How and why you should be using a platform like TikTok to market your business

As Social Media marketing is such an important part in advertising, it’s important that all potential platforms are covered including platforms that may not seem suitable for a professional outlook. However, the growth in the platform TikTok has shown to greatly benefit businesses and have made thousands of users successful in marketing their brand on TikTok as well as well-known brands ranging from hospitality like Nando’s to commercial flight companies like Ryanair and to fashion brands such as Zara. Making this app the breeding ground for growing customer bases. However, this does mean that there is very high competition and so it is difficult to compete with these high end brands that have an existing following base. But no fear, here are some tips and tricks you can use to be resourceful and use this app to your advantage.

  • Firstly, ensure you’re fully aware of how to operate the platform, similar to Instagram and Facebook there are hidden accessories which can make managing your account easier and more effective. For example, it might be as simple as making it a business account so you are able to see analytics of who is attracted to your page. Once you have this information you can assess whether you need to alter your content to get these customer groups or whether you want to diversify.
  • Also, it’s important to note that this app is for all types of content and users so the use of hashtags will be essential. This is because your videos could pop on certain time lines and algorithms and to ensure you end up on the right one so you’re targeting the right audience, this can then be closely managed. Once you do it right the first time and fall into the right category all you have to worry about is your actual content.
  • Content is so imperative when it comes to marketing online as it puts across an image of your business to your followers and audience, so you have to make sure your content is creating the right image you want to have. For example, professionalism should be considered but being on an app like TikTok where your videos need to go viral to be successful can make it difficult, so you need to find the right balance.
  • The best way to find out how to do this is simply through good old competitive stalking, seeing what your competitors are doing that is working. So, even though there is high competition, it also gives you a chance to adapt to their content and make it your own to give you an upper hand in bringing awareness to your brand.
  • Alongside finding customers it’s also a business opportunity to find business partners or potential influencers to market your products. By using this you are able to bring awareness to your products and profile to hopefully grow your following. If you want to find out any more information regarding influencer marketing or use of word of mouth then check out our other blog ‘The impact of word of mouth and influencer marketing on a business and customer perspective’.

Once you have mastered the ins and outs of a platform like this one, these same skills can be used on other Social media platforms, making marketing on socials easier and more effective. It’s good to note that this will take a lot of time and effort, but this will pay off in the future.

 

The Impact of Word of Mouth & Influencer Marketing

Both of these strategies of marketing are very effective and work for hand in hand; by an influencer complimenting a product and showing how desired it is, makes customers want it (especially if said influencer had a large following of the intended targeted audience). If this type of marketing is done correctly then it can be greatly beneficial in creating sales and creating a large awareness of the brand, product, or service. 

However, like many marketing strategies, this needs to adhere to your business and its needs. By being a small local business you may not have the funds to pay for sponsorship for example and so positive word of mouth would need to be taken advantage of. Word of mouth can be spread through social media and so having a presence across certain platforms would greatly help this, as the public will be able to comment/review your product or service on your platforms. It’ll be the first place a potential customer will look to see if it’s worth investing in. The issue with word of mouth is that unfortunately negative reviews spread quicker and are seen by more compared to positive reviews which can’t be helped, customers may purposely search for negative reviews to make a decision as to whether it’s worth their visit. It may sound obvious but it’s important to realize how customers behave especially when they choose where to take their business, M. Nick Hajili stated in the International Journal of Market Research that:

“Trust, encouraged by social media, significantly affects intention to buy. Therefore, trust has a significant role in ecommerce by directly influencing intention to buy and indirectly influencing perceived usefulness.”

Alongside using word of mouth online it’s also very effective face to face as 92% of consumers stated that they would trust a family or friends opinion on a product/ service compared to advertisement, this was found in a report by Nielson. 

This is not to say however that a small business can’t use influencer marketing, if by chance an influencer stops by your store and posts about your product/service or if said business decided to send an influencer or celebrity a package of their goods known as a PR package in hopes they may review your products to their followers without paying a large cost for a potential positive fake review. PR packages should be very specific and require research into who to send what, this could either be the make or break of your brand.

Even though this all seems very pessimistic regarding negative reviews or negative word of mouth but think of it as customer feedback, unfortunately, it is very public and could be detrimental but it also highlights how to better your business, which you can do for your future customers. This leads us to the fake reviews and some customers’ opinions on influencer marketing;

Fake reviews from paid promotions can be beneficial but not if it puts your business in a position where they can’t offer it for example, a spot cream that’s meant to reduce the look of spots might be marketed by the influencer as completely disappearing them… for future customers it can cause confusion and may do more harm than good, so it’s important that the influencer won’t just say positive things just because your paying them to, you want them to be honest with your future customers. Alongside this, customers’ opinions on this type of promotion can be fairly negative as they feel that the influencers are only saying positive things because they are getting paid for it, providing a fake review. This would probably give the influencer more negative feedback than intended but it will also reflect badly on your brand- you’re willing to pay someone just to say something good about your product- the fact that you need to go to those lengths for a positive review may do more harm than good on your brand image. This could be argued as 61% of consumers said they trusted influencer reviews and recommendations which is still over half of the intended audience showing it has some significance over opinions (source thesocialshephard.com

In general, if you wish to take your brand into these types of marketing strategies, it’s important it’s done properly and with extensive research to ensure it’s done correctly, picking certain influencers that correspond with your products (makeup influencers given makeup products to try) and encouraging customer feedback directly to the business can be worth it for your businesses future.