TikTok Selling: How to Drive Traffic & Sales from TikTok

tiktok selling

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Well, well, well

If it isn’t TikTok reigning supreme YET AGAIN.

Listen, we love TikTok for an uncountable number of reasons.

But right now we’re getting into TikTok selling and why it drives traffic and sales for brands. Plus, we’re giving away some expert tips on how to sell on TikTok if you’re new to the game.

  1. What is TikTok business marketing?
  2. How to sell on TikTok
  3. Top SIX tips for promoting your brand on TikTok
  4. Final thoughts on how to sell on TikTok


What is TikTok business marketing?

TikTok is THE place to be when it comes to marketing your business and reaching audiences. According to Sensor Tower, it’s the most downloaded app in the world. And Cloudfare says TikTok consistently ranks as the most visited website on the internet. Here are some other must-know TikTok facts we borrowed from Omnicore:

  • 1.2B monthly active users
  • 138M monthly active users in the US
  • 656M total app downloads in 2021
  • $824.4M spent in Q4 2021

That’s a lot of people, and a lot of money.

So it’s no wonder that brands everywhere are flocking to the short-form video app. That’s where all the customers are! Not to mention, those customers have serious purchasing power.

TikTok also offers brands access to a special side of the app: TikTok for business. Brands can create business accounts to set up in-app shops (i.e. social commerce). They can also access interesting audience insights, and link to digital storefronts.

How to sell on TikTok

There’s no ONE way to win at TikTok selling … but there are BETTER ways. So let’s get into it, shall we?

Build a TikTok marketing strategy for your brand

Before you can sell on TikTok, you have to come up with a game plan. Or, what we call in the biz, a marketing strategy!

First up, know who your target audience is and where they are on TikTok. For example, if your target audience is Gen Z, they’re on a different “side” of TikTok than Millennials, Gen X, and so on. So, you gotta know who your people are.

Next, know which products work well on TikTok. If you look at a top beauty brand like Lancôme, they don’t sling EVERY last product they offer.
Lancome tiktok shopping

Instead, their shop has a carefully curated carousel of FIVE cosmetics that’s:

  • Fun to browse
  • Highly visual
  • Easy to shop

Think “less is more.”

And this isn’t the only example of brands having “short and sweet” product collections:

Urban Decay only lists 18 products.
brand selling on tiktok

And Freck Beauty has 14.
tiktok shop

The reason WHY this strategy works is because it’s (you guess it) targeted. Brands that know where their audience is on TikTok, and what they want, get the sales.

Speaking of …

Optimize your TikTok account to drive sales

Your TikTok profile introduces your brand to your audience. So it’s important, but it also has to be short and sweet. 

So go ahead and describe your brand in a few (powerful) words in your TikTok bio. Then remember to embed your TikTok feed somewhere on your website.

Once that’s all done, it’s time to CREATE! Make videos, collab with creators, and have fun with hashtag challenges.

Oh! And don’t forget to include a call-to-action (CTA). It should encourage your audience to shop, explore, or reach out.

Create a Business (or Pro) TikTok

Make sure your TikTok account is a business account. The reason this is important is that business accounts unlock valuable app features. This includes account insights, shopping integration, and the ability to run paid ads.

Plus, business accounts let you access other tools including:

Insights about content performance and audience data.

TikTok’s business content guide that offers up advice on topics, sounds, and trends.

TikTok’s Video Showcase that features top-performing content from businesses and creators.

A commercial music library with over 150K royalty-free sounds for business use.

The web business suite that lets brands download analytics, access business insights, and check out tips from the Business Creative Hub.

So … if you haven’t made the switch, now’s the time!

But first, here’s a quick note about what’s allowed (and what’s not allowed) in TikTok ads. Here are the specs you should know about BEFORE making any ad-worthy content:

Images … they gotta be JPG or PNG, and 1200 x 628 px is recommended.

If you want to upload video, TikTok only accepts MP4, MOV, MPEG, 3GP, or AVI. Keep video resolution to any of these: 720 x 1280, 640 x 640, or 1280 x 720 pixels. Lastly, video ads should be between 5 and 60 seconds (but usually, the shorter the better).

Aspect ratios have to be 9:16, 1:1, and/or 16:9.

Character limits! You have 20 characters for your brand name, and up to 100 characters for your ad description. And sadly, no emojis allowed 😭


Top SIX tips for promoting your brand on TikTok

Craving some expert tips on how to promote your brand all over TikTok? We’ve got you covered:

#1: Partner with TikTok creators

The rumors you’ve heard are absolutely true. Creators are EVERYTHING on TikTok. And when you partner up with one for sponsored content it’s *chef kiss*

This is because creators have a relationship with your target audience. So when they recommend your brand or your product, audiences listen. It’s effective, it’s authentic, and it’s a creative way to reach your target market.

But! Don’t just partner up with anyone. Creators can buy followers to make themselves appear more “valuable” to marketers. And not every creator has the same audience as you do.

So do your research, consider a creator’s niche, and partner with someone who shares the same audience.

#2: Use branded hashtags

In TikTok’s Ad Manager, there’s an option to sponsor branded hashtag challenges.

You know, like the time Crocs launched #ThousandDollarCrocs that inspired UGC and earned over 3B views …

We DEFINITELY recommend you take advantage of this for three reasons:

  1. TikTok challenges get your audience engaged
  2. Hashtags are highly trackable
  3. Branded experiences make lasting impressions

Just look at what Bose did with #CancelTheNoise or Cheetos with #ItWasntMe. The list goes on and on. That’s because branded hashtags make it easier to find your profile and your products and it works.

Ever heard of #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt? TikTok users have the power to sell out inventory overnight when they post videos about “slept on” products and brands. It could be you next if you play your cards right, just saying …

#3: Take over with a brand takeover!

Another cool thing TikTok has in its Ad Manager is something called a Brand Takeover. This is when a user opens the app, and a full-screen ad shows up automatically and immediately. It’s a great way to showcase your brand or product before users get to scrolling.

#4: Invest in in-feed native videos

This is another ad format available in the TikTok Ad Manager. These ads show up right before an organic video starts. It’s kind of like the ads that show up before YouTube videos.

Users can skip the ad if they want. But! Brands get to include a website link or the option to download an app. Those links can help drive traffic to your site and therefore, help earn more sales.

Brands can choose dynamic bids for these ads based on CPC, CPM, and CPV in the Ad Manager. Plus, brands can segment ads based on audience demographic info like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location

Pretty cool, right?

Now that’s what we call TikTok selling, people.

#5: Post shoppable videos

Shoppable videos = $$$

Seriously, if you don’t have shoppable video content, it’s time.

Shoppable videos let audiences watch your content and shop at the same time. So let’s say you own an apparel brand. You can bring your clothes to life by posting videos of:

  • Models wearing your outfits
  • Sales associates styling customers
  • Unveiling new arrivals

The important part here is that you LINK to the products you showcase. Make it easy for customers to see your product, want your product, then buy your product.

#6: Promote user-generated content

Lastly, we’ve got user-generated content (otherwise known as UGC). UGC is the ultimate way to connect with audiences and get them engaging with your brand on TikTok. It’s also the best way to go viral and earn overnight awareness.

One way to earn UGC is with a hashtag challenge as we talked about earlier. Another way is to encourage customers to post about your product in interesting ways.

This could be through unboxing videos, giveaways, contests … the options are limitless. And the more creative you get with UGC, the better!


Final thoughts on how to sell on TikTok

TikTok is king, queen, and everything in between. Seriously, it’s the best thing since sliced bread ESPECIALLY for brands. So here’s a quick recap that sums up why:

  • TikTok helps drive sales and website traffic
  • The way you get more sales and traffic is with a solid marketing strategy
  • Start by creating and optimizing your TikTok business account
  • Then post content and engage with audiences
  • Don’t forget to take advantage of in-app tools like the Ad Manager
  • When in doubt, partner with TikTok creators, use hashtags, post shoppable video, and promote UGC

Thanks for hanging out with us! If you want to learn more about TikTok, social commerce, or influencer marketing, check out our blog. We update it all the time with tons of cool resources, guides, and more.

Unleash the power of Valuable Creators.

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