Boost E-Commerce Traffic with TikTok

In E-Commerce, marketing is everything. You can have the most beautiful products and the cleanest sales process in the world, but without marketing, you won’t have customers to sell to. 

A successful E-Commerce seller uses marketing to help grow and multiply their consumer base. There are hundreds of social media-focused marketing avenues to choose from with popular methods including Facebook Ads, sponsored Instagram posts, and YouTube ads. 

But among those platforms, there is a new competitor quickly rising in the ranks: TikTok.


What is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media video platform. Unlike Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, TikTok focuses on user-created video content and allows users to post short videos with overlaid music or sounds. It features in-app editing options that allow users to include special effects and filters if they choose. Since its fruition, TikTok has grown to see over 1 billion active monthly users!The platform allows 15 and 60 second video content, and some users are able to create videos up to 3 and even 10 minutes long. 

Thanks to TikTok’s unique and user-friendly algorithm, it is an incredible resource for finding audience members and spreading the word about your store. 


The TikTok Algorithm 

TikTok has a very user-beneficial algorithm. When you sign up, you’ll see a “Following” tab, where you can find videos from users that you follow. Beside that is a “For You Page” (or “FYP) tab. This page shows videos from users you follow, but also users you don’t follow. 

As you like, save, share, and interact with videos, TikTok remembers that data and uses it to shape your own personal algorithm. Over time, you will start to see similar videos on your page, because those are what you enjoy! 

Let’s say, for example, you’re a football fan. If you interact with the football videos that show up on your FYP, you’ll start to see more of that type of content. Users refer to these different niches as -tok, i.e. “footballtok.” 

This algorithm set up can prove invaluable for your store. 

When you share a video, TikTok pushes it out to a variety of audiences in order to see where it sticks. As users start to interact with it, TikTok learns who wants to see it. Then, they push it to more users with similar interests. 

Where an Instagram post may not be seen by many of your followers, much less users that aren’t following you, TikTok videos can be shown to followers old and new. Hashtags can be handy here, but we’ll talk more about that in a minute. 


Using TikTok for Your E-Commerce Store

TikTok, like other apps, offers a wide range of opportunities when it comes to promoting your business or product. Though you are able to create sponsored posts, you likely don’t need to. Simply sharing your business in a regular-format video can potentially help to drive sales and bring in more customers.  

To see the most benefits, it is important to share content consistently. With each video, you’re creating the opportunity to have your store shared with a new buyer. 

But sometimes, it only takes one video to get the ball rolling. 

Thanks to the A+ algorithm mentioned above, many TikTok users have seen success from a single video. Yes, you read that correctly: one video. They post something, it goes viral, and suddenly they wake up to hundreds of thousands of followers, collaboration offers, and potentially… sales. 

For example, there have been multiple instances of users earning thousands of dollars from a single post. Let’s say they share a product that they love. They upload a video, include an affiliate link in their bio, and their post reaches thousands. For each user that clicks the link and makes an order, that original poster earns a commission. 

The same can happen for your business. Start sharing content and talking about your store, and make sure your website URL is in your bio. You never know what you may find! 


Creating Video Advertisements 

Maybe as an E-Commerce store, you don’t necessarily want to make and publish regular content and would prefer a more hands-off approach. Though many brands do well sharing regularly scheduled TikToks, it’s not the only option.


Create and Precisely Track Ads

To take advantage of TikTok with less work, one option is to create and sponsor a video. Rather than creating regular content, this option allows you to create just one video (or any number you choose), and run an ad on it to get it in front of viewers.

With TikTok Business Center, you can manage advertised videos and run your business account with ease. The Business Center allows you to create ads and track the analytics of each. This will give you vital information about which of your ads perform the best and reach your specific audience. Similar to Facebook and Google, these ads have the potential to reach almost unlimited people that fit your audience base.

You’ll want to measure their success and make adjustments accordingly. 


Sponsor Influencers to Advertise Your Products

On traditional television, many companies would (and still do) pay celebrities, athletes, and movie stars to promote their product in a short commercial. This was replicated on YouTube in the form of sponsorships during videos, where the host would promote a certain product in exchange for compensation of some kind. 

Now, this process has carried over to TikTok. While scrolling through videos on TikTok, it is not uncommon to come across a few sponsored videos from influencers. You can identify these videos when you spot “Ad” or “Sponsored” disclaimers. 

Typically, the influencer will create and post a video talking about product benefits or why they love a particular item. The parameters, complexity, and theme of the video is something that can be determined between your brand and the influencer. 

This process is similar to working with Brand Ambassadors. Learn more here


Creating Original Videos

Now what if you do want to regularly post on TikTok? Doing so allows you to interact with your customer base on a deeper level than just running advertisements. It provides freedom and flexibility when posting content, and it creates a great opportunity to engage with your audience. 

Regular content will help not only boost your products and store in general, but it will also help to establish a follower base. As your follower count continues to grow, you will bring in more and more customers.


Trends vs. Original Content 

You’ll begin to notice video trends as you spend time on the TikTok app. Trends can take the form of style of video (i.e. a certain type of joke), a song, a dance, or even a filter. These trends can be a great way to find your path on TikTok, as they allow your brand to create unique but recognizable content. 

Multiple big name influencers started off by making one video that matched a trend and went viral. These trends provide a basic layout and sound (normally) for you to follow on your own video. Simply make the trend your own, referencing your store or products. This will likely boost your viewership and could even help you gain new followers or make your account go viral.

However, making wholly new and unique content can be just as fruitful! You don’t have to engage in the trends to be successful. Try making engaging videos or gear your content toward your product or E-Commerce store. You can show how your products work, the results they accomplish, or even how they are made and shipped.

Don’t be afraid to bring humor into your content, either. Customers love brands they can relate to. They appreciate personality and original content. You never know — a funny idea you have may turn into the next viral trend!


Respond to comments and questions

TikTok’s benefits extend beyond the reach. In addition to helping you find new customers, TikTok provides an opportunity to directly engage with your audience. This can be done via DM, comments, or even stitch videos.

Customers appreciate engagement, and responding to comments and DMs is a great way to interact. These avenues can help in the sales process too. When a customer leaves a comment on a video asking about a product or feature, answer them! Other users will see and appreciate your engagement too, and the added information may be just what’s needed to make a sale.


Use comments as valuable customer feedback 

Be sure to take comments and DMs one step further and use them as customer feedback. If you know what questions customers have, you can update product descriptions and copy to better reflect the answers they seek.  


How to Use TikTok Hashtags

Like other social platforms, hashtags are a big part of TikTok. Though the topic goes deep and could use a standalone post, the basics are easy to remember.

When creating a post, you have the opportunity to include a short caption as well as any hashtags you’d like to use. When you do this, you’ll see trending hashtags that you can choose from, or you can create your own. Using a hashtag essentially “attaches” your video to that category. 

For example, if you use the hashtag “football,” users in that category will see your video. This is why you want to use hashtags specific to your store and your video content. If you use unrelated tags, an unrelated (and likely uninterested) user base will see your video. When they don’t interact, it tells TikTok that your content isn’t valuable, and then they don’t show it to as many people. 

The key is to identify a set of hashtags used and enjoyed by your audience, and then use 3 of those per video to categorize your content.  

Here’s a breakdown:

0 hashtags

If you don’t use hashtags, TikTok will show your video to a variety of niches and audiences until it finds the audience that wants your content.

3 hashtags

This is the sweet spot. Use three, niche specific hashtags, and TikTok will know exactly who to show your video to.

3+ hashtags

With too many hashtags, TikTok doesn’t know who exactly to show your video to. Stay away from trending hashtags, unless they apply perfectly to your audience (they usually won’t).

Fun idea: You can use hashtags to let your followers/customers make unique content and share it with you. Chipotle did this using the “boorito” hashtag, and the campaign wound up amassing tons of engagement — “over 4 billion views”, to be exact! Hashtags are a great way to make a video category that is solely unique to your business.

TikTok is a great platform to grow your following. It makes finding new customers easy and lets you closely interact with your audience to learn what they like and dislike. The best time to start using TikTok was yesterday. The second best time is today. How will you be using TikTok for your store?


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Yours in success,

Sarah x