Why Australian Businesses are using TikTok to successfully grow and promote their brands

In terms of social media marketing, TikTok offers a unique video-sharing platform. Although it’s extremely popular with younger generations, it’s being used by people from every demographic. Australian businesses are using it more and more often to successfully create brand awareness, increase their reach, showcase their business and sell their products, in fun and innovative ways. 

TikTok is full of incredibly creative branded and user-generated content. The crossover between the two makes it an excellent space for word of mouth to boom. This makes it very enticing for brands wishing to reach customers, or potential customers, authentically and engagingly to build brand connection and trust. 

While it’s hard to have foreseen that an app once used purely for lip-synced videos, dance-offs and funny cat videos, has now become a key marketing platform, this is exactly what TikTok has done. Having captured the worldwide market in a unique way, it’s become a go-to for many brands’ marketing strategies.

A rapidly expanding platform to next level your business

people using smartphones

TikTok has a current Australian user base of over 7 million Australians, with 30% of people aged 16-64 in this country, using it frequently, on average, 23 hours a month.  It’s the seventh most popular social media platform here, and currently has over one billion users worldwide.

What is really incredible is TikTok’s rapid rate of growth, especially while many other social media platforms are seeing a decrease in use.  Many businesses and users appreciate its casual and fun feel, as well as its high-quality video production capabilities.

TikTok also offers access to an unparalleled commercial musical database in terms of social media platforms, and people are clearly engaging with the content. These factors give business owners and marketers an incredible array of tools for creating exciting visual content to capture your audience’s imagination. 

Next generation audiences

teenagers using phones

While many TikTok users are adults, it’s also extremely popular with young people and children. Some businesses have felt it’s too ‘young’ an audience. If you plan to be in business for a while, it makes sense to start a conversation with a whole new generation of potential customers, while you are connecting with audiences in your target demographic.

Large, well-established brands know this and have already been using TikTok to engage the attention of established, potential and future customers.

TikTok, building casual, yet powerful, brand awareness

man using phone to film video of woman cooking

Brand awareness, trust and connection with our customers are absolutely key when it comes to social media marketing. Australian business owners are using TikTok in a variety of ways to reach their audience.

Many businesses use their TikTok business account to educate customers on how to use their products and enjoy the benefits of Creators sharing content that propels their brand forward.

While some of this is done by sponsored influencers and paid campaigns, the majority of this type of content is still unpaid and organic.

Showing your brand’s behind-the-scenes story, such as how things are made, or who made them, is also an excellent way of increasing brand recognition.  Many business owners find a completely new audience on TikTok and build an interactive community while engaging with a new or untapped demographic.

How TikTok benefits Australian businesses

business woman using smartphone

Using TikTok to promote your brand or products can have an incredible impact in terms of ‘word of mouth’ credibility. It’s also a very powerful tool that brand influencers, fans and Creators can use to share their love of what your business does. It’s a bit like getting a five-star review, but on video. Just like any platform that offers advertising, it can be a bit of an art form to master, but the popularity of TikTok is a testament to its clever approach to brand awareness and promotion.

Reaching your audience in a creative, enjoyable way

The internet is full of marketing tactics that are easy to see through and overly contrived. TikTok allows businesses and daily users to express themselves in a genuine way, and get creative in the process.

Many people appreciate the realness of TikTok’s format, even if that means watching someone in their pyjamas, unscripted, sharing a genuine love of their favourite breakfast brand.

It’s the future of marketing, which has already arrived. Younger generations, who are not far from being purchasing decision makers, are well aware of this. If you are not engaging with your audience on this level already, it’s absolutely a great time to start doing so.

Brand storytelling at its best

barista in cafe looking at phone

TikTok is not only a rapidly expanding social media platform but also an excellent place to really tell your brand story. People want to know who they are doing business with and engage with them as if in person.

Let people get to know how you work. Make some content in the office, shopfront or warehouse. Introduce the great characters that make your business amazing. Let people see what else you are passionate about that ties in well with your branding.

People naturally tend to have higher trust levels in a brand or product that they can identify with, or see themself using. TikTok has a diverse audience and many Creators (users) who really embrace storytelling and sharing products they use, which makes it an excellent platform to authentically promote your brand, product or services.

Excellent algorithms

TikTok accounts are divided into two main categories when using the app, based on who someone follows – ‘Following’, and well-honed algorithms of what that person likes, in ‘For You’. ‘For You’ is exactly where you want to appear to potential customers who are not following you.

This can be achieved through the correct use of hashtags, quality organic content and paid campaigns.

Australian business TikTok success stories

From established household brand names to small owner-operated businesses, there are many examples of Australian businesses that have seen exponential growth using TikTok, a few of which we will explore below.

Mecca Cosmetica

mecca tik tok account

Image source: @meccabeauty / TikTok

Mecca Cosmetica is renowned as being one of the most iconic Australian beauty destinations. They used TikTok to grow their reach effectively,  citing a 64% increase in followers, a huge 12 million video views and 147k engagements.

Mecca has found the platform extremely useful for sharing make-up tutorials and beauty hacks, which are popular worldwide. Their content gives new and existing customers product usage education as well as constant creative inspiration.

Not only did they reach a much larger audience through their own organic content, but successfully used their TikTok Business account to run campaigns that have seen them obtain and retain a new clientele.

Sticky Candy Shop

stickyaustralia tiktok account

Image source: @stickyaustralia / TikTok

A really inspiring Australian TikTok success story is Sydney-based candy store Sticky. Sticky cite their use of TikTok as being what saved their business through the pandemic. After twenty years in business, their shop took a huge financial hit at the start of the pandemic. 

In a moment of willingness to try anything, owner David King took some business advice from his teenage daughter. She advised him to focus on social media, including embracing the use of short videos on TikTok telling the company story. Today business is thriving, and Sticky now also has a massive 5.6 million strong TikTok community supporting them, with over 172 million likes to date.

Digital bank, Up

#upbanking challenge on TikTok

Image Source: TikTok

Australian Digital Bank Up used TikTok to launch the country’s first-ever interactive gamified effect social marketing campaign. Reminiscent of PacMan, users were able to play the game and share a video of themselves eating coins. Up hit 20 million views within weeks, and also will be remembered for their innovative and rather fun approach to promoting banking.

While these three companies come from different fields and business sizes, what they have in common is the willingness to embrace the new, and benefit from TikTok as a powerful part of their social media strategy. 

Paid Vs Organic Reach

TikTok app

In terms of organic reach, TikTok Business users can both create their own content and utilise user-generated content. Content that will be shared with followers, and at times in TikTok’s ‘For You’ section, if TikTok’s algorithms feel it’s a suitable suggestion for a user. 

There are a variety of ways to utilise paid advertising on Tik To, including:

  • Brand Take Over Ads, which play when the app is opened and may have an offer attached
  • In Feed/ Native ads, which are placed between videos while a user in scrolling
  • Sponsored hashtags, which are featured on the Discover page
  • Branded filters, which are designed by a brand to be used by Creators
  • Influencer promotions, which are organised outside of TikTok advertising

TikTok ads can reach over 7 million people in Australia alone, which is too big of a market to ignore.

Getting Started: TikTok 101 for Business Owners

TikTok app on mobile, desktop and tablet

Image source: Chinnapong / Shutterstock.com

TikTok is mainly used as a mobile phone app but can be accessed on a PC or MAC for most features. You have the choice of setting up either a personal Creator account or a Business account and can easily switch between two profiles if you choose to use both.

Get set up

It’s super easy to create a TikTok Business account if you don’t already have one. Once you have registered your account, have a look through the features and create a brand profile, adding links to your site and as much information as you can.

Get familiar, and get inspired

Before you start using TikTok for your business, we suggest spending some time getting to know the app and checking out what others in your arena are creating and sharing.

Look at hashtags relevant to your industry and browse content. Follow some brands, creators and influencers that are making content you enjoy. This can be done from a personal account, in the name of research, of course! Have a play with the different features and get to know the user interface.

Start creating

It can seem quite daunting to start out on TikTok if it isn’t a tool you would usually use. Think about different ways you can tell your brand story, or showcase a product in a unique light. Keep it fun. Think outside the square. Ask yourself, does this feel entertaining, or scripted? 

Talk about successes and challenges. Invite people to watch products being made. Show viewers how your day unfolds. Read a great email from a customer. Let people know how you get started. Basically, just show them you and your brand! Inspire, motivate, entertain and casually inform! 

Creating impressive content on TikTok

two people watching video on phone

As a business owner, it’s an ever-evolving challenge to create effective online content and campaigns that reach your target audience. Using TikTok’s tools well can be a game changer for your brand.

Our tips for creating great videos on TikTok:

  • Ensure you have quality lighting and clear audio
  • Master TikTok’s editing capabilities – transitions, music, filters and captions are so important to a great finished product
  • Keeping up to date with what is trending
  • Keep the tone entertaining and informal

Some suggestions for types of content to share:

  • Tell your story and your brand story
  • Share behind-the-scenes content
  • Let people know what they didn’t already know about what you do, that is helpful.
  • Do a masterclass series. TikTok has expanded its video length to ten minutes this year, which gives you a huge space to convey your message
  • Share case studies, showing how your brand has benefitted the lives of others
  • Share industry insights to gain credibility
  • Advise on how to get into your industry, for people who are inspired to do so

Most importantly – use the right hashtags!

Hashtags are an essential part of TikTok marketing. This is how potential customers will find your brand. Research well, and ensure the hashtags you use are relevant to your content. Make use of trending hashtags also, as they can bring a whole new audience to your business.

Stay inspired and creative

TikTok is a great platform for being creative or doing things differently. It allows space to show your brand in less formal terms. Make time on an ongoing basis to keep up with relevant trends and stay open to showcasing your brand in new and innovative ways. 

Utilise TikTok’s commercial music library

We all know that ad companies tirelessly seek brilliant soundtracks for campaigns. TikTok has a vast collection of music available for commercial content. Used well, they can bring to life video content in a really impactful way!

Ready to embrace TikTok but need some expert guidance creating content that converts?

If you are ready to start using TikTok to expand your business reach, First Page Digital can help you to get started, and see results. We can proudly say that we’ve already helped businesses here and worldwide achieve immense success using TikTok, as well as Instagram and Facebook.

Our team is truly excited about the benefits we have seen TikTok bring to Australian brands. As early adopters of TikTok ourselves, we can genuinely say we never looked back after getting started and can help your business do the same.

Get in touch with us today to book a social media strategy session. Let us share our expertise and bring your brand up with the best on TikTok.

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