How to Get Your E-Commerce Brand Started on TikTok

April 4, 2022
by Ashley R. Cummings

Even though TikTok is new in the social media world, it has already proven to be an outstanding tool to help e-commerce businesses thrive.

Tools like TikTok Shopping, trends like hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, and copycatting business features from Douyin (the Chinese version of the app), have made it possible for e-commerce brands to reach consumers in ways that were simply not possible before the advent of TikTok.

What’s more:

The power of TikTok cannot be understated and targeting that enormous potential should be a central pillar to any e-commerce marketing strategy. 

No matter what kind of business you’re in, you’ll find your target demographic on TikTok. To help you reach these consumers, let’s take a closer look at how to get started on the platform.

Enter the Domain of TikTok 

Before setting up your account, it’s important to define your goals for joining TikTok. Do you want to use it as a branding tool? Sell your products on TikTok Shopping? Use it as a product discovery tool? 

When you know what your goals are, you can tailor your TikTok marketing strategy accordingly. Once you have defined your goals, you’re ready to officially launch your account. Here’s how.

The first step is to open a business TikTok account, as opposed to a private or creator account. Business accounts allow you to publish ads, and come with access to many features that will help you expand your brand’s presence. 

For example, real-time performance tracking, analytics, and website linking are all important tools you get access to with a business account. TikTok also partners with platforms like Shopify, which means you can leverage pixel tracking, adopt re-targeting strategies, and unify your campaign planning. 

Here’s how to create your business account:

  1. Complete the easy sign-up process.
  2. Go to the “Me” tab.
  3. Select “Manage account” and click on “Switch to Business Account” (for some people, this section might show as “Switch to Pro Account”).
  4. Select “Next” and follow the steps to optimize your profile.

That’s it! You’re officially ready to start creating.

Follow Other Successful Brands on TikTok

There are many businesses with a robust TikTok presence that you can look to for ideas. These brands are using the power of original, entertaining content to reach their audience, drive more traffic and sales, and build brand awareness. 

Take Farmer’s Dog, for example. Farmer’s Dog is winning the hearts of millions by posting content we all love—adorable dog videos. 

The dog videos are organic, interesting, on-brand, and attract the perfect audience—people who have and love dogs, and want to buy The Farmer’s Dogs products. 

Smyth Jewelers is another example to check out on TikTok. What’s particularly interesting about this brand is it’s a 100-year-old brand. However, it’s not relying on 100-year-old (or even 2 year old) marketing strategies.

Instead, Smyth Jewelers has pivoted its marketing strategy to build an audience on the platform where young couples spend time—TikTok.

By creating a fun TikTok presence and leveraging TikTok’s business tools, Smyth Jewelers is tapping into a younger customer base.

These e-commerce brands are killing it with their TikTok marketing strategies—and you can too. To ride the current TikTok momentum and to stay one step ahead, follow fun business accounts, and like-minded accounts, including close competitors. 

Keeping tabs on what similar companies are doing within your industry will help you stay on top of industry news and conduct competitor analysis. 

Be Authentic and Partner with Creative Influencers

Now’s your time to shine. Your content speaks for itself and will be the primary driver of your audience growth. To spark some ideas, take a look at the TikTok legends (e.g., elf, Cosmetics, Netflix, Dunkin’ Donuts, Gymshark, Chipotle, etc.) and see the kind of work they’re doing. 

Once you have some ideas, remember the most important tip. Create TikToks that look like… well, TikToks. Making your videos look like polished, branded ads could serve as the kiss of death to driving audience engagement. 

Don’t believe it? Statistics show that 63% of consumers trust what influencers say about brands over what brands say about themselves.

As such, ditch polished long-form videos, and leverage the TikTok influencer network. Partner with creators who have an audience similar to yours and pay them to create original videos for your brand.

A company doing this very effectively is Chipotle. They’re targeting the Gen Z audience (extremely active on TikTok) by using influencers like David Dobrik, Avani, Zahra, Zachary King, and more. 

The final result of this partnership? It has skyrocketed Chipotle’s visibility and increased its digital sales by 99% from 2018 to 2019. Stephanie Purdue, the company’s VP of brand marketing, credits their TikTok marketing strategy for the rapid growth.

Reflect and Revise Your TikTok Marketing Strategy 

Testing is a huge part of every digital marketing strategy—TikTok or otherwise. Here’s what Joe Conklin, a TikTok influencer with over 2.2 million followers, has to say about the importance of testing strategies and landing on methods that keep people’s attention: 

“The fact is people's attention spans are shrinking each year, and TikTok showcases how quickly people can be bored with something.

They want to move on to the next piece of content. So that's the next step after you have a good hook: to keep the viewer watching your video. You want to educate and entertain your audience, let them walk away with something they are going to remember, or better yet feel motivated to take the next step and follow you. Or even better than that, purchase your product or service.”

The app itself recommends posting one to four times a day, and you can check analytics every seven, 28, or 60 days (you can customize this time period in your settings too). 

Here are a few easy ways to up your TikTok digital marketing strategy—and remember, test which of these work for your specific e-commerce business:

  1. Use hashtags to drive traffic
  2. Make TikTok a part of your content strategy
  3. Explore the marketplace to see what your competitors are doing
  4. Partner up with influencers to boost your product’s visibility
  5. Post at peak traffic hours

Go Conquer the TikTok World

If done correctly, TikTok can become the best part of your marketing strategy. The catch is you have to keep the content flowing constantly, and you have to creatively keep your TikToks from looking like paid ads even if they are. Authenticity and originality are key to your success.

If you’re overwhelmed with trying to figure out which strategies will work for you in an eternally shifting digital landscape, and not sure where to start with developing your TikTok marketing strategy, we’re here for you. 

adQuadrant develops performance-based marketing strategies, and we’ve been trusted by brands like Fashion Nova, Aventon, Pretty Little Thing, and more. If you’re an ambitious e-commerce brand looking to take your digital marketing strategy to the next level using the hottest tools of today’s digital world, we can do the same for you. 

To get started on a TikTok marketing strategy that can amplify your message and grow your sales numbers, get in touch with us.

About the author: Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer and content marketing consultant specializing in e-commerce, marketing, and SaaS. Connect with her on Twitter.

More Articles