Have you ever wondered how to sell on Tiktok? Maybe you are thinking, “Shouldn’t I be selling on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram?”
It's true that those platforms are very profitable to market on. But, recent reports have shown that TikTok is something you don’t want to miss out on. Let’s find out what exactly TikTok is.
You see, Tiktok is a short-video-oriented app. Unlike other social media, TikTok is hyper-personalized to you. Whether you are a newcomer or not, when you first get on the app, a video starts playing right in front of you. And you will feel intrigued by what video you will see next.
The app makes it so easy and intuitive to look for more entertainment. All you need to do is swipe up, and the next video will show up. It could be a video of identical twins dancing together, or a pet lover dressing up his pet with a colorful costume or someone trying to walk with her custom-made “airpod high heels." You will be surprised at what you find, but you will undoubtedly find your favorite types of videos.
TikTok algorithms learn what types of video you like by tracking how long you watch a video and how fast you swipe away. Later on, the main feed will show more of the videos you are most likely interested in.
The main difference in TikTok is the heavy focus on short videos. Unlike other popular social media platforms, all you can find on TikTok is mostly 15 - 60 second videos. (You can still upload a video that is longer than 60 seconds).
The second main difference is its unique, goofy culture. On TikTok, you often find endless musical clips, lip-sync videos, memes, and dancing duets. You might think, “Who is going to watch that?” But these videos are contagious. They are short, highly interactive, and engaging. You will laugh at people doing silly challenges and be amazed at how creative they are.
Yes, it sounds ridiculous. With a goofy culture like this on TikTok, the real question for you as a marketer is how do you sell on this app?
First, let me explain why you should care about TikTok.
From the first quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2019, TikTok had over 1.5 billion downloads worldwide. It ranked number 1 as the most downloaded app on the app store. It beat YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.
TikTok is now available in 155 countries and in 75 languages. Although the biggest audiences are from China (mostly the Douyin version) and India, the U.S. population that uses TikTok is impressive. There are 26.5 million monthly active users in the U.S.
You see, in late 2019, lifetime users spent $175 million worldwide on TikTok, with Americans spending $62.4 million on it. It means the U.S. is the second biggest revenue source for TikTok (consisting of 35.7 percent). This is followed by U.K. users who spent about $6.9 million, which is the third biggest number (consisting of 3.9 percent). Therefore, even though TikTok is more prevalent in Asia, nearly 40% of the revenue is from western countries.
According to online magazine DigiDay, TikTok has been meeting with U.S. advertising agencies for future advertising offerings. The company will undoubtedly focus on western audiences like the U.S. and the U.K. in the future.
More astoundingly, 9 out of 10 TikTok users use the app multiple times a day. People say it is highly addictive, and they cannot stop themselves once they start using TikTok. People spend an average of 52 minutes on it each day, mostly for quick entertainment either when they are bored or commuting to work or school.
Now TikTok has more than 17 billion average views per month. There’s no mistake that there’s a massive potential in TikTok. Even GaryVee, one of the top influencers and business entrepreneurs, has been a big supporter of using TikTok for marketing. His followers on TikTok now total over 2.9 million.
With a highly engaging environment and less competition, this marketing platform is one that you should not ignore. Now you know why you should care so let’s get to how to sell on TikTok.
Before you use TikTok to sell, ask yourself: “Who is your audience? What kind of short videos would they like to see?”
You see, the majority of TikTok users are young, with 66% of worldwide users below the age of 30. In the U.S. alone, 60% of monthly active users are Generation Z (16 - 24 years old).
Even though TikTok is dominated by teenagers today, the latest figures show that more and more U.S. adults are using TikTok. From October 2017 to March 2019, the number of TikTok adult users rose from 2.6 million to 14.3 million. In less than 18 months, TikTok adult users grew by 5.5 times. Soon, we will see more and more adults using TikTok as part of their social media.
Therefore, TikTok is an ideal platform for you if your target audience is Gen Z and Gen Y (25 -35 years old).
But before making your video, you should know who you are selling to. These questions can give you some clear ideas:
What is the age range of your target audience?
What is their gender?
Where do they live?
What language do they speak? (How do they talk to their peers?)
What is their education level?
What types of videos do they watch on TikTok?
Who do they follow on social media?
Once you know who your target audience is, we can move on to the second part of how to sell on TikTok.
In this part, you will need to build trust. If you haven’t built any trust with your target audience, it is almost impossible to sell them in just 60 seconds. So, you must first build trust by delivering free content.
Here, you are focusing on high engagement, such as likes, comments, and views. You will need to create entertaining and educational short videos. This will take some time, but you will build your followers, and the reward will be huge.
So what kind of short videos should you make?
Let me share a few ideas with you:
Story: Share your stories. Tell your audience why you do what you do, what your brand stands for. Personalize your brand and connect with your audience.
How-To Tutorial: Make a quick video to demonstrate step-by-step tutorials, or share your knowledge and expertise that can help your audience to solve their problems.
Behind-The-Scenes: Make a short video of your team. Demonstrate how you make your product. Showcase your work culture.
Q&A: Pick one question from your audience at a time. Make a short video to answer it.
Hashtag Challenge or Meme: Pick a trending hashtag challenge. Make a funny and entertaining video with your team. It is an excellent way to connect with the users on TikTok.
Also, you can focus on positive brand sentiments such as brand mention and user-generated content. Invite your fans to make a TikTok video about how they feel after using one of your products. This will increase your brand awareness.
Then, we can move on to the third part of how to sell on TikTok.
Once you’ve built your followers list and gained their trust, you can create a straightforward sales offer video. It can be 15 seconds to 60 seconds, or even a few minutes, as long as it isn't so long that you lose the attention of your audience.
Here are a few simple steps you can follow to create your video:
Grab Attention: Capture your audience’s attention by making an interesting entrance like sitting in a strange place and cracking a joke. Also, choose a suitable tone, such as comedic, emotional, honest, or silly.
Talk About Problems/Pains: Mention the problem that the prospects are facing in their life. For example, “Do you have an ulcer in your mouth, and it hurts so much that you can’t eat for days?”
Your Promise: Make a promise that will solve their problem. For example, “I’ve been using this medicine to treat ulcers. It is very effective, and your pain will go away in one day.”
Your Offer: Mention the name of the product and the price. For example, "Here’s the ‘ulcer elixir.’ When you buy it today, you can get 20% off. It only costs $5.”
With trust and credibility already built up through content videos on TikTok, it would be much easier for you to sell through a straight-forward sales offer video.
Then, we come to the last part of how to sell on TikTok.
Another way to create a sales-oriented video is through storytelling. What’s a better way to sell than telling a story? You see, a story can bypass our conscious mind into the unconscious mind. People love to hear a story.
One of the highest performance ads in history is The Wall Street Journal. The story of the tale of two men helped The Wall Street Journal generate $2 billion. That’s how compelling a good story can be. And you can use that power in your sales video.
Here are a few simple steps to create a story in your sales video:
Time: When does the story begin? For example, “on a beautiful late spring afternoon.”
Place: Where is it? For example, “the 25 year reunion party at a college.”
Event: What happened? For example, “Two men who were alike met at the 25th reunion party. They had similar personalities, similar grades, and similar ambitions. But, one was president of a company, and the other was a small department manager."
Moral: What can we learn? For example, "One became the president because he knew how to make use of knowledge, and the other didn’t. So, to be successful, you need to have the knowledge and know how to apply it.”
Offer: What are you offering? For example, “The Wall Street Journal is one of the best sources for business, money, and investing. You can get for $10.”
Here’s an example of how to sell on TikTok with a sales-oriented video weaved into storytelling.
Even though TikTok is filled with goofy videos and silly challenges, this is how Gen Z connects with social media.
Moreover, TikTok is still very new, just like when Snapchat was popular with younger audiences first, then became popular with older audiences. Over time, there will be more and more adults using TikTok. We will begin to see the shift in TikTok’s culture. Nevertheless, if you are marketing to Gen Z or Gen Y, TikTok is undoubtedly one of the best platforms because it will help you to build trust quickly and spread your brand easily.
Are you looking for someone who knows how to sell on TikTok? Hire a dedicated copywriter who can write an engaging story and a great sales video script to help you create a converting video on TikTok.
Eddie Lam is a trained and certified copywriter. His great passion for advertising, marketing, and sales has led him to ventures like eCommerce, investing, and business. He also likes advanced technology, and he is a big fan of Apple. He now devotes his time to help businesses to grow by being a great copywriter.Hire Eddie