TikTok marketing for small businesses: Best use case (2024)

December 06, 2023

Tiktok marketing for small businesses

 Like business owners haven’t had enough on their plates with Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Linked In, Youtube, and co., now a new social media has taken over the world by storm. But isn’t TikTok that silly app where people dance? Is it so valuable for marketing?

We’ve asked experts in the field to give you the answers that confuse you when you think of TikTok marketing for small business, and also small business owners who already took their place on TikTok to share their experience and give you first-hand advice on what social media designs that set business trends on TikTok.

First-hand tips for using TikTok marketing for small business

Small business owners agree that with TikTok’s growing popularity, trending content, influencer marketing, and advertising, you will capture an audience and even grow your brand. Although TikTok attracts a young audience, using TikTok marketing for small business can put a spotlight on your brand, as it is the most widely used social platform.

Not sure how to do it? Here is the best first-hand advice you can get, from small business owners who are already down that road. Keep reading to learn from their experience.

Be brief and to the point in your messaging

TikTok is becoming a leading platform for sharing tips, tricks, and reviews of your products and services. We use it because we can connect authentically with followers and can better track the results of those connections.

TikTok lets you be very strategic in your audience targeting and gives smaller advertisers and content creators the same tools as the bigger spenders. My biggest tip to businesses looking to break into using TikTok is to be brief and to-the-point in your messaging.

Rob Freedman, VP of Marketing at Fourlane

Don’t overspend on production

As a platform that places increased emphasis on younger demographics, it is an excellent way to attract 16-24 year-olds to your product or service. However, do not expect an immediate ROI. Rather, use it as another source of validation along the customer acquisition funnel. 

Specifically, small businesses should utilize music to successfully do TikTok marketing for small business. More than anything else, however, don’t spend an extensive amount of your marketing budget on production. The most effective source for TikTok is lo-fi mobile phone videos that are simple, 15-30 seconds, and easy to understand.

Ryan Craver, Co-founder of Mallary by Matthew

Be and look comfortable

We have started using TikTok to market our real estate business, and I would advise those who want to do the same to make sure their content is entertaining. In this competitive space, some may consider options like buying TikTok views to boost visibility, but I believe in organic growth. I post real estate advice videos and virtual tours of celebrity homes.

You need your videos to be shared and liked so that they continue to reach more people. If you look uncomfortable or forced, the content won’t work for TikTok. TikTok is less about refinement and more about personality.

Khari Washington, Owner of 1st United Realty and Mortgag

Collaborate with smaller influencers

TikTok is a large beast that can fail very quickly from a business content perspective. When advertising on TikTok, utilize influencers. Find smaller influencers and partner with them to help promote your products.

B2C does the best when selling on TikTok, it is very difficult to sell B2B on a platform that is dedicated to mainly Gen Z and younger millennials. If you are not interested in partnering with influencers, stick to either content focused on humor or information. Those are the 2 genres that receive the best engagement on TikTok. 

Anthony Santomo, CEO of Gourmet Growth

Post “work in progress” videos

Posting content that shows how you make the products you sell can drastically boost brand awareness. People love to see the work that goes into creating products.

My advice to people just starting out posting on TikTok would be to stay consistent and don’t get discouraged! Shorter videos are liked better by the TikTok algorithm. Don’t take it too seriously and try to post once a day or every other day! Engage with the community you’re in and interact with your followers.

Chloe Sisson, Outreach Coordinator for Zen Media

Host contests and giveaways

We post pictures and videos of our product on TikTok. This content has allowed us to gain followers and build relationships with other businesses. We have also used TikTok to host contests and giveaways with the random people following our account and this has exponentially grown our customer base!

The one piece of advice I would give is to collaborate with TikTok Influencers. You don’t always have to hire the most popular influencers as you can hire micro or nano-influencers who you can partner with to help you get results. These smaller creators may even garner more brand engagement than their larger counterparts.

Sometimes, you may benefit from user-generated content but this will only happen if your business or content is trending. This is why it is important to be very creative while generating content.

Austin Dowse, CEO at Aimvein

Marketing on TikTok with product placement

Product placement with influencers is a special form of advertising for brands that are looking for visibility on TikTok. Unlike traditional ads that interrupt our viewing experience, product placement enables brands to be visible on TikTok in the most “natural” way possible. 

TikTok marketing for small business means you have a chance to create a non-invasive social media strategy, minimize the risk of ad-skipping, and getting the attention of people who may be difficult to reach with conventional advertising.

But as every social media platform has pros and cons, there are some downsides with TikTok as well. Unfortunately, finding the right TikTok influencers to work with can be difficult and TikTok’s dominantly young audience might not be appealing for some brands.

So before spending your time creating your marketing strategy, or agree to collaborate with an influencer, do your research well so you will maximize your chances to achieve the desired results.

Charles Bisaillon, Founder of TikTokPlacement 

When using TikTok marketing for small business, content is king

We already know how effective video marketing for small businesses is, but not every brand has the resources to create professional video content.

Therefore, the most amazing part is that TikTok is the new home of homemade vertical video, and as a result, your content does not have to look professionally produced in the same way that a traditional ad would. You can see what type of content is popular by using the ‘Discover’ feature, to check out trending content. 

As with other platforms, hashtags are also a key way of getting your posts in front of the relevant audience – pick three or four pertinent hashtags and don’t go overboard here. If you bandwagon the most popular hashtags but your video is irrelevant, it’ll be ignored, and looked upon unfavorably by the algorithm.

Reece Halkett, Digital Marketing Manager at Better Agency

Is TikTok advertising worth it?

Social media platforms, when they’re in earlier stages of development, are a bit like the Wild West. The rules are less clear-cut, and businesses can get away with more for less. Of course, over time, the Wild West gets developed, and there becomes a lot more of a structured, codified way of existing and marketing on the platform. TikTok is in the middle of this transition. 

What this means is that there are some routes that can provide major ROI and others that might completely fail. It’s entirely dependent on the business and how it exists on the platform. There are routes like traditional advertising, which places ads in users’ feeds similar to Instagram. These are great for lower-funnel KPIs, where the intent is to drive purchases on specific products. 

So, if you choose TikTok advertising besides the organic social media marketing, is entirely worth it as long as you have at least a few hundred dollars in marketing budget to test and learn. Perhaps more than any other platform, the creative execution of the ads is extremely important, as younger generations are increasingly more adept at tuning out — and calling out — brands who act (and are) out of touch. 

As with all advertising and marketing services, it, of course, helps to hire an outside expert to execute on the platform if you’re able to afford it. If not, simply learning more about the platform and its potential can get you started. In no time, TikTok will be as essential to your marketing spend as Facebook and Instagram. 

Sam Hoffman, Freelance TikTok consultant

The 3 golden rules for TikTok Marketing

TikTok brings a lot of opportunity and visibility for businesses, especially the B2C ones. If done right, TikTok can even be a launching platform where someone can test an idea and have a community before they even have something to offer.

This is what happened to my project, I started TikTok before I had anything to sell, grew my account to 170k followers, then started to monetize it.

Here are 3 tips for businesses on TikTok:

Don’t rush it!

TikTok is a new way of communicating, this is why you should take the time to understand it before posting. In order to gain visibility, you must adapt your content. Reusing an old marketing video might not fit. Spend a few hours just observing, scrolling the for you page.

It’s not Instagram

People want the entertainment, the “quick win”, to have fun or learn something. Showing off isn’t enough, you need to bring value.

Follow the trend

Keep an eye on what’s trending and adapt it to you. Don’t be scared to dance or be silly, this is your chance to show your human side. Do challenges, use the viral songs, but make sure TikTok owns the right or it’s free to use.

Claire-Lise Laplace, freelance TikTok consultant


All in all, TikTok marketing for small business has proven extremely effective for B2C businesses whose target audience are generations Z and Y. So if you have the dance moves and don’t mind showing your humorous side, this platform is perfect for you.

However, you should take into consideration that TikTok’s sketchy privacy and safety controls and practices are the reason why many companies and countries have banned it.


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