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Looking for New Ecommerce Customers? TikTok Might Be the Best Place to Start. Five ways to use TikTok to gain new customers.

By Lucas Miller Edited by Russell Sicklick

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In a world saturated with social media, fast-paced witty material is of the utmost importance. Content creators want to share their advice, messages and entertainment. Businesses, both small and large, want to market their products on promising platforms. However, casual social media users have become privy to online advertisements. While traditional approaches to advertising still hold value, many users are starting to steer clear of the lures of the marketer.

TikTok, known for its snappy homemade feel, appears to be a bridge between the brand and the layman. It allows advertisements to entertain like regular content, yet still allows advertisers to showcase products.

Sixty-seven percent of users on TikTok admit that the site persuaded them to shop, even when they didn't intend to. Ecommerce brands are generating product awareness on TikTok, and you can as well. To better help you gain traction, here are five ways others are doing it.

Related: 6 Tips to Grow Your Business on TikTok With Ads and Influencers

1. Authenticity is key to Gen Z

Gen Z makes up 60 percent of TikTok users. It is the largest generation and thus brings with it a tide of potential buying power.

Gen Zers have grown up in a technologically advanced world, meaning they have a massive online presence. They are twice as likely to shop via smartphone as millennials. However, Gen Z, recently knocked about by the Covid-19 pandemic, is also an understandably budget-conscious generation. Those in Gen Z typically feel the need to trust a brand and even find shared core values before purchasing from them.

If you keep your TikTok ads authentic and genuine, you are more likely to appeal to the hearts of Gen Zers on the platform. Running spark ads, which look like the majority of typical TikTok content, helps tear down the barrier between advertiser and audience. They can thus build up trust in your brand.

If Gen Z is still simply not your target audience, there are still more ways brands are establishing product awareness through TikTok.

2. Keeping it fun

TikTok content is fast-paced and light-hearted, keeping the focus primarily on entertainment, unlike other social media sites. Users share material by uploading 15-60 second videos, and the best ads deliver a big impact in small doses.

Chase Chappell found that videos which were 21-34 seconds long were right in the sweet spot. They correlate to a 280 percent conversion lift (when a user completes the action you intend, such as buying a product). This amount of time allows for a video to get to the point without dragging on unnecessarily. Users came to TikTok to be entertained, not to be preached to.

Brands have discovered that TikTok ads require a different approach than other social media platforms. The goal is to entertain the TikTok community by including humor, music and even the occasional emoji.

3. The trick is trendy

Following and utilizing established trends is a key to approaching virality on TikTok. There are already many creative and effective ad formats that are sweeping through the site. Video trends, such as TikTok made me buy it, let users know you are part of the TikTok community and helps establish relatability and trust.

The TikTok world thrives off of trends. Even utilizing trending audio such as music clips and humorous sound bites will grab your audience's attention.

TikTok's algorithms continuously push related content onto users' feeds. Even if you are a small business just gaining social media momentum, running with TikTok trends can help get your brand in front of many eyes very quickly.

Related: The 'CEO of ChefTok' Explains Going Viral on Social Media

4. Interacting with the community

Along the same vein as sticking to trends is making advertisements interactive for viewers. A helpful feature that TikTok's ad campaigns offer is the Hashtag Challenge. This strategy gets users involved by encouraging them to post a video of themselves completing a challenge posed by the original post. TikTok itself says that people learn best by doing, by being involved in the action.

The Hashtag Challenge allows brands to not only stay up-to-date with trends but also set their own. It raised four and a half times more brand awareness than other standard ads. The challenge ignites participation while the hashtag spreads the idea across the platform.

Your challenge doesn't need to be elaborate — just something quick and goofy to get peoples' imaginations going. A printing company encouraged users to recreate childhood photos, thus adding a hint of nostalgia to their campaign.

5. Utilizing external creators

If you are struggling to find a way to make your ads feel like natural, organic posts, using external content creators is a great option. Participating creators and influencers can run ads for your brand through their accounts. The more well-known the creator, the more awareness you can gain by partnering with them.

Related: How Content Atomization Maximizes the Value of Brand-Creator Partnerships

There are many options when it comes to social media branding these days, but TikTok is by far the king of the hill. Brands that are standing at the peak are implementing these five approaches. You can use them to advance your climb as well!

Lucas Miller

Founder of Echelon Copy LLC

Lucas Miller is the founder and CEO of Echelon Copy LLC, a media relations agency based in Provo, Utah that helps brands improve visibility, enhance reputation and generate leads through authentic storytelling.

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