

TikTok has over 600 million active monthly users and is available in 155 different countries. If your brand is smaller or less well known, it can create new awareness for a new audience.

32.5% of TikTok’s user base is between 10 and 19 years old and 29.5% between 20 and 29. If your target groups are of different ages, you can meet a new type of customer.

TikTok’s largest user base is not representative of all demographics.

Since the primary user base is very young, the audiences that companies are marketing on the platform may be significantly younger than their intended audiences.

For in-app advertising, you may need to access a user base that may not understand the need for your product or service.

TikTok thrives on informal content behind the scenes.

Authenticity is important to Generation Z, and they tend to shy away from sales-to-drive marketing ads.

If your brand or company typically creates sales-oriented formal content, the platform can help diversify your content types and reveal a new, creative side to your business.

TikTok needs niche content.

The type of content TikTok is requesting may not match your branding mission.

If you’re a more reputable, sales-focused company, learning to adapt to the fun and exciting content TikTok requires rather than just generating sales can be difficult.

44.81% of the world population owns a smartphone.

As the number of mobile users continues to grow worldwide, a mobile-first marketing strategy is worth considering.

TikTok for Business allows you to create advertisements on your phone and essentially get some of your marketing strategy out of your pocket.

Linking your website to your TikTok videos is not easy.

If your website is your primary method of converting leads, then you need to get creative and develop additional methods to generate leads.

TikTok has higher engagement rates than Instagram and Twitter.

In 2019, TikTok’s average engagement rate at all follower levels was higher than Instagram and Twitter. Small accounts with just 1,000 had an average engagement rate of 9.38%.

Even if you’re a smaller brand just getting started on TikTok, you’re guaranteed to have engaging audiences.

The TikTok For Business reporting tool cannot be integrated with other platforms.

All marketers know that data is critical to understanding the success of marketing campaigns. At the moment, it doesn’t seem like the platform integrates with your favorite Insights tool.

While the ad manager is handy, it requires an extra step in collecting data that will help you understand your campaign engagement and ROI.

TikTok For Business can be a valuable tool.

Integrating TikTok’s new service into your marketing strategy can be a valuable tool for growth. While the app will require niche types of content, brands and companies can diversify their strategy and attract new audiences.

Regardless of your final decision, TikTok For Business is available to anyone who wants to take advantage of the app’s advertising potential.

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