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TikTok Strategy Guide: Get Started in 2 Minutes

If you're serious about reaching your customers, then you have to consider making your mark on TikTok. But you need a TikTok strategy. Don't miss these tips!

Octavia Drexler
By Octavia Drexler

Updated November 23, 2023.


Thinking TikTok is just for teenagers is like ignoring Instagram in 2015, or Facebook in 2010. 

Not only is TikTok not exclusively geared at teens and pre-teens anymore – it's where more than 1.5 billion active users hang out there every day. And most of them are way past their teenage years, meaning they have buying power.

They're not light about swiping up and down on TikTok either: research shows that people spend a whopping 95 minutes per day on the platform. By comparison, most people spend around 67 minutes eating every day. 

Want to make sure you don't miss out on all the opportunities this social platform has to offer? Here's what you need to know about building a winning TikTok strategy. 



What is TikTok marketing?

TikTok marketing leverages TikTok to promote brands, products, and/or services. A TikTok strategy can include various tactics, such as using trends to drive awareness, embracing influencer marketing, running ads on TikTok, and aiming for virality with every piece of content.

Set up TikTok for business in less than two minutes

To start with your TikTok marketing strategy, you must first create a business account. Fortunately, this is a breeze: you can set up your business account in just a couple of minutes, providing you with access to analytics and social media advertising features.

Here's what you need to do:

1. Download TikTok and create an account (if you haven't already.)

2. Go to your profile page.

3. Click on the three lines on the top right side of the screen.


4. Tap on "Settings and privacy."


5. Tap on "Account."


6. Tap on "Switch to Business Account."

a screenshot of a cell phone with the login screen highlighted

7. Select any of the listed categories that suit your business and audience.


And you're done!

How to create a solid TikTok marketing strategy

Creating a TikTok strategy doesn't have to feel like you're lost in a maze. In fact, it can be pretty straightforward, as long as you have your basic branding covered, such as:

  • Who you are as a brand
  • The brand's tone of voice
  • Your audience
  • Your unique selling proposition
  • Your overall business goals and campaign objectives

When you are in the clear about these things, creating a TikTok strategy (or a strategy for any other social media platform, for that matter) is easier and has more chances to succeed.

Remember that tactics (or a collection of tactics) are not a strategy. However, they are an essential part of it. For instance, Duolingo's TikTok strategy is centered on humor and on making learning fun. As such, they use tactics like tapping into trends, sounds, and challenges to engage with their audience and promote their app.

Here are some ideas to help you build a winning TikTok strategy:

Learn how the platform works

If you're brand new to TikTok, it can feel like a giant mish-mash of dances, challenges, trends, and memes. Although the app's interface is extremely user-friendly, the avalanche of filters, songs that repeat from one video to another, and trends that come and go, can be overwhelming.

To build a winning strategy, you first need to understand how the platform works, what its users respond to best, and how they use it in their daily lives. So take the time to learn how everything works, from Duets and Stitches to trends, filters, sounds, and CapCut (an editing tool for TikTok videos).

No time for it? Why not hire a social media marketing agency vetted by Mayple? Contact us and we'll match you with the best one for your industry. 

a diagram of how tiktok algortim works


Define your ideal audience

Know your audience inside out. Define their interests, preferences, and behaviors. This knowledge will guide your content creation and ensure your TikTok marketing efforts are tailored to the people you want to reach.

Remember: the more you know about your audience, the more personal and relatable your content can be. So take the time to see what your ideal customers like: the kind of music they listen to, the language they use, and the trends they follow.

Collaborate with influencers

There are more than 1.5 billion users on TikTok – and specialists estimate the total headcount will reach 2 billion by the end of 2024. Over 50% of all the users have uploaded their own content, but there's a difference between being an influencer and just uploading some short videos onto a platform.

According to Statista, there are around 42 thousand influencers on TikTok. The largest chunk of them is consisted from influencers who have between 50,000–100,000 followers, followed by the ones that have 100,000–250,000 followers.

Just because a lot of influencers have massive amounts of followers, though, it doesn't mean you should collaborate with them right off the bat. You need to take into consideration many aspects before deciding on engaging in an influencer marketing campaign or partnership, such as the influencer's niche and audience demographics, authenticity, engagement rates, and previous collaborations.

In many cases, you might find that micro-influencers are more effective at delivering messages audiences listen to and trust. The reason behind this is that they are more relatable and approachable than macro-influencers, who might not be as connected with their audience due to their large following. Take care to weigh all options and choose the influencer that aligns best with your brand values and objectives.

Last, but not least, remember to make sure you partner with influencers who have a real and engaged audience in your niche. There's no point in running influencer campaigns with influencers who use bots and fake followers to inflate their numbers. Not only will this not bring you any results, but it can also harm your brand's reputation if the influencer is exposed for buying fake followers and engagement.

Build a smooth customer journey

Craft a seamless experience for your TikTok audience: from discovering your content to making a purchase, each step should flow effortlessly. Make it easy for viewers to transition from casual observers to loyal customers by providing them with content that addresses each stage of the buyer journey:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Purchase
  • Retention

By creating content that speaks to each stage, you are more likely to turn viewers into customers and eventually, loyal fans of your brand.

a diagram of a customer journey


Take a look at your competition

Analyzing your competitors on TikTok can provide valuable insights. Understand what works for them, identify gaps in the market, and use this knowledge to shape your unique approach. Keep in mind you shouldn't "copy" their tactics and style, but rather use them as inspiration to create your own unique content.

Set your goals

Establish clear, measurable goals for your TikTok marketing strategy. Whether it's brand awareness, engagement, or conversions, having defined objectives will keep your efforts focused and effective. Every single video you produce there should be aligned with your overall brand goals.

Brand your account

Create a visually appealing and cohesive brand presence on TikTok. Consistent branding helps build recognition and trust among your audience. Some of the elements you should be sure to brand include:

  • Username
  • Bio and profile picture
  • Video content (use consistent filters, fonts, and color palettes)

Start posting consistently

Consistency is key on TikTok. Regularly share engaging content to keep your audience interested and invested in your brand. There's no rule as to how often you should post, but generally, you want to publish between one and three videos a day. This increases your chance of getting on the trending page in your audience's feed.

the global best times to post on tik tok


Always keep your videos short

TikTok's charm lies in its brevity. Keep your videos short, snappy, and attention-grabbing. Capture your audience's interest within the first few seconds. According to research, the ideal length for a TikTok video is now between 24 and 31 seconds – so try to stick within these margins as much as possible.

Create an advertising strategy

Unlike other social media channels, TikTok is not yet a "pay-to-play" network. This means you can still get a lot of attention with just organic content. However, investing in TikTok in-feed ads will supercharge your reach and help you get noticed by more people in your target audience.

Here are some quick tips on how to make the most out of your paid social media marketing strategy:

Start from broad targeting

Begin with a wide reach to gauge your audience's response. Use this data to refine your targeting in subsequent campaigns.

Use Custom Audiences

TikTok allows you to select and upload your own collected data, so you can laser-target the right people and increase your chances of conversion. For instance, you could upload customer files or target based on engagement, app activity, website traffic, and more.



Go for high-resolution

TikTok is known for its homemade vibe, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't invest in high-quality video content. Create videos with good lighting and sound quality to make your TikTok ads stand out even more.

Use the right hashtags

Hashtags are the currency of TikTok. They can increase your content's discoverability. To find the right hashtags, take a look at what's trending on the app and analyze your competitors' posts to see which ones perform best. Also, create your own branded hashtag and encourage your audience to use it in their videos for a chance to be featured on your page.

Incorporate TikTok trends

Stay in the loop with TikTok trends. Incorporate popular sounds, challenges, filters, and formats to ride the wave of viral content, if they are suitable for your brand and target audience. You could tap into a massive audience with a TikTok trend, but it wouldn't mean much for your business if they weren't interested in what you sell.

Comment on other videos

Engage with the TikTok community by commenting on other videos. This not only increases your visibility but also establishes a connection with potential followers, helps you build your brand, and positions you as an active member of the community.

Use filters and effects

Enhance your content with TikTok's array of filters and effects. Experimenting with these features adds a creative touch to your videos, helps your content be more discoverable, and can make them more shareable, increasing your reach. Just remember to use them sparingly and appropriately for the type of content you're creating.

Make sure your descriptions are clear

Accompany your videos with concise and clear descriptions. Provide context, a call-to-action, or additional information to enhance viewer engagement.

Create a hashtag challenge

Encourage user participation by creating a branded hashtag challenge. User-generated content can amplify your brand's reach and impact. Plus, it positions you as approachable, relatable, and fun – all characteristics that resonate well with TikTok's audience. To get your challenge going, you can:

  • Create a unique challenge or put a spin on an existing one
  • Use popular sounds and effects
  • Set clear rules and guidelines
  • Collaborate with influencers/ content creators to promote the challenge

Host contests

Boost engagement by hosting contests on TikTok. Giveaways and contests generate excitement and motivate viewers to interact with your brand. You can do this with normal videos or on Live shows, to keep your audience engaged in real-time.

Embrace edutainment

Combine education and entertainment in your content. When you offer value to potential customers and keep it entertaining, you're more likely to engage them and influence their purchasing decisions. Plus, it's exactly what you need to build an audience and remain top-of-mind for people who may be on your radar but aren't yet ready to buy from you.

a bar chart showing the global equipment market


Collaborate with other creators

Partnering with other creators who align with your brand can help you tap into their audience and expand your reach. Collaborations also add variety to your content, making it more interesting, and can help you build lasting relationships with other creators.

Use stitches and duets

Leverage TikTok's unique features like Stitches and Duets to interact with other users and create collaborative content. You can use these TikTok features either as a participant (creating Stitches and Duets with other brands or creators) or you can encourage your followers to create stitches and duets with your original content. This is a great way to foster engagement and community building.

Don’t forget about the call to action

Always include a clear call to action in your videos. Direct viewers on what steps to take next, whether it's visiting your website, following your channel, or making a purchase.

A/B test variables

Experiment with different elements of your TikTok strategy. A/B testing allows you to refine your approach based on what resonates most with your audience. Some elements you can A/B test on TikTok include:

  • Video length
  • Music and sound effects
  • Visual elements (colors, filters, text overlays)
  • Call-to-action phrases

When running A/B tests, remember only to test one variable at a time. Otherwise, you won't be able to determine what's making the difference in your results accurately.



Measure your progress & optimize

Regularly track key metrics like views, channel growth rate, number of trending videos, and average watch time. Use this data to optimize your TikTok marketing strategy for better results.

Some core metrics to follow include: 

  • Follower count
  • Number of video views
  • Comments and Likes
  • Shares

Analyze these metrics to understand the performance of your content, and use that information to refine your strategy.

Advanced tactics for your TikTok strategy

If you want to create successful campaigns on TikTok, you can go beyond the tips, tactics, and best practices mentioned above. Here are some of the main tactics you can implement:

The blue search comment

On TikTok, the blue search comment is a feature that allows users to search for content on the app based on a specific word or phrase. The blue tag means that the phrase is searched by a lot of people on TikTok – so optimizing your videos for that specific search term helps you make your content discoverable in TikTok's search system.

To leverage this and attract more people to your videos and channel, you can research these long-tail comments or searches and use them as keywords in your own videos. You can find these keywords by searching a term related to your niche, then filtering the results to narrow down the search results and find blue comments.

Tap into impulse buy psychology

According to research, 28% of people agree that they've made impulse buys on TikTok (more so than on other platforms). There could be a lot of factors that go into this phenomenon, including, but not limited to:

  • The app's algorithm: Trends and challenges keep popping up on users' feeds, making them more likely to stumble upon a product they want.
  • The format: Short-form video is easy to consume and it appeals to a wider audience than long-form video. It's easy to get information in "nuggets," so people can just watch them on the go or during a quick break. Plus, the short format allows you to create the kind of marketing content that's fun, engaging, and likely to buy impulse buys. 
  • How shopping videos or TikTok ads are formatted: They don't feel like ads, they feel like yet another entertaining or educational short video in people's feeds, thus, they don't trigger resistance or skepticism in viewers.

If you have a product to sell, consider showcasing it on TikTok in an entertaining and authentic way that encourages impulse buys.Your campaign ideas should tap into the natural, organic content that TikTok users already love, while also connecting it to your product and call-to-action.

Take time to really understand your audience

"Understand your audience" must be one of the most over-shared marketing tips of the century. No matter how much of a platitude it is, one thing's for certain: knowing your audience is key to delivering content that resonates with them. On TikTok maybe more than on other social channels, you need to understand what your audience likes – from music and the trends they're likely to engage with, to the type of content they want to see more from you –  as well as what they don't like.

To help you understand your audience, TikTok offers an analytics tool that can provide insights on video views, profile views, follower demographics, and more. Use this data to refine your social media marketing plan and strategy so you can deliver content that appeals to your audience's preferences.

Answer your audience’s questions

Engage with your audience by addressing their questions and concerns. This builds trust and establishes your brand as responsive and customer-focused. It also gives you plenty of organic content and advertising campaign ideas, so you can always plan your content calendar ahead of time.

To find commonly asked questions by your audience on TikTok, use communities on Reddit and Quora, as well as Google's "People Also Ask" section, and see what people are asking about your niche or industry. You can also ask your followers directly to leave their questions in the comments section of your videos.

TikTok: A (lot) more than just dance clips 

Social media marketing has always had a shifting nature. What was the hot social media channel ten or even five years ago can very easily shift to something else today. 

TikTok used to be a place where preteens shared video clips with dance routines, silly challenges, and lip-syncing. 

Things have changed now. Sure, funny sound clips and rather odd filters are still out there in the TikTokverse, but this channel has also become a pretty essential element in the social media marketing repertoire. Whether you are B2B or B2C, TikTok deserves to be on your list of social media channels: experiment, build your online presence there, see what works for your company, and start building your community. 

Need someone to lend you a hand? Hire a social media marketing agency vetted by Mayple! Contact us and we'll match you with the right one in a matter of days!