TikTok for business: A Beginner’s Guide (+Video Tutorial)

5 minutes

Are you curious about TikTok? or are you just wondering whether you should use it to grow your business?

This is an introduction for beginners. 

Do you get bombarded with TikTok videos everyday? They just seem to follow you EVERYWHERE! I know, it’s crazy!
I have downloaded the app myself and just can’t take my eyes off it.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock at the bottom of the Pacific ocean, I’m sure you’ve at least heard of TikTok.

  • What is this new app?
  • Who is using it?
  • Should I be using it?

If these are questions that you have, then keep on reading. 

What is TikTok?

TikTok was launched in 2017 in China and is a popular platform for sharing short-video content (15 sec – 1 min). The app took the global social media market by storm in 2019 when it became the no. 1 most downloaded app on Apple store (CNBC 2019). And for good reason, because it’s so fun to use and has some interesting and immersive content. And since kids & teens love it, and @GaryVee advocates it, I knew I had to write this article and fill you in on all the details.

A few PROs and CONs:

The PROs:

  • It’s the no.1 most downloaded app of 2019: 1.1 bil. installs as at Mar 2019
  • Popular among gen Z: 66% of users are females, aged 13 – 24 
  • The app has great video editing features (effects, free music library, filters, 3D effects etc.) 
  • Entertaining videos (focus on authentic content)


  • Most marketers (older than 30) have never heard of the app
  • Concerns over children privacy have lead to a ban in India (currently it was lifted) 
  • Although the app has international appeal, more than 40% of users come from India. 
  • It’s not going to work for every business (especially if you are in B2B, or your audience is highly professional)

How to create a TikTok video?

Watch this video to learn how to film and edit a video in less than 5 minutes!

TikTok Video Tutorial

Here’s a summary:

  1. Search for a viral/trending hashtag on your home page
  2. Find the music tune (you have an extensive library to choose from)
  3. Select your desired filters / 3D effects
  4. Shoot the video and be your authentic self
  5. Once you upload a video it will immediately start getting likes from other users which will see it on their own explore page

How popular brands use TikTok?

Do brands actually use TikTok for marketing? Yes, they do. Scroll through the carousel images to find out how they do it.

Popular Niches on TikTok

  • Make-up: Sephora posts make-up tutorials, shares clips of influencers, reposts other users’ content
  • Fitness: Gymshark shares meme videos, athletes & inspirational gym workout videos
  • F&B : McDonalds posts # challenges and encourage users to recreate them. For example, their #bigmactiktok is a challenge where users have to use gestures and “mimic” creating a big mac burger in 15 seconds.  

What Marketing Strategies Work on TikTok?

If you’re a business owner, or marketer THIS is the part you’re here for. And here are 4 marketing strategies that you need to use on TikTok if you plan to capture your audience on this platform.

  1. Hashtag Challenges – these are an essential part of TikTok and the users simply love taking these challenges. I remember the first video I posted on TikTok when I was testing it out was a #BobaChallenge which essentially, was a game-like challenge encouraging users to create their own virtual bubble tea. Great marketing idea, isn’t it? You can create your own # challenge (similar to creating an Instagram filter) and work with influencers to kickstart a campaign. Once a # challenge is created on TikTok, people can find it and post content which will boost your brand awareness. 
  2. User-generated Content – this works great on TikTok because gen Z loves the full immersive experience rather than watching TV. If you can encourage users to share clips of them using your products you are more likely to get a higher engagement. Ask users to film themselves cooking (recreating) a recipe, or recreate a make-up look, or anything that requires them to get involved.  
  3. Influencer marketing – similar to Instagram, you can work with influencers on TikTok and ask them to share videos using your product. The videos are typically more raw and authentic – which is something that the ten Z finds more appealing. So, don’t look for perfection – and just go with the trend. 
  4. Paid ads – currently limited to certain countries/regions. However, I’ve seen ads from a few brands on my page  – so it’s clearly working in Malaysia, which is my current location. 

Overall, TikTok is super fun and creative: you can use it to edit videos, create hashtag challenges and work with influencers to grow your audience. So, if you are a biz owner TikTok can be a valuable marketing tool for your business

Comment below: Are you interested to explore TikTok for your business?

Thank you.

ALLE, Social Media Strategist

While you are here, make sure to follow my Instagram page where I share daily video tutorials on most popular marketing trends & apps.


CNBC (2019) How TikTok Took the World by Storm [Online], Available at <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4uRVBFaYg8&gt;

TikTok (2019). [Online], Available at <www.tiktok.com/about>