The E-Commerce TikTok Marketing Handbook


TikTok has exploded in popularity in the last two years. What used to be a pre-teen-exclusive dancing app has turned into an entertainment hub for users of all ages. The organic and paid opportunities for brands is unprecedented. this handbook will teach you how to tap into the marketing mammoth that is TikTok.

1: TikTok: A History

2: TikTok for Business

3: TikTok Pro Account

4: TikTok Strategies

5: Attracting E-Commerce visitors from TikTok

6: Creating TikTok Ads

7: Final Thoughts

TikTok: A History

Tiktok was first developed by the Chinese tech company, ByteDance, in 2016. By then, it was called Douyin, a video-sharing social networking app like Facebook and Instagram. However, the app’s name was later changed to TikTok, an entertainment platform growing in popularity with over 800 million users in less than five years. The app currently has more than two billion downloads on the App Store and Google Play, making it a serious competitor against established apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Tiktok is more popular with the Gen Z audience, who use the platform to share popular music, dance clips, and short videos. Although initially launched as an entertainment platform, the app has since evolved beyond its purpose and can also be used as a marketing platform for e-commerce businesses. In this post, we take you through everything you need to know about doing business on TikTok and how you can promote your e-commerce business on the platform.

TikTok for Business

Tiktok is currently one of the most popular social media platforms. Its target audience is mostly Gen Z. Given the large number of users on TikTok, it’s a good marketing platform for e-commerce companies specializing in targeted products. According to a 2021 report, the app’s users have purchasing power as high as $335.6 billion.

This means that there’s considerable revenue that e-commerce businesses could generate from the platform. TikTok’s primary audience is people aged below 34, usually aged 16 and 24, but the demographics of adult TikTok users have grown considerably. TikTok is currently available in 75 languages and more than 155 markets.

The average TikTok user spends about 50 minutes daily on TikTok, with over 90% of users logging in to the app at least twice a day. These statistics indicate that if you invest in the right niche, your e-commerce business could find a good market on TikTok given its vast target customers.

The good news is that you don’t have to pay to do business on TikTok. The platform is available to business owners for free. The app has two accounts that you can create: private mode for entertainment and pro mode for business.

With pro mode, you can access statistics and analytical data about your followers, plus how they engage with your content on the platform. The pro mode also allows you to track your ad performance and e-commerce metrics on the app. An example of ecommerce brands using pro mode on TikTok is Shopify. TikTok also enables you to alternate between your private and pro account anytime.

How To Switch To A TikTok Pro Mode Account

To switch to a pro mode account for your business on TikTok, you must have a TikTok account first. Once you have the account, go to your profile page and click on the privacy and settings icon. Click on Join TikTok Testers and enter your phone number as requested. Follow the prompts to complete the application. Once the pro mode has been activated, you’ll have access to:

  • Profile views and sources of your traffic;
  • Your most trending videos, likes, comments, shares, views, and playtime;
  • Follower histories for the past 7 or 28 days;
  • Audience information includes age, gender, and location;
  • Details on the trending content.

Developing A Marketing Strategy On TikTok

The first step to developing your marketing strategy on the platform is knowing your target audience. You need to decide if you want a general audience or to niche down. Once you’ve decided on the ideal audience you want to target, consider other factors like their age, location, gender, career interests, relationship status, favorite apps, etc. Explore further details that address your audience’s needs and motivate them to buy your products and services—for example, the audience’s current stage in life, education, etc.

You can use the pro mode tool to make this process efficient and straightforward. You can also use the For You page on the platform to discover all this audience information and then target the best market. Remember that your target market will be mainly composed of young people below 28, so follow these tips to create the best market strategies:

  • Keep your videos short: The best way to keep your audience hooked to your video is to make it catchy enough within the first three seconds. These three seconds are enough to give them an idea of what the clip is about and why they should watch it. Shorter clips lasting no more than 20 seconds are more likely to be watched more than once and reshared than longer ones of 60 seconds or more.
  • Keep it funny: Posting funny content is one way to draw viewers’ attention. That’s one thing that makes TikTok so popular. When you make your audience laugh, they’ll want to check you out and might be interested in knowing more about your e-commerce brand.
  • Keep it emotional: If you can’t make the content entertaining, you can make it dynamic and relatable. For example, you can address a common problem most people face and demonstrate how your products address that problem.
  • Keep up with the trends: TikTok’s primary focus is what’s trending: latest music, latest dance styles, latest life hacks, latest fashion, and even the latest movies. Find a creative way to incorporate these into your content.
  • Keep it professional: Today’s digital generation has an eye for high-quality visuals. No one wants to waste their time watching poorly shot videos from low-quality equipment. Invest in the best video shooting equipment and cameras for high-quality content.

Attracting Viewers to Your E-Commerce Platform

If your TikTok account is solely for business, ensure that your TikTok home page is linked to your business page. This way, viewers can easily click on the link when they visit the page. And like your other e-commerce marketing content, your TikTok should have a call to action prompting the visitor to check out your bio link. This way, users can visit your business page to learn more about your e-commerce business. If they like what they see, your next job is to wait for sales to start trickling in.

Creating Ads On Tiktok

Thankfully, Tiktok doesn’t require you to make ads to market your e-commerce brand, unlike other social media platforms. However, it’s an option you can choose when you want to advance your marketing efforts. You might also want to use ads to establish your brand on the platform, especially if you’re still new and less known. And if you’re going to develop yourself further, you can pay $79 per month to create an in-app marketplace provided by TikTok in partnership with Shopify.

Step by Step Ad Creation Instructions

Creating and running a successful TikTok ad campaign that delivers results has been a huge effort for many eCommerce business owners and marketers. By following these simple steps, you’ll be easy on your way to business success!

Decide the type of ad you desire to run.

There are three types of TikTok Ads that you can choose from – In-feed video ads, brand takeovers, and hashtag challenges. In-feed video ads are short videos that appear between other videos in the TikTok feed. Brand takeovers are full-screen ads that appear when a user opens the app. Hashtag challenges are creative campaigns that encourage users to submit their videos using a specific hashtag.

Set up your ad account.

TikTok’s Ads Manager is where all the magic happens – this is where you create, manage and track your ad campaigns. To create a TikTok Ad, you’ll need to set up an ad account on the TikTok for Business website. Once you’ve logged in, click on the ‘Create an Ad’ button and select the ‘In-feed Video Ads’ option.

Choose your video.

Next, you’ll need to choose the video/photo you want to use for your ad. This can be a pre-existing video from your TikTok account or a new one you upload specifically for the ad campaign. Ensure that the video is high quality and less than 60 seconds long.

Write your ad copy.

Once you’ve selected your video, you’ll need to write your ad copy. This text will appear in your video in the TikTok feed. Keep it short and to the point – you only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention on TikTok.

Select your target audience.

When setting up your ad campaign, you’ll be able to select your target audience. Make sure that you choose an audience that is likely to be interested in your product or service. TikTok users are largely divided into Generation Z (ages 13-22) and millennials (ages 23-37).

When creating your campaign, you’ll consider which groups you want to reach. TikTok lets you tailor your adverts based on location, age, gender, and hobbies. This guarantees that your ad reaches the intended audience, boosting the likelihood of its success.

Set your budget and start date.

Finally, you’ll need to set your budget and start date for the ad campaign. TikTok Ads are priced on a cost-per-view basis, so you’ll only be charged when someone watches your ad. You can also set a daily budget limit to control how much you’re spending on the campaign.

Review and submit your ad.

Once you’ve finished setting up your ad, click on the ‘Review’ button and make sure everything looks good. Once your ad is ready, and you’re happy with it, launch it and watch the clicks roll in! Click on the ‘Submit’ button, and your ad will start running.

Things to Note Before, During, and After Developing TikTok Ads

Since TikTok is a visual platform, your videos are key in your ad campaign. Ensure they’re high quality and engaging and that they align with your overall marketing goals. Remember to keep your messaging clear and concise—you only have a few seconds to catch someone’s attention on TikTok.

Choose your product. 

What are you promoting? Make sure you have a clear idea of what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to before moving on.

Identify your marketing goals for the TikTok campaign.

Do you want to raise brand awareness, attract traffic to your website, or boost sales? Knowing what you want to accomplish will help you determine which type of ad is right for you. Once you know what you’re aiming for, you can tailor your content and strategy accordingly.

Optimize your posts for reach.

TikTok is a highly competitive platform, so you’ll need to ensure your content is as discoverable as possible. Use relevant hashtags, post during peak hours, and collaborate with popular TikTok users to get more views (and potential customers).

Measure your results.

It’s important to track your progress and see how you’re doing. Use analytics tools to measure your reach, engagement, and conversions. This will help you fine-tune your strategy and ensure you’re getting the most out of your TikTok campaign.

Keep the ads fresh.

TikTok users are a fickle bunch, so you’ll need to keep your content fresh and interesting if you want to keep their attention. Ensure to keep an eye on the results and make changes as needed. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to try something new. Experiment with different videos, posts, and collaborations to see what works best for your brand.

And that’s it! By following these steps, you can create a successful TikTok ad campaign that reaches your target audience, attract more customers, and drives exemplary results. Good luck!



Final Thoughts

TikTok is an excellent platform to keep up with the latest and popular trends. These latest trends could be about what your e-commerce brand is currently offering. If you’re not already using the platform to push sales, it’s time to get out there, be your creative self, and generate revenue from the untapped Gen Z market. 

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