I’ll admit I’m partial to an hour or five watching cat fails on TikTok. But dig deeper and this social channel is GOLD for businesses. Time to explore TikTok Shopping….

TikTok is BLOWING. UP. In terms of consumer spend, it has stormed ahead to take the top spot in consumer spend. A recent report shows it has toppled giants like YouTube and Tinder in the rankings….

TikTok Ads Potential: Consumer Spend 2021 Report

Image Source: Hootsuite Digital 2022 Report

According to the latest report, TikTok’s reach is highest for Gen Z users, reaching 25% of female users aged 18-24 and 17.9% of males. This is a younger base than Instagram, which is most popular with females 35-44. Therefore, TikTok ads are a golden opportunity to reach a younger audience.

There are a few ways to use TikTok for your business. First is organically, creating a channel and posting regular content to build your customer base and brand. As with all social channels, it’s time consuming and a slow burn unless you manage to hit a viral jackpot. Luckily, TikTok have paid options to reach your next customers faster….

TikTok Live Shopping

Although TikTok Shopping has been rolling out over the last year, there has been a noticeable increase in newsfeed presence over the last few weeks, especially using lives. TikTok lives are a really inventive and non-intrusive way to get sales. Don’t like the product? Swipe on. But the personal experience is just too tempting sometimes!

I’ve been suckered into making 2 purchases on TikTok in the last month. Both transactions were seamless with products shipped quickly. I was really impressed with how easy it was to buy without even leaving the live stream too. Your attention is held with little cart abandonment, as the process is short.

As you scroll videos on TikTok, you’ll enter a ‘live’ like the above where the product is being demonstrated. The maker encourages you to engage in the comments, in the case above typing your name into the chat. They then pick names and create one example live in front of you – of course my 9 year old hanging over my shoulder just HAD to have a full set of these when she saw her name on one!

There’s a shopping icon in the bottom of the live screen. Simply click this and complete your details in-app, reducing cart dropoffs. TikTok also fund a heavy discount for your first TikTok shopping purchase, making these 30 pencils, a pencil case, sharpener and shipping just £2.99. There are a high proportion of Chinese based, AliExpress style stores doing a great job on TikTok live right now.

TikTok Shopping via lives are a clever way to encourage people to purchase and gather 1st party data for future marketing. There is a viral 99p giant water bottle currently taking TikTok by storm – it’s an obvious ploy to get your email data, but that seems to be missed (or perhaps ignorance is bliss!)

Shopify x TikTok

Last year, TikTok announced its partnership with Shopify to fulfil orders driven from its platform, with Kylie Cosmetics featuring as one of the first adopters. A shopping bag icon appears in the middle of the business profile just above your page videos when active, with an Instagram-style layout of products linking directly to Shopify to complete the purchase. You can also tag products in video content similar to Facebook, giving multiple opportunities to drive sales with your organic video posts.

Shopify x TikTok
Image Source: Shopify

With Instagram Shopping, you don’t leave the website to make a purchase and use Facebook Pay to complete the transaction. With the Shopify arrangement, you’re taken to the merchant site to complete the purchase. This may change in the near future as TikTok are in pilot stage, so I’m sure they’ll rapidly develop this into the best user-friendly experience.

Traditional Paid Ads

I run TikTok ads for a few clients, and the dashboard to set these up echos Facebook ads manager, with hints of Google thrown in for good measure.

One targeting variation I love in is the ability to target on hashtags. This allows you to find people who watch videos with hashtags relevant to your business. This is particularly useful for community targeting, especially when Facebook 3rd party data continues to decline.

TikTok Advertising
Image Source: Later

TikTok Promote

For a quick and easy way to give your posts more coverage, TikTok Promote is a mobile app based tool to push your posts out to a relevant audience in seconds. You have to buy coins to get ad spend, which never add up to the amount you need (what a surprise!) For example you need 400 coins minimum to do a boost, but you have to buy 360, 720 etc, so you always have some left over. It’s relatively cheap though for the amount of video views and clicks you can achieve.

TikTok Promote is similar to Facebook boosts – it has basic targeting functionality, or you can let TikTok choose for you. One thing I don’t like is that you can’t select an audience location, so it’s not particularly useful if you’re a UK based business only for example. As with Facebook ads manager and Google expert mode, you can’t beat jumping onto the Mac and setting everything up properly for the most efficient use of your ad spend.

TikTok Shopping is in its infancy, but that makes it a great time to jump in! There is less competition, and the earlier you get the TikTok pixel installed on your website, the sooner you’ll collect data.

The main negative I’ve found is falling down a cat fail rabbit hole when I’m trying to work on the platform, but if you have more willpower, it’s perfect!

Want help setting up your TikTok ads? Get in touch!

Digifly Social - TikTok Marketing Partners