Dominating TikTok: 16 Expert Tips For Growing Your Consumer Brand In 2023

Lynne Clement

Tuesday Mar 14th, 2023

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Looking to grow your consumer product on TikTok? Ditch the sales pitch and connect with your target audience by entertaining them. TikTok’s focus on creating joy continues to attract new users and break the mold of social media. By keeping users engaged longer, TikTok serves more ads and generates more sales. Even the most mundane product--a household sponge--can spread joy, go viral and generate more sales. If a sponge brand can explode on TikTok, so can you! Here are 16 tips for a fast start on TikTok.


1. Understand the TikTok algorithm

TikTok serves a unique mix of content to each user in their personalized “For You” feed. TikTok selects content “For You” based on your interests and interactions. TikTok's algorithm considers the videos you watch, the videos you like and share, and the accounts you follow.

When deciding which videos to serve, TikTok judges each video on its own merit. Each new video has the potential for virality. Thus, accounts with a small following can grow by posting engaging content.


2. Know your audience

The brand that understands its audience best will win on TikTok. You need content that resonates with your target audience. But quality does not equate to production value. Rather, it's about engagement.

Don't know what to post? Start by learning what the algorithm is serving your ideal target customers. Communities and hashtags are one way to find your target audience.

Another way is to act like your target customer. Start a TikTok account and search as if you are your target audience, and see what TikTok serves you.


3. Understand the TikTok Culture

TikTok users are looking for a fun, uplifting experience, and entertainment. Successful brand content fits this need.

TikTok’s culture is one where everyone can find a community to explore their interests. Communities exist for many interests – and more communities pop up as new users join the platform. CleanTok, MomTok, Eco_Tok, Sustainability TikTok, FoodTok, CarTok, and BookTok are a few examples. Find and learn from the communities that already exist for products or solutions like yours.

Experiment with different types of content to learn what works with your audience. Not all content types work well for all audiences. Popular content types on TikTok are: humorous, educational, reviews, hashtag challenges, influencer collaborations, dance challenges, tutorials, and DIY.


4. Create some searchable content.

Is Gen Z important to you? According to Google, nearly 40% of Gen Zs use TikTok or Instagram instead of Google for search queries.

How can you reach Gen Zs through TikTok searches? First, identify what questions your target audience is asking or problems that need to be solved. Then, create content on TikTok to answer their questions or provide solutions.

Five places to incorporate keywords in your video to make it more searchable:
- on the cover slide
- in the video text
- in your spoken script, especially in the first three seconds
- in your caption
- as a hashtag

Searchable content (i.e., long-term content) may be different from the trending content (i.e., short-term content) that goes viral. Both types of content are important, and each helps you meet a different goal. Find the right mix for your brand.


5. Test, learn, and try again

Brands should take advantage of TikTok’s analytics. Pay attention to what works for your brand and what doesn’t, until you find a strategy that works. Expect failures and learn from them by trying a different approach.


6. Post regularly

Being active on any social platform is key to succeeding. TikTok is no different. For the greatest growth and engagement, brands should post three to four times per day.


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You may be wondering how you can post three to four times per day. Take part in trends. Create green screens. Share behind the scenes. Feature industry news. Do short skits. Get help from content creators or influencers.


7. Engage with followers

Assign a team member to respond to comments and messages. This person can watch for user comments and questions to inspire more content. Learn how to reply to TikTok comments with a video.


8. Collab with TikTok creators

Influencers can help you reach a larger audience, save you the time of content creation, and lend social proof and credibility to your brand. For best results, use an organic approach that relies on the strength of your product and an authentic message from the creator in their own words.

To expand your exposure to new audiences, work with many influencers. They can create relatable content and help your brand earn trust and testimonials.

Because TikTok doesn’t use follower count in its algorithm, you can work with a large number of up-and-coming creators. These nano and micro creators are not only more affordable, but you'll also get more content and increased reach. Plus, you can test a variety of content to see what works–and doesn’t.


9. Align video length to your goals

TikTok data shows videos between 21 and 34 seconds are optimal for both conversion rates and impressions. Videos within this timeframe show a 280% increase in conversion and a 2% increase in impressions. Shorter videos--between 10 and 20 seconds long--help boost impressions if that is your only goal. But if you are trying to convert, the 21 to 34 second length works best.


10. Post at the right time

As with any platform, test posting at different times and see what works best for your audience.


11. Add humor

Adding humor to your TikTok content can help make it more engaging and increase the likelihood of it going viral.


12. Use trending hashtags

Hashtags are an important part of TikTok's content strategy. Use a combination of high-use hashtags to reach new users and niche-specific hashtags. TikTok makes it easy to hop on trends by sharing the hashtags trending in the last seven days. See what’s trending in the United States on TikTok?


13. Get inspired by successful TikTok brands

Having trouble finding creative ways to engage with your target audience? Scoop inspiration from brands that have figured it out. The top 10 brands on TikTok are Duolingo, San Diego Zoo, Chipotle, e.l.f., Nuggs, Gucci, Crocs, Topical, Vessi, and The Washington Post, according to Social Champ.


14. Avoid the hard sell

Although 37% of users discovered something on TikTok and immediately went to buy it, TikTok is not a place for hard sales tactics. Earning attention on TikTok means being entertaining.

On TikTok, entertaining ads are funny, personalized, and uplifting, according to TikTok’s Marketing Science Global Entertaining Ads Study 2022.


15. Use a call-to-action for every post

The key to success with TikTok calls-to-action (CTA) is to be specific. Instead of a general CTA like “Follow for more cleaning tips,” align your CTA with the promise of the post, such as: “Follow for more 1-minute cleaning hacks.”


16. Abide by the TikTok Community Guidelines

TikTok removes posts that do not align with its Community Guidelines. Be mindful that any content that targets children or could be considered inappropriate for children will be removed. Alcohol brands should review TikTok’s guidelines related to alcohol content.

To learn more about how ApexDrop helps brands work with TikTok creators at scale, schedule a free strategy session today.