Video content is everywhere at the moment, and there’s nowhere the proof is more clearly in the pudding than TikTok. With a total of 3 billion+ downloads (phew!), this app has changed the social media landscape and is only set to grow in popularity.
But did you know that it’s now easier than ever to advertise on TikTok? As well as direct ads, you can also boost sales of your product or service via a newer feature – TikTok Shopping.
We’ll explore both TikTok ads and Shopping, the pros and cons of this new feature, and how to use it to your advantage. Let’s dive in!
What are TikTok Ads?
TikTok ads are paid-for, promoted content usually in the form of full-screen video. A brand or creator pays TikTok to promote these ads to their target audience.
There are ads, ad groups, and campaigns. A TikTok video ad might be part of an ad group, which forms part of an overall campaign for a brand or business. They’re effective, too. Even three weeks after exposure to an ad on TikTok, 72% of respondents agree the brand is more memorable.
But with TikTok already well-established, are ads still as effective as they once were? You’ll be happy to know they’re arguably more so, with ad revenue predicted to increase to $18.04 billion by the end of 2023.
An Intro to TikTok Shopping
Launched in August 2021 in collaboration with Shopify, TikTok allows you to shop without leaving the app using product links. By creating a TikTok shop, creators and brands can display and sell products directly through the app, instead of having to push users to visit an external site.
TikTok Shopping not only makes the journey from your products to the desired action shorter, but it also removes friction from the process, by not requiring users to exit the app to make a purchase.
It’s a win for TikTok, which wants to keep users glued to the app, and a win for brands and creators who want to increase their chances of selling to their target audience.
You can create shoppable videos, host live-stream shopping events, or create in-app storefronts that you can link to on your profile.
Check out the TikTok Shopping interface in these photos:
Who can use TikTok shopping?
The following users can use TikTok shopping:
To use TikTok shopping, creators must:
- Have 1,000+ followers
- Have 50+ video views in the last 28 days
- Be 18 years old
- Have posted a video on TikTok in the past 28 days.
How to Set Up a TikTok Shop
The good news is that setting up a TikTok shop is a relatively straightforward process.
- Sign up for an account here if you’re from the UK, or here if you’re from outside the UK.
- Fill out your application and you may be required to provide some form of identification. Acceptable forms of identification for UK citizens include a UK passport or driver’s license or official company documents for businesses.
- Your application will be reviewed within 1-2 days and you’ll be notified of the results.
- Once your application is reviewed, it’s time to start selling! You can add products, manage inventory, send orders, promote offers, and provide customer service, all in the Seller Centre. You can even integrate your existing Shopify store into TikTok.
What is TikTok Live Shopping?
This innovative eCommerce experience allows brands and creators to showcase their products in real-time at a livestream event, where users can buy the products directly through TikTok. Crucially, they don’t even have to leave the app.
Live shopping allows brands and consumers to interact directly, which can create a closer connection between the two. If you’re looking to give your brand a more human touch, creating a livestream shopping event provides a great way to do so.
This method of shopping is only set to grow, with live commerce purchases rising by 76% from 2020-2021 alone and 67% of users claiming TikTok inspires them to shop even when they don’t mean to. That means you don’t even need to hone down to users with purchase intent – the power of TikTok shopping convinces even opportunistic shoppers.
The Pros of TikTok Shopping
As with any type of marketing, there are benefits and downsides to TikTok shopping. Let’s first look at the pros of this type of eCommerce experience.
We’ve all been there. You’ve found a site and a product you love and you’re about to make a purchase – until you start adding to your basket. The brand asks for everything from your star sign to your cousin’s name and there are simply too many steps to be worth it.
Friction is one of the biggest conversion rate killers, so removing it is the best thing you can do for your online store. With TikTok shopping, users don’t even have to leave the app to purchase products, making it one of the most friction-free eCommerce experiences.
High conversion rate
TikTok is guaranteed to get you seen by a wide audience. TikTokers spend a significant chunk of their downtime scrolling the app – viewing over 89 minutes of content daily. In this downtime, consumers are highly suggestible to the shopping content they see, with a whopping 35% of users reporting that they’ve bought items they see from the platform.
Conversion rates like this are hard to find elsewhere! And with our top tips for creating the perfect TikTok shop (more on that later…), you can boost your conversion rates even further.
Consumers remember brands from TikTok
Having an eye-catching advert or shop means nothing if consumers forget they saw your brand the minute they switch tabs. The good news is that brands discovered via TikTok are remembered 40% more than those discovered through other mediums.
That means that while shoppers might not be ready to purchase your products in the moment, they’ll remember them next time they’re in the market for something from your niche, and hopefully return to your shop.
Reduce logistical challenges
eCommerce sellers can feel nervous about the logistical challenges of setting up yet another medium of selling. They needn’t be. TikTok’s shop tool is simple to set up and free for sellers to get started with, so it’s easy for brands to try out in the first instance without committing.
Plus, TikTok shops in the UK can now register for TikTok’s new UK fulfilment service. This helps brands cut down on logistics and ensure that purchases run smoother than ever.
The Cons of TikTok Shopping
Here are some of the more challenging aspects of setting up a TikTok shop.
The need for good content
Selling via TikTok means you’ll have to perfect your brand’s video content that appeals enough to viewers to sell your products. Alternatively, you can use influencer marketing, but this can have a hefty price tag attached. If you’re not exactly content whizz, this can be tricky to pull off (unless, of course, you call in the pros).
Sadly, selling on TikTok isn’t entirely free of charge. TikTok charges fees on purchases, which can add up over time, especially for smaller stores. The fees start at 1.8% for the first 90 days before jumping up to 50% afterwards.
If you’re a small business with a limited budget, these fees can add up to be a big outgoing expense.
Not suitable for all audiences
TikTok shops only work if your audience is spending time on TikTok. If you plan on appealing to socially-conscious Gen Zers – perfect – but if your products are aimed at the over 50s, TikTok’s probably not the best place to advertise.
Boost TikTok Shopping Sales With These 5 Easy Tips
So, by now you should have a good idea of whether TikTok shopping is right for your brand. But if you decide to go ahead, how do you ensure success?
Let’s get into it.
1. Make a product catalogue
Rather than simply promoting individual products via live streams and the like, making a product catalogue or showcase allows you to show off the best of your product range to your followers.
You can even showcase without a TikTok shop – these tend to be affiliated accounts that don’t own the brand or sell the products, but it’s an approach you could consider.
Add photos, headlines, and descriptions to give your products the best chance of success. Keep copy catchy, and remember to highlight benefits, as well as features. By this, we mean that just listing what the product does isn’t enough – you’ll need to include details about how the product helps your audience in their daily life.
2. Promote your TikTok shop elsewhere
While you’ll get a good chunk of organic engagement just from TikTok, the further and wider you share your shop, the better. Promote your TikTok channel across other social media channels and your website. That way, you’ll reach followers who didn’t even know you had a TikTok account.
Promoting on your TikTok profile is a given, too. Mention the products you’re selling in posts, live streams, and your bio. Add shoppable links to your content to remove even more friction from the buying process for your customers.
3. Engage with your audience
TikTok’s algorithm in part works on rewarding brands and creators with plenty of engagement. That means it’s partly on you to encourage engagement by replying to your audience’s comments and questions both on videos and during livestreams.
You can even jump off comments and create videos in direct response – perfect for answering customer FAQs about products.
4. Invest in influencer partnerships
By working with a content creator, you can piggyback onto their following, and introduce your products to a whole new audience. Find an influencer with the same target audience as yours who can accurately and effectively represent your brand.
While influencers should have plenty of followers, an influencer with a slightly smaller audience than the mega influencers could be better for your business. These micro-influencers (with between 10k and 50k followers) tend to have a more niche audience (ideal if you’re in a niche industry) and a more intimate relationship with their followers.
5. Join trends
Hopping onto trends is one of the easiest ways to build a following on TikTok. Making the most of viral sounds, challenges, and memes will help you engage not only your audience, but TikTok’s algorithm, too, boosting you to the top of users’ FYPs. And yes, we’re afraid this does mean you might have to get your dancing shoes on for a dance trend…
Keep your content as authentic as possible, in the style of user-generated content, to maintain your audience’s interest and add a human touch to your brand.
Use relevant hashtags, such as #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt to make it easier for users to find you. Focus on vertical videos, too, to create a cinematic full-screen experience that ensures your video content is as engaging as possible.
If you’re looking for support with your paid media, why not call in the pros? That’s us!
Here at Bind Media, we’ve got experience in working with businesses of all shapes and sizes to drive better performance through their paid media activity.
So if you’re interested in seeing how we could help you, be sure to get in touch to request your free proposal.