The Ultimate Guide to Organic TikTok Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Organic TikTok Marketing

Organic TikTok marketing is a great way to test content, engage your community, and create brand awareness. This ByteDance-owned social network may be plagued by scandal, but that hasn't stopped it from being an amazing tool that brands can use to reach customers with creative and engaging videos. In fact, 81% of users discover new products and brands on TikTok. If your company is going to be on TikTok, then you need to read this comprehensive how-to on organic content marketing for TikTok.

Should Your Business Start a TikTok?

TikTok makes content creation and consumption so easy for people of all ages that even young kids to senior citizens use the short-form video platform. But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy for businesses. If you’re deciding whether or not your business should start a TikTok, ask yourself these three questions: 

  1. Is my target audience on TikTok?
  2. Do I have the time?
  3. Do I have the creative energy?

If any of your answers are “no," then I’ll let you stop reading here. But if you’re ready to start a TikTok, your first step is to set up a Business Account.

How to Set Up a TikTok Business Account

IMPORTANT: If your brand is on TikTok, you mustset up a Business Account or your account will be banned

There are a few main differences between a personal account and a Business Account that are important to know. The main limitation that comes with being a brand on TikTok is that Business Accounts only have access to commercial sounds. Limited sounds make it difficult for brands to use non-cleared trending sounds. Since this is pretty restrictive, TikTok created a Business Creative Hub to help brands come up with ideas for their videos. The main advantage of a Business Account is its advertising capabilities

So, if you’ve set up a Business Account, but you’re not ready or willing to spend your marketing budget on the platform, start by building your organic strategy. 

What Is Organic TikTok?

Organic TikTok marketing is a great (and free!) way to build brand awareness through reach, connect with potential customers through engagement, and test paid content through impressions. This includes For-You videos (aka videos in you TikTok feed) and LIVE videos.

Do hashtags work?

Yes… well, maybe. 

If you’ve been on TikTok for more than one minute, you’ve probably seen #ForYouPage or #FYP. That’s because that hashtag has been used over 14094.4 billion times. So, if you only use the #ForYouPage hashtag, that’s probably not a great use of this feature. But if you combine niche hashtags with trending hashtags, the likelihood of your video performing better is much higher. 

As for an actual hashtag strategy, I recommend coming up with 3-8 hashtags to use for one video. Plus, tools like hashtag generators are easy ways to find keywords that are relevant to your video. Use this TikTok hashtag strategy as a best practice:

  • 1-2 branded hashtags (ex. #ElevateMyBrand has 429.3K views)
  • 2-4 niche hashtags (ex. #SEOTips has 30.6M views)
  • 2-3 trending or viral hashtags (ex. #MarketingAgency has 235.9M views)

What organic sounds should brands use on TikTok?

I’ve been on many TikTok webinars and lives where business owners have expressed intense frustrations with the limited commercial sounds that Business Accounts are restricted to. In response, the TikTok officials always respond the same way: *shrug*.

Adding viral sounds to your TikTok videos will help to increase reach, so even though Business Accounts have limited sounds, adding them to your videos should still boost your video’s visibility organically.

What content should I post?

As an organic social media best practice, Elevate My Brand recommends the 80/20 rule. This means 80% of your content provides value such as entertainment, inspiration, or education, while 20% of your content promotes your brand.

On TikTok, the most popular content genres are:

Successful businesses on TikTok use the app as a brand storytelling tool. So make whatever type of content you want to create to tell your brand’s story.

How Do You Create Content for the TikTok Algorithm?

TikTok’s algorithm curates and tailors content to each specific user. The algorithm shows users a mix of both popular and less-popular videos in their “For You” feed that are curated to the type of content they engage with. The main factors the TikTok algorithm considers are: 

  • Video views
  • Likes and comments
  • Followers
  • Forwards
  • Shares
  • Saves
  • Average watch time
  • Completion rate 
  • Video integrity (topic of the video, whether the audio was pulled down for violating copyright, or whether the content is flagged as too aggressive)

Basically, if you want to do well by the algorithm, you need to create videos that are going to drive high levels of engagement. Engagement is like a snowball effect; if even one user comments on your video, that’s going to tell the algorithm that your video is worth sharing with more users. One key way that brands have found success on TikTok is by following and creating trends.

How do brands follow TikTok trends (the right way)?

A trend is defined as the common subject of many posts within a short period of time. So the number one factor to consider when hopping on the “trendwagon” is if it’s still relevant. Even if you post a trend one day too late, it can be a bad look for your brand. As the kids say, “big yikes". Especially for big brands, trends can be hard to follow because brand managers and marketing executives favor approval rather than experimentation. As a result, many small businesses that don’t require creative approvals from higher-ups have performed better than bigger businesses.

Additionally, many brands follow trends to ‘go viral’ BUT the TikTok algorithm doesn’t curate for trends. It curates for engagement. In order to follow a trend well, some part of your video has to entice users to engage with the video, even if you just ask a simple question for users to respond to in the comments.

The last two key factors to jumping on trends are relevancy and personalization. It’s easier said than done, but it’s important to only follow trends that are relevant to your brand and that have some sort of customized aspect. Tailor the trend to you, don’t bend to the trend.

Since trends come and go, the easiest way to know if a trend is still “poppin” is by either scrolling on the app or by looking online. Here are three of my favorite sources that frequently update with the latest TikTok trends: 

Gigi Toma,
Account Manager

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